News Items In Category XCampus News

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.


KU Alumni Association sets dates for Homecoming 2019

Posted on Feb 12, 2019 in Alumni News

KU Homecoming Parade 2017 | Photo courtesy of Steve Puppe | Homecoming 2019 date
The University of Kansas will celebrate its 107th Homecoming Oct. 19-26, culminating in the KU football game against Texas Tech Oct. 26 in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

The KU Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Leadership Board will coordinate the week of Homecoming activities. Association staff members leading the effort are Ally Stanton, director of student programs, and Keon Stowers, assistant director of student programs. KU’s Homecoming tradition began in 1912.

Homecoming leaders will meet throughout the spring semester to select a theme and finalize the schedule of activities, which will include competitions for student organizations, community service activities, reunions, the Homecoming parade and pep rally, and the selection of 10 student finalists for the Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (Ex.C.E.L.) Awards. The winners will be announced during halftime of the football game Oct. 26.

The Alumni Association will continue to update as information becomes available.

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Chabad rabbi recognized as national Jewish leader

Posted on Feb 12, 2019 in Campus News

Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel | Photo courtesy of The Forward
Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, co-director of the Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Life at KU, says his recent honor of being named to The Forward magazine’s 2018 Forward 50 list—which recognizes “American Jews who have had a profound impact on the American Jewish community or on the national situation”—represents praise for KU as a whole more than it reflects his personal work or Chabad Center outreach.

Rabbi Zalman, as he is known within the Chabad community and across campus, doesn’t know how he was identified for the honor, but he’s glad it came.

“How did they pick it up? I’m not sure,” he says. “I think it’s because of the number of things that happened in the last year that triggered a very strong response, whether it was the kosher kitchen here at KU, whether it was the goodness and kindness campaign, but more than that, I think it’s the fact that it surprises people that in a small town in Kansas, in the middle of America, there’s such vibrant Jewish life.

“People don’t realize how much of a diverse and fascinating community KU really is.”

Working in concert with KU Dining, Rabbi Zalman helped launched dedicated kosher dining, available for the past year at South Dining Commons, a program that he says will expand next fall. In the wake of disturbing mass shootings both in downtown Lawrence and Las Vegas, Chabad created a “Good Card” program that encouraged random acts of kindness, which Chabad followed up with an ark coin-bank program to benefit Lawrencians in need.

Citing 13 years of leadership in Lawrence by Rabbi Zalman and his wife, Nechama, The Forward wrote, “Working from the Rohr Chabad Center, the Tiechtels have done their bit to make KU home to their growing band of Jewhawks.”

Rabbi Zalman praises KU’s diverse student body, as well as leadership decisions that have helped create a welcoming campus within a Midwestern public university where outsiders might not initially expect to find such a hospitable community.

“It’s a big statement. It says a lot about KU, to have been recognized at such a level in the global Jewish community,” he says. “It says a lot about how open and how diverse and how embracing KU as an institution is. This is what this makes us so special: all of the beautiful, different, colorful expressions that we have in this community.

“That’s why everyone loves KU, because of its very unique family spirit.”

—Chris Lazzarino

Image courtesy of The Forward magazine and used with permission

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Homegrown Healing

Posted on Jan 25, 2019 in Campus News

“Access to health care is critical for us all, no matter where we live,” said Chancellor Doug Girod. “This will become even more important as our state’s population continues to age in the coming years, further increasing demand. With many of the counties in our state remaining medically underserved, KU has a distinctive responsibility to help fill that need.”

Read about how medical and nursing programs in Salina are creating more health care providers for rural Kansas communities.

Watch the video below to see how faculty and staff at the Salina Health Education Center are educating the next generation of physicians and nurses. Read additional coverage in issue No. 1, 2019, of Kansas Alumni magazine.


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Looking ahead to a new semester

Posted on Jan 22, 2019 in Campus News

Strong Hall | Spring 2019 messageThe Office of the Chancellor at the University of Kansas released this message from Chancellor Douglas A. Girod on Tuesday, Jan. 22, the first day of spring 2019 classes. 

Welcome back to campus, Jayhawks. I want to wish you well as we begin a new year and return from a holiday break that hopefully provided an opportunity to rest and recharge. The new academic term also provides us with a chance to examine what lies ahead.

Before we begin, I want to take a moment to encourage our community to participate in upcoming celebrations of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Though the official holiday was yesterday, we have announced a number of opportunities to recognize Dr. King’s legacy in the week ahead, beginning with a march along Jayhawk Boulevard today. These community events, and others throughout the semester, provide an opportunity not just to honor Dr. King, but also to reflect on our university’s important focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We should seek to remember his words and actions far beyond this week, as we concentrate on our efforts to make our university a welcoming place for all.

Last week, the Kansas Legislature began a new session with new Governor Laura Kelly’s first State of the State address and the release of her budget recommendations for the next year. Governor Kelly has proposed an additional $8.9 million for public higher education. This amounts to an additional $2.8 million for the University of Kansas – including $1.5 million for Lawrence and $1.3 million for KU Medical Center. She has also proposed a 2.5 percent state employee pay increase plan that includes university employees. We appreciate Governor Kelly’s support for additional higher education funding in her budget proposal, and we look forward to working with her and the Kansas Legislature to continue on the funding restoration path. State funding for KU has declined $28 million since 2008, and the governor’s proposal constitutes a step in the right direction to ensure KU can continue to meet the needs of Kansans and drive prosperity in our state.

Of course, private donations make up an important part of our annual budget too, with capital grants and gifts comprising about 9 percent of our overall funds received each year. This year, we will build on last year’s successful One Day. One KU. 24-hour giving campaign, which raised more than $734,000 for KU. Look for more information soon on the second annual event, scheduled for Feb. 20.

Also this spring, our students will join those from 32 other schools in the Association of American Universities to participate in a national survey on sexual assault and misconduct. This confidential survey is expected to be among the largest of its kind, and I encourage all of us to highlight its importance among our students once the survey launches in a few weeks.

As our semester begins, I also want to take a moment to thank Carl Lejuez, interim provost and vice chancellor, and many others across the Lawrence campus for their continued work to implement a new budget model. I have paid close attention to this effort, and it has my full support. Moving forward, this new model will prioritize our people and programs while allowing for more strategic financial planning. As that work continues, I am confident that it will improve our fiscal decision-making and strengthen our university.

Thank you all for your continued efforts to elevate our university and, more broadly, our society. As always, I look forward to what we will accomplish together.


Douglas A. Girod
University of Kansas

Read past messages from Chancellor Girod.


Annual SAN Finals Dinner a smashing success

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.

—Heather Biele

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