Saturday, January 22, 2011
The Omnibus College
In 1922, professor William Marion Goldsmith of Fairmont College took four of his students on a road trip as part of an extended study program. The next year Goldsmith bought a bus and was approached by co-ed Martha Foster who wanted to join the program, and the omnibus college was born. In 1926, Fairmont College became The Municipal College of Wichita of Kansas and the omnibus program expanded to hundreds of students. By 1934 over 85% of the omnibus students were women. Traveling with teachers, drivers, support staff and chaperons, the women travelled over North America studying and earning college credits in their chosen field. Botany students collected plants along the road, geology students chipped rocks, journalism students wrote about their trips. This trip must have been for history students. The third photo in the collection is labeled "Pittsburg Landing." Pittsburg Landing, also known as the battle of Shiloh, took place in April of 1862. The picture of the ladies standing around the tables is labeled, "K. P. detail at Chattanooga." In front of the tent, "Louise S." Note the black cooks in the first picture.