News Items In Category XAlumni News

Shenanigans abound when former rivals travel abroad

Posted on Jun 22, 2017 in Alumni News

An old rivalry was renewed as Jayhawks made the “Great Journey through Europe.”

Participants on the Flying Jayhawks tour found themselves traveling with some Nebraska Cornhuskers, who pranked the KU crew by holding Jayhawk decorations hostage.

But, our friendly neighbors to the north quickly returned the beloved birds.

Do the Jayhawks have plans to play any tricks of their own? The Huskers are anxiously awaiting any good-natured retaliation, and in the meantime, the groups are no doubt trading stories about the good old days when the two schools belonged to the same conference.

Tags: , , ,

Jayhawks in the News | June 16

Posted on Jun 16, 2017 in Alumni News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

#KSProud: Deaf Derby native defies odds with audiology doctorate from KU | KWCH.com

Derby native Casey Combs walked across the stage at KU earlier this month, as she earned her Doctorate in Audiology. Casey is profoundly, or totally for a more practical term, deaf.
Read full article and watch video

What a journey: Bryan Sperry is a former KU football player & World War II veteran | Four States Home Page

Bryan Sperry made national headlines two years ago at the KU football alumni game scoring a touchdown. The World War II veteran also spent 35 years at Pittsburg State as a math professor.
Watch video.

A step toward greater diversity: New business school camp reaches out to under-represented populations | LJWorld.com

The Summer Venture in Business program is open to high-achieving 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade minority students or those who would be the first in their families to attend college. Former KU student body president Stephonn Alcorn and his Student Senate coalition had proposed such a camp last year as one way to help increase campus diversity.
Read full article.

Devonté Graham and current Jayhawks edge KU alumni team 82-75 in scrimmage | Kansas City Star

The alumni team included Ben McLemore, Mario Chalmers, Sherron Collins, Perry Ellis and Keith Langford, to name a handful of former KU stars.
Read full article.

Tom Eblen, mentor to a generation of KU journalists, remembered as ‘old-school teacher’ | LJWorld.com

Tom Eblen, who mentored a generation of journalists as general manager and news adviser for the University Daily Kansan, died Saturday at age 80 in Prairie Village. As general manager and adviser of the Daily Kansan, Eblen oversaw the newspaper’s business affairs and provided lasting advice to students on writing and editing.
Read full article.

Scot Pollard tells Bill Self ‘my ’97 team would dominate any of your teams’ | Kansas City Star

Former KU big man Scot Pollard tells current Jayhawks coach Bill Self that his teams would beat Self’s more current teams at the KVC Hero Luncheon on Thursday, June 15, 2017.
Watch video.

Rock Chalk Roundball Classic turns into ‘KU Day’ at Lawrence Free State High’s gym | Kansas City Star

Perry Ellis was one of the many fan favorites participating in an exhibition game that featured more than 40 former KU players and coaches including 12 members of Kansas’ 2008 national title squad.
Read full article.

Former KU vice chancellor dies at 91 | University Daily Kansan

Robert Cobb, a University faculty member and administrator for over 30 years, passed away last week at the age of 91. In his time at the University, Cobb was an English professor, department head, dean, executive vice chancellor, professor emeritus and more.
Read full article.

Kings host College Player of the Year Frank Mason for second pre-draft workout | ABC10.com

The Sacramento Kings hosted a second pre-draft workout on Wednesday with last season’s National College Player of the Year – Kansas’ point guard Frank Mason III. Upon arriving in Sacramento on Tuesday, Mason caught the attention of social media for inviting a Jayhawks fan to meet him at his downtown hotel.
Read full article and watch video.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

KU aerospace grad lands coveted spot in NASA astronaut class

Posted on Jun 7, 2017 in Alumni News

2017 Astronaut Class, courtesy of nasa.gov
Loral O'Hara, e'06, member of the 2017 astronaut class | courtesy of nasa.govJayhawk Loral O’Hara, a 2006 graduate of the KU School of Engineering’s aerospace engineering program, on Wednesday was introduced as one of 12 members of NASA’s 2017 astronaut candidate class. After her KU graduation, O’Hara earned a master’s degree at Purdue University. Until joining NASA for the arduous astronaut selection process, O’Hara most recently worked as a research engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

O’Hara, e’06, was born in Houston and reared in nearby Sugar Land, Texas. When her NASA class was introduced during a ceremony at Johnson Space Center, O’Hara was quick to note her joy in reaching a lifelong dream in her hometown.

