News Items In Category XAlumni News

Hawk Link Alumni Lunch connects Jayhawks in KC

Posted on Feb 21, 2018 in Alumni News

Hawk Link alumni lunch

The Student Alumni Network recently partnered with Hawk Link to hold the first Hawk Link Alumni Lunch. The goal was to connect at-risk students with potential mentors from the vast network of KU alumni.

Hawk Link, a program based out of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, supports students of color, queer students and undocumented students while they navigate their first two years on campus. “It’s building on the components of what students need while they’re here and how we can set them up to be successful into the future,” said Jordan Brandt, academic advisor in the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

One of their programs, Study in the States, takes students to different cities to explore historical sites that tie in with their curriculum. A recent field trip to the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City brought a unique opportunity for Hawk Link students to connect with members of the Black Alumni Network in the area.

“It just made sense to invite the Alumni Association on our Study in the States trip,” said Brandt. “Students were already engaging with faculty, staff, and peers through Hawk Link but we were lacking an alumni piece. It’s great having folks who care about the population of students that we serve and want to invest in them.”

“I first learned about OMA through a tour with KU,” said Camille Moore, a freshman studying pre-med. “Through the Hawk Link program, we all live in Oliver on the third floor and have all gotten close with one another. I learned a lot talking to alumni about how to get through the process of college, and I now have the chance to reach out to them in the future.”

Jeainnie Brown, b’94, enjoyed the opportunity to both give back to students of color and connect with black alumni. Luke Bobo, Ph.D, e’82, was effusive in his praise for the students and their poise.

“The young people I interacted with are bright, articulate and aware,” Bobo said. “I look forward to these students making their mark on the KU community and I also look forward to them making a mark on our society-at-large.”

The Student Alumni Network is expanding its on campus reach with both KU and student organizations by offering usage of the Adams Alumni Center and helping connect students, alumni, and the Lawrence community. SAN’s other on-campus partnerships include a ‘trunk-or-treat’ for Lawrence area children with the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, and Big Jay’s Recess, an upcoming event with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and SILC.

Hawk Link alumni lunch group picture

To learn more about the Student Alumni Network and to see upcoming events, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or visit the website.

-Ryan Camenzind

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Pay Heed: ‘Beware of the Phog’ banner turns 30

Posted on Feb 20, 2018 in Alumni News

Pay Heed, All Who Enter

In 1988, a couple of KU students hatched an idea, created a banner and left a legacy that has come to define KU’s storied Allen Fieldhouse, known to many simply as “the Phog.” Thirty years later, the friends and KU alumni reunited to reminisce about the banner and how it all came to be.

“I was in class one day and had been thinking about it for a while,” Todd Gilmore revealed in a recent article in the Kansas City Star. “Then we started talking about building it.”

Gilmore, a’88, and classmate Michael Gentemann, a’88, went on the record in a short documentary aired by ESPN this week, sharing the story of how their partner in crime, Tom Kippenberger, a’88, managed to secure ten shower curtains from McCollum Hall, pinning them together to form one massive banner.

Gentemann did the honors by sketching out the now-famous phrase while a group of friends painted the sacred text on the banner sprawled across the floor of a hallway in Marvin Hall.

The banner was first hoisted into the rafters of the fieldhouse on Feb. 20, 1988.

“I’d never ever heard the words ‘the Phog,’ and he coined it,” Gentemann said of Gilmore’s reference to Forrest Allen’s nickname, now synonymous with the fieldhouse that bears his name. “It took off from there. Now it’s on T-shirts, coffee mugs, credit cards… it’s on everything.”

The short documentary can be watched in its entirety here, with comments from Coach Bill Self, ESPN College Game Day Analyst Jay Bilas and Allen’s own granddaughter, Judy Morris, c’60.

“What it has done is not only give the opposing team a little shudder maybe as they come through the doors,” Morris reflects in the mini-documentary, “but it also puts my grandfather’s name, “Phog,” out there and makes people remember him.”

Phog Allen’s legacy, and the phrase inspired by his name, live on inside Allen Fieldhouse where a vinyl version of the banner has replaced the original. It hangs in the Booth Hall of Athletics, enshrined behind glass, where Gilmore can admire their handiwork and marvel at that magical time in 1988.

“To win the national championship our senior year, Danny’s last year, we had this banner put up, what a perfect way to end a college career,” he said. “Can’t get any better than that.”

READ MORE:

The creators of the famous “Beware of the Phog” banner, hanging at Allen Fieldhouse, home of the Jayhawks, tell you how they did it in this interview with Jesse Newell for the Kansas City Star.

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Jayhawks in the News | Feb. 16

Posted on Feb 16, 2018 in Alumni News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org | Jayhawks in the news
Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our weekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.
 

‘Top of my life’: Sherron Collins’ best KU memories to culminate in jersey retirement | The University Daily Kansan

“A kid from Chicago,” as Sherron Collins referred to himself, will see his No. 4 jersey hanging in the rafters on Monday next to the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Jo Jo White and Paul Pierce. “I never thought where I come from, I could have this much of an impact on a University, let alone a community.”
Read full article.
 

KU graduate, Endowment employee could become first openly gay member of state legislature | The University Daily Kansan

Brandon Woodard, c’13, a University graduate and KU Endowment employee, is running for the 30th District of the Kansas House of Representatives as a Democrat. If he wins, he would be the first openly gay member of the Kansas Legislature.
Read full article.
 

Cheering for the Cheerleader | Medium

Beyond the uniforms and debates about being necessary, there is a reality: As sports become a bigger and bigger business, the spirit squad is not advancing commensurately. Do you know why you should cheer for the cheerleader too? Mike Whitaker, c’91, analyzes their vital yet thankless role as brand ambassadors.
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2018 Associates Awards | The American Institute of Architects

AIA’s Associates Awards are given to individual Associate AIA members to recognize outstanding leaders and creative thinkers for significant contributions to their communities and the architecture profession. Recipients include University of Kansas graduates Jake Banton, g’15, and Timarie Trarbach, g’12.
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UM Professor Leads Dinosaur Track Preservation Project | University of Mississippi News

A University of Mississippi geologist’s collaboration with researchers at the University of Arkansas has yielded the discovery and digital preservation of the first tracks of carnivorous dinosaurs ever found in Arkansas. Brian Platt, g’05, PhD’12, assistant professor of geology and geological engineering at UM, was lead author of “LiDAR-based characterization and conservation of the first theropod dinosaur trackways from Arkansas, USA,” an article in the Jan. 2 edition of the journal Public Library of Science ONE.
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HillVets 100 of 17 | HillVets

Nikki Wentling’s in-depth reporting on veterans’ issues for Stars and Stripes serves to keep former military members and the public informed about everything from political maneuverings in the halls of Congress to malfeasance in local medical centers. Wentling, j’14, was named one of HillVets’ top reporters on the veteran experience.
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Former J-W editorial page editor wins lifetime achievement award from Kansas Press Association | Lawrence Journal-World

Lawrence resident and former Journal-World editorial page editor Ann Gardner, j’75, has received one of the state’s top journalism awards. Gardner received the Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award from the Kansas Press Association. The award recognizes a Kansas editor for a lifetime of achievement that involves commitment to community, the Kansas newspaper industry and the state.
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Nine Students Chosen As Fulbright Semi-Finalists | KU International Programs

Nine KU students have reached the semi-finalist stage of the Fulbright competition. These nine applicants will now be reviewed by the respective country commissions and will learn in the spring if they will receive the prestigious award. Thirty-one students applied.
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Paul Pierce immortalized as Boston Celtics retire his No. 34 | KUSports

From this day forward no member of the Boston Celtics will ever again wear No. 34. That number will forever be associated with the name Paul Pierce and hang in the rafters above the Celtics’ signature parquet floor, with the likes of Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Robert Parrish and Kevin McHale. Pierce is a former KU basketball player.
Read full article.
 
Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.
 

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Why being a Jayhawk is a divine advantage

Posted on Feb 15, 2018 in Alumni News

Jerry Skillett, b’81, recently shared his story of the power of being a Jayhawk in the workplace in the KU Alumni LinkedIn group. Skillett is a member of the KU Alumni Association’s national board of directors.

Jerry Skillett, b'81, member of the KU Alumni national board of directorsYou might wonder how someone with roots in Leroy, Kansas, population 561, could come from such a humble beginning and end up in New York as the founder of the second-largest (hope largest soon—all Jayhawks strive to be No. 1) parking company in the United States. I attribute it to the University of Kansas and the incredible network and power of the Jayhawk brand.

KU for me was the gateway to a much bigger possibility. Believe me, it was a quantum leap to go to KU, where there were more students in my organic chemistry class than in my whole high school. I struggled through a lot of it, but being a Jayhawk and thinking about all of the other brilliant Jayhawks made me determined to be a part of this incredible connection of people. Looking back to graduation in 1981 (wow, that long ago?), just the commitment to step into the challenge and complete it was such a catapult of energy. There was nothing that I could not achieve.

