Since its opening in 1866, the University of Kansas has had a major influence on the city of Lawrence. With an enrollment of more than 25,000 students on its Lawrence campus, KU is a focal point for numerous academic, cultural and recreational activities. Its beloved mascot, the Jayhawk, is a familiar image all over the city. Its campus, situated high on Mount Oread, is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful in the country.
The University of Kansas stands high on a hill overlooking Lawrence. Early traders, explorers and families climbed the ridge that is now Jayhawk Boulevard to head west along the Oregon Trail. Erosion and construction have worn away the wagon wheel ruts but as the University grew, Jayhawk Boulevard emerged running parallel to the Oregon Trail. Sixteen buildings in styles from collegiate Gothic to modern brick stand along its tree-lined, half-mile arc, five of which are named on the National Register of Historic Places. These buildings contain world-class museums, classrooms, laboratories, auditoriums, cafeterias, a library and a chapel, reflecting more that 125 years of campus history.
KU is known for high-quality education at a low cost. U.S. News and World Report ranks KU among the top national universities for price and quality of education, and Barron’s Best Buys in College Education highly recommends KU. The 2002 Fiske Guide to Colleges (and pervious editions since 1982) gives KU four stars in academics, social life and quality of living.