News Items In Category XNews

Woodland wins U.S. Open

Posted on Jun 17, 2019 in Alumni News

Gary Woodland wins U.S. Open

Photo Courtesy USGA

KU alumni in professional sports reached a new height Sunday evening as Gary Woodland, c’07, won the 119th U.S. Open to become the first Jayhawk to claim a major golf championship.

Woodland played golf at KU from 2004-2007, after starting his college career at Washburn, where he played basketball.

“I went to Washburn to play basketball and I always believed if basketball didn’t work out then I had golf to fall back on,” said Woodland at a post-tournament press conference. “In our first game we played Kansas, they were ranked No. 1 in Division I. I was guarding Kirk Hinrich and I was like, ‘Okay I need to find something else because this isn’t going to work.'”

A native of Topeka, Kansas, Woodland is a Jayhawk through and through. See for yourself:

Read more on Woodland’s historic victory at Pebble Beach.

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Jayhawks in the News | June 14

Posted on Jun 14, 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


Rusted oil cans you’ll want to drink out of and other ceramic delights | Missoulian

Mitchell Span, a ceramic artist from Des Moines, Iowa, is participating in the Radius Gallery’s Ceramics Invitational show. He forages vintage labels from the Internet or books and catalogs to find these labels for his functional mugs, flasks and shot glasses. In graduate school at the University of Kansas, he spent several months developing his process through slip-casting, a molding process with liquid clay.
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LEAD1 Association Announces Institute Scholarship Winners | The Punxsutawney Spirit

The LEAD1 Association today announced the recipients of the minority scholarship award for the 2019 LEAD1 Institute. Mike Harrity, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kansas, is one of the recipients. Harrity serves as a Senior Associate Athletics Director at the University of Notre Dame where he leads the areas that directly impact the student-athlete experience. He formerly worked for Kansas Athletics.
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Lisa Marie Thalhammer launches ‘Spirit of Stonewall’ mural | Lesbian News

Lisa Marie Thalhammer painted a brand new mural commemorating the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Stonewall riots that launched the LGBTQ rights movement. The mural, entitled “Spirit of Stonewall,” is located outside the Aqua Bar and Nightclub in Key West. Thalhammer received a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in painting with a double minor in women’s studies and art history from the University of Kansas.
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John Colombo to become interim dean of CLAS | University Daily Kansan

John Colombo, director of the Life Span Institute, has worn many hats over his 37 years at the University of Kansas. Now, he’s preparing to start a one-year term as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences July 1.
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Tenet Board appoints Chris Lynch as new independent director | University Daily Kansan

Tenet Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: THC) today announced the appointment of Christopher S. Lynch to its Board of Directors. Lynch’s appointment will become effective August 7, 2019. He received a bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Kansas.
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KU selects former faculty member, alumnus to serve as pharmacy school dean | Lawrence Journal-World

The University of Kansas selected a former faculty member and university alumnus to lead its School of Pharmacy. Ronald Ragan, who served in several positions at KU from 1997 to 2012, will return to the university on Aug. 1 to become the new dean of the school. Ragan received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from KU.
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On the Move: Leslie Doyle | Diverse Education

Leslie Doyle has been named chief inclusion officer at Rockhurst University. Previously, she was director of service, diversity and social justice at Fontbonne University. Doyle earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University, a master’s degree from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree from Fontbonne University and an Ed.D. from Maryville University.
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Former student makes living playing Fortnite | University Daily Kansan

Amidst the pressure of earning a college degree, a former University of Kansas business student turned his gaming skills into a full-time paying job. Jack Schneider decided to break off from the traditional route of college and prioritize his passion in “Fortnite Battle Royale” competitive gaming.
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Ready to Rock | The Daily Sentinel

One year after a second-place finish in the Pioneer League, the Grand Junction Rockies are ready to take the field in 2019. For one new player, joining the Rockies is a homecoming. Owen Taylor was drafted by Toronto in the 27th round of the 2014 draft. Instead,he opted to play college ball at the University of Kansas, starting 42 games as a senior.
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Cherokee Global Brands appoints Evan Hengel to additional role of Chairman of its Board of Directors | AZCentral

