Wichita State University was founded in 1886 by Rev. Joseph Homer Parker as a private Congregational preparatory school. It was referred to as Young Ladies College, Wichita Ladies College, and Congregational Female College. In 1887, after a land parcel from the developers of the adjacent Fairmount neighborhood, the school was renamed Fairmount College in their honor. Although being built with support from the Plymouth Congregational Church, the school never opened. In 1892, the property was bought by a company who renamed it to Fairmount Institute. It opened for both men and women but soon closed due to financial problems. In 1895, Fairmount College was opened on the same site. In 1926, the institute became the Municipal University of Wichita. On July 1, 1964, the school officially entered the state higher education system as Wichita State University.
Wichita State University is a public research university founded in 1895. The university offers more than 60 undergrad programs in 200 areas, and 44 graduate programs in 100 areas in 6 colleges. The colleges are College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, College of Health Professions, Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate School, Institute for Interdisciplinary Creativity, and W. Frank Barton School of Business. The university has 5 campuses, one main and four satellite. The main campus is located in 1845 North Fairmount in northeast Wichita. WSU South is located at 200 West Greenway and WSU West is located at 3801 North Walker. WSU is an NCAA Division I institution competing in the American Athletic Conference and fields teams in tennis, cross-country, basketball, track, golf, men's baseball and women's volleyball and softball. Also, it offers club sports such as crew, bowling, shooting sports, and other intramural sports. The varsity teams are called the Wichita State Shockers.