fb WSU History and Traditions

Shocker Traditions

From sports and student groups to concerts and dances, the school year at WSU is chock-full of Shocker tradition and fun.

back to school bash


The school year starts off with a bang as Shockers new and old participate in a crazy week of activities, including late-night outdoor movies, dances and the popular Aloha Beach Party.
clash of the colleges

Clash of the Colleges

First-year students, faculty and administrators gird for battle, coming together to vie in a multi-sport free-for-all to capture Clash of the Colleges bragging rights for the year.
songfest performance


That's right, Shocktoberfest: a weeklong fall festival – filled with events like mud tug-of-war, a campus carnival and a competition for Shocker Man and Woman of the Year.


Twice a year, WSU celebrates its standing as the most diverse college in Kansas with a feast that features student-prepared cuisine from around the globe. You're guaranteed to find something new and delicious.
student speaking


Convocation blends the WSU Reads program with other student learning and engagement opportunities. Faculty awards are recognized, as well as the student convocation competition prize winners.


Early in the spring semester, a full week of campus events culminates in the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen at halftime of a Shocker basketball game.

hippodrome performance


As WSU's longest-running tradition – every spring since 1928 – Hippodrome is an all-school party promoting Shocker pride through contests and live entertainment leading up to the main event – the Hippodrome skits.
graduates at the toast

The Toast

The WSU community celebrates its graduating students with a champagne toast and mixer on the steps of the Rhatigan Student Center. The perfect way to send our Shockers out into the world.

Rip 'em up! Tear 'em up! Let's go, Shocks!

Shocker Nation. It's one of the most loyal, rabid fan bases in all of college sports and when you become a WSU student, you're immediately a new citizen. Students get free tickets to WSU's nationally prominent men's and women's basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball games as they battle against foes like Houston, SMU, Tulsa, Memphis and Cincinnati in the powerful American Athletic Conference. #watchus

morrison hall 1950s
 WSU History

More than a century of innovation in education

When Wichita State first opened its doors in 1895, students rode horses to class, telegraph machines were cutting-edge technology and Wichita had only been a city for roughly 25 years.

A lot has changed.

The past century has featured a remarkable evolution for Wichita State, one in which the school has grown from a small Christian college to a large state university – punctuated by two name changes and a few thousand extra students.

Together with the City of Wichita, WSU has built one of the most unique partnerships in Kansas. It's a relationship that supplies the lifeblood of a thriving community and makes it possible to provide the most well-rounded education in the region.

Today, the university continues its evolution through collaboration, innovation, applied learning and entrepreneurship – creating the ideal environment for students, industry and community to work together and build a bright future for our city, region and world.