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Pittsburg State University
Motto Where People Succeed
Established 1903
Type Public
Endowment $65,000,000
President Steven A. Scott
Faculty 300
Students 7,200
Undergraduates 6,000
Postgraduates 1,200
Location Pittsburg, KS, USA
Campus Rural, 223 acres (0.90 km2)
Colors Crimson and Gold
Nickname Gorillas
Mascot Gus the Gorilla

Pittsburg State University, also called Pitt State or PSU, is a public university with approximately 7,100 students (5,900 undergraduates and 1,200 graduate students) located in Pittsburg, Kansas. A large percentage of the student population consists of residents within the Pittsburg region; the gender proportion is relatively equal. Almost 89% of the students are Americans. Pitt State also has an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It is a member of the Kansas Board of Regents. Currently, it has an endowment of around $60,000,000. The student newspaper of Pittsburg State University is the Collegio.



Pittsburg State University was founded in 1903 as the Auxiliary Manual Training Normal School. After ten years, it was renamed Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg and became a four-year college. In 1959, its name was changed again to Kansas State College of Pittsburg. It became Pittsburg State University on April 21, 1977.


Located in the southeast Kansas, the 223-acre (0.90 km2) campus [1] is also the home of the $30 million Kansas Technology Center, a state-of-the-art technology program in the largest academic building in Kansas [1].

PSU also operates a satellite campus in the Kansas City Metro Area, the Kansas City Metro Center Campus, where they offer varying master's degrees in education.


PSU is organized into the following schools and colleges:

The Kelce College of Business is accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). In addition, research institutes are located on campus such as the Business & Technology Institute and the Kansas Polymer Research Center, housed in the newly-completed Tyler Research Center.


According to U.S. News & World Report, Pitt State is ranked #87 among Best Midwestern Universities - Master's category[2]. The US News also ranked PSU students 4th among Midwest Universities - Master's category in the least amount of debt carried after graduation, based on the 2004 class.


In order to be accepted into PSU, you must have a 21 or higher on your ACT, be in the top 1/3 of your class, complete the pre-college curriculum with at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (out-of-state residents must have at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale), or have 24 or more transferable college credit hours with at least a 2.0/4.0 cumulative grade point average.

The average grade point average and ACT score for an admitted freshman was 3.30 and 21, respectively according to Princeton Review. According to College Board, 91% of applicants are accepted into Pittsburg State University.

Pitt C.A.R.E.S.

Pitt C.A.R.E.S. (Campus Advisement, Registration, and Enrollment Services). Students at Pitt C.A.R.E.S. get to know other students by participating in small group activities, meet with their advisor, and enroll in their classes for the upcoming semester. Pitt C.A.R.E.S. is offered in the summer and is required for all freshmen.



The school competes in Division II of the NCAA It has been a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) since 1989.

The Pitt State football program is the winningest program in Division II history. It has been National Champions on three occasions; 1957, 1961 and 1991. During the 2004 season the Gorillas finished 14-1, losing 31-36 to Valdosta State University in the National Championship. Pittsburg State has won, outright or shared, a total of 27 conference championships during the 96-year history of its intercollegiate program, including 13 conference titles in the last 19 seasons under Coach Chuck Broyles PSU reached the Division II National Championship game in 2004, 1995, and 1992. Its games with fellow MIAA Division II powerhouse Northwest Missouri State University are played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri in the Fall Classic at Arrowhead. 26,695 attended the 2002 game—the most of any Division II game.[2]

The Pittsburg State University Spirit Squad, coached by Linda Graham, won the 2001 UCA National College Championships in Orlando, Florida.


Pitt State's mascot is the Gus the Gorilla and the school colors are crimson and gold. In 1903 the school adopted the color crimson, and gold was added in 1920.


The Gorillas

PSU is the only university in the United States to feature a gorilla as a mascot. The concept of the mascot was conceived in 1920, and officially adopted on January 15, 1925. The current mascot, Gus, was designed in 1985 by L. Michael Hailey.

Fight Song

Pittsburg State team, fight for your college!
Come and join the fray!
Pass that ball around for a touchdown
And we'll win this game today!
Fight! Fight! Fight! for the glory and fame
Because our spirit is so great!
And when this game is over
We'll shout the whole world over:
Pittsburg State!

Apple Day

Back in 1907, a small delegation from the Pittsburg area lobbied the state legislature to give the newly established university an appropriation that would pay for the construction of the school’s first building. But one of the delegate members, Pittsburg mayor Clarence Price, apparently broke the rules by not exiting the floor before the session began (in some versions of the story, it was the namesake of Russ Hall, R.S. Russ, who performed the gaffe). The legislators good-naturedly fined the Pittsburg delegation a barrel of apples before awarding them the appropriation. And when the men returned to Pittsburg, the students were so amused by the story that they decided university administrators and faculty who had missed work and class in order to lobby in Topeka should have to pay the same fine. In those days students were penalized for truancy. Because members of the faculty left their classrooms in order to attend the legislative session in Topeka, the students reasoned that faculty members should be penalized for their absence.

Twelve months later, on March 6, 1908, classes were dismissed for the entire day in honor of the first Apple Day (officially titled Commemoration Day). During an afternoon program in the assembly room of the Central School building, the students once again fined the faculty a barrel of apples. Thus began the unique, annual, tradition at Pittsburg State of the teachers bringing apples for their students.

University Presidents

  • Russell S. Russ (1903-1911)
  • George E. Myers (1911-1913)
  • William A. Brandenburg (1913-1940)
  • O. P. Dellinger (1940-1941)
  • Rees H. Hughes (1941-1957)
  • Leonard H. Axe (1957-1965)
  • George F. Budd (1965-1977)
  • James Appleberry (1977-1983)
  • Donald W. Wilson (1983-1995)
  • John R. Darling (1995-1999)
  • Tom W. Bryant (1999-2009)
  • Steve A. Scott (2009-Present)

Notable Pitt State alumni


Sourced and external links

Coordinates: 37°23′29″N 94°42′13″W / 37.391334°N 94.703629°W / 37.391334; -94.703629


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