Cherokee Global Brands (NASDAQ: CHKE), a global brand marketing platform that manages a growing portfolio of fashion and lifestyle brands, announced that the Company has appointed current Director Evan Hengel to Chairman of the Board of Directors. Hengel received a B.S. with honors from the University of Kansas.
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Sabetha Community Hospital welcomes new director of physical therapy | Hiawatha World Online

Sabetha Community Hospital announced that physical therapist Brian Voos will be the new director of the Physical Therapy program at SCH effective July 1. Voos graduated from the University of Kansas Medical Center and is in his 20th year of providing physical therapy services.
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KU School of Nursing-Salina graduates first class of students | KU Medical Center News

When Sarah Medlock begins her job as a registered nurse at Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Kansas, in June, she’ll be fulfilling a dream that began in childhood. Medlock is one of nine students who compose this first class from the Salina campus, who, along with more than 100 nursing students from KU School of Nursing main campus in Kansas City, received their bachelor of science in nursing diplomas at graduation ceremonies last month.
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Bruce Scott receives ASHP’s 2019 Whitney Award | ASHP

Bruce E. Scott, M.S., FASHP, a pharmacy leader noted for his efforts to expand patient access to pharmacists’ services, commitment to developing future generations of pharmacy leaders, and active service to the profession, is the recipient of ASHP’s 2019 Harvey A.K. Whitney Lecture Award. Scott received a Master of Science degree in Pharmacy Administration from the University of Kansas where he also completed an ASHP-accredited pharmacy residency.
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How these fathers inspired their daughters to become radiologists | MarketScreener

Dr. Ashley Huppe’s dad’s passion for radiology and breast imaging inspired her to follow in his footsteps. Huppe is a breat imager in an academic practice at the University of Kansas, while her father, Dr. Marc Inciardi is an assistant professor of radiology at KU. In this article, she shares how her dad’s work inspired her to enter the field.
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Canadian rookies to watch this CFL season | TSN

TSN highlights a Canadian rookie on each CFL team, including Alex Fontana of the Ottawa Redblacks. Fontana started nine of 12 games last season at the University of Kansas.
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President Donald J. Trump announces intent to nominate personnel to key administration posts |

President President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Matthew Keenan to be a member of the board of directors of the Legal Service Corporation. Keenan is a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon and graduated from the University of Kansas and the KU School of Law.
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USC Upstate names student affairs vice chancellor |

The University of South Carolina Upstate announced Thursday that Andre Fortune has been named new vice chancellor for student affairs. A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Fortune earned his bachelor of arts degree in communication studies and a master of science degree in higher education administration from the University of Kansas.
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Barnaby Bright come out of a crisis with ‘Fight or Fly’ | Billboard

Barnaby Bright’s upcoming album came from what the married Kansas City duo of Becky and Nathan Bliss calls “a crisis point.” It’s the duo’s third album. Becky Bliss earned a degree in opera from the University of Kansas.
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Knipp & Liberman join culture marketing council board |

Gregg Knipp, CEP of Dieste, has joined the board of directors of the Culture Marketing Council. Knipp graduated from KU’s school of journalism in 1989 and has spent the past twenty years marketing to U.S. Hispanics.
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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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High Point University dean selected to lead KU School of Pharmacy

Posted on Jun 11, 2019 in Alumni News

Strong Hall

The founding dean for the High Point University School of Pharmacy will be the next dean of pharmacy at the University of Kansas.

Ronald Ragan, a KU alumnus and past KU School of Pharmacy faculty member, will begin his tenure Aug. 1.

“We were fortunate to have great candidates who clearly understood the opportunities and challenges,” said Carl Lejuez, interim provost & executive vice chancellor. “Ron has an exceptional track record of success in his endeavors and programs, both at KU and at High Point. I appreciate his insight into the changing environments for pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical research, and I believe he will be an outstanding leader of the School of Pharmacy.”

