LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Name that Kansan! - May 24, 2013

Q: Long before KU named an institute after him, this retired KU professor spent two years as a prisoner of war in World War II. In fact, he was held in the same German camp that became the subject of the 1963 movie The Great Escape. What’s the name of this KU professor emeritus, who became a pioneer in the study of intellectual disabilities?

SchiefelbuschDoleHumanDevelopment Flickr_RachelSeymourThe professor emeritus, Richard Schiefelbusch, is the namesake of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies at KU! (Flickr Photo by Rachel Seymour

A: Richard Schiefelbusch (or Dick Schiefelbusch)


Richard L. Schiefelbusch was a First lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served from December 1941 to January 1946.

Richard L. Schiefelbusch joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941 and became a navigator on B-24 bombers in the European Theatre of Operation during World War II. His plane was shot down while on a mission. He parachuted into the Baltic Sea, was captured, and spent two years in prisoner of war camps - including Stalag Luft 3 in Poland, which was the subject of a 1963 movie The Great Escape. In the camps, he taught group communication courses to the prisoners and helped organize a “civic” organization that worked to improve camp morale. For these efforts, he received a commendation.

After the war, he completed a doctorate at Northwestern University that set his course for a lifetime of public service. It all began with the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, which he established in 1949 at the University of Kansas. Soon after, he took charge of the Kansas Bureau of Child Research.

Schiefelbusch brought together experts to pioneer new ways of studying and addressing intellectual disabilities beginning at the Parsons State Hospital and Training School in 1958 that drew world-wide attention. He retired in 1990.

The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies at KU was named to honor his 40 years of leadership and vision.

Compiled from the website of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies:

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)