Smith Hall – The University of Kansas

August 22, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


The ten-foot bronze statue of Moses
kneeling before a stained-glass burning bush reflects KU’s official seal and the study of world religions, their history, and languages taught in this building. In the seal, designed in 1866, Moses is pictured kneeling in awe before a bush engulfed in flames. Moses represents the humble attitude
of a scholar in pursuit of truth. Fire symbolizes knowledge in many stories and myths. The statue was designed by long time KU sculpture professor Elden C. Tefft to compliment the stained-glass window, which illuminates a reading room. Smith Hall, built in 1967, is named for Irma Smith of Macksville. The site has been the home to buildings dedicated to spiritual and religious subjects since the 19th century, but only recently became part of the KU campus. Smith Hall, and the building it replaced, were both owned by the Christian Churches of Kansas. KU bought Smith Hall in 1998.