“Growing up in Houston, I had Johnson Space Center right down the road and I was able to visit often,” O’Hara said. “My second-grade class even got to grow tomato plants that flew on the space shuttle, a program that I actually recently just found out is going on today with students flying seeds on the International Space Station. Those early experiences really hooked me and are a big part of what ignited the dream to be an astronaut.”

Among her diverse interests, O’Hara is a private pilot, scuba diver, surfer, sailor, spelunker, painter, certified EMT and wilderness first responder, and she noted that her unusual hobbies helped her join NASA’s latest astronaut candidate class.

“I’ve always been really curious and loved trying new things, learning new skills,” O’Hara said. “I’ve just been fortunate that the experiences that I have always gravitated toward are also those that helped me get up here today, things like fixing engines and flying and diving.”

She reports for duty in August to begin two years of astronaut training, after which she will be assigned technical duties in NASA’s astronaut office while awaiting her first flight assignment.

—Chris Lazzarino

WATCH:
Live video announcement of the 2017 astronaut class from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas

Tags: , , , ,

Jayhawks explore ‘Timeless Treasures’ of the Mediterranean

Posted on Jun 6, 2017 in Alumni News

Scenery from the Timeless Treasures cruise in the Mediterranean Sea | Flying Jayhawks
A group of 30 Jayhawks from across the U.S. explored the Mediterranean on a seven-day cruise from April 28-May 6.

We began our journey in Athens, Greece– embarking on the ship headed to two of the Cyclades group of islands. First stop, Mykonos.

Travelers selected from a number of excursions this day. More than half the group explored the ruins on the small island of Delos, just off the island of Mykonos. The lions of Apollo guard this island, and a number of intricate mosaics are still intact.

The rest of the group explored Mykonos, famous for white homes with blue shutters and the iconic windmills. The maze-like streets, originally designed to ward of pirate attacks, offered a variety of shops and restaurants.

Mosaic in Delos, from the Timeless Treasures Flying Jayhawks cruise in the Mediterranean

Our next port of call was the island of Santorini, which offered picturesque views of the white cave homes and blue domes. We visited the quieter town of Oia before heading to the more well-known capital of Fira. Cobblestone streets wind between shops and cafes with stunning views.

After cruising a day at sea, we made it to our next destination. Malta is a small island nestled to the south of Sicily and north of Africa. The Dingli cliffs provided breath-taking views. Tours included visiting catacombs and the village of Rabat, and we spent our free time in the capital of Valletta, accessible by elevator from the harbor.

Sicily means “Land of the Godfather.” The largest island in Mediterranean is notable serving as the backdrop of a number of scenes in the “Godfather” movies. Sicily was its own country for centuries before the Italian unification in 1860. It is still home to a proud culture, and residents identify more strongly as Sicilian rather than Italian.

Scenery from the Timeless Treasures cruise in the Mediterranean | Flying Jayhawks

Our last stop was Sorrento, Italy. My high school Latin teacher, Mr. Wilson, would be so proud and excited I was able to visit Pompeii! It was fascinating to walk around a town that has been uncovered after being preserved by the volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius. I found it so interesting to see how Roman life was frozen in time.

We disembarked in Rome. A number of our passengers stayed on in Rome, but it was time for me to travel home. It was a fantastic week with some amazing people. Some I have traveled with in the past, and others I hope travel with us again in the future.

Until next time, arrivederci!

—Tegan Thornberry, or “Traveling Tegs” as she’s affectionately known around the office, serves as director of membership and business development and hosted the Flying Jayhawks trip “Timeless Treasures.” She also brings cookies to the office every Tuesday. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the new 2018 schedule, visit www.kualumni.org/flyingjayhawks.

