The 2012 Official Ornament of the State of Kansas will appear on the State of Kansas Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. beginning with the national tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 6.
It can be on your tree, too. The official state ornament, featuring the Washburn University sesquicentennial celebration on the front and the Great Seal of the State of Kansas on the back, is available for purchase for $24.
In anticipation of the 150th anniversary of the founding of Washburn University, we are honored to commemorate the significant milestone with the sesquicentennial logo as the theme of the 2012 State of Kansas ornament.
From the founding of the university near the end of the Civil War, to the devastation of campus in a 1966 tornado, Washburn has evolved to be a quality 21st century institution complemented with a rich history. The founding principles of the university are best expressed in Washburn’s motto, ANon nobis solum, or “not for ourselves alone.”
Washburn was founded as Lincoln College, a private Congregational school, on Feb. 6, 1865 in Topeka, Kan., on the principle that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or income, have the right to seek an education.
In 1868, Ichabod Washburn, of Worcester, Mass., pledged $25,000 to the fledgling college. Shortly thereafter, the one-building institution was renamed Washburn College to honor this benefactor.
Located on a 160-acre campus, Washburn has approximately 7,200 students and offers more than 200 academic programs leading to certification, associate, bachelor, master's, doctor of nursing practice and juris doctor degrees. An affiliate of the university, Washburn Institute of Technology, provides high school and adult students significant opportunities to develop skills and knowledge relevant to contemporary career fields, such as health occupations, computer repair and networking and a variety of technology disciplines including building and industrial, business, design, electronic, graphics, metal and mechanical. The broadly-based liberal arts and professional programs are enriched by a long-standing interactive relationship between the campus and the community.
Each year, an official state ornament is selected for the Kansas tree at the 2012 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park in Washington, D.C. The 30-year tradition of the official Kansas Ornament continues in 2012 with recognition of Washburn University’s sesquicentennial anniversary. The ornament was designed by the Washburn sesquicentennial committee.
Four weeks of holiday events will kick off with the 90th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Dec. 6. More than 20,000 persons traditionally attend the nationally televised ceremony in President’s Park between the White House and the Washington Monument. Thousands more view the lighted trees throughout December.
As one of America’s oldest holiday traditions, the National Christmas Tree Lighting began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a tree for 3,000 spectators on the ellipse in President’s Park. Each succeeding President has continued on the tradition of what has become a month-long event presented by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service. For more information, go to thenationaltree.org.
From left to right, committee members are Anita Wolgast, Cindy Rogers, Amanda Hughes and Adrianne Johnson. Not pictured is Brandi Youse.
The 2012 ornaments by the After School Art Class at Quincy Elementary School in Topeka are made of Kansas wheat. Anita Wolgast (left, above) and Brandi Youse (not pictured) taught the students how to create a rope twist of 12 straws, then shape the twist in a variety of ways. The children learned that a valuable grain of the field could also be transformed into a work of art.