Washburn University celebrates Ichabod Washburn’s birthday

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Washburn University students celebrated the birthday of the university’s mascot Thursday outside on Memorial Lawn.

Ichabod Washburn was born in Kingston, Mass. on Aug. 11, 1798 to a sea captain (Ichabod Washburn, Sr.) and homemaker (Sylvia Bradford Washburn) whose ancestors were passengers on the Mayflower. 

Ichabod Washburn worked his way from indentured apprentice to captain of industry. The businessman was a fervent Congregationalist, abolitionist and philanthropist who believed in the rights of all people to an education.  

The school’s mascot, Ichabod, is named after Ichabod Washburn. His financial endowments led to the naming of Washburn College, now Washburn University in Topeka.

In 1868, Washburn pledged $25,000 to help save Lincoln College. One month later, it was recommended that the single-building institution be renamed Washburn College in recognition of the pledge. Lincoln College then changed its name to Washburn College that year.

Washburn students began referring to themselves as Ichabods in the late 1800s and the mascot was given an image in 1938.

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