PHOTOS:
Watch the slideshow below to see photos from the trip, or click here to view the pictures on Flickr. Photos may be downloaded for personal use.

Flying Jayhawks 2017: Timeless Treasures

Tags: , , , ,

Board of Regents announces 18th chancellor of the University of Kansas

Posted on May 25, 2017 in Alumni News

Dr. Douglas Girod, 18th Chancellor of the University of Kansas

Today the Kansas Board of Regents announced the appointment of Dr. Douglas A. Girod as the 18th Chancellor of the University of Kansas.

Dr. Douglas Girod, 18th Chancellor of the University of Kansas, speaking at the press conference.“I am honored to be here today to make this important announcement. Naming the next Chancellor is one of the most important jobs we undertake as the Board of Regents,” stated Zoe Newton, Chair of the Board of Regents. “Dr. Girod is the right person for this time of transition. His 23 years of service are a testament to Dr. Girod’s love and commitment to KU. He will honor KU’s traditions and history while leading this great university into the future.”

Douglas A. Girod, M.D., became executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center on Feb. 1, 2013, where he oversaw the educational, research, patient care and community engagement missions of the University of Kansas Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions, with their total annual enrollment of more than 3,300 students; a workforce of more than 2,100 faculty and more than 4,000 staff; and research funding of nearly $100 million.

In addition to serving as executive vice chancellor, Dr. Girod also served as interim executive dean of the KU School of Medicine until March 24, 2014. Prior to those roles, he served as Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. A surgeon, Dr. Girod joined the University of Kansas Medical Center faculty in 1994 and quickly rose through the academic ranks, becoming chair of the Otolaryngology department in 2002. He was named Russell E. Bridwell Endowed Chair in 2008.

“Doug Girod brings a wealth of experience to this role. He is a proven administrator and an excellent listener, and those on the KU Medical Center campus already are well familiar with Dr. Girod’s steady guidance and leadership abilities,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Litte. “I congratulate him, and KU is in good hands. I know he will continue our work to fulfill our mission and elevate the national stature of our university into the future. ”

Learn more about the new chancellor in the official news release from the University.

More on Dr. Girod:

Feature: We have but one soul (Kansas Alumni magazine, Issue No. 5, 2004)

Feature: Paging Dr. Girod (Kansas Alumni magazine, Issue No. 5, 2013)

Tags: , ,

Frank Mason III honored as hometown hero

Posted on May 22, 2017 in Alumni News

Frank Mason received a warm welcome home celebration in Virginia. Photo courtesy of Ryan Smartt.
Frank Mason III got a warm welcome last weekend from family, friends and fans in his hometown of Petersburg, Virginia, during a series of festivities that celebrated the KU basketball star and national player of the year.

Petersburg Mayor Samuel Parham on Friday declared May 19 “Frank Leo Mason III Day” and issued a proclamation of Mason’s achievements before presenting him a key to the city. KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend, who discovered Mason in 2012 during a Las Vegas recruiting trip, and nearly 30 Richmond Jayhawks attended the celebration.

“Frank Mason III is beloved by fans for providing us four great years and helping our team reach the important 13-straight milestone,” says Kimberly Gulley Winn, l’95, g’03, executive director of Virginia Municipal League, who spoke at the event. “We were honored to be a part of the events highlighting the amazing career of this terrific young man, and we are looking forward to following his NBA career.”

On Saturday, locals packed William Lawson Gymnasium at Petersburg High School, where Mason attended and played, for an alumni basketball game. Mason’s No. 15 jersey was retired during a halftime ceremony.

“I just want to appreciate everybody that came out,” Mason, c’17, told the crowd. “I thank my family, friends, everybody that I love. Besides those people, I do it for Petersburg.”

Later that day, Mason threw out the first pitch at a Flying Squirrels minor-league baseball game in Richmond, Virginia.

—Heather Biele

Photo courtesy of Ryan Smartt

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jayhawks in the News | May 19

Posted on May 19, 2017 in Alumni News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

Former KU and NBA forward Drew Gooden basks in joy on his college graduation day | KUHoops.com

Former KU and NBA basketball player Drew Gooden finished work on his communication studies degree in December and enjoyed the fruits of his academic labor walking down Campanile Hill on Sunday morning into Memorial Stadium for KU commencement exercises.
Read full article.

