Posted on Dec 13, 2018
in Campus News
At a university brimming with history, the story of a monthly concert in the early 1920s turning into one of KU’s longest-running traditions is filled with twists and turns.
For 94 years, Jayhawks have celebrated the holiday season with Vespers. Enjoy our feature story on the School of Music’s big production.
Posted on Dec 12, 2018
in Campus News
With masses of students milling outside the Adams Alumni Center at 5:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10—15 minutes before Finals Dinner was scheduled to begin—Ally Stanton, director of student programs, opened the doors at 1266 Oread Ave. and welcomed the crowd inside.
“The food was ready,” she said, “so why not?”
Within minutes, students were flashing their cell phones to show their Student Alumni Network membership cards—or downloading the KU Alumni app to activate their memberships—and dashing upstairs to feast on a scrumptious barbecue meal provided by Bigg’s BBQ.
During the two-hour event, students were also treated to 15-minute aromatherapy massages and were invited to visit with therapy dogs John Wayne, Siena and Layla, who were stationed in the lobby, where they shamelessly flopped over for belly rubs. Students also received snack bags provided by HyVee and Jayhawk bag tags, which enable students to receive prizes when worn on campus.
Gwendolyn Sibley, a Garnett junior who’s majoring in English and rhetoric, arrived at the center for the free food but was delighted to discover therapy dogs were on site. “I’m so happy they’re here,” she said. “I’m allergic, but I can pet them for like five minutes.”
The annual tradition continues to grow in popularity, and Stanton, j’10, g’12, estimates that nearly 600 students attended this year’s event. “We host so many events throughout the year, all of which feature free food, but there is something special about Finals Dinner,” she said. “We simply want students to enjoy dinner with other Jayhawks and to be able to take away the planning of one meal during a hectic and oftentimes stressful week. It’s the simplicity of giving students a space to take a breath, recharge and refuel.”
Students are also encouraged to stop by the Adams Alumni Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during finals week for a quiet space to study. Free coffee and a snack bar will be provided by HyVee.
Posted on Dec 4, 2018
in Campus News
Note: If you’re opening this on a mobile device, click on “Listen in browser.” If you click on “Play on Soundcloud,” you’ll be directed to the App Store to download the Soundcloud app. If you already have the Soundcloud app, it will open if you click the orange button.
At every one of the Student Alumni Leadership Board’s (SALB) bi-weekly meetings, students get a chance to hear from alumni, Association staff and prominent members on campus during what they call the “Alumni Corner.” Following each meeting, Brianna Mears, SALB’s VP of Communications, shares one particularly memorable comment through the Student Alumni Network Twitter account. However, that task became more difficult when Interim Provost Lejuez paid a visit. There were just too many.
Lejuez covered everything including his aspirations for KU, advice on taking advice, and of course, budget cuts. An even bigger question on some student’s minds: What’s a Provost? Lejuez answered that one too.
Mears originally recorded the conversation for accuracy, however when it came time to decide which quip to share on social media, she simply chose to use all of it. As Mears put it, “it was not just what he said that evening, but how he said it.” Originally a professor, Lejuez is comfortable speaking and a natural storyteller. Mere highlights of his conversation with SALB would not suffice.
Using the audio, Mears spliced together a podcast that serves as a pseudo-interview. She provides both context and commentary that is bound to connect with alumni and students alike.
Tune in and enjoy!
Posted on Nov 14, 2018
in Campus News
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Nov. 11, 1918, armistice that ended World War I, we are proud to publish a history of the war at KU that has special significance for Kansas Alumni: Evie Masterson Rapport, d’70, g’78, based her 1978 journalism master’s thesis on the war coverage she found in our predecessor publication, The Graduate Magazine. Rapport, a journalism and communications veteran in Kansas City and at KU, next spring will again present an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute course about the University’s vigorous response to the U.S. government’s dire need to prepare an army for battle.
Read more of Rapport’s stories of KU during the Great War.
Watch the video below to see how the students and faculty of KU went into action during World War I with a series of photos from the Spencer Research Library. Read additional coverage in issue No. 6, 2018, of Kansas Alumni magazine.
Posted on Nov 13, 2018
in Campus News
The 2018 KU Vets Day 5K run, hosted by the KU Student Veterans of America and the Veterans Alumni Network, was held Sunday, Nov. 11. The 5K began and ended at Memorial Stadium, traveling through the KU campus past five war memorials.
The race included 451 participants, with 53 virtual runners from 17 states. The overall winner, Jacob Bull, finished in 17 minutes, 49 seconds.