Ronald Ragan selected as new dean of KU School of PharmacyRagan will succeed Kenneth Audus, who in November 2018 announced his decision to step away from the leadership role after 15 years. The School of Pharmacy offers the only pharmacy program in Kansas and has a presence on three KU campuses: Lawrence, Kansas City and Wichita. The school received more than $15 million in research funding in fiscal year 2018 and ranks seventh in the nation by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Approximately 150 students are accepted annually into the Pharm.D. professional degree program after completing two years of pre-pharmacy coursework. The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, and students in the class of 2018 achieved a first-time pass rate of 100% on the North American Pharmacists Licensure Exam.

“KU is recognized nationally and internationally for its clinical and graduate programs in pharmacy,” Ragan said. “This recognition is directly related to the exceptional faculty, staff and students we attract. I am proud to be a graduate of both the clinical program and the graduate program at KU and am honored to be returning to my alma mater as the eighth dean in the 134-year history of the school. There are great opportunities ahead, and this is the ideal time to return to Kansas and build on the success the school has enjoyed over the years.”

Ragan has been at High Point University, in High Point, North Carolina, since 2012. As founding dean of the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, Ragan has overseen development of a program that now enrolls 189 students. He also helped design the $120 million facility that opened in 2017. Prior to joining High Point, where he is also a professor, Ragan held several positions at KU. From 2004 to 2012, he was associate dean for academic affairs, managing a variety of curricular affairs for the school. During this time he also served on leadership teams that led construction of the Pharmacy Building and established the satellite teaching facility in Wichita. Between 1998 and 2011, Ragan directed KU’s nontraditional Pharm.D. program, a 44-credit-hour program that bridged professionals through the degree upgrade process. He initially joined the KU faculty as an adjunct instructor of pharmacy practice for the 1997-1998 academic year.

From 2000 to 2013 Ragan was president of Midwest Pharmaceutical Consulting Inc. His professional experience also includes direct patient care positions at independent and medical center pharmacies. While at KU as a student he worked at the Student Health Pharmacy in Watkins Health Center. His graduate student tenure also included positions as a graduate teaching assistant and as a researcher in pharmacology and toxicology. Ragan has published in various journals on topics related to neuronal cell death, drug therapy and pharmacy education research.

He is a member of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists and served on its board of directors from 2013 to 2017. He is also a member of the American Pharmacists Association, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Society of Neuroscience, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and more. His service commitments include work on several committees and organizations at the school, university, community and regional levels. He received a KU Center for Teaching Excellence award in 2009, and he also received the 2003 PRISM Award from the Greater Kansas City Public Relations Society of America. In 1989, he was selected as the Kansas Pharmacist Association Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year.

Ragan has a doctor of philosophy and a master’s degree in pharmacology and toxicology from KU. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from KU, and he has an associate’s degree from Butler County Community College. He is a licensed pharmacist in Kansas and North Carolina.

Lejuez expressed appreciation for those involved in the successful search effort.

“The dean of pharmacy search committee — led by Michael Branicky, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and past dean of the School of Engineering — worked diligently to identify great candidates and involve faculty, students and staff from all our campuses,” Lejuez said. “Our administrative support staff worked without the assistance of a search firm, and they and the others in the search committee did a remarkable job. I am grateful for their service.”

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Former KU defender living out World Cup dreams

Posted on Jun 10, 2019 in Alumni News

Estelle Johnson at KUEstelle Johnson, a four-year anchor on some of the most stifling defensive units in KU soccer history, this week launched her FIFA World Cup dreams as a member of the Cameroon National Team, which opened its Group E play against Canada Monday in Montpellier, France.

Johnson, c’11, who grew up in Colorado, is eligible for the Cameroon squad because she was born in the Central African country to an American father and Malian mother. Her father, Jerry, worked with subsistence farmers across the continent until moving the family to Fort Collins for a job at Colorado State University when Estelle was 7.

“I had been thinking about playing for Cameroon since 2015,” Johnson told the Sun newspaper, of Edmonton, Canada, shortly before the Cameroon-Canada match, “when I saw them play in the last World Cup.”

