News Items In Category XNews

KU student, professor’s tight-knit connection leads to award

Posted on Oct 10, 2019 in Campus News

Hailey Solomon

Since 1959, KU seniors have chosen a professor to receive the H.O.P.E. Award to Honor an Outstanding Progressive Educator. The award, established by the Class of 1959 and given each year through the Board of Class Officers, is the only teaching honor bestowed by the senior class.

Hailey Solomon, a senior from Oswego, nominated her civil engineering professor, Matt O’Reilly. When he was selected as a finalist, Solomon attended the Oct. 5 KU-OU football game to support her mentor. Uninterested in the game itself, Solomon brought her crocheting and presumed her presence had gone unnoticed.

Four million Twitter and Facebook views later, she had become a social media sensation.

“It was incredibly surprising to go to exactly one football game in my entire college career and leave it as a meme, but I’m thankful for the experience,” Solomon says. “If a 30-second video of me contentedly crocheting brings people joy, then I’m joyful too!”

O’Reilly, an associate professor, is one of the few people Solomon would attend a game for. She credits his guidance as an adviser during freshman orientation as the reason she had the confidence to pursue engineering. An excerpt from her nomination form shows O’Reilly’s investment in his students, even before they are in his classroom.

“You can absolutely be successful in engineering because engineering, like everything, is so much more than it appears,” O’Reilly told Solomon. “It’s not just math and science; it’s writing, communication, teamwork, design, and so much more. You can’t judge yourself based on what you’re not, otherwise you’ll never accomplish anything. You have to make decisions based on what you’re good at and get help with the rest.”

Standing on the field during the award presentation, O’Reilly presumed one of his fellow finalists already received word he or she had won, so when “Dr. O’Reilly” blared over the loudspeaker as the winner, it took a second to sink in. Then he jumped with surprise.

“Most of my students call me Dr. Matt, so it took me a bit longer to respond to ‘O’Reilly’ and realize ‘he’ was me,” he says. “Nothing like jumping in shock when you’re on the Jumbotron.”

O’Reilly’s care for his students led to the H.O.P.E. Award. He fills his lectures with humor, makes video tutorials for difficult lab procedures, and grades every assignment, including exams, the day they are turned in. His open-door policy extends beyond office hours: He has been known to drive to campus on a Saturday to help a student understand a topic that was better explained in person.

“I know my students like and appreciate what I do, and that’s always been a source of happiness for me,” O’Reilly says. “I couldn’t imagine having a better career than teaching.”

His style derives from his own favorite teachers, student feedback, and trial and error. He constantly adjusts to best suit the needs of his students.

“The common thread was always putting students first and treating them with respect, and I strive to always hold myself to that,” he says.

As for Solomon, her crocheting is more than a hobby. She co-founded Warm the World, a student organization that makes warm clothes and blankets to donate to local homeless shelters and soup kitchens. The group meets every other Wednesday in the Union and is open to all students, regardless of skill level.

Solomon’s 15 minutes of fame made for a fun weekend, but the real story continues a cherished 60-year KU tradition: Matt O’Reilly’s teaching has earned him a place among the professors enshrined on the H.O.P.E Award plaque in the Kansas Union.

—Brianna Mears

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KU Chancellor Douglas Girod to serve as grand marshal for Homecoming parade

Posted on Oct 9, 2019 in Campus News

Chancellor Girod with Baby Jay on a motorcycle in front of Strong Hall | Grand Marshal
The 18th chancellor of the University of Kansas will be the grand marshal of the KU Homecoming Parade at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. The theme for the University’s 107th Homecoming is “Far Above the Golden Valley.”

Since beginning his tenure as chancellor in July 2017, Girod has focused on making KU a top destination for students and scholars by improving the student experience, strengthening KU’s outreach to the state and expanding University research. Under his leadership, student recruitment and success rates are at an all-time high, and the University launched Kansas Team Health, an innovative model of medical care and wellness for KU student-athletes.

A head-and-neck surgeon, Girod first joined the KU Medical Center faculty in 1994 and became chair of the otolaryngology department in 2002 before assuming the role of executive vice chancellor in 2013. He also served in the United States Navy Reserve from 1982 to 1997, retiring as lieutenant commander.

The parade is part of a weeklong celebration that begins Saturday, Oct. 19, and includes several student and alumni activities, including competitions, reunions and tailgates, all of which lead up to the KU-Texas Tech football game Saturday, Oct. 26, in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. This year’s event is sponsored by Best Western Plus West Lawrence; Crown Toyota, Volkswagen; and the KU Bookstore.

A complete schedule of Homecoming week activities can be found here.

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A record year for student success

Posted on Oct 2, 2019 in Campus News

Strong Hall

KU Chancellor Douglas A. Girod sent the following message to University of Kansas faculty and staff members Wednesday, October 2.


I am writing to share good news regarding our annual 20th day enrollment data — and to thank you for making this news possible.

Earlier today, we announced that the University of Kansas has achieved all-time highs in key metrics related to student recruitment and success. In particular, we set records for our one-year retention rate, four- and six-year graduation rates and entering freshman class GPA, while creating the most diverse student body in university history. Additionally, we have held the line on enrollment this year — we are down just 0.3 percent — as well as for the past seven years despite the national trend of decreasing college enrollments.

This is good news, and we can be proud of our progress related to these institutional priorities. So today, I want to thank you for everything you do to bring talented students to KU and help them succeed.

It’s worth recalling that this progress is no accident. Rather, this progress is the result of your hard work and the strategic choices we’ve made to enhance the way we identify and attract new Jayhawks. Since 2011, we have enhanced our recruitment and enrollment efforts with new renewable scholarships, new admissions standards and a new national/international recruitment model. We’ve made KU more attractive to top students by revamping our curriculum, enhancing our academic offerings and providing experiential learning opportunities. And we’ve worked to support current students and empower them to address challenges both inside and outside the classroom.

I also want to highlight the vital role of private giving in recruiting and retaining top scholars, as well as our alumni, who are the best Jayhawk ambassadors in the world. To our donors and alumni – thank you.

While this year’s record-setting metrics are worthy of celebration, we must not get complacent given the long-term enrollment challenges facing higher education. We must continue to find new ways to recruit and retain top scholars, and we must recognize the reality that it will be harder than ever to do this. Looking ahead, we will have an exciting opportunity to enhance student recruitment and retention through our university strategic planning process, which will begin later this semester. We look forward to this process as a way to strengthen our work as a leading research institution, an engine of economic growth for Kansas and a proud member of the Association of American Universities.

Again, thank you for your role in recruiting new Jayhawks and ensuring they can earn their degree from the University of Kansas.



Douglas A. Girod
University of Kansas


University receives NCAA notice of allegations

Posted on Sep 23, 2019 in Campus News

Strong Hall | Notice of Allegations

The University of Kansas Office of Public Affairs posted the following announcement today. More at:

On Monday, September 23, the University of Kansas received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA enforcement staff regarding alleged violations of NCAA bylaws within the Kansas men’s basketball and football programs. The University has begun its detailed review of the Notice and has been granted access to some of the NCAA evidentiary documents for the first time. Per NCAA bylaws, the University has 90 days to submit a Response to the Notice of Allegations to be considered by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.

The University’s response will fully and comprehensively present its positions regarding the Notice. In the meantime, though, it is already clear from an initial review that the University will fiercely dispute in detail much of what has been presented.

First and foremost, the University emphasizes that it emphatically rejects the assertion that Adidas and Adidas employees and associates were boosters and agents of the University (as defined by NCAA legislation) during the period of the alleged violations and therefore acting on the University’s behalf when they engaged in alleged violations of NCAA bylaws.

As for the allegations regarding Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Self, voluminous evidence demonstrates uncontestably that he did, in fact, promote an atmosphere of compliance and fully monitor his staff. The University firmly and fully supports Coach Self and his staff.

Regarding the self-reported football violations, the University’s monitoring systems worked to identify the issues, and KU self-reported violations to the NCAA related to the conduct of two members of the previous coaching staff. Those involved in the football violations are no longer associated with the University.

The University strongly disagrees with the assertion that it “lacks of institutional control.” In fact, the University believes that the record will demonstrate just the opposite. The University of Kansas takes seriously all NCAA and Big XII bylaws, consistently provides education to its staff members, and monitors its programs to ensure compliance with these bylaws. Additionally, the University has taken several actions to enhance its already strong compliance programs. Chancellor Doug Girod and Director of Athletics Jeff Long also retained an outside compliance expert to review the entire compliance program and provide recommendations, if warranted, about opportunities for improvement in light of the changes in the national landscape around college basketball. The report found that our compliance program meets or exceeds industry standard in all facets. Furthermore, the University proactively established a reporting line from the senior compliance administrator directly to the Chancellor and enhanced the frequency and depth of compliance education programs for student-athletes, staff, parents, donors and local businesses. As a result of these actions, the University’s already strong compliance programs are now even more robust.

