Apple Day: PSU’s longest continuous tradition set for Monday

  Wednesday, February 27, 2019 2:00 PM
  People and Society, Campus Culture, News, Milestones, Alumni

Pittsburg, KS

Apple Day

Pittsburg State University’s oldest continuous tradition will be held on Monday.

Held each year since 1907, Apple Day will include an apple dessert contest, a ceremony and recognition of award recipients, scholarship giveaways, and the ringing of the Centennial Tower Bell.

It also will include the iconic distribution of apples by faculty to passersby on the Oval — a gesture that is an homage to the origin of Apple Day.


PSU was first located in a borrowed building in downtown Pittsburg. Its founder, R.S. Russ, and the Pittsburg mayor lobbied hard to get lawmakers in Topeka to pass an appropriation that would mean funding for a permanent building somewhere in Pittsburg.

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

The Legislature approved their request for an appropriation to fund the school, and when they returned to Pittsburg, a joyful assembly of students followed in the Legislature’s lead and fined the faculty a barrel of apples, which faculty paid and distributed to the students. They have done so every year since.


10 a.m. to 1 p.m.— Faculty Senate members will hand out apples on the Oval. They’re donated by Marrone’s Food Service in Pittsburg, a longtime supporter of PSU whose vice president, Ron Marrone, is an alumnus.

11 a.m.— The Apple Day Apple Dessert Contest, to be judged by celebrities that include news media, the 2018 Apple Day Award Winners, and the 2018 Homecoming Queen and King, and Student Government Association delegates will be held in the Gorilla Crossroads in the Overman Student Center. It’s become highly competitive in recent years, with students, staff, and faculty vying for bragging rights and prizes that include the coveted Apple Day aprons.

2 p.m.— A public reception will be held at 2 p.m. at the Wilkinson Alumni Center to honor Joe Hart, the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Award.

3 p.m.— The Apple Day Ceremony will be held in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom of the Overman Student Center and will include recognition of two Good Apple Award winners who are returning to campus to also serve as keynote speakers. Additionally, the following awards will be presented: the Distinguished Service Award, Outstanding Faculty Awards, Voya Outstanding Employee Recognition, and the Golden Gorilla Awards.

Recipients of the Professors Beyond the Classroom Grant will be introduced, and the winners of a scholarship giveaway and apple dessert contest will be announced, followed by the ringing of the Centennial Bell Tower by award winners.

The ceremony is open to the public.