News Items In Category XNews

Jayhawks connect at Kyou Networking Day

Posted on Aug 8, 2019 in Career/Life

Houston Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

More than 300 Jayhawks at 22 different events came together Aug. 1 over coffee, at happy hours or online to network and make new connections for Kyou Networking Day.

One of those connections came from San Antonio, where 30 Jayhawks attended a happy hour. “We had a woman who had recently moved to San Antonio and was looking for a job in the education field,” said network leader Morgan Bertram, d’02. “She was able to connect with a principal of a local school who was able to help her in finding some teaching openings.”

Here’s a look at a few more of the many events that alumni organized for Kyou Networking Day.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

“Out of 11 attendees, four of them were from Hugoton, Kansas. Small town, small world!” -Network leader Julie Andrews, d’81


Houston Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect
Twelve Houston Jayhawks made the trip to Holman Draft Hall for a happy hour, including three attendees who had moved to Houston in the last six months.

North Denver

Jayhawks connect

“We had a great Denver Kyou Networking Day breakfast this morning. There were seven KU alumni in attendance, two returning from a previous breakfast event. And Chris won the award for furthest drive, joining us in north Denver from over an hour away!” – Network volunteer Alisha Templeton, c’01


Chicago Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

Fifteen KU alumni spent their Thursday afternoon together, including a large group of recent graduates.

If you enjoyed your network’s event, or want to see one happen in your own city, visit our volunteer resource page. To learn more about how KU can help you find a career connection of their own, visit the Jayhawk Career Network.

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Jayhawks in the News | July 19

Posted on Jul 19, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at


Endangered language | Globe Miami Times

Dr. Willem de Reuse, g’83, a linguist employed by The Language Conservancy, is part of an effort to save the Western Apache language. de Reuse has studied the Apache for 25 years and is the author of A Practical Grammar of the San Carlos Apache Language.
Read full article.


Serious distance runners can’t stay away from Flagstaff, lure of high altitude | Arizona Daily Independent

Courtney Barnes, a former collegiate runner at the University of Kansas, is one of the newest employees of Run Flagstaff, a specialty running store located downtown on Historic Route 66. Barnes, c’18, c’18, moved to Flagstaff last year and is training for the USA National Championship in Des Moines, Iowa.
Read full article.


Former Jayhawk Perry Ellis inks with professional club in Japan |

Perry Ellis has agreed to join the Osaka Evessa club in Japan for the upcoming season. Ellis,’16, has spent his professional career playing in the NBA’s G League as well as overseas in Australia, Italy, Germany and Turkey.
Read full article.


YWCA Greater Pittsburgh finds new chief executive in Texas | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Janine Woods was named chief executive of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh effective July 8. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, a master’s from Webster University in St. Louis, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.
Read full article.


Camcorp names new president | Feed & Grain

Camcorp, a manufacturer of high-performing air pollution control and pneumatic conveying equipment, named Tony Thill as its new president effective July 1, 2019. Thill earned an undergraduate degree in business in 1989 from the University of Kansas.
Read full article.


Walker School names new communications and marketing director | Marietta Daily Journal

The Walker School has named Karen Park, j’16, as its new director of communications and marketing. Park has worked at The Detroit Free Press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and most recently at InterContinental Hotels Group.
Read full article.


Expert in advance care planning named Director of Regenstrief’s Center for Aging Research | BioSpace

Susan Hickman, Ph.D., has been selected to lead the Indiana University Center for Aging Research at the Regenstrief Institute. She will be the second director in the center’s history. Dr. Hickman, g’95 PhD’98, is a clinical geropsychologist focused on optimizing the quality of life for older adults through improved decision-making and communication about treatment preferences.
Read full article.


Akron Children’s Hospital names chief ambulatory officer, 2 VPs | Becker’s Hospital Review

Akron (Ohio) Children’s Hospital has appointed Matthew Groninger as vice president of medical and surgical subspecialties. Groninger, g’04, most recently served as vice president of ambulatory services at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. He earned his master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.
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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Thank you for supporting Hawks & Highways

Posted on Jul 19, 2019 in News

Hawks & Highways | 2019 Hawks & highways
Thanks to the more than 800 alumni, friends and University partners who participated in the 2019 Hawks & Highways events! The ongoing series supports Chancellor Douglas Girod’s priority to strengthen KU’s statewide outreach.

