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Higher Education - August 24, 2012

Q: Which university in Kansas used to be called Lincoln College?

WashburnKHS 1The Washburn University campus (photo dated between 1895-1905) is located on 160 acres of land, donated by Kansas abolitionist John Ritchie, in the central portion of Topeka. Established in February of 1865 by the Congregational Church, the school was named Lincoln College in honor of President Abraham Lincoln. (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society /


A: Washburn University (in Topeka)


Lincoln University in Topeka was established in 1865. But in 1868, after getting a $25,000 donation from Ichabod Washburn, the school changed its name to Washburn University. Ichabod Washburn, a wealthy New England industrialist, had bequeathed the money to the school. Today, the men’s sports teams are known as the Ichabods. Washburn University’s mascot depicts an Uncle Sam-looking character but it’s actually an artist’s image of Ichabod Washburn. The mascot is unique in that it depicts a studious-looking man who’s walking (and taking long strides) and carrying school books. 

Ichibod logo-original2Fun Factoid: The original design of the tailcoat-clad mascot was created in 1938 by Washburn alumnus Bradbury Thompson, who became an acclaimed graphic artist.



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