University plans virtual Apple Day this year with week of recognition 

  Thursday, February 25, 2021 1:00 PM
  News, Alumni, People and Society, Campus Culture

Pittsburg, KS


Apple Day, Pittsburg State University’s oldest continuous tradition, will be celebrated virtually this year March 1-5 with a week-long roll-out of digital content. Award winners, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni, will be recognized in several categories. 

What is it? 

Held each year since 1907, Apple Day celebrates important events in the early days of the university’s funding that paved the way to its existence today.  

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

During his lobbying, 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 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. Faculty have done so every year since.   

March 1 (Apple Day) 

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Faculty Senate members will hand out apples inside the Overman Student Center, the Kansas Technology Center, and the Student Recreation Center — but this year, they’ll be foam stress ball apples rather than edible ones 

Then, starting Monday and continuing throughout the week, videos and stories will be released on the University’s website and social media channels to recognize the following: 

Good Apple Award   

The award was established to honor a recent graduate who is putting into practice what it means to be a Gorilla, and in doing so, is making an impact in his or her career field and the community. This year, the Apple Day Committee chose two winners. 

Distinguished Service Award 

The Alumni Association established this award in 1991. In July 2000, it was renamed the Dr. Ralf J. Thomas Distinguished Service Award in memory of a retired faculty member who volunteered his service to the PSU Alumni Association for 22 years.  

Outstanding Faculty   

Three faculty were chosen for the Dr. Robert K. Ratzlaff Outstanding Faculty Awards, nominated and chosen by students. 

Voya Outstanding Employee Recognition Awards   

Recipients of the Voya Outstanding Employee Recognition Awards, given annually to one representative of the University Support Staff and one representative of the University Professional Staff, each will receive a $750 stipend.  

The Golden Gorilla Award   

The Golden Gorilla Award was established in 1997 to recognize students for their significant achievements in service, campus and community involvement, and academics. 

Professors Beyond the Classroom Grant Awards   

These awards, funded by the PSU Student Government Association, are given to faculty who use the money to positively impact students.