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The Leonard H. Axe Collection

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Dr. Leonard H. Axe (1900-1975)

Dr. Leonard H. Axe (1900-1975)

This archive consists of publications, master's theses, files and records, photographs and other miscellaneous materials pertaining to the history of Pittsburg State University. Included are extensive biographical, photographic and manuscript materials relating to Dr. Leonard H. Axe (1900-1975), former president of the University.

Dr. Axe had a vision of the school as a multi-purpose institution serving the people of the region and the state. He encouraged the development of new degree programs and the appropriate recognition of scholarship. Under his leadership, Kansas State Teachers College became Kansas State College of Pittsburg.

Dr. Axe was dean of the School of Business at the University of Kansas when he was appointed by the Board of Regents as president of Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg in 1957.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Baker University in 1923, earned his Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Kansas in 1929 and his Doctor of Science of Jurisprudence from the University of Michigan in 1942.

Dr. Axe's career was distinguished by service and accomplishment. At various points he served as professor and Fellow in Human Relations at the Harvard School of Business, executive director of the Kansas Department of Administration, and Director of Internal Revenue for Kansas.

Leonard Axe was born in Council Grove, Kansas, on October 9, 1900. He received a bachelor's degree from Baker University in Kansas in 1923, an LL.B. degree from the University of Kansas in 1929, and an S.J.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1942. In 1953, Baker University conferred upon him an LL.D. degree. Dr. Axe practiced law and worked at various schools and institutions in Kansas before he came to Pittsburg.

Dr. Axe became the president of the Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg in 1957. He believed that the institution should exemplify excellence, and he initiated many important changes to achieve that goal. In 1959 he succeeded in getting the college's name changed to the Kansas State College of Pittsburg, in official recognition of its expansion from a teachers' college to a multi-purpose institution. During his tenure he helped initiate a major building project that brought nearly a dozen new structures to the campus; including the Weede Building, Hughes and Yates Halls, and an addition to the Overman Student Center. Through his efforts, new degree programs were added, many departments were restructured, and there was an increased emphasis on recognition of faculty and students. Also during his presidency, the annual student enrollment increased from 2,672 to 4,670, and the number of students pursuing graduate work at the college more than doubled. Dr. Axe retired from the college in 1965 and went on to pursue work in a variety of other fields. Dr. Leonard Axe died in December 1975.

In 1979 the college's new library was completed, replacing Porter Library that was constructed in 1927. The new library incorporated the first E. Louise Gibson Dining Hall. During a special ceremony in 1981 the library was rededicated as the Leonard H. Axe Library.

- A Closer Look, p.4

Last Modified: Jan 12, 2007 - 09:58

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