There is a great senior thesis to be written about John Ingalls, class of 1855. See here and here for an introduction.

When Kansas was in its political infancy, few people nourished it as much as John J. Ingalls.

A U.S. senator, Ingalls was considered one of the greatest orators of the 19th century. He helped write the Kansas Constitution and is credited with the state motto, “Ad astra per aspera,” or “To the stars through difficulties.”

Hmmm. Is this connected to the “Climb High, Climb Far, Your Goal the Sky, Your Aim the Stars” inscription on the gate leading to West? Surprisingly enough, my Googling efforts do not reveal the original source of this quotation although there are hints that it might be connected to the Kappa Alpha fraternity. Was Ingalls a frat brother?

Surely one of our readers will know the origin of the quote and how it came to be on that gate . . .

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