DATE OF EVENT: Monday, Oct. 2, 1933
DATE PUBLISHED: Tuesday, Oct. 3, 1933, in The Kansas City Times
Editor’s note: The charter for the University of Kansas City, later to become the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was granted in 1929, and philanthropist Walter Volker followed up with a gift of the campus grounds and funds to purchase the first building. The university began with a faculty of 17 and a student body of 256, and grew throughout the 1930s despite the financial difficulties of the Depression.
As a school without personal regulations imposed on the students, the University of Kansas City yesterday began its academic life.
In an assembly attended by some 250 students, Dean O.G. Sanford passed on to them the responsibility for setting the standards of the school for generations to come.
“We do not intend,” he said, “to start out by saying you must do this or not do that. You are young men and women of college grade capable of knowing right from wrong. We trust the personal judgment of a group of this kind to set standards that will be a credit to the school.
“As soon as possible we assume you will want to elect a student council and to organize classes and groups for the most effective college activities. We will not impose regulations on the manner of your organizing except we assume that the faculty will act in an advisory capacity. This is necessary in order that we will know at all times the activities of the school.”
It was observed yesterday that, although no specific regulations had been imposed against smoking in the building, all students refrained from smoking anywhere within doors. The incident was advanced by Dean Sanford as evidence of the natural good taste of the students.
In one day the new university became an established institution. New in every way, new student body, new faculty and new leadership, the university in one day adopted the calm assurance of age.
With a faculty gathered from the far corners of the country, the classes opened as smoothly as the first day of an old institution. After busy weeks in which faculty members had been chosen from 500 applicants, the first day was like a calm after a storm. Three of the sixteen faculty members had not been appointed until late last week A few short weeks ago most of them had not even heard of the University of Kansas City. Yesterday they held their classes as if their lives had been spent there.
For all the newness of the school, the students were at home. In the central hallway between classes the sound of laughter and voices was the language of old friendships. Under the hickory trees on the campus, groups fell into easy conversations as if they were in their haunts of many years. Strollers about the large campus were as casual as college seniors.
Except for dividing several of the larger classes, the work of the university was practically organized the first day.