Military Science celebrates 60th
The Military Science Building during construction during
the early 1940s. The structure was completed on Nov. 1, 1943, and was
dedicated the following month. University Archives/Spencer Research
KU’s military science department commemorated the 60th anniversary
of the Military Science Building on Dec. 11.
1942 KU graduate Ross Ley, who was the cadet battalion commander in 1941-42
and an Army ROTC instructor from 1942 to 1944, was guest speaker. WWII-era
equipment and clothing was displayed.
Earlier in the day the Jayhawk Battalion had conducted its end-of-semester
awards ceremony, and Ley presented each graduating cadet with his or her
branch of service.
“This event pays tribute to those who have gone before, especially
those of the ‘Greatest Generation,’” said Lt. Col. Brian
De Toy, professor of military science. “It also pays tribute to
those who are serving today and to the future of the military—the
cadets of the Jayhawk Battalion.”
Chancellor Deane W. Malott proposed construction of an armory for the
ROTC, which had nearly doubled in ranks in two years to 700 students.
Construction of the building began in spring 1941. The federal Works Progress
Administration initially financed the construction, with the government
agreeing to provide $143,000 if the university raised $25,000 and contributed
building materials. The Endowment Association raised the money from 22
KU alumni and other supporters.
However, the building was not yet complete in 1942 when the WPA was shut
down. KU then turned to the Kansas Legislature for help. In 1943 the legislators
appropriated $69,000 to complete the building. The Military Science Building
was completed on Nov. 1, 1943, and was dedicated the following month.
The three-story building, with a veneer of stones the university had saved
from old Snow Hall, contained a rifle range, artillery storage room and
a large drill room as well as classrooms and offices.
The Military Science Building is located at 1520 Summerfield Hall Drive,
immediately south of Anschutz Library and west of Malott Hall.