WICHITA—Students and supporters from Fairmount College to the University of Wichita to Wichita State University celebrate the university’s 125th anniversary (Quasquicentennial) celebration beginning July 1.


"I’m honored to begin the academic year with Shocker Nation as we celebrate our 125th year," President Jay Golden said. "In September 1895, Fairmount College, the forerunner of Wichita State University, held its first classes northeast of 17th Street and Hillside in Fairmount Hall. Now, 125 years later, we celebrate the ever-expanding role of our institution as a pillar of cultural and academic excellence, a vital engine of economic growth and a positive force in the lives of millions."


Wichita State University continues its evolution through collaboration, innovation, applied learning and entrepreneurship – creating an environment for students, industry and community to work together and build a bright future for the local city, region and world.


University officials said that with the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration will look different than originally planned. Events will be adjusted to adhere to safety guidelines, and many of them will switch to a virtual format.


"During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, I often walk the campus, amazed at the fact that it’s so quiet — and a little saddened by that," Provost Rick Muma said. "But one thing has struck me… as I walk by Fiske Hall, our oldest building built in 1906, it was here during the last viral pandemic. And it’s still here, and the university is still here. I am reminded that we will survive this."


The month of July has been dedicated to the university’s connection to the city of Wichita, which is celebrating its 150th birthday.


In August, students return with Welcomefest events, and the Quasquicentennial celebrates the 1800-1900s.


Wichita State celebrates its birthday on Sept. 11, part of a month dedicated to the 1920-1930s and highlighted by Academic Convocation on Sept. 10.


Events such as Shocktoberfest, WSU Open House, Springfest, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Shocker New Venture Competition and Hippodrome will mark the anniversary into 2021.


Shocker athletic events will also honor the anniversary.