This year’s run commemorated the centennial of the World War I armistice.
All proceeds from the Vets Day 5K support KU Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter, the KU Veterans Alumni Network, and the Lt. Gen. William K. Jones Military-Affiliated Student Center.
A full list of race results is available here. Check out photos from this year’s run below. All photos may be downloaded for personal use.
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Posted on Nov 8, 2018
in Campus News
It may be hard to believe but sometimes the crisp, cool yet sunny season of fall skips the Hill and, simply put, autumn just doesn’t fall onto campus. Many years the blistering Kansas summers turn directly into chilly, breezy winter days and we’re left wondering…”Where was fall?”
Not this year—fall arrived on the Hill with style
A few days of rainfall turned dreary, dull landscapes into brightly beaming yellows, lively greens and olives and fiery reds fit for a crimson (and blue) campus.
It seems as though the leaves turned overnight, and all of a sudden every scene on campus was picture-perfect. We were even given a warm day with blue skies among a cloudy, cool week.
Not only did our photographers spend a few days snapping the warm colors of campus, but we’ve enjoyed sharing the beauty on our Instagram account as well.
“Upon completion in 1950, the Kansas City Star called the Campanile “the finest musical instrument of its kind west of Chicago.”
“A deep impression is left on the alumnus who visits Watson Library. [They] will never forget this place.”
– Graduate Magazine, 1924
“Aren’t we lucky that campus blooms in the spring and then turns around and blooms again in the fall?
What better way to relish in the colors of campus than displaying them on your phone, table or computer?
We’ve added some new fall photos to our mobile wallpapers. Enjoy!
Posted on Nov 1, 2018
in Campus News
The University of Kansas Student Veterans of America and the Veterans Alumni Network will host the Vets Day 5K at 9 a.m. Nov. 11 at the David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The annual event honors our nation’s veterans and highlights the roles service members and veterans play at KU and in our communities.
This year’s run, which weaves through campus and passes the University’s five war memorials, commemorates the centennial of the Great War armistice, Nov. 11, 1918, which ended fighting between the Allies and Germany. Proceeds from the run support KU Veterans of America, the Veterans Alumni Network and the Lt. Gen. William K. Jones Military-Affiliated Student Center. For more information and to register, visit kuvetsday5k.com.
Veterans and community members are also invited to attend the Lawrence Veterans Day Parade, which begins at 11 a.m. on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. An opening ceremony, which includes an interfaith devotional by the Rev. Verdell Taylor, a military flyover and an Echo Taps sounding, will commence at 10:30 a.m. at 7th and Massachusetts streets. KU’s World War II Memorial Carillon will ring in conjunction with the community bell to mark the centennial celebration.
The parade will feature military vehicles, the Blue Knights, the American Legion and Patriot Guard Riders, as well as veterans representing all branches of service and a Gold Star float to honor service members killed in action. Special guests include veteran Eric Walther; Margaret Mahoney, World War II British Ally of the Royal Air Force Bomber Command; and Richard Schiefelbusch, a World War II veteran and distinguished professor emeritus of KU’s department of speech-language-hearing, who will serve as grand marshal. Dr. Schiefelbusch served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a B-24 Liberator navigator and was held as a POW from May 14, 1943 to April 29, 1945. The Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic and the Schiefelbusch Life Span Institute at KU are named in his honor.
All veterans are encouraged to participate in the parade at no charge. For more information and to download an entry form, visit LawrenceVeteransDay.org or call 785-393-9099.
Posted on Oct 19, 2018
in Alumni News
David Johnston, j’94, g’06, vice president for strategic communications and digital media, recalls his experience taking his oldest daughter to Crimson and Blue Day on Oct. 12.
We’ve been talking a lot lately at work about the term “legacy” and what it means. That makes sense when you consider I work for the KU Alumni Association, which hopes to keep alumni connected to KU in ways that inspire so many Jayhawks to give back to their alma mater. You could even say that we’re in the legacy business. Yet when you boil it down to its essence, what is a legacy, really?
Throughout our strategic planning process–with working groups armed with survey data–we sought to define terms like legacy, pride, tradition and connection: the things we value and stand for at the Association. But legacy might be the most nebulous and difficult to define, even for professional communicators and self-proclaimed “word nerds” like myself. I supposed, conceptually at least, a legacy was simply something you leave behind.
Last week I learned what a legacy truly is, and I discovered that I was half-right.
