The Seventies

carnival in Union courtyard


The Union celebrated its 14th anniversary by growing to a total of 270,000 square feet, adding a bookstore, Forum Hall, the Catskellar coffee house and eight more bowling lanes (bringing the total to 16). The renovation project, complete with the new furnishings and facilities, cost $2.88 million. In 1973, Walter D. Smith was hired as the third Union director and would go on to hold that position for 15 years. Students enjoyed many outstanding programs, from the then-unknown Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band to the first showing of the cult-classic, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." The Union Program Council (UPC) Potpourri Committee hosted demonstrations from glass blowing, hair styling and cooking, to the annual bridal fair. Several artists got their start touring campuses and performing at K-State. Entertainers during the 1970s including Lily Tomlin, John Denver, Bob Hope, Billy Joel, The Harlem Globetrotters, as well as Blood, Sweat and Tears. 


  • Second addition completed 
  • John Denver performed
  • UPC photo contest started
  • Billy Joel performed
  • Smith named third director
1970 The second addition was completed. Cayton, Jones, Engelhardt, Gillam Associate Architects did the design, while Green Construction Company of Manhattan was the general contractor, adding 100,000 square feet at a cost of $2.88 million. This brought the building's total square footage to 270,000 square feet. The total construction cost to date was $5.4 million. Included in the addition were the creation of the Union bookstore, Forum Hall, Big 12 Room and eight more bowling lanes (bringing the total to 16). 
1971 A single 130 foot tall light fixture was installed and illuminated the Union parking lot. 
July 1973 Walt D. Smith became the third director of the K-State Student Union. 
1978 UPC sponsored the first showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."