— Compiled by Jed Dunham '96, photos from the Royal Purple yearbook archives
Feb. 16, 1863 — Kansas State Agricultural College is established.
1900 — The football team plays at a cleared lot located at Juliette and Bluemont (now home to Bluemont Elementary School). The location becomes the first athletic field of the Kansas State Agricultural College and a small clubhouse is built on the property.
January 1908 — A committee forms to find a suitable location for a new field.
June 1909 — The southwest corner of campus (College Peach and Apple Orchard) is dedicated to be the location of the athletic field.
Spring 1911 — Home plate moved from the Bluemont location to the campus athletic field and placed almost directly upon the spot where the current “Wildcat Statue” rests on the north terrace of the Alumni Center. The first game played on the new field is baseball.
Thursday, Dec. 7, 1916 — All Campus Field Day — Classes and college functions suspended to allow for a singular, massive effort to reset the direction of the field, install drainage tile and level the playing surface. Grandstands are moved once again to accommodate the new layout. Read more about All Campus Field Day HERE.
1916 — Class of 1916 donates class gift of the Athletic Field Gates.
April 6, 1917 — America declares war on Germany and enters the World War I, more than 1,200 Aggies serve and 48 die while in service.
Dec. 27, 1918 — “The matter of a suitable memorial for the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for their country during the war” was also discussed during the Advisory Council meeting.
April 7, 1919 — First discussion of building a memorial stadium.
Feb. 20, 1922 — First drawings submitted by CR Butcher, KSAC student.
June 1922 — Contract awarded to Walter B. Stingley and construction begins.
January 1923 — West side grandstand nears completion.
Sept. 12, 1922 — First concrete poured for east grandstand.
Oct. 24, 1924 — Construction halted as funding begins to run out and the debt is attempted to be paid. The “horseshoe” is never begun and instead the decision to complete the east and west facades is agreed to.
June 1928 — East wall completed.
June 13, 1938 — West wall completed.
Jan. 11, 1946 — $90,000 is allocated for the completion of the west grandstand dormitory due to a need for “emergency housing” in the wake of students returning to campus after World War II.
Fall 1946 — 68 veterans of World War II move into a dormitory located in west stadium grandstand. This marks the “beginning of the end” of the college’s effort to memorialize the WWI servicemen.
July 1947 — East grandstand is remodeled to accommodate a new women’s dormitory and the two stadium dorms begin to acquire the names East Stadium and West Stadium, and the name Memorial Stadium begins to fade from wide use.
October 1948 — Plaques listing the names of the 47 former students and one former instructor who died in World War I are placed on the south pillars of the stadium. Read more about the 48 fallen HERE.
Nov. 20, 1967 — The final football game is played at Memorial Stadium. The ’Cats lose to Colorado. The football team’s record during its time at Memorial Stadium (1922-1967) is 72-110-9, including a 0-19 mark against Top 20 teams.
1970-1980s — The stadium enters a period of neglect and decline but finds new value as students use the field for club sports, and the old dormitories are taken over by the art department and the Purple Masque Theatre.
1986 — Proposal to tear down the stadium and replace it with an art museum is submitted but due to the stadium’s identity as a memorial it would have required legislative approval to do so, and the idea was abandoned.
2001 — K-State Alumni Association Alumni Center construction begins where the original horseshoe was intended.
2014 — The west grandstand is renovated and Purple Masque Theatre moves into brand-new, state-of-the-art facility.
Spring 2015 — Work begins on campus Welcome Center which will occupy the space underneath the east grandstand.
Summer 2015 — The west grandstand undergoes massive facelift with natural grasses replacing the decaying concrete seating area.
Fall 2015 — Students join the Friends of Memorial Stadium and begin efforts to renovate the space underneath the west grandstand to create a permanent home for K-State club sports.
April 21, 2017 — The Kansas State University World War I Memorial is formally and finally dedicated. Read more about the dedication HERE.