Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Throwback Thursday: Union Dedication Edition

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 34,800 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Next Monday, April 30th, marks the anniversary of the 1926 dedication ceremony to lay the cornerstone of the Memorial Union. Along with the stadium, it was built to honor the 129 KU men and women who died in World War I.

Photograph of the dedication ceremony for the Kansas Union, 1926

Dedication ceremony for the Memorial Union, April 30, 1926. Note the
construction materials in the foreground. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/54 1926 Dedication Prints:
Campus: Buildings: Memorial Union (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

The building across the street from the Union is Myers Hall, the home of KU’s religious studies department before the construction of Smith Hall at the same location in the 1960s.

In its coverage of the ceremony, the University Daily Kansan student newspaper estimated that “3,000 students, soldiers, families of soldiers who fought in the World War,” and alumni were in attendance.

Here is another view of the ceremony, looking the opposite direction.

Dedication ceremony for the Memorial Union, April 30, 1926.
More visible is the platform for the speakers. Note Strong Hall in the background.
Photograph by Duke D’Ambra. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/54 1926 Dedication Prints:
Campus: Buildings: Memorial Union (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

The April 1926 Graduate Magazine provided a preview summary of the event, which followed a parade down Jayhawk Boulevard, from Robinson Gymnasium (located where Wescoe Hall now stands) to the Union site.

Image of a description of the Union dedication ceremony in the Graduate Magazine, 1926

Description of the Union dedication ceremony in the Graduate Magazine, April 1926.
University Archives. Call Number: LH 1 .K3 G73 1925-1926. Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Throwback Thursday: Union Dedication Edition”

Is there a list or link to the names of the 129 who died?

Dear Jeff, An earlier blog post (https://blogs.lib.ku.edu/spencer/throwback-thursday-memorial-day-edition) provides a link to a list. The list appeared in the KU Alumni Catalogue (1922). The Memorial Union also recognizes the 129 students who died in World War I with encased photos displayed on the sixth floor (https://luna.ku.edu/luna/servlet/s/r3eri8). If you check various sources, there seems to be a slight discrepancy about the exact number of KU men and women who died in World War I.

Caitlin Donnelly, Head of Public Services

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *