Posted on Feb 27, 2018
in Campus News
Far above the golden valley, the University of Kansas will celebrate its “Home on the Hill” as the theme for the 2018 Homecoming celebration. KU’s 106th Homecoming begins Sunday, Sept. 23rd and culminates in the KU football game against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Sept. 29.
The theme is selected by the KU Alumni Association and the student-led Homecoming Steering Committee. Ally Stanton, director of student programs, and Keon Stowers, assistant director of student programs, will coordinate the week’s events with the five-member committee.
Students on the steering committee include:
Allyson Bellner, a sophomore majoring in Biology
Ashley Dunn, a junior majoring in communication studies
Logan Hotz, a junior majoring in mathematics and economics
Mary Claire McLaughlin, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering and business administration
Rebecca Seldin, a junior majoring in strategic communication
As Homecoming preparations continue, the Alumni Association will post details about specific events at www.homecoming.ku.edu. Jayhawks also can follow the Alumni Association on Facebook and Twitter.
Posted on Feb 21, 2018
in Campus News
During One Day. One KU., the university’s first 24-hour giving campaign, donors gave 1,896 gifts totaling $734,421, creating opportunities for more Jayhawks in the state, the nation and beyond.
The successful One Day. One KU. campaign on Feb. 20 brought alumni, students and friends together to raise funds for schools and units on every campus at the University of Kansas. The campaign recorded an all-time high number of gifts in one day.
“To all who gave, my sincerest appreciation for your gift,” Chancellor Douglas A. Girod said. “Donors support KU because they believe in the work the university does to improve our state and society. Gifts made during One Day. One KU. will help turn ideas into reality for generations of Jayhawks.”
Matching gifts and challenges of more than $230,000 established before Feb. 20 helped spur donations from every corner of the KU community during the 24-hour window.
“One Day. One KU. showcased the power of connection to inspire giving,” said Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment. “The 24-hour campaign gave donors the chance to see how their gifts contributed to a larger total in real time.”
Challenges ranged from hundreds of dollars to $25,000 matching gifts from the medical community in Wichita — and one challenge unlocked $40,000 with 50 gifts for study abroad scholarships.
Gifts came in all sizes and with layers of meaning. A $220 gift signified the importance of Feb. 20. A walk-in donor gave a total of $8,500 to several programs that were meaningful to her. Donors left heartfelt messages on social media throughout the day about how KU made a difference in their lives.
The Alumni Association raised $31,619 from 108 gifts. Contributions will support the Association’s Jayhawk Career Network, a comprehensive initiative to connect current KU students with alumni, and alumni with one another, in numerous professional fields.
KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.
Posted on Feb 21, 2018
in Alumni News
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.
To learn more about the Student Alumni Network and to see upcoming events, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or visit the website.
Posted on Feb 2, 2018
in Campus News
Over a two-day period packed with 10 surgeries at the University of Kansas Health System, five patients received a replacement kidney—thanks to a 10-person kidney donor transplant chain, the longest of its kind in the Kansas City area.
Kidney chains begin when a patient has a willing donor, but blood type or other complications prevent a match. The patient and donor are then listed in a national registry, while the hospital searches for other pairs in similar circumstances to see whether the first pair’s donor has a kidney that matches a different pair’s patient. If so, the two donors give their kidneys to the opposite patient.
Regional milestone for kidney chain
While four-person kidney chains are relatively common, said Dr. Diane Cibrik, professor and medical director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program, “every time you add another person to the chain, it adds more planning. That’s why this region has never seen a 10-person chain before. Now that we have done a 10-patient chain, we feel we can work together to build larger chains, including some chains that go on for years.”
This chain began when a donor who didn’t match with a friend gave his kidney to the hospital for another recipient.
“While our transplant team has the confidence to do what it takes to benefit our patients, none of this would have been possible without the selfless actions of the organ donors,” said Dr. Sean Kumer, associate professor of surgery and vice president of operative services. “It takes that first anonymous donor willing to donate a kidney to someone they don’t know—and may never meet—to get the chain started.”
Amna Ilahe, who directs the hospital’s living donor program, stressed the safety of living donation, thanks to rigorous testing of potential donors. As for the results, “living donation is a simple act that will make a big difference,” she said. “It can change a recipient’s quality and quantity of life.”
To learn more about donation, visit the University of Kansas Health System’s website. Watch the video below to hear from some of the donors, recipients and doctors who made the kidney chain possible.
Posted on Jan 29, 2018
in Campus News
Heath Peterson, president of the KU Alumni Association, presented a check to KU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund at halftime of the Jan. 27 KU men’s basketball game. The check represented a portion of membership dues during KU Cares Month of Service in November. The announcement read at halftime is below. Thank you to everyone who participated in KU Cares Month of Service.
“The KU Alumni Association is proud to share the results of its first KU Cares Month of Service, a new campaign encouraging Jayhawks to give back to their communities. Last November, more than 130 volunteers from 16 alumni networks nationwide donated their time and treasure to help those in need.
In addition, the Association donated $5,500 in membership dues in November to the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to military service members, veterans, primary caregivers and surviving spouses or children who want to attend KU.
Please join us in welcoming Alumni Association President Heath Peterson as he presents a check to KU alumnus and retired Marine Corps colonel Mike Denning, director of KU’s office of graduate military studies and president of the KU Veterans Alumni Network. With Mike is Maria Santiago, a pre-engineering student who served as a Marine in 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California, and her daughter, Ashley. Maria deployed to Iraq in 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom when Ashley was only 9 months old. Maria is one of eight KU students to receive a Wounded Warrior Scholarship for the 2017-’18 academic year.”
