125 Years of Excellence

Celebrating 125 years on Sept. 14, 2023

Thank you for helping us celebrate 125 years of Friends University! Our documentary will be posted here in the near future. You can also view our online timeline history or re-watch the 125th Celebration below.

Within Her Storied Walls | Friends University 125th Anniversary

Join Friends University in celebrating her 125th anniversary and take a look back over our rich history in this short documentary.

Funded in part by the Council of Independent Colleges and Lilly Endowment Inc.

Directed and Produced by Anna Marie Carey Cinematography by Lais Bosco Myers, Ethan Harvey & Bryan Carey

Graphic Design by Stefania Losada Lara & Ethan Harvey

Edited by Anna Marie Carey Photo Archives

Provided by:

  • Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum
  • Wichita Public Library
  • Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives
  • Friends University

125 Years of History

125th Anniversary Celebration

Relive the historic 125th anniversary celebration from Sept. 14, 2023.

“The start of the 1918 school year brought President William O. Mendenhall. World War I was in effect and men were almost minus on the campus. The school closed on Oct. 2, 1918 for the afternoon as everyone went downtown to hear Teddy Roosevelt speak on the interests of the Fourth Liberty Loan.”

The twenty-first year of Friends University: 1918-1919
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“The University Life publication recorded interesting information of life on the campus of Friends University through the years. There was enough interest in beginning a football team the first fall, 1898, for Professor Edward M. Williams, teacher of Physical Sciences, to begin practicing with a group of men.”

Falcon champions in the early days
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“Music has been a part of the curriculum of the college from the beginning. The orchestra and vocal groups performed for various organizations in the community, a tradition that still carries on today. ”

Music To Our Ears
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“What was it like to be a student during the first few years at Friends University? Many of the conveniences students enjoy now were lacking 125 years ago.”

Being a Friends student then and now
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“The doors to Friends University opened on September 21, 1898 with 53 students and 12 faculty. Tuition was $14 for the fall semester and $13 for the winter and spring semesters for classes offered in literature, history, mathematics, astronomy, Bible, German, science, elocution and oratory, as well as music, including piano, harmony, theory and voice. In 1901 President Stanley recognized the first class of graduates at Friends University.”

Friends Doors Opened

125 Years!

Look back at 125 years of Friends University by visiting the first floor of Davis Administration Building to view our timeline walls. We will also post our documentary here shortly, along with a video of our 125th celebration.

The 125th Celebration is funded in part by the Council of Independent Colleges and Lilly Endowment Inc.