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Friends University
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"Informed by its Quaker heritage and rooted in the liberal arts tradition, Friends University...
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Friends University

Wichita, Kansas

Friends University believes learning happens everywhere and is lifelong.   No matter which of the more than 40 majors a student chooses, the classroom is only the beginning.  From competing in an athletic competition to performing in a fine arts production, joining a study group in the library or hanging out at the coffee bar with friends, Friends’ students engage in a wide variety of campus activities; and, on average, more than 70 percent of Friends’ undergraduate students participate in off-campus service projects—in the U.S. and abroad. 

 

Students benefit from the University’s off-campus alliances as well. Recently selected to participate in the national Foundations of Excellence initiative, Friends is strengthening its programs that help students be successful—not just in their classes, but in their whole college experience. Strong partnerships with businesses and alumni open doors for students in securing internships and for finding career opportunities upon graduation.  From its freshmen in Wichita, to its alumni around the globe, the people of Friends University are each – in their own way – improving the world every day!

Student Profile

900 traditional undergraduate students (48% male, 52% female); 33 states, 7 countries.

Faculty Profile

51 full-time faculty, 30 FTE part-time faculty. 11:1 student/faculty ratio.

Residence Life

40% of students living on campus. Students can choose from six housing options, including residence halls to university-owned houses. Friends University residence halls are among the best in the state and are priced competitively compared to other institutions and local apartment complexes.

School Location

Friends University is located in Kansas’ largest city, Wichita. Wichita has been named an All-American City four times and a Top 10 Best Place to Live by Money magazine.

Athletics

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); Kansas Collegiate Athletics Conference (KCAC)
15 Varsity sports
Men:  Football, soccer, cross country, basketball, baseball, track and field, tennis, golf; Women:  Volleyball, soccer, cross country, basketball, softball, track and field, tennis
Mascot:  Freddy Falcon.  Colors: Crimson and gray

Academic Programs

Accounting, Art, Art Education, Ballet, Biology, Biology Education, Business Administration, Business Education, Chemistry, Christian Spiritual Formation (2nd major only), Communications, Computer Science and Information Systems, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, English, English Language Arts Education, Field Biology, Finance, Forensic Science, Health Management, Health Sciences, Health and Physical Education, History, History and Government Education, Human Services-Psychology, Human Services- Sociology, International Business, Liberal Studies, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Math Education, Mathematics, Music, Music Education, Music Performance, Physical Education Teacher Education, Political Science, Radiologic Technology, Religion and Philosophy, Spanish, Spanish Education, Speech/Theatre Education, Theatre, Zoo Science

More Distinctions

  • Friends University was accepted as one of only 12 four-year institutions nationwide in 2013 to participate in the Foundations of Excellence program through the John N. Gardner Institution of Excellence in Undergraduate Education.

  • Friends University has the highest number of alumni and students named to the Wichita Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, compared with other Kansas private universities.

  • Zoo Science and Fine Arts in Ballet degrees are unique at the national level and draw students from across the nation.

As with any institution, student engagement is vital throughout the educational experience – not only in the classroom, but beyond the smartboard as well. Allowing students to apply their classroom lectures and lessons to the real world allows them to see the value in continuing their education.

One such experience is the Week of Welcome service day when students team up with area third-graders to take them on a tour of the campus, including a live-action storytelling session, zoo science presentation, a fine arts showcase and other physical activities. Students are encouraged to join Campus Ministries on mission trips in Houston and Chicago, where they work with and help needy, impoverished and homeless people through various acts of service.

Students also have the chance to take their education on the road with dozens of study abroad opportunities throughout the year. Cultural immersion experiences allow students to really dig deep and embrace their sense of adventure. Undergraduate and graduate opportunities are available and include trips to Mexico, China, Cuba, Africa, Europe and South America. Trips may range from a few days to several weeks with experiences that include setting up computer systems for third-world hospitals, performing jazz music in Cuba or discussing spirituality in Brazil. 

Additionally, top students are honored with membership into several academic honor societies. Such organizations include the Alpha Chi Honor Society, which promotes academic excellence and exemplary character in the arts, sciences, and education, and honors the top 5 percent of juniors and seniors; Alpha Sigma Lambda, which recognizes special achievement for nontraditional adult learners; Delta Kappa, which mentors individuals in leadership positions in the marriage and family therapy professions; Mu Phi Epsilon Music Fraternity; Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology; Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Spanish Honor Society; and Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society.

Friends University attracts top minds to its faculty – not only academic intellects who have spent lifetimes studying and researching, but also leaders of industry with years of practical experience. Students learn through traditional classroom lectures, group projects, thoughtful discussion, one-to-one tutoring, in-depth research and opportunities beyond the brick and mortar of the institution.

