Emporia State University (ESU) was the first teacher training school in the state of Kansas, founded in 1863 and opened in 1865. It started out as one teacher and his class of 18 students working in a room in the top of a secondary school.
The teacher training school, known as Kansas Normal School, overcame problems ranging from rogue buffalo hunters to drought, eventually becoming the largest normal school in the country. In 1889 it gained accreditation and saw its first black students graduate. In 1977 the school changed its name to Emporia State University.
There are now over 80 programmes of study at ESU, organised through four faculties: the School of Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Library and Information Management, and the Teachers College. The Teachers College has been deemed “exemplary” by an external evaluator.
The School of Library and Management Information offers the only master’s in library science in Kansas State. The course prepares budding archivists and librarians for their career.
There are eight fraternities and seven sororities at ESU, along with student organisations such as an A Capella Choir, Marine Biology Club and Photo Club. The university’s athletic teams compete under the nickname Hornets.
The ESU campus has 70 buildings across 218 acres in the city of Emporia. One of the buildings is a historic one-room school house, which has been preserved by the university. Nearby, the Flint Hills offer picturesque landscapes for walking, with tallgrass prairies and wild American bison.