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About Bradbury Thompson

Bradbury ThompsonBradbury Thompson was born in Topeka in 1911 and graduated from Topeka High School and Washburn College, where he received a bachelor of arts in economics in 1934. While at Washburn, Thompson was president of his class as a senior, captain of the track team, editor of two editions of the Kaw yearbook and the designer for seven volumes of the college annual.

Thompson designed the official Mr. Ichabod symbol for the 1938 Kaw. Depictions of that original image are still used today in the design of our mascot. Thompson designed large murals for the Washburn Memorial Union that depicted campus buildings lost in the 1966 tornado. He was one of the most innovative and renowned graphic designers of the 20th century, working as the art director of Mademoiselle and design director of Art News and Art News Annual. He designed the formats for dozens of other magazines, including the Smithsonian. Thompson also designed more than 90 U.S. postage stamps,  created a new font, Alphabet 26 and was a faculty member at the Yale School of Art for more than 30 years.

One of his signature achievements is the Washburn College Bible, a three-volume typographic redesign of the King James Bible, published in 1979. In 1980, Oxford University Press published a one-volume edition, which was made a Book-of-the Month Club special selection. Washburn awarded him an Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1958 and conferred an honorary doctor of fine arts on him in 1965. A track and field star, he was inducted into the Washburn Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985. He passed away in 1995 at age 84.

Works by Bradbury Thompson

Works by graphic designer Bradbury Thompson, ba '34, are on display in the Washburn College Bible Room in the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center.


Facility Rental Accommodations

The Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center

The Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center meets the needs of alumni, the University and the Topeka community. Many rooms within the facility are available to the campus and public for rent. Learn more.






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1729 MacVicar Avenue
Topeka, KS 66604 Phone: 785.670.4483