The KU Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics coordinated this year’s events, which featured the chancellor, athletics director Jeff Long, head football coach Les Miles and leaders from KU Endowment, KU Admissions, KU School of Medicine-Wichita, the Spencer Museum of Art, the KU Medical Center Alumni Association, the schools of Journalism and Social Welfare and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

We’re grateful to Alumni Association members and donors and Williams Education Fund donors whose support is critical to this program. Together we will continue to bring the best of KU to communities throughout Kansas.

Rock Chalk!

Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09

See pictures from the Hawks & Highways events in the slideshow below, or click here to view or download them from Flickr.

Hawks & Highways 2019

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Jayhawks in the News | July 12

Posted on Jul 12, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at


Jersey Mike’s SVP of leadership, coaching and culture presents strategies for improving work culture and personal development in new book | KITV4

With over 40 years of leadership and coaching experience, author Keith Hertling, the senior vice president of leadership, coaching and culture for Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, knows how to create and maintain a great work culture. In his new book “Life Lessons on Leadership, Coaching and Culture,” Hertling, g’86, shares his inspiring stories which also double as a resourceful guide for both business owners, managers, and employees.
Read full article.


Vice chancellor for public affairs named facilitator for the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission | University Daily Kansan

Reggie Robinson, vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas, has been named facilitator for the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission, Governor Laura Kelly announced Tuesday. Robinson previously served as director of the School of Public Affairs and Administration. He also received both his undergraduate and graduate law degrees from the University.
Read full article.


KU Libraries announces 2019 Research Sprints participants | University of Kansas

Melissa Peterson, g’11, was selected to participate in the 2019 Research Sprints. Peterson’s research project, “Kansas Homesteading: It’s More Interesting and Complicated Than You Would Expect,” focused on the daily experiences of Kansas homesteaders, the history of indigenous peoples’ dispossession and the expansion of the nation-state.
Read full article.


Multi-brand insurance company names CFO to bolster strategic financial operations |

Susan Wollenberg has been selected to serve as Chief Financial Officer for Windhaven® Insurance and The Hearth Insurance Group™, Jimmy E. Whited, CEO of the Florida-based companies, announced today. Wollenberg, b’85, began her career as a Certified Public Accountant at Deloitte and Touché.
Read full article.


Who’s Who 2019: Gary Komar | Chicago Agent Magazine

Gary Komar, c’92, is a vice president of residential lending at Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. and is based out of their downtown Chicago branch. In addition to his home market of Illinois, he is licensed to originate mortgages in California, Texas, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
Read full article.


Who’s Who 2019: Josh Denlow | Chicago Agent Magazine

As the leader of The Denlow Mortgage Team at Draper & Kramer Mortgage Corp., Josh Denlow, c’95, serves a diverse range of clients across Chicago, Evanston and the surrounding suburbs. He began his professional life in the telecommunications industry before the dot-com crash inspired him to seek a new direction.
Read full article.


Arbor Investments promotes Schoenfelder to VP | Food Business News

Josh Schoenfelder has been promoted to vice president of Arbor Investments, a private equity firm focused on the food and beverage industries. Schoenfelder, b’09, joined Arbor in 2014 and since 2016 was a senior associate.
Read full article.


Jake Silverman joins Strategic Capitol Consulting | The Missouri Times

Political consultant Jake Silverman is the newest addition to Strategic Capitol Consulting, LLC, a government affairs and business development firm. Silverman, c’11, joins the firm as a lobbyist and political strategist.
Read full article.


KU photographers capture campus from every angle | University Daily Kansan

Andy White, c’12, and Meg Kumin, c’99, g’03, the official photographers for the University of Kansas, are responsible for capturing campus life from every perspective. From the top of Fraser to the chaos of Allen Fieldhouse, there are few places Kumin and White haven’t captured.
Read full article.


Tommy Bohler hired as city administrator | Waushara Argus

Tommy Bohler, g’15, was hired as the new city administrator, clerk and treasurer by the Wautoma City Council. He earned a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on city management.
Read full article.


Rutgers Brain Health Institute announces appointments to further autism research | Rutgers News

Brian Greer, g’12, PhD’14, will join Rutgers in late July as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics in RWJMS and as a core member of BHI. He will serve as the assistant director of CSH-RUCARES, overseeing the Severe Behavior Disorders in Children Program.
Read full article.


Medical doctor connects faith and health care through theology degree | Public

Donna Ewy, m’94, holds a total of six degrees. She specializes in geriatrics, long-term care and hospice care, and uses her background in theology to connect her faith with health care.
Read full article.


Former governor staffer launches Congressional campaign | Ottawa Herald

Abbie Hodgson, D-Lawrence, has launched a 2020 campaign for the Kansas Second Congressional District. Hodgson, c’03 g’09 PhD’18, holds three degrees from the University of Kansas and taught in KU’s Communication Studies department for a decade.
Read full article.


Meet new Kansas executive director for Latino affairs Aude Negrete | KSHB

Aude Negrete, c’09, was announced as the state’s new executive director fo rthe Hispanic and Latino America Affairs Commission. The commission helps connect the Latino and Hispanic community with the governor’s office.
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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Jayhawks in the News | July 5

Posted on Jul 5, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at


Copiah-Lincoln Community College announces new leader for Natchez campus | Natchez Democrat

The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Sandra Barnes, Ph.D., of Natchez as the new Vice President of the Natchez Campus during a recent special meeting, school officials said. Barnes, PhD’99, will begin her new role as vice president at Co-Lin, Natchez on July 15.
Read full article.


New United professor brings unique perspective to pastoral theology | Winslow Evans & Crocker, Inc.

Rev. Gary F. Green II, c’09, joined United theological Seminary of the Twin Cities as assistant professor of pastoral theology and social transformation. Green is a Ph.D candidate in pastoral theology at Brite Divinity School. His undergraduate degree is in applied behavior science.
Read full article.


City attorney named VP at Colorado Municipal League | Centennial Citizen

Centennial city attorney Robert “Bob” Widner was elected by the Colorado Municipal League executive board to serve as vice president for 2019-20. Widner is a 1989 graduate of the University of Kansas Law School.
Read full article.


After a career as Marion County’s ‘fixer,’ John Lattimer steps into retirement | Statesman Journal

After 51 years of public service – including positions in Oregon such as Legislative Fiscal Officer, State Auditor and Chief Information Officer – John Lattimer, g’72, retired as chief administrative officer for Marion County in Oregon.
Read full article.


Rick Wiedemann named next Tuthill Transfer Systems president | Pumps & Systems

Effective August 1, 2019, Rick Wiedemann will become President at Tuthill Transfer Systems. Wiedemann, g’08, has been with Tuthill since 2015 when he joined Tuthill Vacuum & Blower Systems in Springfield, Missouri as Director of Global Business Development & Americas Sales.
Read full article.


Preston James IV shared how he impacts the lives of students | Rolling Out

Preston James IV, the executive director and founder of the Other Side of Sports organization, shares what attracted him to the legal profession and how he impacts the lives of students. James, l’00, g’00, is also the sports management program director at LaGrange College.
Read full article.


Senior-level hires and promotions in South Florida | Miami Herald

Tiffany M. Hurwitz is a new partner at Siegfried, Rivera, Hyman, Lerner, De La Torre, Mars & Sobel, P.A., based in the firm’s Coral Gables office. Hurwitz, j’00, focuses on construction law and heads the firm’s contract drafting department. She joined the firm in 2006.
Read full article.


Dr. Maureen Weber joins staff at Wright Memorial Hospital |

Wright Memorial Hospital welcomed hospitalist, Maureen Weber, MD, to the medical team. Prior to joining Wright Memorial, Dr. Weber earned her medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, KS. She was a Chief Resident in the Research Family Medicine Residency Program in Kansas City, MO.
Read full article.


