Apple Day 2023: Apples, dessert contest, and fundraisers! 

Join us on Monday, March 27, for the longest running Pittsburg State University tradition: Apple Day! Held each year since 1907, Apple Day celebrates important events in the early days of the university that paved the way to its existence today.    

Pittsburg State was first located in a borrowed building in downtown Pittsburg. The university’s founder, R.S. Russ, along with the Pittsburg mayor, lobbied to get lawmakers in Topeka to pass an appropriation that would fund a permanent building.      

During his lobbying of the Legislature, Russ broke a rule: he sat in a legislator’s seat. The Legislature fined the Pittsburg delegation a barrel of apples, which Russ and the mayor paid and distributed among the lawmakers.     

The Legislature approved the request for funding, and when Russ and the mayor returned to Pittsburg, a joyful assembly of students fined the faculty a barrel of apples, which faculty paid and distributed to the students.   

Faculty have done so every year since, and will do so on Apple Day again this year, courtesy of Marrone’s Produce!     


Faculty will hand out apples on The Oval near the Wooster Gorilla from 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Kansas Technology Center from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., and at the Student Recreation Center from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Faculty and other volunteers also will hand out apples to community partners throughout Pittsburg. 

Apple Dessert Contest   

PSU students, staff, and faculty will compete for bragging rights and prizes in this long-running contest.  

Competitors: register first on Gorilla Engage , then take entries to the Gorilla Crossing in the Overman Student Center at 11 a.m. on March 27.  

Judging will begin at 11:30 with a panel of experts, including Homecoming royalty, outstanding faculty, and others, tasting samples.  

Students, faculty, and staff may drop by to get samples of each dessert, and winners will be announced in an informal ceremony at 12:30. 

Gorilla Giving Day 

A campaign designed to encourage alumni and friends to give back to Pittsburg State University is planned starting at 12:01 a.m. March 27 and running until 11:59 p.m. March 27.  

Now in its sixth year, Gorilla Giving Day is a day for alumni and friends to show their Gorilla pride by supporting Pittsburg State programs and priorities that are meaningful to them. 

Details, along with a message from each dean on how gifts will make an impact for each college, can be found at 

Celebrity fundraiser 

A fundraising effort will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. at Brick + Mortar restaurant at Block22 in downtown Pittsburg — an historic development that was a partnership of Pittsburg State and the City of Pittsburg. 

Brick + Mortar is owned by a Pittsburg State graduate, and this event will feature “celebrity” bartenders who have an affiliation to Pittsburg State.  

All tips and drink profits will go to unrestricted scholarships. President Dan Shipp will also be on hand to meet and greet.  

Trivia Night 

Students only: Compete in an Apple Day trivia contest from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the U Club at the Overman Student Center, hosted by Campus Activities and Library Services. Winners will earn bragging rights for knowing the most Pittsburg State history and win prizes! Details coming soon. 


Awards that for the past few years had been announced during the Apple Day ceremony now will be featured at events that align with the recipients and audiences: 

  • • The Good Apple Award winner, given to a recent graduate, will be featured at the PSU Leadership Awards on April 14. The Golden Gorilla award winners, given to high achieving students, also will be announced. 
  • • The Outstanding Faculty Award winners will be announced in May. 
  • • The Voya Outstanding Employee Award, given to two staff members, will be announced at the Service Award Reception on March 29 in the Axe Library from 2 to 3 p.m. 
  • • The Professors Beyond the Classroom Grant recipients will be featured in a web story and video on the Pittsburg State website.