News Items In Category XCampus News

Jayhawk Impact Awards recognize three student leaders

Posted on Apr 23, 2019 in Campus News

The Jayhawk Impact Awards recognize students who have made an impact on the University of Kansas campus throughout the school year. The recipients will be recognized at the Jayhawk Impact Awards ceremony April 23. The event is hosted by KU’s Student Involvement & Leadership Center.

Caitlyn Howard

As president of the Unity Hip Hop dance crew, Caitlyn creates community among fellow students with a shared passion of hip hop culture. Caitlyn has continued Unity’s strong tradition, founded in 1995, and has led them into new opportunities like training sessions with visiting artist Amirah Sackett.

Humberto Gomez Salinas

Humberto’s extensive work within the international student community at KU helps shape the experience of more than 2,000 Jayhawks who come to Lawrence from all over the world. He serves as an International Undergraduate Student Senator and a resident assistant in Downs Hall. Both roles allow Humberto to create space for students to feel welcome and engaged with the campus community.

Jordan Young

When Jordan arrived at KU, he wanted to create a space for students that he couldn’t find. With assistance from faculty, Jordan created The Connect, a space for students to come together, eat and hang out. Student organizations come to The Connect to offer their services, academic resources are also available at the event. Jordan’s creation continues to grow and welcome more Jayhawks each month, just as Jordan set out to do.

Jayhawk Impact Awards logo

The Jayhawk Impact Awards program is sponsored by Hy-Vee of Lawrence.

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Remembering The Crossing on the anniversary of its demolition

Posted on Apr 19, 2019 in Campus News

Hawks Crossing

This weekend marks the anniversary of an event that many Jayhawks would rather forget. The Crossing, a campus icon, was demolished in 2008 to make way for the Oread Hotel.

The building opened in 1923 as Rock Chalk Café. It served as a lunch haven for students and catered to soldiers during World War II. Through the years, it became a go-to spot for students to spend an afternoon relaxing on the porch or playing darts inside. And if a student was hungry, Yello Sub and the Glass Onion were right next door.

Andrea Graham and her college boyfriend, Brandon, were big fans of the bar during their time at KU in the early 2000s. “My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, threw me a surprise 22nd birthday party at the Crossing,” says Andrea, j’02. “We loved that place!”

After a new owner took over in 2006, the bar stayed open until the teardown date arrived. The nine-story hotel complex opened in 2010.

In total, the bar was open for 85 years at 12th Street and Oread Avenue. The bar’s name fluctuated as owners changed in the 70s and 80s. Monikers for the dive bar included New Haven, Catfish Bar ‘N Grill, and Rock Chalk Bar. It became known only as The Crossing in 1988.

If you want to take a real trip down memory lane, check out the aptly-named “I drank at the Crossing in Lawrence Kansas in the 80s” Facebook group.

Do you have some memories or stories from hanging out at the Crossing that you’d like to share? Send them our way at

—Ryan Camenzind

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Memorial Stadium memories: A conversation with Howard Graham

Posted on Apr 12, 2019 in Campus News

Memorial Stadium Football

As David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium approaches its 100th year, one researcher has set out to find untold stories of the historic building.

Howard Graham, g’09, spends his days in the Office of First Year Experience as associate director of academic programs. He’s also a doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

Graham’s dissertation has him deep diving into the history of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. More than just memories from football games, Graham is looking for the experiences students, alumni, and fans have all shared in the building.

“I want to make sure we have living memories,” said Graham. “I want living stories for future researchers, for students, faculty and staff to be able to go into the archives and read your stories, and to best understand how Memorial Stadium has been a part of this community.”

Conversation with Howard Graham

David Johnston, vice president for strategic communications and digital media at the KU Alumni Association, sat down with Howard Graham to discuss the history of the nearly 100-year-old center of campus.

Part one includes discussions on the commonality of Memorial Stadium experiences, and Johnston, j’94, g’06, shared his own Memorial Stadium memories from attending the Kansas Relays as a boy, which led to him competing for the KU track and field team.

(If listening on a mobile device, click “Listen in browser.” If you already have the SoundCloud app installed, or want to install it, click “Play on SoundCloud.” 

Part two’s topics include the first walk down the Hill for Commencement, the annual Traditions Night to welcome freshmen, and how the game of football has changed from its violent beginnings.

Alumni are invited to share their memories of Memorial Stadium, whether they include football games, track meets, traditions night, commencement, or any kind of gathering in the historic stadium set at the foot of the Hill.

If you have a Memorial Stadium experience you’d like to share, email your stories to Howard at

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Jayhawk artist brings Watson Library to life

Posted on Apr 12, 2019 in Campus News

Mike Savage Watson Library

One of KU’s most beloved artists is partnering with the University again.