Eastern Michigan University appoints dean of the Honors College and assistant vice president for academic affairs | Education Dive

Brian Pappas, a professor of law and public policy and administration with extensive experience in conflict management and resolution, has been named assistant vice president for academic affairs. Pappas earned a doctorate in public administration at the University of Kansas.
Read full article.


Columbus’ Partners Dance Studio moves to new location, offers more classes | Columbus Journal

Sabrina Castillo begins teaching at Partners Dance Studio this fall. She recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in business, including a minor in dance.
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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Jayhawks in the News | June 28

Posted on Jun 28, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at


Public opinion on wrongful convictions swayed by entertainment series, study finds | University of Kansas

A new study suggests entertainment programs about cases of wrongful conviction actually change public opinion more effectively than facts or statistics. Kevin Mullinix, assistant professor of political science at the University of Kansas, co-wrote an article titled “Framing Innocence: An Experimental Test of the Effects of Wrongful Convictions on Public Opinion.” Mullinix is an expert in public opinion and public policy and earned his master’s degree at KU in 2011.
Read full article.


Meet Dr. Brenda Walker, interim associate dean of the College of Education | University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Dr. Brenda L. Walker began her tenure as the Interim Associate Dean for the College of Education at USF St. Petersburg on June 3, 2019. She has spent the past 28 years at the USF Tampa campus, where she advanced through the ranks from Assistant Professor to full Professor. Walker earned a doctorate degree from the University of Kansas in 1992.
Read full article.


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, announces new appointments and curatorial promotions | Art Daily

Christopher Atkins, c’92, has been named as the inaugural Van Otterloo-Weatherbie Director of the Center for Netherlandish Art (CNA), an innovative center for scholarship on Dutch and Flemish art of the early modern period at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He comes to the MFA from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Read full article.


Horsley elected to INACSL board | The Brookings Register

Leann Horsley, assistant dean for South Dakota State University’s College of Nursing, was recently elected to the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning’s board of directors as vice president for programs. She earned a doctorate from the University of Kansas.
Read full article.


Dr. Shaw’s career spans 4 decades, numerous AAP leadership roles | AAP Publications

Since joining the AAP in 1985, Pamela Shaw has dreamed of becoming president. She took a significant step closer to that goal when she accepted the nomination as a candidate for president-elect. Shaw, c’82, m’86, is a professor of pediatrics at KU Medical Center and assistant dean for clinical sciences and associate vice chancellor for student services.
Read full article.


Ayesha Mehdi chosen for leadership program with national health care law association | Nevada Business

Las Vegas health care attorney Ayesha Mehdi of Frontier Health Law has been selected for the Leadership Development Program of the American Health Lawyers Association’s (AHLA) Fraud and Abuse Practice Group, starting July 1. Mehdi, l’10, g’10, and her physician husband spent five years in Kansas before moving to Las Vegas.
Read full article.


KSU president named among most influential Atlantans | PublicNow

Kennesaw State University President Pamela Whitten was named this month to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Power 100, a list compiling the most influential and important leaders across metro Atlanta. Whitten holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Tulane University.
Read full article.


Proper Title LLC promotes Wheatland, hires Gore | Daily Herald

Stacy Gore has joined Proper Title after a 10-year tenure as a real estate broker focusing on Chicago’s Gold Coast and surrounding neighborhoods. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a background in high net worth management.
Read full article.


Unconditional love meets unbearable conditions in ‘Chasing Gods’ | University of Kansas

“Chasing Gods” opens July 12 under the direction of Markus Potter, co-artistic director of Kansas Repertory Theatre. DeAngelo Davis, c’19, has a role in the production, along with current KU students Gabrielle Smith and Jané Franklin.
Read full article.


Three new district court judges appointed to the 17th Judicial District | Broomfield Enterprise

Patrick H. Pugh, l’05, was appointed to the 17th Judicial District Court in Colorado. Pugh is Of Counsel at Ballard Spahr LLP, a position he has held since 2007.
Read full article.