We understand this is a unique moment in collegiate athletics, and we recognize the NCAA finds itself in a challenging position. But we don’t believe these allegations are the most appropriate way to address long-standing challenges in college basketball.

The University will continue to cooperate with the NCAA enforcement process and looks forward to submitting its Response to the Notice of Allegations, and we will gladly make that response public when it is submitted.

Chancellor Doug Girod:

“The University of Kansas has high standards of ethical conduct for all of our employees, and we take seriously any conduct that is antithetical to our values and mission. While we will accept responsibility for proven violations of NCAA bylaws, we will not shy away from forcefully pushing back on allegations that the facts simply do not substantiate. We stand firmly behind Coach Self and our men’s basketball program, and we will continue to work diligently to do what is right.”

Director of Athletics Jeff Long:

“Obviously, we are disappointed in the allegations leveled against our men’s basketball program as well as our self-reported violations from the previous football staff. We strongly disagree with the allegations regarding men’s basketball. We fully support Coach Self and his staff, and we will vigorously defend the allegations against him and our University. As for the football violations, we fully met the requirements and our responsibility to the NCAA by self-reporting the violations when our compliance procedures uncovered the issues. I am confident in our process to respond to the allegations and look forward to resolving this matter.”

Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Self:

“By the NCAA’s own admission through its public statements early this summer, it’s no secret that there is tremendous pressure on the NCAA to respond to the federal court proceedings involving college basketball. Compelled to reassure member institutions and the general public that it can police its member institutions, the NCAA enforcement staff has responded in an unnecessarily aggressive manner in submitting today’s unsubstantiated Notice of Allegations, and I, as well as the University, will vigorously dispute what has been alleged.

In its haste and attempt to regain control, the enforcement staff has created a false narrative regarding me and our basketball program. The narrative is based on innuendo, half-truths, misimpressions and mischaracterizations. In reality, we all know there is only one version of the truth. The truth is based on verifiable facts, and I am confident the facts we will demonstrate in our case will expose the inaccuracies of the enforcement staff’s narrative.

I have always taken pride in my commitment to rules compliance and led programs that operate with integrity and within the rules, and I am proud of the success that we have achieved at each program along the way. Every student-athlete who has ever played for me and their families know we follow the rules.

These allegations are serious and damaging to the University and to myself, and I hate that KU has to go through this process. With our staff’s full cooperation, these allegations will be addressed within NCAA procedures and with urgency and resolve. I will strenuously defend myself and the program, but I will respect the process and will not speak to the details of the case.”

Head Football Coach Les Miles:

“I am confident in the University’s process leading to the self-reported violations arising from the previous football staff. Our entire focus is on the current season and the culture that we are building here at KU. The future is bright for Kansas Football.”


Best spot in the lot: Andale senior parks in KU style

Posted on Sep 12, 2019 in News

Andale senior Nick Summers with his KU parking space

At Andale High School, in the small community of Andale in Sedgwick County, one senior pulls straight into Allen Fieldhouse by way of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

A recent and growing tradition, some high schools let their seniors paint their own parking spots, a fun way to show off their interests and art skills. Nick Summers, a senior at Andale High, teamed up with his grandfather to paint a Jayhawk masterpiece.

“I have always been a huge Jayhawk fan,” Summers says. “I go to all the home football games and senior night basketball game every year. Since I love both football and basketball I decided to combine them to make a parking spot.

“It took a lot of work; we used stencils that my grandfather made to get the details so exact. It took a lot of paint and a long time, about two weeks to finish.”

The end result is a sight to see:

KU parking space: football

KU parking space: basketball

So, is the University of Kansas in his future? Perhaps an art degree is in order.

“I plan on going to college after high school,” Summers says. “I have my heart set on Kansas but am exploring other options as well. It’s always been my dream to attend Kansas.”

Until then, he’s enjoying his senior year in style.

“All the teachers and students think it’s awesome, even the K-State fans!”

We love sharing stories of KU fans showing their Jayhawk spirit in unique ways. Send your story with pictures to

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Mr. Trumpet heads for home

Posted on Sep 18, 2019 in Alumni News

Jim Doepke with the Mets mascotJim Doepke, the retired high school band director who 11 years ago launched a bid to play the national anthem in every Major League Baseball park, will wrap up his quest Thursday when he performs “The Star-Spangled Banner” at SunTrust Park in Atlanta before the Braves’ noon game with the Philadelphia Phillies.

“It’s been a great, fun experience,” Doepke, d’74, said Wednesday, as he prepared to board a flight to Atlanta for the 30th and final stop on his Anthem Across America tour. “Once the momentum picked up, it’s been even more enjoyable to put all the pieces together.”

Doepke’s quest started slowly—he convinced only three teams, the Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Rockies—to host his solo trumpet performance from 2008 to 2011. Momentum began to build after baseball leaders like MLB commissioner Bud Selig and Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly got behind him. Doepke played seven ballparks the previous two seasons and 10 this season to finish strong.

“So many people have come on board supporting my efforts,” he says. “I’ve met so many fun, supportive people on the way. It’s just a real good feeling.”

Jim Doepke at CitiFieldBaseball is all about the round trip from home and back again, and there will be some special significance to finishing in Atlanta, Doepke says. He grew up in Milwaukee attending baseball games with his father, Howard, back when the hometown team was the Braves. (The Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966, leaving Milwaukee without a Major League team until the Brewers arrived in 1970.) It was his father’s military service in World War II that inspired Doepke to play the anthem. Howard died in March, at the age of 103. His birthday was Sept. 17.

“It’s nice to be able to cross the finish line in Atlanta, because there’s just some real cool connections there,” Doepke says. “I have some neat feelings about that.”

For more on Mr. Trumpet’s quest, check out Kansas Alumni’s coverage over the years, as well as the USA Today story by William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications alumnus David Dorsey, j’94.

—Steven Hill

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Students, this is for you

Posted on Sep 16, 2019 in Campus News

Strong Hall | Provost message

The following email was sent by Provost Carl Lejuez on Sept. 16 to students, staff and faculty at the University of Kansas. 

A high-quality education has several elements — things like great instruction, experiential learning, original research and scholarship, extracurricular activities, supplemental instruction, leadership opportunities, support services and more. The University of Kansas has a stellar network that empowers students to achieve. One element that is sometimes overshadowed at KU is how we harness the collective knowledge and care of our alumni as part of the student experience. Faculty and staff, who are front and center, are driven to ensure that undergraduate and graduate students have access to programs and are supported at KU. Although less visible, alumni are eager to do their part, too.

As Chancellor Girod has visited with groups across campus, he’s shared a message of strengthening KU to develop students of the future — individuals who are not simply smart and capable, but who are also adaptable life-long learners, able to find fresh opportunities in a rapidly changing world. The Chancellor likes to share the forecast that new graduates will change careers — not jobs — seven times before they retire. As we enter into strategic planning this year, we will all have a chance to focus on KU’s efforts that improve student success and, just as important, improve their success post-graduation. Making the most of our alumni connections is one area of impact that can and is affecting those outcomes right now.

It’s exciting to see the opportunities available to students through the KU Alumni Association’s KU Mentoring program. More than 4,000 alumni currently participate, and they are ready and willing to connect with students to share their career or college advice and experiences. Students can reach out to Jayhawks from all academic backgrounds in a wide range of industries and professions. KU Mentoring is the key benefit of activating a free Student Alumni Network membership.

  • Students can use KU Mentoring to:
  • Ask for resume help
  • Find interview tips
  • Get advice on classes related to your career goals
  • Talk about career advice or get a “day-in-the-life” experience

Yet another program with alumni connections is also helping students prepare for the future. KU alumnus Adam Wray, founder and CEO of AstrumU, is working to help KU students enrich their academic journeys and connect with employers. This fall KU launches AstrumU’s Career Pathways app. It is designed to let students track their skill-building through curricular and co-curricular pursuits — these are the marketable skills prized by employers. Students can learn which skills are most valued by industries and employers, identify gaps in those skills and receive personalized recommendations for skills to develop and experiences to pursue. The app also helps students identify and complete career-preparation activities sought by employers interested in hiring candidates with those skills. University Career Center coaches are ready to help students identify and secure those skill-building opportunities. And employers aligned with AstrumU will be able to coordinate their opportunities and job openings with the Career Center.

All across campus we have talented teams — whether in the professional schools and the College, or in our dedicated academic support units — working to connect students with the many resources that enrich their experience and support their lives. I can’t stress strongly enough how important these efforts are. Now we have additional opportunities to help students connect with and learn from an even broader community of Jayhawks and employers of Jayhawks. Career readiness and agility are some of the important elements that characterize the high-quality education we offer at KU. It’s my hope that every student takes full advantage of all that KU and the Jayhawk nation have to offer.