Johnson appeared in all 85 games of her four-year KU career, from 2006 to 2009, and was named to multiple All-Region teams. She began her professional career with the short-lived Philadelphia Independence, then stepped away from the game for graduate school at Avila University in Kansas City. After earning her MBA, Johnson returned to professional soccer with the National Women’s Soccer League’s Washington Spirit; she now plays with New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC.

Johnson was unable to reach any team officials in Cameroon until coach Alain Djeumfa took over in January, and she didn’t make her first international appearance with Cameroon until shortly before the World Cup began.

“I’ve been playing professionally now for nine seasons, so I’ve played with some of the best players in the world,” Johnson told the Fort Collins Coloradoan. “Just watching them achieve this and knowing I can hang with them … that’s when it hit me: I think I can do this and I want to actually try to make this happen.”

Cameroon advanced to the second round in its first World Cup four years ago in Canada. After Monday’s match, a 1-0 loss, Johnson and her Cameroon teammates face the Netherlands on Saturday and New Zealand on June 20.

—Chris Lazzarino

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Joe’s Bakery served up sweet memories

Posted on Jun 7, 2019 in Campus News

Joe's Bakery | Lawrence, KS

In honor of National Donut Day, celebrated on the first Friday of June each year, we’re taking a look back at one of the most beloved spots in Lawrence’s history: Joe’s Bakery.

Since 1952, Joe’s Bakery served the people of Lawrence with delicious sub sandwiches and fresh donuts, served up 24 hours a day except Sundays. The 24 hours were necessary, as a hot, fresh glazed donut from Joe’s was a staple of the KU student nightlife.

1980 brought the end of an era for the Lawrence classic, as Joe Smith, the owner of the store, hung up the apron for the last time May 16. The bakery would stay open with Joe’s son Ralph managing the store until October 2007.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Joe Smith’s last late night before retirement, courtesy of KU History.



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Jayhawks in the News | June 7

Posted on Jun 7, 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


Ross A. Hollander ranked among top Kansas labor & employment lawyers by Chambers USA 2019 | Joseph Hollander & Craft LLC

Ross A. Hollander, of Joseph, Hollander & Craft LLC, has been ranked among the state’s top band of labor and employment lawyers by Chambers USA 2019. This is the 11th consecutive year Hollander has received a top ranking from Chambers USA, which surveys clients and lawyers then ranks attorneys based on pre-eminence in their practice areas.
Read full article.


Women’s World Cup soccer player Estelle Johnson got her start in Fort Collins | Coloradoan

Estelle Johnson joined Cameroon’s national team on a trial basis a month ago and last week was named to its World Cup team. Johnson, 30, grew up in Fort Collins and played soccer at the University of Kansas. She’s payed nine seasons of professional women’s soccer.
Read full article.


Napa Valley winery Chappellet names David Francke new managing director | North Bay Business Journal

David Francke has been named managing director of Chappellet, a 52-year-old winery in upper Napa Valley. After studying at University of Kansas and University of Bordeaux, Francke, c’88, began his career in wine sales in Kansas City. He then went to work at Robert Mondavi Winery, where he rose to general manager and vice president. In his new role, he oversees sales and marketing including direct-to-consumer initiatives, hospitality, strategic planning, and operations in the vineyard and winery.
Read full article.


Nick Collison, Perry Ellis honored by separate Kansas Halls of Fame |

It’s been a big week for former Kansas basketball greats and Halls of Fame, with Nick Collison and Perry Ellis both receiving career honors in the past seven days. Collison will be inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame later this year. Ellis was inducted into the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the state track meet in Wichita.
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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Flying Jayhawks pay tribute at Normandy on 75th anniversary of D-Day

Posted on Jun 6, 2019 in News

St. Laurent American Military cemetery near Colleville-sur-Mer | Flying Jayhawks Normandy

I recently was given the opportunity to host KU alumni on a Flying Jayhawks trip across Celtic Lands, visiting the ports of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France and England. The rich history and colorful culture of the Scottish highlands, Dublin, Great Britain and the French countryside would be enough to sell anyone on taking a European vacation with fellow Jayhawks, but the real treat came in the form of a front-row seat to history, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We would visit Normandy in the days leading up to the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and our guide would be none other than David Eisenhower Jr., grandson of President Dwight David Eisenhower, who commanded the D-Day invasion.

