News Items In Category XAlumni News

Charlotte Jayhawks welcome Devonte’ Graham home

Posted on Jun 22, 2018 in Alumni News

Devonte' Graham at KU Basketball Senior Night
A Special Welcome

Devonte' Graham at the meet and greetWhen the Charlotte Hornets announced a meet-and-greet for their newly drafted player Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte Jayhawks were there to welcome him to their city.

“I’m a native Charlottean and was six when the Hornets started. I’ve been waiting a long time for my hometown team to pick one of our guys,” said Rebecca Ferry, d’05. Ferry leads the local alumni network.

The meet-and-greet was extra special for Kelly Hunter and her son Luke. When the Hornets heard Luke was celebrating his 11th birthday, they pulled a few strings and sold him the store’s first Devonte’ Graham jersey.

The story gets even better: This wasn’t the first time Luke had met Devonte’. Luke and his mother ran into Graham two years ago while they were on campus.

On Luke’s 9th birthday.

“Devonte’ said he remembered meeting him,” said Kelly. “Luke thinks the Hornets drafting Devonte’ is the best birthday present ever.”

—Ryan Camenzind

Read more about the 2018 NBA Draft, which saw former KU basketball players Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk drafted in the second round.

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Jayhawks in the News | June 22

Posted on Jun 22, 2018 in Alumni News

KU campus graphics | | 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


Former KU golfer Chris Thompson is having his best year as a pro … at age 41 | Kansas City Star

After 19 years of trying to make it as a professional golfer, grinding away on every mini-tour imaginable without a breakthrough, Chris Thompson is within striking distance of the PGA Tour promotion he’s been chasing since he graduated from Kansas in 1999.
Read full article.


Mason and friends entertain at charity softball game | University Daily Kansan

A slew of former Jayhawks, Wildcats, and even a Blue Devil, took to T-Bones Stadium in Kansas City, Kansas in front of about 1,500 fans to benefit Children’s Mercy Kansas City and the National Youth Foundation.
Read full article.


Former KU guard Elijah Johnson taking his new ‘Too Strong Tour’ across Kansas |

Elijah Johnson’s barnstorming concept began with the idea of visiting towns around Kansas that are far enough away from Lawrence that it makes getting to Allen Fieldhouse to catch a game in person somewhat difficult.
Read full article.


Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at, 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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Campus icon ‘Tan Man’ to celebrate 75th birthday, and you’re all invited

Posted on Jun 20, 2018 in Alumni News

John Schneider, more commonly known as the "Tan Man" at the University of Kansas
Wescoe Beach has been a central hub for KU students for decades, where students study, chat and chill between classes.

Thousands of students have spent time soaking up the sun in front of Wescoe. But KU students from the late 1960s through the 1980s remember one particular man’s legacy of relaxing on the beach.

John Schneider, more commonly known as  “Tan Man,” spent the better part of three decades as a campus icon, sharing his charm and kindness with Jayhawks.

Alumni track down legend

John Schneider, more commonly known as the Celeste Gruhin, ’79, and her fiancé, Marc Jasperson,  b’78, were reminiscing about their times at KU when their memories of Tan Man came up. After some digging, the pair got in contact with him and met in Rose Hill, where he now lives. Schneider showed them his scrapbook of photos from KU, and Gruhin and Jasperson knew they wanted to help more alumni celebrate his role in KU and Lawrence lore.

Gruhin organized a get-together to celebrate Schneider’s 75th birthday. She created a Facebook event to help get the word out.

“The response has been crazy,” Gruhin said. “We’re hoping to keep the momentum going and make it a memorable event.”

The birthday party is set for 4-7 p.m. June 23 at Johnny’s Tavern in North Lawrence. The event is open to the public. Those who attend are invited to contribute photos of  “Tan Man” to be added to a scrapbook.

-Ryan Camenzind

Can’t make it to the party? Email your pictures and memories of Tan Man to us at, and we’ll be sure to pass them along so they can be included in the scrapbook! For more about Tan Man, check out the Lawrence Journal-World’s article from 2006. Watch for more coverage of the birthday celebration in the next issue of Kansas Alumni magazine.


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Hawks & Highways brings campus leaders to Kansas communities

Posted on Jun 15, 2018 in Alumni News

Hawks and Highways

Hawks & Highways is in full swing.