MAcc alumna wins award from American Institute of CPAs | Medium.com

Devenie Ross, a 2016 School of Business graduate, is one of the winners of the American Institute of CPAs’ 2016 Elijah Watt Sells Award. A total of 102,323 individuals sat for the exam in 2016, and Ross was one of 58 candidates to meet the award criteria.
Read full article.

It’s Your Business | Topeka Capital-Journal

Attorney Diane L. Bellquist, of Joseph, Hollander &Craft LLC, is the newly elected president-elect of the Topeka Bar Association. She earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Kansas School of Law.
Read full article.

Minnesota Justice David Stras, Trump’s pick for Eighth Circuit, enjoys broad swath of support | Star Tribune

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras, nominated Monday by President Donald Trump to fill a vacancy on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, is described by colleagues as a scholar who can build bridges with colleagues on the bench.
Read full article.

Just Play Sports Solutions lands seven pro sports clients | Startland News

Just Play Sports Solutions announced it will partner with seven professional WNBA teams — the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, LA Sparks, Seattle Storm and Washington Mystic. Austin Barone, a graduate of the KU School of Business, is a co-founder of the company.
Read full article.

KU alum Pritchard ready to use agressive approach with Pacers | Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Pritchard — who played at Kansas and was the starting point guard on the Jayhawks’ 1988 national championship team — is the new president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers.
Read full article.

Matriarch of ‘Jayhawk family’ from Saudi Arabia completes second KU degree | Lawrence Journal-World

Fatimah Al Ghafli, 53, is a University of Kansas student from Saudi Arabia, a mother of nine and a grandmother of nine. She celebrated her second degree from KU, a master’s in math. Her husband and two kids also have degrees from KU, and two more children currently attend the university.
Read full story.

KU art history professor remembered for emphasis on learning through experience | Lawrence Journal-World

University of Kansas professor emeritus of art history Edmund Eglinski was known as an advocate for learning through direct experience. Eglinski, 85, died Sunday in Lawrence of a heart attack.
Read full article.

With founding professor’s retirement, KU’s biological anthropology lab is changing hands | Lawrence Journal-World

Michael Crawford — professor of anthropology, founding director of the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology and a founder of the field of anthropological genetics — has been at KU since 1971 and founded the lab in 1975. After more than 45 years on the Hill, Crawford is retiring and handing over leadership of the lab.
Read full article.

Former KU guard Nick Bradford hired as girls hoops coach at Olathe North | KUHoops.com

Former Kansas basketball guard Nick Bradford remembers consulting two of his college mentors — former Jayhawks head coach Roy Williams and assistant Neil Dougherty — about his future career path. Bradford was announced as girls head basketball coach at Olathe North High School.
Read full article.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

All signs point to KU

Posted on May 16, 2017 in Alumni News

Rock Chalk Ready yard sign

High school seniors planning to arrive on the Hill next fall have found unexpected surprises in their yards lately: yard signs declaring they are “Rock Chalk Ready.”

Volunteers delivered the signs, a joint effort between the KU Office of Admissions, the Provost’s office, and the KU Alumni Association, to incoming freshmen in Lawrence, Topeka, Wichita and the Kansas City metro area over the past few weeks.

“This was our first crack at welcoming the incoming freshman class with KU yardsigns, and we could not have pulled it off without the collective effort of our KU alumni and staff,” said Joy Maxwell, director of legacy relations. “It has been so fulfilling to watch KU alumni share their time and Jayhawk pride to blanket these major in-state markets with crimson and blue. We hope to expand the campaign statewide and nationally with more funding and volunteer help in years to come.”

Check out our collection of photos below to see the signs:

Tags: , , ,

Jayhawks rally to give alumnus an unforgettable Commencement

Posted on May 12, 2017 in Alumni News

One of the most treasured traditions at the University of Kansas takes place every spring, when thousands of graduating students walk through the Campanile and down the Hill for Commencement.