While I would love to say that I was an outrageously successful student (nope), or that I was a wildly popular party guy (hardly), I had an amazing experience nonetheless. How many of us can admit to getting a D in computer science, yet using that background to later start four software companies (yes, it’s true), or even building on an incredible 2.65 grade point average (rounded up to 3.0!) to become an innovator, industry leader and founder of a company with $1 billion in revenue and 8,000 employees? (Jayhawk Power!)

Today, in every meeting I attend, I have this Jayhawk sticker on the back of my portfolio. Ninety percent of the time, anyone I am meeting from around the world knows what the Jayhawk represents and wants to talk about it and how they have a KU connection. My wife, Leonor, a Southern California native, is now truly convinced that the world revolves around Kansas. I’ve always known it does.

Hey, Jayhawks, let’s hear your success stories and help you connect with fellow alumni. 2018 is going to Rock Chalk.

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Valentine’s Day card boxes show love for KU hoops

Posted on Feb 14, 2018 in Alumni News

Talon, Will, and Boston Tegtmeier of Eudora, Kansas, with their Jayhawk Valentine's Day card boxes
A Eudora family of Jayhawk fans big and small made a trio of Valentine’s Day card boxes that every KU fan will love.

Mitch Tegtmeier and his wife, Erin, are both teachers. Naturally, they go all out in making Valentine card boxes for their three boys, Talon (5), Will (3) and Boston (10 months).

“I try to come up with something new and fresh every year for the boys to top the previous year,” Tegtmeier said. “I always give them some input as to what they would like their boxes to be. This year our older two boys are really into KU basketball, and we never miss a game. So they said they wanted Kansas basketball jerseys!”

After the boys picked out their favorite players for their boxes, Tegtmeier started brainstorming some ideas.

“I had a mental image of how I wanted these to finish, so I started drawing lines and chopping up some boxes. I spray painted the boxes and called in my brother, Ben for help. He’s a professional graphic designer, and he helped me cut and lay the vinyl.”

Once they were finished, the kids couldn’t contain their excitement.

“They wanted to play with the boxes right away. We had to hide them so that they at least made it until Valentine’s day.”

KU basketball Valentine's Day card boxes created by Mitch Tegtmeier of Eudora, Kansas.

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Jayhawk couple finds love at Final Four

Posted on Feb 14, 2018 in Alumni News

The 2008 National Championship was memorable for every Jayhawk, but Callie Penzler-Randall may have had the best weekend of anyone. We asked Callie, d’08, g’13, to share the story of how she met her future husband, Jess Randall, c’07, m’12, in San Antonio.

Callie Penzler-Randall and Jess Randall

Championship weekend

I’m a fourth-generation Jayhawk and always knew I would go to KU. I have been going to KU basketball games since I was about 6 months old. My parents had made a deal with my sister, Clarice, and me: If KU went to the Final Four while we were going to school there, we would all go.

In 2008, I was finishing up my senior year, studying elementary education. My sister was on the Rock Chalk Dance Team and would be traveling with the team to the Final Four. True to their word, my parents took me to San Antonio. We had fun mingling with the fans from the other three teams (UNC, Memphis, and UCLA). The Memphis fans were, by far, the most fun and friendly.

We watched in awe as the Jayhawks crushed Roy’s Tar Heels. The Memphis game wasn’t nearly as comfortable. I could hardly watch those last few minutes of regulation but knew we had it won once we took it to overtime. It was awesome to see my sister run onto the court with the team after the win. We celebrated on the Riverwalk for a bit, but that part is all a blur now. The entire weekend was a blast!

So, the meet cute.

It was the day between the North Carolina stomping and the National Championship game. We knew the Riverwalk would be a total madhouse, so we headed to a Mexican restaurant off the beaten path for dinner. We had just been seated when I saw a group of KU guys walking by on their way out. I noticed one was wearing a fantastic shirt: it had an outline of the state of Kansas with the iconic image of John Brown in the middle. Brown was holding an NCAA trophy instead of the Bible. Around the image of Brown, it said “Kansas: keeping America safe from Missouri since 1854.”