Carl W. Lejuez
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Students make a splash with ‘Wescoe Rooftop Pool’

Posted on Aug 29, 2019 in Campus News

aerial shot of Wescoe Rooftop Pool rendering

The plaza in front of Wescoe Hall has been lovingly referred to as Wescoe Beach for decades. This year, a group of KU students are making a splash with a proposal to turn the classic building into a real beach party with a rooftop pool.

The concept of the #WescoeRooftopPool began as a humorous crusade on Twitter, which continues to grow with some big names jumping in on the fun, including Athletics Director Jeff Long and former NBA player Scot Pollard, d’97.

“@StudentsofKU had been tweeting about it for a while and made a Photoshop version of it,” says Jordan Yarnell, an architecture senior from Elgin, Illinois. “Someone commented ‘let the architecture students handle this’ so we did. The three of us started to joke about it and then we realized it would be fun and pretty easy to do.”

Yarnell teamed up with fellow architecture students Jordan Vonderbrink, of Eudora, and Aaron Michalicek, of St. Louis, to create the designs. The results are a sight to see:

As fun as it is to dream, it’s worth asking: Could this really happen?

“Short answer is no,” Yarnell says. “We don’t know the structural makeup of Wescoe for what really has to be done. To add 200 thousand gallons of water, another whole floor, a deck, a lot more people, and more concrete, that’s a lot of work.”

Don’t tell Jeff Long, as he appears to be all in. Long has certainly leaned into the joke, teasing the public with promises we don’t exactly expect to come true.

Here’s hoping he dives in and makes it happen. See the rest of the designs for yourself:

poolside bar in Wescoe Rooftop Pool rendering

concert at Wescoe Rooftop Pool rendering

Sidewalk shot of Wescoe Rooftop Pool rendering

—Ryan Camenzind

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KU Alumni Association honors two recipients of Fred Ellsworth Medallion

Posted on Aug 29, 2019 in Alumni News

Fred Ellsworth Medallion | Ellsworth Medallion 2019

The 2019 recipients of the Fred Ellsworth Medallion for extraordinary service to the University of Kansas are Don Brada of Lawrence and Jeff Kennedy of Wichita. The KU Alumni Association will honor them Sept. 5 before the fall meeting of the Association’s national board of directors. Since 1975, the medallions have recognized KU volunteers who have continued the tradition of service established by Ellsworth, a 1922 KU graduate who was the Association’s chief executive for 39 years, retiring in 1963.

Don Brada

Don Brada, c’61, m’65 | Ellsworth Medallion 2019Brada, who grew up in Hutchinson, was the first in his family to attend college. He was involved in student activities, including Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Rock Chalk Revue, and earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in 1961, followed by a doctorate in medicine in 1965. He has remained devoted to KU for more than 50 years. He currently leads the KU School of Medicine Alumni Association as chair, and he is a member of the Jayhawks for Higher Education Steering Committee. He served on the KU Alumni Association’s national Board of Directors from 2012 to 2017.

“The long list of Don’s volunteer roles for KU doesn’t begin to capture his lifetime of service, both as a student and alumnus,” said Heath Peterson, Alumni Association president. “Don is a thoughtful, dedicated and action-oriented Jayhawk. He takes great pride in KU and the many people who have served as stewards of our great institution.”

Brada began his alumni involvement in Puerto Rico as a young physician in the Air Force, hosting an event for Caribbean Jayhawks with his wife, Kay, who also graduated from the College in 1961. He continued to volunteer when he returned to his hometown and established his practice as a psychiatrist. He assisted the Kansas Honors Program (now the Kansas Honor Scholars Program) and student recruitment, and he urged KU’s participation in the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson through the years.

Don and Kay continued their local alumni network service after they moved to Wichita, receiving the 1990 Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award for their years as volunteers. Kay received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 2015. The Bradas are Alumni Association Life Members and Presidents Club donors.

Don also dedicated much of his career to the School of Medicine-Wichita as a longtime volunteer faculty member; he later became a clinical associate professor and associate dean, retiring in 2016. He strongly advocated for the expansion of the Wichita campus medical curriculum from two years to four, and he continues to volunteer as professor emeritus and a mentor to students.

Since the Bradas’ move to Lawrence in 2010, the breadth of their service has expanded. They both served on the KU Campus Master Plan Steering Committee, and Don has advised and supported the Biodiversity Institute, the Hall Center for the Humanities, the Lied Center, the Williams Education Fund for Kansas Athletics, and the Dole Institute of Politics, where he co-founded the Elizabeth Dole Lecture Series.

