Since 1929, the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards have captured the hearts of millions of fans. Widely considered to be the world’s most prestigious cinematic awards ceremony, the Oscars recognize the most iconic films in history. But did you know you can see, hold and revel in a piece of that history right here on campus?
During special events in the KU Department of Theatre, “Oscar” makes an appearance for selfies and sentimental speeches with visitors and fans. The Oscar was presented to KU alumnus William Inge for his work “Splendor in the Grass,” which was recognized by the Academy for Best Original Story and Screenplay in 1961. The film was also nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes. Following his death in 1973, Inge’s family donated the Oscar award to the KU theatre department. Inge graduated in 1935 with a B.A. in speech and drama.
A success on Broadway and at the Box Office, Inge wrote a number of other works including “Farther Off from Heaven,” “Come Back Little Sheba,” “Dark at the Top of the Stairs,” “Bus Stop” and “Picnic.” Drawing inspiration from Inge’s childhood spent in Independence, “Picnic” is set in a small Kansas town on Labor Day. Inge won multiple awards for “Picnic” including a Pulitzer Prize, which is also housed at the University of Kansas and is on display outside the William Inge Memorial Theatre in Murphy Hall.