I knew I had to find that shirt, so I pulled the guy aside to ask him where he had gotten it. To my surprise, Jess squatted down between my mom and me to have a chat. His voice was nearly gone because he had screamed so much during the UNC game the night before. In his raspy voice, he told me a friend of his had designed and printed the shirts, but he could try to get one for me if I gave him my phone number. I said I would love that, and he said he’d be sure to give me a call—IF he could also take me out to dinner. I think every jaw at the table fell to the floor. It was a match made in Jayhawk heaven.

Callie Penzler-Randall and Jess Randall

A legacy continues

We were married in June, 2012, about two weeks after we both graduated from KU a second time. Baby Jay made an appearance at our wedding. Jess graduated from the School of Medicine and I completed my master’s of education in literacy instruction. We live in Iowa City and have a 3-year-old, Phoebe, and an 18-month-old, Ben. Ben’s middle name is Lawrence; we considered Forrest as well. Jess is in his second year of a pediatric cardiology fellowship at the University of Iowa and we proudly drive around Hawkeye land with Jayhawk stickers on the backs of our cars. Phoebe calls all the Hawkeye statues in Iowa City “Jayhawks,” and we don’t correct her.

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Patinkin honored with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Posted on Feb 13, 2018 in Alumni News

Broadway legend and KU alumnus Mandy Patinkin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Feb. 12.

As a KU student, Patinkin, ’74, starred as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” and other University Theatre productions before leaving for The Juilliard School in New York City. Only a few years later, he won a Tony Award for his 1980 Broadway debut as Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita.” Patinkin has been nominated for six Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, and three Tony Awards. He won an Emmy for “Chicago Hope” in 1995.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce adds stars to the Walk of Fame as the representative of the City of Los Angeles. Appromixately 24 star ceremonies are broadcast annually.

WATCH:

 
In 2016, Patinkin was one of three 2016 winners of the 37th annual Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service. Our coverage of that award also includes a video of Patinkin’s 2014 appearance on “Live with Kelly and Michael.” The hosts surprised the actor on-camera with a guest appearance by his KU girlfriend (whom the Association helped track down for the show’s producers).

Patinkin’s visit to KU in 2001 was featured in Kansas Alumni magazine, issue No. 6, 2001. He also returned to the university in 2005, where he taught and performed as part of a benefit for University Theatre.

READ:

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University hosts fourth annual “Power of Sport” symposium

Posted on Feb 6, 2018 in Alumni News

Claire Smith | Power of Sport Symposium

The University of Kansas celebrated Langston Hughes’ birthday with its fourth annual “The Power of Sport: A Conversation on Business, Race and Sports” symposium on Feb. 1. The event featured panelists Lafayette Norwood, a former KU basketball assistant coach, and Darnell Valentine, a KU All-American and former player for the Portland Trail Blazers. Claire Smith, a sports writer and news editor for ESPN, was the keynote speaker.

Life in Wichita in the 1980s

Dr. Shawn Leigh Alexander, associate professor and director of graduate studies for the Department of African and African-American Studies, led the evening and interviewed both Norwood and Valentine to dig deeper into what life was like in Wichita during the 1980s. Valentine explained that growing up, his entire world existed within a three-block radius, but basketball allowed him to broaden his perspective. He was the star of his team at Wichita Heights High School under Coach Norwood; when Norwood became an assistant at KU, it was a no-brainer for Valentine to follow.

Aside from being an successful athlete, Valentine was also an academic All-American. When faced with any issue, whether it involved school, relationships, or athletics, Coach Norwood asked Valentine, “what is the worst case scenario?” With this as his motivation, Valentine says having a college degree and being prepared to do something other than basketball was always in his mind.

Smith delivers keynote

Later in the evening, Smith gave her keynote address and recalled how she fell in love with sports. Her parents loved a nation that did not always love them back, but they showed an admiration for sports that was contagious. They had the ability to make Smith feel as though the star athletes were part of the family. One day Smith watched The Jackie Robinson Story at school and from then on was hooked. “Jackie mixed grit and grace and a grim determination to sacrifice for the greater good. He hasn’t played in over half a century and yet he still inspires; he still inspires me,” Smith said.

The “lost generation”

Smith laments the era of Michael Jordan as the “lost generation.” Sports were no longer arenas for social and political discussion, and black athletes appeared content simply making money instead of using the voice their notoriety gave them. “People so easily disappeared beyond their gated communities, sold products, and forgot that many of the kids pining to wear their shoes were even hungrier for role models,” Smith said. With the return of politics in sports, Smith notes that there will always be consequences for standing up—or even sitting down—and the media will always ask “why?,” but we should never expect to hear regrets.