Posted on Jan 25, 2018
in Campus News
The newest major addition to the University of Kansas campus connects the department of geology with the School of Engineering, the Central District with the North District, and today’s students with their careers of tomorrow.
The Earth, Energy, & Environment Center, or EEEC, is composed of two new buildings, Slawson Hall and Ritchie Hall. We took a tour of the new buildings to see how a fully integrated building provides new strategies for education. Dr. Robert Goldstein, associate dean for natural sciences and mathematics and special adviser for campus development, led our trip though the new facility.
The tour began in Slawson Hall, with a large atrium at the corner of Hoch Auditoria and Naismith. Visitors are greeted with the sight of a 45-foot-long sea monster—the Tylosaurus fossil replica—a mosasaur that lived where Kansas is today.
“Wherever there’s a little spot, a little niche available, we put in carpet and comfy chairs for students and faculty to use. We want to make sure students hang out and study here.”
“This is the core layout room. We store our samples of rock core from the subsurface here. We use the tables with skate wheels to move boxes of rocks around to study them under white lights and UV lights.”
“This is the engaged learning classroom. 18 80″ monitors, two big screens, whiteboards all the way around. 18 tables, each with their own ELMO video presenter and microphones. It promotes engaged learning where the students are busy working on projects, and the professor’s podium is in the middle of the room, not the end of the room. They’re the coach, just circulating around helping students.”
“Check out the pattern on the side of the building. It’s limestone at the bottom, terra cotta above. We went with different types of terra cotta panels to give it a more dynamic appearance. Rather than a random patchwork of panels, we decided on taking the geologic cross-section of Kansas, right down to Mount Oread, and use that as the inspiration of the patterns by superimposing it on the side of the building.”
“It’s truly interdisciplinary, it’s at that intersection of earth, energy, and environment. We’ve got engineers and scientists under the same roof. We have paleontologists studying particles of organic matter trapped in 3 billion year old rocks, with an environmentalist studying contaminated ground water next door.”
“We just opened, and students are immediately finding these comfortable places… You’ll find faculty members sitting and grading papers here instead of in their offices because it’s so nice.”
“Having a lot of light that comes in helps visibility everywhere. We get natural light both in the hallways, and in the labs and offices. We added transparency, so if you’re standing in the hallway, you can see into the labs and they can see you, and that’s designed to promote interaction. That’s what a modern building can do for you.”
For an expanded look at our tour, check out our Flickr album. More coverage, including videos, of the Earth, Energy and Environment Center is available here.
Posted on Jan 24, 2018
in Campus News
Snow fell on Mount Oread a few times this winter, and our staff members hustled to the Hill to capture a few photos.
Watch our slideshow below:
Posted on Jan 23, 2018
in Alumni News
Club hockey returns, better than ever
Driven by their love for the game, a group of dedicated sports club athletes is leading a hockey resurgence at KU.
Yo juego hockey.
When his Spanish teacher asked students to introduce themselves to a classmate, Andy McConnell turned to an unknown guy seated nearby and said, en español, “I play hockey.”
When he arrived at KU, McConnell immediately sought out the men’s ice hockey club team. What he found here was not good. There were no prospects for the sport’s return, until McConnell heard his classmate’s reply:
Yo juego hockey.
McConnell closed out his playing career two years ago and has since volunteered his time as the club’s head coach.
Find out how KU’s ice hockey club team was reborn in Chris Lazzarino’s cover story for issue no. 1, 2018, of Kansas Alumni magazine.
For more information about the award-winning Kansas Alumni magazine, click here.
Posted on Jan 22, 2018
in Campus News
As students make their way around the Kansas Union this semester, those who stop by The Market for lunch are in for a fresh surprise.
“Union Square,” the third-floor seating area outside The Market, underwent a major renovation over winter break. It offers students a new space to study, relax, or meet while grabbing a bite to eat.
“We had 6,000 square feet of space, with a beautiful campus view, that was only utilized over the lunch hour,” said Lisa Kring, director of building & event services. “We entered design with the goal of providing a student space that offered an experience, not just a place to inhale a quick lunch.”
New tables and chairs in a variety of shapes and sizes fill the area, including lounge seating, rocking chairs and eight study pods in a quiet corner.
Televisions line the walls of the space, with some available for students to connect their own devices. A 24-by 6-feet video wall of TV panels shows the latest in news, sports and entertainment.
For more news and updates about KU Dining, click here.
Posted on Jan 19, 2018
in Campus News
Looking for leadership opportunities on campus?
We’ve got a few options for students who are interested in getting involved in some of the best organizations on campus.
Student Alumni Leadership Board (SALB)
SALB members are the official student representatives of the KU Alumni Association. As a board member, students interact with some of the best student leaders, campus officials, and alumni. SALB members serve as campus ambassadors and help organize events.
Learn more about SALB and the Student Alumni Network.
Homecoming Steering Committee
Ten students are selected each year to plan and organize campus Homecoming events. This year’s Homecoming celebration takes place Sept. 23-29.
Volunteer opportunities include planning and organizing events, overseeing the annual parade, coordinating Homecoming awards and communications.
Learn more about Homecoming.
Applications for both SALB and Homecoming Steering Committee are due by noon on Monday, Jan. 22. Email Ally Stanton, director of student programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.