Historians agree that D-Day, June 6, 1944, was one of the most important events of the 20th century, and perhaps THE most significant day in American history. Coordinated under the command of native Kansan Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, the D-Day invasion (code named Overlord) was by far the largest organized military offensive in the history of modern warfare, an operation conducted on a massive scale.

David Johnston

David Eisenhower, Jr., his wife Julie Nixon, and David Johnston of the KU Alumni AssociationOur tour group visited the sacred sites of Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument, Mulberry Harbor at Arromanches, Sainte-Mère-Église, Utah Beach, Angoville-au-Plain, and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, among other historic sites. Before each stop on our memorable trip, we heard lectures from leading historians and guides, including Allen Packwood, director of the Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge, and David Eisenhower.

During a special ceremony at the American Military Cemetery with our group, Eisenhower and his wife, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, the daughter of former president Richard Nixon, led us in honoring our veterans and fallen heroes. With global interest and world leaders–including President Trump and Queen Elizabeth–participating in D-Day commemoration ceremonies, our small, private ceremony was solemn and intimate. This was due largely to the humble and unassuming nature of Eisenhower’s personality. As he walked among thousands of tourists and veterans, few realized they were standing near the grandson of Ike, who liberated France and saved the free world.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace, they fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They yearn but for the end of battle. For their return to the haven of home. –Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States

From an inscription at the D-Day Museum at Pointe du Hoc.

Probably the most surprising moment of the trip was watching David Eisenhower quietly wait his turn to purchase a ticket to visit the D-Day museum at Sainte-Mère-Église. The French cashier had no idea who she was meeting that day–amid the chaos of the thousands of visitors descending upon the small village for the 75th anniversary of D-Day–and Eisenhower wasn’t about to tell her. No special “family-member-of-the-supreme-allied-commander” discount was available, and David Eisenhower wouldn’t want it. He dutifully bought his own ticket, and the unassuming man with the famous name walked in with the crowd. He was there to remember and learn, like the rest of us.

Speaking to our Flying Jayhawks in a special “D-Day plus 75” lecture, Eisenhower talked about how his grandfather didn’t openly share his reflections of D-Day when David was a young boy. Ike just didn’t talk about it much, at least to his grandson. As a result, David soaked up all he could, becoming one of the foremost experts on the subject of D-Day, much of which he chronicled in his award-winning book, Eisenhower at War, a New York Times best-seller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history.

St. Laurent American Military cemetery near Colleville-sur-Mer | Flying Jayhawks Normandy
Eisenhower treated our travelers to his vast knowledge of D-Day by conveying both incredible details about the strategic and logistical activity involved in Operation Overlord and the broader, global implications of the victory. Through facts and figures and stories from the people who lived it, Eisenhower gave us a glimpse into the minds of the men who changed history, and the experience was riveting, humbling and profound. The resemblance David shares with his grandfather is unmistakable, most evident in his punchy and personable speaking style that commands interest and attention. One of our KU alumni travelers remarked, “I could listen to him tell stories all day.”

We conclude our Flying Jayhawks trip tomorrow in Portsmouth, where tens of thousands of allied soldiers assembled, preparing for the invasion. In discussing Portsmouth, Eisenhower relayed a poignant vignette about the Allied Naval Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Bertram Ramsay, who also had supervised the British withdrawal at Dunkirk in 1940. It was an emotional moment for Ramsay, Eisenhower shared, given that this was his return to the continent—to organize the vast armada preparing to launch.

“He asks his driver to pull over,” Eisenhower explained, “and he steps out and looks over the harbor at Portsmouth at all these extraordinary preparations being finalized at that moment, and he says to no one in particular: ‘It is tragic and ironic that the stage is being set for great sacrifice, but if out of it comes peace and happiness, who would have it otherwise?’”

—David Johnston

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Barcelona to Rome: Jayhawks set sail on the Mediterranean

Posted on May 28, 2019 in Alumni News

KU Alumni’s own Joy Maxwell recent hosted a group of Flying Jayhawks on a trip through Spain, France and more. Enjoy the trip through the eyes of the host.