This is the first year of an effort to reach Jayhawks throughout Kansas by bringing the best of KU to their hometowns. The tour has visited Leavenworth, McPherson, Hays, Manhattan, Garden City and Pittsburg and has featured several KU guests, including athletic directors and coaches, campus administrators and Alumni Association staff.

Heath Peterson at Hawks & Highways | hawks highways

“More than 150,000 KU graduates and former students live in Kansas,” says Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, Alumni Association president. “It’s a priority for us to connect with these Jayhawks in their communities to show our appreciation for their dedication and support.”

Speakers at the events shared sentiments of a positive trajectory for the University. Peterson reminded the crowd that total enrollment has grown for the fifth straight year. Matt Baty, d’07, senior associate athletics director, praised the relationship between Kansas Athletics and the Alumni Association, calling it “one of the best in the entire country.”

Future stops include the annual KU Alumni Invitational at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, along with a Salina event Monday, June 25. Chancellor Doug Girod and Head Basketball Coach Bill Self will headline an impressive group of Jayhawk leaders.

Hawks & Highways photo gallery:

these DIY volume boosters

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It’s easy to follow along with Hawks & Highways! Follow us on Instagram for stories from the events, or follow us on Twitter for updates. The Williams Education Fund Twitter account also provides information about Hawks & Highways.

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Jayhawks in the News | June 15

Posted on Jun 15, 2018 in Alumni News

KU campus graphics | | 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


McLemore erupts for 52 points in Roundball Classic, dreams of duplication in NBA game | Kansas City Star

Ben McLemore and a host of other former KU basketball players returned to Lawrence June 14 for the tenth annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic. The event raises money for families battling cancer. Brian Hanni, the Voice of the Jayhawks, founded the event.
Read full article.


Three chief judges | KU Law Blog

First, they were KU Law students, then they were Assistant United States Attorneys, then they were judges. Today, some 28 years after they first started working together as litigators for the Department of Justice, they are all now chief judges of their respective courts.
Read full article.


Former KU attendee Kate Spade remembered as vibrant and colorful, like her creations | University Daily Kansan

Fashion designer Kate Spade died by suicide in her New York City apartment June 5. She was 55. Spade attended the University of Kansas before transferring to Arizona State University. She graduated with a degree in journalism in 1985.
Read full article.


Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at, 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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Bawk Chalk: Alumni construct creative hen house for their brood

Posted on Jun 11, 2018 in Alumni News

Alhen Field House chicken coop by Jarrod and Kate Neely Williams

Pay feed all who enter

What started as a means to pass time between NCAA tournament games turned into much more for Jarrod, f’95, g’03, and Kate Neely Williams, ’97, who this spring masterminded the construction of Alhen Field House, a wildly creative chicken coop built in the likeness of KU’s legendary basketball arena.

The Maryland transplants, who moved to Grimesland, North Carolina, last year after retiring from the U.S. Naval Academy Band, hatched a plan for the hen house while discussing permanent lodging for the family’s 15 baby chicks, which include Devonte’ GrayHen, Bawk Vaughn, Chick Collison, Scot Pullet and Greg Roostertag.

“They can’t stay in the brood house forever,” Jarrod recalls telling his wife. “Why don’t we put them in Allen Field House?”

Alhen Field House

The Williamses, who were members of the KU basketball band, relied on memory and details they found online to construct the 10-by-14-foot structure, which features the field house’s signature red roof, limestone-hued walls, abundant rows of windows and large 3-D block letters that spell out “Alhen Field House.”

“We were just going to do the outside, but we thought how plain the inside looked,” says Jarrod, who embellished the coop’s interior with hand-painted championship and final four banners, as well as a Bawk Chalk scoreboard—complete with a blowout KU win over Mizzou—and the retired jerseys of Jayhawk greats. He even recreated the antique Longines clock that hangs on Allen Field House’s west wall.

“The 172-95 score is our all-time record against Mizzou,” says Kate. “We didn’t just make it up out of thin air, or it would have been even more lopsided.”

Jarrod insists there are no ruffled feathers in his ‘hood, despite the fact that nearly everyone is a Tar Heel or Blue Devil. “I’m really making friends in my new neighborhood,” he jokes.