New chief judge appointed for 21st Judicial District | Kansas Courts News Release

Hon. Grant Bannister, l’97, has been appointed chief judge of the 21st Judicial District by the Kansas Supreme Court. Bannister will serve in the role, which covers Clay and Riley counties, through the end of the year.
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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Alumni Association renews partnership with Best Western Plus West Lawrence hotel

Posted on Jun 26, 2019 in News

Jayhawk trailer
For the second consecutive year, Best Western Plus West Lawrence, one of six hotel properties in the Wichita-based Hospitality Development of America portfolio, has partnered with the University of Kansas Alumni Association. The hotel, which opened in fall 2018, is adjacent to the Rock Chalk Park complex in west Lawrence and will serve as a presenting sponsor and exclusive hotel partner of KU’s 107th Homecoming, Oct. 19-26.

Best Western Plus West LawrenceBest Western Plus West Lawrence logo also will support the Student Alumni Network and the Alumni Association’s legacy student recruitment receptions for students and parents when they visit campus this year. In addition, the hotel will provide silent auction donations for two of the Association’s largest annual fundraising events, the Rock Chalk Ball in Kansas City and the Jayhawk Roundup in Wichita, and will offer Association members an exclusive discount on hotel stays.

“Homecoming is one of KU’s greatest traditions for students and alumni, and we’re thrilled to receive support from Best Western Plus West Lawrence to make this year’s celebration the best in years,” said Heath Peterson, KU Alumni Association president. “Thanks to this partnership, the Alumni Association also will continue to provide a host of programs and services for Jayhawks on the Hill and beyond.”

“As a proud KU alumnus, I fully understand the value of working with the KU Alumni Association to showcase our Lawrence hotel property to alumni, donors, parents and fans. The Association provides creative avenues to market our hotel with our investment going directly to supporting alumni and student programs. We are excited for Best Western Plus West Lawrence to be Jayhawks’ ‘home’ when they are in town to celebrate the great tradition of KU Homecoming,” said Steve Martens, c’75, CEO of The Martens Companies and its hotel development and management subsidiaries. Martens also is a Life Member of the Alumni Association and a Presidents Club donor.

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University of Kansas Medical Center names Akinlolu Ojo Executive Dean of the KU School of Medicine

Posted on Jun 25, 2019 in Campus News

Akinlolu O. Ojo, M.D., executive dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine
The University of Kansas Medical Center has named Akinlolu O. Ojo, M.D., executive dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, where he will oversee the Kansas City, Salina and Wichita campuses for the School of Medicine, effective August 26, 2019.

“We are pleased that Dr. Akinlolu Ojo will join us to lead the three campuses that make up the KU School of Medicine,” said Robert D. Simari, M.D., executive vice chancellor for the University of Kansas Medical Center. “Dr. Ojo’s diverse and rich background and experience in clinical care and research made him the ideal candidate to lead our medical school.”

Ojo is currently associate vice president for clinical research and global health initiatives and professor of medicine and health promotion sciences for the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Board certified in nephrology, he also serves as an attending physician at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson and has clinical interests in chronic kidney disease, health disparities and kidney transplantation.

A national leader in research with more than $95 million in current grant funding and more than $200 million in total federal research grant awards during his career, Ojo is a member of the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Panel on Urologic and Gastrointestinal Devices and has been elected into the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians and the American Clinical and Climatological Association.

His primary research interests are in the clinical epidemiology and clinical and translational research in chronic kidney disease and kidney transplantation; minority health and health disparities; and global health. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

“It a great privilege to serve as the next executive dean of the 15th-largest allopathic medical school in the nation and the only one in Kansas,” Ojo said. “I look forward to joining hands with the entire KU Medical Center community to advance the important missions of the KU School of Medicine. I am confident that our concerted efforts and focused collaboration with numerous stakeholders will accelerate discoveries in precision medicine and population health that will improve the health and well-being of the people of the great state of Kansas.”

Ojo earned his medical degree from the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria. He also earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he rose to the rank of full professor in the Department of Medicine. He also was inaugurated as the Florence E. Bingham Research Professor in Nephrology, becoming the first African American to be granted a named endowed professorship at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Ojo has held leadership roles on major national programmatic initiatives, including a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded program that has financially supported donation-related expenses for nearly 10,000 live organ donors and was recently highlighted by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar.