There’s something quite special about seeing places you’ve heard about your entire life alongside Jayhawks who share your passion for KU. Don’t ask me to name the best stop on the trip, because every destination on the Flying Jayhawks: Mediterranean Collage was amazing.

Barcelona, Spain

Our group of 30 Flying Jayhawk passengers came from all across the United States – Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Florida, the KC area and beyond. Our first chance to meet each other came at the welcome reception as the Riviera set sail from Barcelona. Such a treat to swap travel stories and talk about what we looked forward to most in the week to come.

Mallorca, Spain

What a great spot to start. The island of Mallorca boasts history, charm and gorgeous countryside filled with olive and citrus trees. I would have loved to spend more time here. With so many incredible excursions to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one! We’ll definitely take time to experience the exquisite Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma on our next trip to Mallorca. Our experience at Els Calderers and the Castell de Bellver kept our group of Jayhawks busy exploring and taking in amazing weather that would last the duration of the trip. It was fun to “cheers” at end the day at the Captains Reception that evening!
• What to eat/drink: fresh fish
• What to buy: a ticket on the Soller Vintage Train Ride — our Flying Jayhawks passengers had great things to say about this excursion — or maybe a ticket to tour the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy where you can drink and eat with a view of Rafael Nadal’s own center court.
• What to see: Els Calderers – the benefit of driving past the grandeur of the Cathedral was getting out into the Spanish countryside and getting to experience Els Calderers. We could have spent the whole day at this 1700s rural manor. It was charming and beautiful – the perfect location. Also be sure to put the Castell de Bellver on your list as it provides a breathtaking view of Palma.

Provence/Marseille, France

Flying Jayhawks

Our time in Provence lived up to my every expectation. It’s easy to see why artists, including Van Gogh, looked no further than the rolling hills of Provence. The light when it meets the landscape is breathtaking. Our hours melted away as we experienced the fairytale charm of this part of the world. The Rock Chalk chant could be heard at the end of the day from the KU private reception.
• What to eat/drink: a warm baguette and chocolat chaud (hot chocolate)
• What to buy: more time, so much more time — a day is not close to enough in Provence
• What to see: Stop at the amazing hilltop city of Les Baux-de-Provence on your way to St Remy de Provence, and then allow yourself time to get lost in its charming streets before you follow the footsteps of Van Gogh to see the exact spots where he painted The Starry Night and Irises.


Flying Jayhawks

Monaco is flat-out splendid and glamorous. It’s easy to navigate and see in a day, and it’s fascinating to learn how such a tiny country has managed to survive and thrive. Don’t let your jaw drop when you see the luxe hairpin curves of the Grand Prix or when your guide tells you that the top two floors of the newest blue glass building sold for 300 million euro. This country is the second smallest in the world, but absolutely over the top.
• What to eat/drink: a cup of coffee at the Café de Paris
• What to buy: a small bag of patisseries to munch on as you stroll around the cliff-side gardens near Saint Nicholas Cathedral and oceanographic museum
• What to see: See it all in a day! That’s part of what makes this tiny country so incredible.

Cannes/Grasse/Antibes, France

Arrive into Antibes, France and be prepared to open your eyes and see white-capped mountains above the blue of the Mediterranean. The best part? Getting back to the ship and seeing the KU flag perched above the deck. We put on our KU finest and met on the grand staircase for a photo followed by dinner at the end of our day.
• What to eat/drink: fresh fruit — the oranges and strawberries burst with flavor — buy as much as you can carry and treat yourself before you go through security at the airport — this beats airport food
• What to buy: the bottled up scents (lotions, soaps, perfumes) of the Cote d’Azur
• What to see: Walk through the open market and narrow bustling shop-filled streets of Cannes before you arrive onto the red carpet at the venue for the Cannes Film Festival.

