Irene Nunemaker graduated from the University of Kansas in 1922 with a BA in Journalism. The skills she developed as a KU undergraduate studying in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the broad range of knowledge she acquired, contributed much to her successful career in the advertising industry. As a student in the College, Miss Nunemaker says,
"I studied English, journalism, and writing, and veered off into psychology, sociology, history, even physiology, to name a few. I came out of these courses with a general background that has been useful in my life and my career."
Miss Nunemaker took an active role in the design of Nunemaker Center to ensure that the building's architecture and interior design would provide an exciting educational environment. The bold geometrical spaces are meant to be both welcoming and stimulating. The strong, contrasting colors are intended to reflect the clash of strong ideas that she saw as central to education and life.
"She was a living testimony to the value of a liberal education," says former Dean Robert Cobb. "She could, at the drop of a hat, quote extensively from Wordsworth, Lowell, Tennyson, or Browning, or with equal aplomb ask you to stand and deliver about a recent article in any of several newspapers or magazines."
Miss Nunemaker's generosity has extended far past the College and KU, and the Honors Program feels privileged to provide honors students with this wonderful facility, especially understanding her on-going interest in students and the example she set of what it means to be a life long learner.
Irene's philosophy of philanthropy should also guide current students:
"My business aim has been two-fold. First, use whatever talent you have to always earn the money you receive. And second, if you prosper, give some of it back to humanity."