After medical school, Ojo served as a postdoctoral fellow in public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama, and continued his training at the University of Kentucky Hospitals in Lexington, Kentucky, where he completed an internship and residency, and he also served as chief resident for internal medicine. He completed his education at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, where he served as a clinical fellow and research fellow in nephrology.

Ojo will replace Simari, who was named executive vice chancellor in July 2017 and has continued to serve as executive dean while a national search took place.


Woodland reminisces about KU after U.S. Open victory

Posted on Jun 21, 2019 in Alumni News

Gary Woodland wins U.S. Open
Ross Randall, the coach and mentor who recruited Gary Woodland to the KU men’s golf team after Woodland spent a year playing basketball at Washburn University, was “always to the point. There was no sugarcoating it, at all,” Woodland recalls.

Coach Randall, who passed away two years ago, wasn’t the only KU coach with a straight-talking reputation, and Woodland says he was especially glad to have closed out his first major-tournament victory, Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, so he wouldn’t catch heat when exchanging post-tournament text messages with his pal Bill Self.

“You talk about not sugarcoating anything,” Woodland, c’07, said with a laugh Thursday while driving to his home course in Palm Beach County, Florida, for his first practice session since a three-stroke victory over Brooks Koepka. “Coach has been hard on me at times when I haven’t finished, so I was glad to finish this time so he had nothing bad to say to me. He couldn’t get on me like he does some of his guys.”

Woodland, a Topeka native who now lives with his wife and son in South Florida while also maintaining a home in Lawrence, told Kansas Alumni magazine that he’s eager to return to Kansas and celebrate with family, friends and fans, and he promises he’ll bring along the gorgeous U.S. Open trophy when he does.

That’s down the road. For now, it’s back to work. Woodland entered the U.S. Open No. 9 on the PGA money list and exited at No. 4. He also vaulted from No. 12 in Presidents Cup standings to No. 7; the top eight automatically qualify for the U.S. team in the biennial match between the best American and international (minus Europe) golfers.

The Presidents Cup, this year set for December in Australia, has long been a goal for Woodland, as has the even more prestigious Ryder Cup, which features spirited matches between American and European stars. The next Ryder Cup is Sept. 25-27, 2020, in Wisconsin.

“I’ve always believed in myself, but it’s hard sometimes to get other people to buy in without results,” Woodland said. “I think I’ve proven that I’ve become a more complete player and I belong on the bigger stage. I have to continue to get better and continue to go out and prove myself, but I think I’ve proven that I belong.”

Among other highlights from Kansas Alumni’s conversation with Woodland: He again emphasized the joy he felt in sharing the spotlight with his young friend Amy Bockerstette—a Special Olympics golfer who had her own star turn on NBC’s “Today” show, during which Woodland surprised her with his unannounced visit—and bringing attention to Folds of Honor, an organization founded by retired fighter pilot Maj. Dan Rooney, c’96, g’97, that delivers scholarships to family members of fallen members of the U.S. armed forces.

“I’ve been a huge part of Folds of Honor since 2009, when Major Dan, a fellow Jayhawk, got me to buy in. Men and women who go sacrifice for us to be free and to follow our dreams while they go sacrifice everything, it’s pretty special and it’s an honor to give back.”

Woodland also revealed that he’s spent the past year and a half working on his putting game with his new coach, Pete Cowen. They started retooling his full swing in December, and only recently Cowen also convinced Woodland to change his preshot routine.

“I’ve had the same routine—I’m a creature of habit—since I was in college,” Woodland said. “He changed it all about a month ago and it’s really been clicking for me.”

Told that his inspirational U.S. Open victory had convinced many of his fellow KU basketball fans to now make time to follow him on the PGA Tour, Woodland, who keeps a Jayhawk emblem on his tour bag, affirmed his devotion to the crimson and blue.

“Obviously I’ve been a fan my whole life,” he said, “but I’ve matured, I grew up, I became a man at the University of Kansas, and I’ll never forget that.”

—Chris Lazzarino

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