Corsica, France

Napoleon had it all wrong. I see little reason to leave the island of Corsica. The port of Ajaccio is gorgeous, and beautiful coastal lines give way to a mountainous island. Perfect for our group of Jayhawks, who all seemed to love the outdoors.
• What to eat/drink: the veal stew (trust me – it was to die for)
• What to buy: real estate (you won’t want to leave)
• What to see: It would be easy to stay put in Ajaccio, but do yourself a huge favor and see the Calanche of Piana and the Spelunca Gorges. What a gorgeous island.

Port of Liverno, Italy

Flying Jayhawks

Land in Liverno, and you have a hard decision to make. Our Flying Jayhawks spent time in the Tuscan countryside, strolling through Florence, holding up the leaning tower of Pisa and exploring the amazing coastal towns of Cinque Terre. We capped off our last night on board with karaoke in between bouts of packing to disembark.
• What to eat/drink: lemon drops (there is something next level about these)
• What to buy: just about anything in the quaint little shops that line the streets of Vernazza in Cinque Terre
• What to see: just the tip of the iceberg – you need two weeks to experience all there is to see in this region of Italy

Rome, Italy


Last stop meant farewell to our beautiful ship – the Riviera – and the amazing Flying Jayhawks passengers with whom we spent the week sightseeing. We had great weather on our trip and incredible dining aboard the Riviera. Now for a day in Roma!
• What to eat/drink: all the pizza and pasta you can absolutely manage plus ice cream regardless of how full you are
• What to buy: a ticket on the hop-on hop-off bus — SO WORTH IT
• What to see: the highlights of Rome (the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Vatican City) are easy to visit with the convenience of a bus pass. Walk and eat your way through this city, and don’t leave until you absolutely must. Ciao!

If you are considering a Flying Jayhawks trip, an itinerary like the Mediterranean Collage would be a great way to get your feet wet. Our flock of Jayhawks got to see so much, enjoy remarkable cuisine, return to the comfort of their rooms every night and greet each other with “Rock Chalk” every morning. It’s such a fun way to see the world. What are you waiting for? Pack up your crimson and blue and set sail. Bon Voyage!

The Flying Jayhawks trip “Mediterranean Collage” took place April 25-May 3 2019. The trip was hosted by Joy Maxwell, director of legacy relations. View more photos from the trip; pictures may be downloaded for personal use. Find more information about Flying Jayhawks trips, including a schedule, or sign up for travel emails.

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Jayhawks in the News | May 24

Posted on May 24, 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


Pittsburg State University announces new provost | Pittsburg State University

After a nationwide search, Pittsburg State University has announced its new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Howard Smith, g’79, currently the associate vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Success, will assume the position on July 1. He follows Lynette Olson, who is retiring after having served in the position since March 2010.
Read full article.


Hawks to Watch: Carl Grauer, Contemporary Artist | KU College Stories

Wisdom and The Wizard of Oz, LGBTQ+ rights and the legacy of Stonewall, family and the uneasy tension between memory and reality, time and the construction of personal identity. KU alum Carl Grauer, c’98, is using his background in biology to explore human nature, but not in the ways that you might expect.
Read full article.


Leidos names Valerie Baldwin Government Affairs Senior Vice President | Tech Social Net

Leidos today announced the appointment of the Honorable Valerie L. Baldwin,  l’91, as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, effective immediately. In her new role, Baldwin will serve as the lead advocate for Leidos on Capitol Hill to educate and engender support for programs and capabilities that serve the national interest, advance governmental health research and patient care, and achieve efficiencies that benefit the taxpayer.
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Bioethicist Monica Gerrek receives Jackson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring | Case Western Reserve University

Monica Gerrek, PhD’08, assistant professor of bioethics, had taken a philosophy course as an undergraduate but opted for the ostensibly safer choice of pursuing a business degree. “Once I completed my degree, I quickly recognized that my real interest was not in the world of business,” she recalls. That realization led to a life re-boot, beginning by casually taking three philosophy courses during a “gap year.” They resonated, and her love for philosophical ideas led to a PhD in philosophy from the University of Kansas.