Brian Palermo | www.kualumni.orgBrian Palermo, a KU Admissions representative based in St. Louis, never got to experience that moment. Shortly after graduating in December 2012, he accepted a job at a mental health facility for children in Oklahoma City. Knowing it would be difficult to take time off in May for the ceremony, he let the opportunity slip by.

Earlier this year, Palermo, c’13, shared with his supervisor, Elisa Zahn Krapcha, c’05, j’05, g’11, that he never participated in Commencement. She mentioned that the Admissions team should stage a small ceremony for him.

“I kind of knew we might do a little something, but I didn’t expect too much,” Palermo says.

Krapcha and Heidi Simon, g’00, senior associate director of Admissions, had a surprise in store. On May 8, they summoned nearly 20 team members to the Campanile, where Palermo was given a traditional cap and gown, as well as party beads and a crimson and blue lei.

Brian Palermo and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little | www.kualumni.org“As I’m getting ready to walk through the Campanile, Heidi hands me a bottle of sparkling cider,” he recalls. “I got so focused on trying to open it, because people were shouting ‘Pop it, pop it!’ I was looking down at it and still walking when I heard someone say ‘Whoa, whoa! Hold on a moment.’”

When Palermo looked up, he saw Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little standing in front of him. “I was just floored,” he says. “I couldn’t believe she was there.”

The chancellor congratulated Palermo and delivered remarks, reminding him of KU’s noble mission: to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.

“I challenged the graduates at the 2012 Commencement to continue to do all of these things after they walked down the Hill,” Gray-Little told him. “You’ve done these things even without being there to hear my call.”

As Palermo wraps up his first year as a KU Admissions representative, he’s more determined than ever to continue serving the University, thanks to the kindness and support of his team and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

“It was just a really special moment that I don’t think I’ll ever forget,” he says.

—Heather Biele

Tags: , , , , , ,

Class of 1977’s legacy lives on in Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame

Posted on May 11, 2017 in Alumni News

Class of 1977 | www.kualumni.org
When Bill French ran for president during his junior year at KU, he pledged that the Class of 1977 would bestow a gift upon the University. “At that time, I had no idea what the gift was going to be or what kind of money we had,” he says with a laugh. “It was one of those platform promises you make and then you hope you’ll have some money to give a gift the size of a bouquet of flowers.”

Turns out, the Class of 1977 had more in its budget than expected. With the help of the other class officers and Jeff Millikan, gift chairman, French identified $1,000 that could be used toward a University gift. “We knew that the KU Athletics Hall of Fame was just getting started,” he says. “I suggested we look at a major assist for it.”

French, j’77, and Millikan, c’77, g’80, met with KU’s Athletic Director Clyde Walker to discuss a gift that would help the newly established hall of fame. “At that time, they just had some posters up,” French recalls. “I said, ‘We’ve only got $1,000, but I’ll get the right media involved with this. We’ll have a picture, we’ll run a story, we’ll have a big check made.’”

French put out the word, and several area newspapers picked up the story, including the Kansas City Star, the Lawrence Journal-World and the Wichita Eagle.

“Clyde Walker later told me that the Class of 1977’s gift and associated news stories really helped the KU Athletic Hall of Fame with their fundraising efforts,” says French.

The Hall of Fame has expanded over the years, and in 2006, the Booth Family Hall of Athletics opened on the east side of Allen Field House, thanks to more than $5 million in gifts from the children and grandchildren of the late Gilbert and Betty Booth. Following an expansion in 2009, the sprawling, 19,335-square-foot sports shrine now features interactive exhibits and a basketball championship trophy case—not to mention a plaque that recognizes the Class of 1977 for its generous gift 40 years ago.

“It’s really grown into a big deal,” says French. “I’m very glad that our class was able to be a part of kicking it off.”

—Heather Biele

Image courtesy Bill French. Pictured from left to right: Stephan Van Kepple, Dorothy Schloerb, Chancellor Archie Dykes, Clyde Walker, Randy Brown, Bill French, Jeff Millikan, Marianne Maurin, Carol Smith and Fred Knuth

Tags: , , , , , , , ,