Mike Savage’s latest work is historic Watson Library, which alumni can buy a print or ornaments of as a fundraiser for KU Libraries. The art is available for purchase through Savage’s website and is available through April 20.

Savage, f’80, is a longtime supporter of all things KU, often donating paintings for auction at the Alumni Association’s Rock Chalk Ball.


For more on Mike Savage, read a profile by Chris Lazzarino from Issue 3, 2012, of Kansas Alumni.

Savage colors his world with flair and passion

Now long established as one of Kansas City’s iconic painters, Mike Savage says it was a KU photography class that provided his pivotal insight. As Professor Pok-Chi Lau examined a selection of Savage’s images, he first praised—“I really like what you’re doing”—then added the comment that has since made all the difference: “But get rid of your ego.”

“That was a turning point in my life,” Savage says in his airy, book-lined studio above the garage behind his Westwood home. “He thought I wasn’t delving in far enough. I was trying to make it look good instead of doing what was coming out of me. You’re good at what you do; believe in that. Go find out. Make mistakes.”

Savage, f ’80, has been ridding himself of artistic ego ever since. He describes himself as a contemporary Impressionist, but that’s as far as he’ll go in attaching himself to the slightest scent of a high-minded, difficult artist. (“ARTSY-FARTSY” is a 20-point word in the novelty Scrabble blocks arranged near his desk.)

Savage’s work is accessible both literally and figuratively. His colorful acrylic-on-canvas paintings are prized by collectors and displayed across Kansas City, including his own gallery, Sav-Art, and yet he donates original works for numerous causes (his KU images have become a Rock Chalk Ball tradition) and he accepts commission work, even if the commission ends up being zero and the subjects are beloved pets or the four children of a woman whom a buddy hoped to marry.

“I’m a happy-go-lucky guy about the art,” he says. “I don’t have any angst about it. I like the beauty of painting.”

Savage embraces technology—he has 58,000 songs in iTunes and music is his constant companion while working—and, after photographing his paintings, he generates prints from a high-end digital printer; when galleries call in their orders, he not only makes the prints, but he’ll often deliver them, too.

“It’s kind of magic stuff,” Dave Seal, owner of Framewoods Gallery in downtown Lawrence, says of Savage’s KU prints, “and it’s affordable. Yes, he’s contemporary and Impressionistic, but he makes it a little more modern, and local.”

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KU Mini College returns to campus this summer

Posted on Mar 28, 2019 in Alumni News

KU Mini College

KU Mini College, the popular educational program that brings alumni and other lifelong learners back to Mount Oread each year, will be June 3-5 at Spooner Hall. Mini College is open to all alumni as well as adults with no KU affiliation, and there is a modest charge of $30 to participate.

The program was created in 2009 by Jessica Proctor Beeson, c’05, who then worked in the dean’s office for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, as a brief summer retreat for alumni and community members to take classes on the Lawrence campus. After budget cuts forced the University to withdraw support of Mini College in 2016, several alumni volunteers stepped in to keep the tradition alive.

“KU Mini College has been an important part of enriching my life over the last 11 years,” says Meg Buckley, c’97, a longtime participant from Portland, Oregon, who helps organize the event. “I have the chance to not only reconnect with campus and soak in Kansas sunshine in June, but I get to relive the thrill of a liberal arts experience.”

This summer’s courses span a wide range of topics taught by University faculty, staff and alumni from several campus units, including the School of Journalism, the School of Engineering, KU Libraries and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Other activities include tours of the bird and fish collections at the KU Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, led by collection managers Mark Robbins and Andy Bentley, and a discussion of the University’s 2019 Common Book.

For more information and to register for the event, visit

—Heather Biele

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Spencer’s lively exhibition of alumni art explores ‘The Power of Place’

Posted on Mar 22, 2019 in Alumni News

Kansas Alumni, issue No. 2, 2019 | The Power of PlaceSpencer Museum of Art’s featured spring exhibition, which runs through June 30, radiates throughout the sparkling central court and first-floor galleries, offering visitors an eclectic array of styles, techniques and ideas, all exploring the topic of place.

As is to be expected with the Spencer’s original exhibitions, “The Power of Place” is both challenging and rewarding, yet also offers plenty of opportunity to pause and ponder the people and places that shape us as Jayhawks and Kansans.

Read more on the alumni artists behind “The Power of Place” exhibition.

Watch the video below to hear the artists discuss the inspirations for their work featured in the Spencer Museum of Art. Read additional coverage in issue No. 2, 2019, of Kansas Alumni magazine.


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Call for honorary degree nominations

Posted on Mar 4, 2019 in Campus News

Strong Hall | honorary degree nomination

The Chancellor’s Committee on Honorary Degrees invites alumni and friends to nominate individuals of notable intellectual, scholarly, professional or creative achievement, or service to humanity, to be awarded an honorary degree from the University of Kansas.

An honorary degree is the highest honor bestowed by the university and as such is a reflection of KU’s mission, aspirations and values.

Past honorary degree recipients include notable leaders such as Nobel Peace Prize winner and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Google Earth creator Brian McClendon, novelist Sara Paretsky, and Ford chief executive officer Alan Mulally.

To nominate an outstanding individual for an honorary degree, or to learn about past recipients, visit KU’s honorary degrees website.

Nominations should be submitted electronically by April 1, 2019.

Additional details

Faculty, staff, students, alumni or friends of KU may nominate a candidate.

All nominations are confidential, and no announcement will be made concerning individuals nominated.

Previously nominated individuals must be re-nominated to be considered for the 2020 awards.

KU bestows honorary degrees in accordance with the Kansas Board of Regents policy on degrees.

Questions may be addressed to:

Committee on Honorary Degrees
Chancellor’s Office, 230 Strong Hall
University of Kansas


Rock Chalk Revue celebrates 70 years

Posted on Feb 28, 2019 in Campus News

On the 70th anniversary of the University’s student-run variety show for a cause, the KU Alumni Association presents the past and present of Rock Chalk Revue.

Variety shows on KU’s campus trace back to “College Daze,” a revue sponsored by the student union introduced after World War II.

In 1949, Roy Wonder, b’50, wanted a campus variety show with higher student participation.

Check out our online feature to learn more about the storied history of Rock Chalk Revue, one of the nation’s largest student-run philanthropy events. The event has raised more than $1 million for community non-profit organizations throughout its history.



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Film & Media Studies professor takes Oscar for co-writing ‘BlacKkKlansman’

Posted on Feb 25, 2019 in Campus News

Kevin Willmott (image courtesy of KU)

After months of Oscar buzz, Kevin Willmott’s work on “BlacKkKlansman” was lauded with an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay Feb. 24.

Willmott, a University of Kansas film & media studies professor, co-wrote the screenplay for the 2018 film about Ron Stallworth, the first black police officer in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Stallworth wrote a 2014 memoir about how he infiltrated a cell of the virulently white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.

Willmott collaborated on the screenplay with Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz. The film has been gathering accolades, from the Grand Prix prize at the Cannes Film Festival to a BAFTA award for best adapted screenplay.

Read more on Kevin Willmott’s accomplishment at

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Second 24-hour giving campaign for KU raises more than $1M

Posted on Feb 21, 2019 in Campus News

One Day. One KU. 2019
One gift at a time, friends and alumni of the University of Kansas added to the success of the second annual One Day. One KU., donating $1,084,062 with 2,635 gifts in 24 hours to support the university.

The Feb. 20 day of giving topped last year’s totals: 1,898 gifts that raised $734,621 in donations.

“Donors believe in the work being done at KU to enrich students’ lives, serve Kansas communities and enhance the university’s status among the nation’s leading research institutions,” Chancellor Douglas A. Girod said. “KU is truly grateful for the generosity of friends and alumni during the One Day. One KU. campaign.”

Before the giving day, donors established matching and challenge gifts to help spur donations from every facet of the KU community during the 24-hour period.

Each match or challenge had its own special purpose or meaning, such as one from the School of Engineering. In fiscal year 2018, the School of Engineering awarded 723 undergraduate and graduate degrees and 32 doctoral degrees. Dean Arvin Agah offered to contribute $723 if One Day. One KU. garnered 32 gifts to the School of Engineering — a challenge that was met successfully.

“It’s extremely gratifying that we surpassed last year’s impressive results in terms of the total amount contributed and the number of gifts,” said Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment. “Jayhawks came together on this day to show the importance of supporting our great university. Every dollar counted in making the second One Day. One KU. a huge success.”

Gifts came in all sizes and with layers of meaning. Parents gave gifts to honor their children, and alumni made donations to honor and memorialize professors who made a difference in their lives. KU followers on Instagram voted on photos of KU supporters; winner Donovan Miller, a drummer, gave his $250 prize to the KU Jazz Studies Program. “They have done so much for me, so that’s where I’d like to send my donation,” Miller said on Instagram.

The first gift came from William Conlin of Santa Barbara, California. “Aside from the fact that my grandparents both were born in Kansas, I believe education is universal. It was my great honor to support KU as it continues to engage and inspire young minds,” Conlin said.

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.