For KU Endowment, Don is a Chancellors Club Life Member. The Bradas’ philanthropy has benefited numerous areas of the University and the Association.

“Don is such an integral part of the University; KU simply would not be the same without him,” said Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment president.

Jeff Kennedy

Jeff Kennedy, j’8 | Ellsworth Medallion 2019Kennedy, a Pratt native, also is a first-generation college graduate. He followed up his KU journalism degree (including work for the University Daily Kansan and KJHK radio) with a law degree from Washburn University. He began his KU alumni service in Wichita, where he joined the law firm of Martin Pringle Oliver Wallace & Bauer in 1986. He served as the firm’s managing partner from 2002 to 2014.

A stalwart volunteer for the Wichita Network, Kennedy received the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award in 2007 for his local service. He guided the local alumni group as president and served for many years on the board. He also has contributed to the Kansas Honor Scholars Program, recruited prospective students and participates every year in the Jayhawk Roundup, a Wichita tradition since 2003. He and his wife, Patti Gorham, chaired the Roundup in 2013.

Kennedy, an Alumni Association Life Member and Presidents Club donor, was elected to the Association’s national Board of Directors in 2008. He chaired the Strategic Communications, Technology and Records Committee as well as the Executive and the Nominating Committees during his term, and he led the organization as national alumni chair from 2013 to ’14.

An ardent advocate for state funding of higher education, Kennedy is a longtime member of Jayhawks for Higher Education and, since 2014, he has chaired the JHE Steering Committee, working closely with Association staff and the KU Office of Public Affairs to coordinate alumni communications with legislators.

“Jeff is a proven and committed volunteer who cares deeply about all of KU,” said Peterson. “He is passionate about the vital importance of KU and higher education to the future of Kansas, and he has tirelessly and effectively spoken out about the urgent need to restore state support for our universities.”

Kennedy also helped lead the effort to expand the School of Medicine in Wichita to a four-year curriculum as chair of the first 4-Wichita Advancement Board, and he continues to serve on the board’s executive committee.

For KU Endowment, Kennedy is a Chancellors Club and Elizabeth Watkins Society member, supporting many areas of the University, including the Association, Kansas Athletics and the Spencer Museum of Art.

“Jeff has volunteered for KU for more than 30 years,” said Seuferling. “His leadership helped move the School of Medicine-Wichita forward through his effective advocacy and vital connections in the local business community.”

Since 1975, 158 KU alumni and friends have received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion.

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KU’s Student Alumni Network expands Restaurant Partner Program

Posted on Aug 29, 2019 in News

Students at Home Football Friday sponsored by Truity Credit Union | Restaurant Partner Program
Eight Lawrence restaurants will participate in the KU Alumni Association’s Student Alumni Network Restaurant Partner Program, which offers students a variety of food selections for network events and activities throughout the academic year. The restaurants featured in the program are the exclusive provider in each cuisine category.

Returning as partners for the third consecutive year are Bigg’s BBQ (barbecue), Hot Box Cookies (dessert), Jefferson’s Restaurant (burgers and wings), McAlister’s Deli (sandwiches), Papa Keno’s Pizzeria (pizza) and Salty Iguana (Mexican). Hy-Vee supermarkets, with two locations in Lawrence, return for the second consecutive year as the exclusive grocery store partner. New this year is Merchants Pub & Plate, which is the official farm-to-table food provider. Students also will be able to win gift cards and receive discounts, special offers and giveaways from each of the restaurant partners at Student Alumni Network events and through the network’s social media channels.

Since its inception in 2017, the Restaurant Partner Program has helped increase membership in the Student Alumni Network from 1,400 students to nearly 6,000 this year, making it the largest student alumni organization on campus and in the Big 12 Conference. The program is one of many benefits offered to SAN members, along with access to the Jayhawk Career Network, which includes an online mentoring platform and networking events; discounts with local and national businesses; a free mobile app; and other exclusive gifts. Membership in SAN is free for all KU undergraduate and graduate students, thanks to funding provided by the Alumni Association and KU Endowment.

“We are incredibly grateful for the continuous support of our current restaurant partners, and we welcome the addition of Merchants Pub & Plate as our newest food provider,” said Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, Association president. “These partnerships have been invaluable in helping us strengthen our connection with KU students, and we’re excited to expand our range of programs, services and food offerings for Jayhawks this year.”

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