—Heather Biele


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Photos courtesy of Jarrod Williams

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2018 KU Alumni Survey

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 in Alumni News

2018 KU Alumni Survey

Coming in June to KU alumni

Your opinions are vital to the KU Alumni Association and our efforts to strengthen KU. The Association last asked for alumni feedback in a 2013 survey, which identified critical areas of need. Those responses guided the Association’s investments in alumni and student programs, including creation of the Jayhawk Career Network, and helped set additional priorities.

We need your help

We need your help again. In June 2018, KU alumni, parents and friends will receive an email invitation with a personalized link to our comprehensive 2018 KU Alumni Survey. The survey should take 15-20 minutes to complete. To thank you for your participation, all respondents will receive a promo code for 25% off their purchase at the KU Bookstores, in stores and online, and be entered to win an Amazon Gift Card worth $100, $250 or $500.

To learn more about the 2018 KU Alumni Survey, click here, and watch your inbox for your personalized link to the take the survey in June.


“Hawks & Highways” events to bring University of Kansas to communities statewide

Posted on May 17, 2018 in Alumni News

Hawks & Highways 2018 | Hawks & Highways release

The University of Kansas Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics are coordinating “Hawks & Highways,” a multi-year effort to host KU events in communities throughout Kansas. The series will begin with eight events in June and will include other schools and departments at KU.

Plans are underway for October events in Dodge City, Great Bend, Liberal and Winfield, as well as the traditional “KU Kickoff” celebrations in August in Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka and Lawrence. Details for all events in the ongoing series can be found at

The initiative supports Chancellor Douglas A. Girod’s goal to continue strengthening outreach throughout the state. “KU’s mission includes building healthy communities throughout Kansas,” said Girod. “Hawks and Highways is a terrific opportunity for us to visit with Kansans and hear their ideas about how the University can better serve the state.”

“More than 150,000 KU graduates and former students live in Kansas,” said Heath Peterson, KU Alumni Association president. “It’s a priority for us to connect with these Jayhawks in their communities to show our appreciation for their dedication and support.”

“We must continue to reach out and engage with our shareholders in their own backyard,” said KU Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger. “Hawks and Highways is a committed effort to join with our campus partners, as we are all one KU.”

Chancellor Girod and KU men’s basketball coach Bill Self are scheduled to attend the KU Alumni Invitational in Hutchinson and a dinner June 25 in Salina. KU football coach David Beaty and Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Reggie Robinson will attend two June 14 events: lunch in Garden City and dinner in Pittsburg.

To make reservations, visit

Hawks and Highways Events

Wednesday, June 6

Lunch in Leavenworth
11:30 a.m., Grinders High Noon Saloon & Brewery, 206 Choctaw St.

Happy Hour in McPherson
5 to 7 p.m., Delish, 204 N. Main St.

Thursday, June 7

Happy Hour and Golf in Hays
10 a.m., Smoky Hill Country Club, 3303 Hall Street
5 to 7 p.m., Golden-Q, 809 Ash St.

Friday, June 8

Lunch in Manhattan
11:30 a.m., Tallgrass Tap House, 320 Poyntz Ave.

Thursday, June 14

Lunch in Garden City with Coach David Beaty and Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Reggie Robinson
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Southwind, 77 Grandview Dr.

Dinner in Pittsburg with Coach David Beaty and Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Reggie Robinson
5 to 7 p.m., Crestwood Country Club, 304 W. Crestview Ave.

Monday, June 25

Dinner in Salina with Chancellor Girod and Coach Bill Self
5 p.m., 638, 638 Francis Ave.

KU Alumni Invitational in Hutchinson with Chancellor Girod and Coach Bill Self
Prairie Dunes Country Club, 4812 E. 30th Ave.

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A walk to remember: Greg and Dorie Dalzell

Posted on May 16, 2018 in Alumni News

Greg and Dorie Dalzell

Competing with Commencement

The walk down the Hill is a cherished tradition for most KU graduates. However, some student-athletes have never known the thrill of walking down the Hill due to competition conflicts. KU baseball players, for instance, are often battling in-state rival K-State as graduates gather on Mount Oread.

Meantime, track and field Jayhawks are typically engaged in the conference championship while classmates are popping champagne in Lawrence. Fortunately, one Jayhawk track family made up for lost time and made the most of their KU Commencement experience.