Crimson & Blue Day
Oct. 12 was a big day at KU. More than 1,200 students and families came to the KU Office of Admissions’ Crimson and Blue Day Open House to tour campus and learn about admission requirements and scholarships while soaking in the spirit, pride and tradition of KU. I took my oldest daughter, Sydney, who has grown up in the shadow of Mount Oread, living in Lawrence her entire life. As a potential third-generation Jayhawk, Sydney (and her siblings, Sophie and Austin) fit the definition of a prospective legacy student at KU.
Even a rainy day couldn’t dampen my pride as I got a rare opportunity to see KU through her fresh eyes; Watching her jaw drop in the expansive atrium of Cap Fed Hall. Getting chills while watching the video of Topher Enneking’s spellbinding spoken word ode, Welcome to KU. Seeing her giddy smile when bumping into the KU volleyball players she has idolized (and realizing they are now closer to being her peers). Sydney’s KU visit was both eye-opening and transformative… for me.
I started working at the University of Kansas in January of 2000, and not too long after, our first child was born. During my 18-year career working at KU, I have hoped that I will one day leave it a better place for the next generation. My contributions to KU, I assumed, would surely serve as my legacy, and really, what better place to make a lasting impact than at a place like KU; an institution that can–based on its bold aspirations–educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world.
Should Sydney decide to eventually attend KU, she’ll have the world at her fingertips with opportunities to learn, lead and succeed in ways that any proud dad would hope for his little girl. With any luck, she’ll also be left with the values and life lessons her mom and I have tried to teach her along the way.
It became clear during her visit that she was indeed ready for KU and ready to make her mark on the world. Sending her off to college–and perhaps even dropping her off at KU–will be a difficult challenge saved for another day, but I know that I would feel incredibly proud to leave her at KU. And that’s when it hit me.
Leaving my legacy at KU took on new meaning for me last week. My legacy, I discovered, is not some thing I leave behind. It is someone.
The KU Alumni Association’s Legacy Relations team can help alumni families navigate the KU admissions process by scheduling campus visits, advocating for students who seek scholarships and connecting parents and grandparents to campus contacts in financial aid, housing, etc. Email Joy Maxwell, director of legacy relations, at email@example.com for more information.
Posted on Oct 11, 2018
in Campus News
The University of Kansas Student Involvement & Leadership Center, Student Alumni Network and Center for Community Outreach will host KU’s second annual Trunk or Treat from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Adams Alumni Center parking lot, 1266 Oread Ave. on the Lawrence campus. Admission is free.
The family-friendly event features decorated trunks and candy stations for community members and their children to trick-or-trick in a safe and fun environment. Other activities include pumpkin painting, photos with Baby Jay, games and a contest for Best Halloween Costume. The event is sponsored by Hy-Vee grocery stores, with two locations in Lawrence, and is supported by Kansas Athletics.
Families are encouraged to bring a donation for the KU Fights Hunger food drive, which collects nonperishable food items for Just Food of Douglas County. Items of greatest need include canned protein, beans, whole-grain cereals, pasta and nuts.
For more information, contact Erin Kelly, SILC student engagement graduate assistant, at 785-864-9177 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, contact Keon Stowers, KUAA assistant director of student programs, at 785-864-4795 or email@example.com.
Posted on Oct 4, 2018
in Campus News
The following message was sent to University of Kansas faculty and staff members. Read past messages from Chancellor Douglas A. Girod.
This week, we saw good news that accompanied our annual 20th day enrollment announcement.
Our new class of freshmen has the highest average ACT score and the highest average high school GPA of any class in history. Our six-year graduation rate and freshman retention rate are the highest they’ve ever been.
We also grew our university’s overall headcount for the fifth straight year. The Edwards Campus in particular saw a 12.5 percent student credit hour increase in its academic programs.
All of this is a testament to the good work you do each day to attract, recruit and retain talented students.
These efforts are always ongoing, of course. Next week, we will have a special opportunity to welcome prospective students and families to Lawrence for our annual Crimson & Blue Day.
On Friday, Oct. 12, high school students, transfer students and their families will participate in campus tours, academic sessions, resource fairs and open houses to all the residence halls and scholarship halls and some fraternities and sororities to help them explore KU. More information, including a full schedule of events, is available at admissions.ku.edu/crimsonandblue.
All of us contribute to our recruitment efforts, so I want to thank you in advance for helping to showcase the best parts of being a Jayhawk.
So if you see a prospective student on campus next Friday, stop and say hello — or ask and see if they need directions!
Again, thank you for all that you do to attract great students to our university and to help them develop into the leaders of tomorrow.
Douglas A. Girod
University of Kansas