Apple Day events planned to celebrate university’s history 

Join us on Monday, March 7, for the longest running Pittsburg State University tradition: Apple Day! Held each year since 1907, Apple Day celebrates important events in the early days of the university that paved the way to its existence today.   

Pittsburg State was first located in a borrowed building in downtown Pittsburg. The university’s founder, R.S. Russ, along with the Pittsburg mayor, lobbied to get lawmakers in Topeka to pass an appropriation that would fund a permanent building.     

During his lobbying of the Legislature, Russ broke a rule: he sat in a legislator’s seat. The Legislature fined the Pittsburg delegation a barrel of apples, which Russ and the mayor paid and distributed among the lawmakers.    

The Legislature approved the request for funding, and when Russ and the mayor returned to Pittsburg, a joyful assembly of students fined the faculty a barrel of apples, which faculty paid and distributed to the students.  

Faculty have done so every year since, and will do so on Apple Day again this year, courtesy of Marrone’s Produce!    

11 a.m. — Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony 

A brief ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Original Broadway Entrance to Pittsburg State University in front of Russ Hall will be held. 

The Original Broadway Entrance was erected in 1940 by the Work Projects Administration and Kansas State Teachers College, as PSU was known then.  It was a gift from the senior classes of 1936, 1937, 1938, and 1940. Senior class gifts from the classes of 2000 and 2003-2008 helped fund its recent renovation. 

The ribbon-cutting, open to the public, will feature brief remarks from PSU President Steve Scott and members of the PSU Student Government Association. The classes involved in the renovation have been invited to attend. 

11:30 a.m. — Apple Dessert Contest  

PSU students, staff, and faculty will compete for bragging rights and prizes that include the coveted Apple Day aprons. Samples will be available for tasting to anyone who stops by the Gorilla Crossing in the Overman Student Center. Those with a PSU affiliation may register by noon on Feb. 25 to be entered in the competition: 

2 p.m. — Distinguished Service Award Reception 

A public reception will be held at the Wilkinson Alumni Center to honor the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Award, Kevin Griner (BST ‘88), a native of Ft. Scott now living in Shawnee, Kansas.  

Griner has been an active member of the Plastics Engineering Technology (PET) Advisory Council since 1992 and has organized golf tournaments that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for student scholarships.  

He is president of Harold Payne Plastics, LC, and has given in-kind gifts of machinery and valuable equipment to improve hands-on learning experiences for PET students. He has served on the PSU Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2017 and helps organize PET alumni tailgates during Homecoming each year. 

3 p.m. — Apple Day Ceremony  

The Apple Day Ceremony will be held in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom of the Overman Student Center and will include recognition of: 

  • Good Apple Award winner 
  • Distinguished Service Award winner 
  • Outstanding Faculty Award winners 
  • Voya Outstanding Employees 
  • Golden Gorilla Award winners 
  • Professors Beyond the Classroom Grant recipients  
  • Scholarship giveaway winners 
  • Apple dessert contest winners 

The ceremony will be followed by the ringing of the Centennial Bell Tower by award winners. The ceremony is open to the public.