All three guest speakers addressed the need for black athletes to represent, and more specifically, to represent the voices other people do not have. Using one’s name and notoriety is a powerful tool, because the world is always watching.

—Brianna Mears

Editor’s note: Brianna Mears is a digital media intern for the KU Alumni Association. She is a fourth-generation Jayhawk and a sophomore in the University Honors Program majoring in strategic communications with a minor in business and African & African-American studies. She is also a member of the Journalism Student Leadership Board, a J-School Ambassador and a member of the Student Alumni Leadership Board.

Read about past symposium events, and watch the fourth annual “Power of Sport” symposium below in its entirety.

WATCH:

 

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“Mr. Trumpet” brings signature sound back to Allen Field House

Posted on Feb 5, 2018 in Alumni News

Jim Doepke, aka “Mr. Trumpet,” returned to Allen Field House Feb. 3 to play the alma mater and national anthem before the KU-Oklahoma State men’s basketball game. It’s Doepke’s sixth time performing before the Jayhawk faithful, but he insists it never gets old—especially when his return coincides with the anniversaries of the 1988 and 2008 NCAA National Championship teams and the basketball program’s 120th anniversary.

“That just adds to the excitement,” says Doepke. “It’s just so cool to be part of that.”

Doepke, d’74, a retired high school band director who lives Florida, arrived in Lawrence on Friday with his son, J.P. Their first stop was Allen Field House, where father and son toured the exhibits and interactive displays in the Booth Family Hall of Athletics. “I’ve never really had time to do that,” Doepke says. “We really enjoyed it.”

Later, with trumpet in hand, Doepke visited the Adams Alumni Center, where he surprised staff with a special performance of the alma mater.

Doepke, who has set a goal to play the national anthem at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, is scheduled to perform Aug. 2 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Aug. 4 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, which will raise his ballpark tally to 19.

—Heather Biele

WATCH:

 

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Save the date for “One Day. One KU.,” the university’s first 24-hour day of giving

Posted on Jan 30, 2018 in Alumni News

One Day. One KU. banner image

What is One Day. One KU.?

On February 20, 2018, alumni and friends from all over the world will come together to support the University of Kansas during KU’s first 24-hour giving campaign, One Day. One KU. This historic fundraising event is the perfect opportunity to show your Jayhawk pride by supporting the KU programs and priorities most meaningful to you.

Why February 20?

On February 20, 1863, Kansas Governor Thomas Carney signed into law a bill locating the University of Kansas in Lawrence. The bill passed the state House of Representatives by just one vote, proving that one person can make a difference! That one vote started a chain of events that, over time, has led to the thriving, multi-campus center for research and learning we are today. While we now have campuses located throughout the state, we are still ONE KU. And together, we can achieve so much!

How can you help?

We already know that one person can make a difference. Our history proves that. Please consider supporting KU on Tuesday, February 20 during One Day. One KU. Your support helps us advance our mission and strengthen our programs.

Jayhawk Career Network

Your generous contribution to the KU Alumni Association during One Day. One KU. will help fund the Jayhawk Career Network, a comprehensive initiative to connect current KU students with alumni, and alumni with one another, in numerous professional fields. The Association has created a new position for a full-time staff member to lead these new programs:

KU Alumni Mentoring, an online mentorship platform

With the support of Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Neeli Bendapudi, the Association has invested in a new digital service to easily connect students and alumni for long-term and one-time mentorships. The platform will support both student-to-alumni mentorships and mentorships among fellow Jayahwk alumni.

The Association is launching KU Alumni Mentoring in collaboration with the KU schools of Architecture & Design, Business, Engineering and Journalism, as well as the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the University Career Center.

Rock Chalk Connect events:

In key metropolitan areas, the Association and alumni volunteers will host programs to unite students with alumni experts in various industries. Successful Kansas City and Chicago events have focused on engineering, media and entrepreneurship, and the Association plans to offer Rock Chalk Connect programs in other communities with large Jayhawk alumni networks: Wichita, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Seattle, the San Francisco/Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Other opportunities:

Opportunities for shadowing, internships and post-graduation employment through direct relationships with KU alumni at corporations and firms in these key metropolitan areas—in coordination and partnership with the University Career Center.

With the ongoing support of Alumni Association members and contributors, the Jayhawk Career Network will help ensure the continued success of KU graduates.

Learn more on the Alumni Association’s One Day. One KU. page.

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