Notable faculty include Dr. Gretchen Eick, professor of history, who taught at the University for more than 20 years. A fervent researcher on social justice, Dr. Eick wrote the award-winning book “Dissent in Wichita,” which chronicles the Civil Rights movement in the Midwest from 1945 to 1972. Her students have described her passion and knowledge of history as “contagious and inspirational,” allowing them to learn conventional material through unconventional methods.

Nicole Pendleton, assistant professor in accounting, has been the subject of student praise as well. One student who nominated Pendleton for a teaching award noted that “Friends professors treat students better than any other school I’ve attended, and they focus on creating real relationships with students. Pendleton is a perfect example of this kind of professor.”

Bassam Jaradat, adjunct professor in business, is not only a teacher at Friends University, but an alumnus as well.  “His class wasn’t just about the book. It was about life experience and making learning meaningful,” said one student who commented about Jaradat. 

Offering not only traditional liberal arts fields of study, Friends University also has several unique academic niches. The University’s Zoo Science degree is one of the only programs of its kind in the country. Students in this program benefit from a 20-plus-year relationship with the Sedgwick County Zoo that allows them to obtain practical experience working with zoo animals and personnel. On the other end of the liberal-arts spectrum, Friends University’s ballet program is among the top in the region. Ballet students have the opportunity to travel throughout the country to perform. Additionally, ballet dancers from New York, Chicago and Dallas have graced the stage in Sebits Auditorium with their extraordinary talents and expertise.

Beyond the University’s notable faculty, guest speakers supplement students’ educational experience with wisdom beyond the classroom. The Garvey Institute of Law brings distinguished speakers and legal experts to serve as resources for the community. Past speakers have included Martin Luther King III; Dr. Eileen Borris, a trainer in global peace initiatives; Jodee Blanco, an anti-bullying expert; the most Rev. Thabo Cecil Makgoba, archbishop of Cape Town and head of the Anglican Church of South Africa; Dr. Vernon Smith, Nobel Prize winner in economics; and relationship expert Dr. Harriet Lerner. 

Walking onto the Friends University campus in Wichita, students will notice lush gardens, scents of flowers and fresh-cut grass, well-maintained beautiful buildings, and plenty of woodland creatures skittering throughout centuries-old trees.

But Friends University is so much more than just a pretty face. It’s a place where tradition flourishes even more persistently than the blooms that decorate Rose Window Plaza. Homecoming, the spring Cherry Carnival, and Christmas lights adorning the clock tower are just a few of the age-old traditions that keep the Friends University community thriving and connected throughout the years.

As an institution founded on Quaker values, Friends University prides itself on its service opportunities – engaging students, faculty, staff and alumni in projects that benefit not only the University community, but also have global implications. Each December, the University closes its doors for an entire day for Salvation Army Service Day. The University community helps the Salvation Army prepare Christmas gifts for thousands of needy families throughout the Wichita area. Other service opportunities take students across the country or across the globe on a mission to make the world a better place.

Students also connect with each other through an array of organizations, clubs and honor societies. Dozens of groups cover a variety of interests – whether it be Acts of Faith, University Band or the Arabesque Society for performance artists; the Crimson Chronicle student newspaper, the English Club, or the Talisman yearbook for wordsmiths; or varsity and intramural sports for the athletically minded. Additionally, several academic honor societies honor students’ academic achievements. 

With a rich history of being one of the region’s top liberal-arts institutions, Friends University doesn’t just teach students facts, figures and statistics. Their top-notch faculties teach students how to think and learn through rigorous curriculum that produces well-rounded, thoughtful graduates who are capable of not only seeing the big picture, but the smaller parts that make up the whole.

Many graduates leave the walls of Friends University knowing they have a greater chance of success.  More than 90 percent of Friends University Health Sciences students go on to study at their graduate school of choice.  The University has the highest number of alumni and adult students named to the Wichita Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, compared to other Kansas private institutions.  This program recognizes young professionals who have excelled in their career and contributed to their community.

Students are in good company with former Friends University alumni that include Vernon Smith, a 2002 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics; Kansas state senators Carolyn McGinn and Donald Betts; Ken Canfield, founder of the National Center for Fathering; opera singer Beverly Hoch; and Rich Mullins, Christian music singer and songwriter.

Costs and Aid

2013-14:  $30,230 for tuition, fees, room and board.  (Tuition only: $23,250.) 98 percent of students receive financial aid. Average financial aid award:  $21,345.

A Friends University degree is affordable. Friends University traditional undergraduate students graduate with a lower average debt compared to graduates of national public and private institutions.

For more information about financial aid, visit http://www.friends.edu/traditional-undergraduate-financial-aid.