Crossing the finish line

Greg Dalzell, b’86, followed in his father’s footsteps by running for the KU track team. His father, Art Dalzell, d’55, g’64, helped KU win numerous conference championships and a cross country national title (’53) in addition to earning his two KU degrees. Greg followed suit, contributing to a Big 8 conference indoor title (’83) while pursuing his business degree at KU. Unfortunately, the mid-May timing of the 1986 conference outdoor championship meet cost him his opportunity to participate in KU’s time-honored Commencement tradition of walking down the Hill.

Fast forward to 2018, when Greg’s daughter Dorie–a third-generation Jayhawk track team member–was ready to walk, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make it a family affair. While many of her Jayhawk teammates were still competing in the Big 12 outdoor track & field championships in Waco, Dorie was able to cross a more meaningful finish line with her father by her side.

“Dorie’s time in Lawrence has been a great experience for both of us, and I cannot believe how fast it went,” Greg shared. “Commencement was so much fun. I can’t imagine I would have had a better time 32 years ago.”

A family affair

The Dalzells share a rare distinction of having three generations of KU track & field captains in the family. When Dorie was awarded the honor for the 2017 season, joining her father and grandfather in holding the title of KU track captain, it was one of the highlights of her KU career.

“It was really overwhelming,” she admitted in an interview for KU Athletics’ Rock Chalk Weekly. “I knew my grandpa and dad had both been captains, so I always kind of wanted to be one, but I didn’t want to express it outwardly. To be a captain, and know that I had kept that going in our family, it felt amazing.”

Dorie had planned to be competing with her teammates in Waco on Sunday during Commencement. However, fate intervened, and a graduation celebration that was thought to be put off for a later date suddenly became possible.

“After Dorie’s track career ended prematurely, the Commencement walk was a great way for the two of us to cap off our shared KU experience,” Greg reflected after a memorable weekend. “Neither of us will ever forget walking through the Campanile together.”

–David Johnston

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Commencement 2018 remarks by Kevin Carroll, Chair of the KU Alumni Association

Posted on May 15, 2018 in Alumni News

Kevin Carroll commencement remarks 2018

Kevin Carroll, Chair of the KU Alumni Association, welcomed the class of 2018 to the Alumni Association at Commencement. His remarks were as follows:

I am Kevin Carroll and I am honored to serve as the volunteer Chairman of the Board of the KU Alumni Association. Welcome to the ranks of more than 250,000 proud graduates around the world!

KU is a special place with beauty all around—not just the beauty we see with our eyes, but the beauty we feel in our hearts. As you earned your degree, you have been influenced by countless other Jayhawks who share your passion for KU. Some have been professors or coaches or even roommates you would never have met had you not come to KU.

Many of you have selected mentors to guide you through your student years and beyond—but maybe, others sought you out and asked to mentor you. They saw in you something you did not even see in yourself, and they wanted you to succeed in ways you never imagined. As you leave KU, be one of those people, be a mentor to others. Share the Jayhawk spirit and help others as you have been helped. Share your knowledge and compassion with others. Be a Jayhawk!

Another way to show your school pride is to stay connected.  And, the best way to stay connected with all things KU is through membership to the Alumni Association.  Thanks to the Alumni Association and KU Endowment, I am happy to announce that all members of the Class of 2018 will receive one-year graduation gift memberships in the Alumni Association.

Your membership begins today, and you can download the KU Alumni App to learn about all of your benefits. And, after today’s ceremony, we invite you to stop by the Adams Alumni Center to toast your graduation at our Commencement Open House.

Please make the most of your membership by attending alumni events and watch parties with other successful Jayhawks wherever you are, all around the world.  You also can remain in touch with campus news and fellow Jayhawks through our digital communications, and you can learn more about our Jayhawk Career Network, which will benefit you throughout your life through KU Alumni Mentoring and many other connections. No matter where your journey takes you, you will find Jayhawks to help you feel at home—and we hope you’ll return often to this beautiful campus, your home on the Hill.

Rock Chalk and Congratulations, Class of 2018. Welcome to the KU Alumni Association.

For more about Commencement, read our feature on The Walk, or learn more about the medical researcher who received an honorary degree.

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