Fast forward two decades and Gerrek, who joined the faculty in 2016, has been recognized with the 2019 J. Bruce Jackson, MD, Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring.
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KU Law banner carrier graduates with a J.D. and a Ph.D. | KU Law Blog

Michael Hayes graduated from the University of Kansas with not one, but two, doctoral degrees this past weekend. He earned a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of Kansas School of Law and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from KU’s Department of Philosophy. At the University Commencement ceremony on May 19, Hayes was the banner carrier for KU Law. Hayes was selected by the law faculty for this honor because of his exemplification of student excellence.
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Attorney joins Arthur-Green Law | The Manhattan Mercury

Matthew B. Sondergard has joined Arthur-Green Law Firm of Manhattan as an associate attorney. Originally from Wichita, Sondergard earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Kansas State University in 2015, and his juris doctorate from University of Kansas School of Law in 2018. He will be joined in Manhattan by his wife, Jessica. Sondergard has a general civil practice.
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Message from the Chancellor: Reflecting on another semester of success

Posted on May 24, 2019 in News

Strong Hall | Chancellor message
KU Chancellor Douglas A. Girod sent the following message to University of Kansas faculty and staff members Thursday, May 23. 

Dear Jayhawks,

Thanks to all of you who came together for Commencement and made this past Sunday a special one for all our graduates and their many guests. I also want to take this moment to reflect on a few highlights from the past few months and thank you for moving the University of Kansas forward.

The student experience

We received national recognition for our work related to transfer students and first-generation students, which is the result of our purposeful efforts to improve access and opportunity for them at KU. Additionally, we celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Washington D.C. Internship Program, which has provided more than 600 students with life-changing internships in Washington and is a shining example of the experiential learning opportunities available to KU students.

Outreach and service

We fostered connections statewide through outreach at KU Medical Center, the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center and countless other KU units that serve Kansas communities. In particular, we engaged with economic development and industry leaders to ensure KU is addressing the state’s workforce needs.


Several of our faculty and staff members earned recognition for helping to grow our research enterprise. In March, Professors Steven Soper and Lisa Friis were named fellows in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, while Professors Thomas Cravens and Candan Tamerler were named fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Additionally, KU researchers David Burnham and Matt Jackson received the inaugural KU Research Achievement Awards, while Professors Dale Dorsey, Kirsten Jensen, Paul Popiel, and Franklin (Feng) Tao received the University Scholarly Achievement Award.


We selected top leaders for KU during the preceding months. In January, Arvin Agah was named dean of the School of Engineering, and Dr. Robert Moser became dean of the School of Medicine-Salina on May 1. We’ve recently announced the committee that will help identify our next permanent provost and executive vice chancellor. And in the coming weeks, we will welcome Simon Atkinson as our vice chancellor for research and Richard Godbeer as our director of the Hall Center for the Humanities.

Alumni and friends

Jayhawks around the world humbled us with their support. In February, alumni and friends came together for One Day. One KU, which raised more than $1 million for the university. In addition, the KU Alumni Association grew its KU Mentoring online community, which connects KU students to alumni around the world.

Budgeting and planning

On the Lawrence campus, our willingness to decisively address budget challenges has moved us to a position of greater strength and stability. As Interim Provost Carl Lejuez has discussed, our yearlong effort to create a new budget model elevates priorities such as research, student success, and professional development and provides funds for merit raises, deferred maintenance and savings for unpredictable situations. We will further refine these priorities as we move toward a university-wide strategic planning process in the fall.

Kansas Athletics

In April, we renewed our partnership with adidas, which now includes an unprecedented $500,000 annual commitment to educational programming at KU. This is a tremendously beneficial agreement for our university, and it speaks well of KU’s status in the higher education landscape. As I’ve said many times, a successful athletics department is inextricably linked to KU’s broader academic mission.

National aspirations

As we fulfill our obligation to serve Kansas, we are pursuing national aspirations and take pride in being a member of the Association of American Universities. We’ve partnered with our AAU peers on initiatives related to research funding, student financial aid, and the protection of intellectual property. Additionally, we became a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s new Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education.

As always, we continue to face challenges, and we will address them together. Still, our Commencement ceremonies serve as a reminder that it is worthwhile to take time to recognize our successes.

Thank you for making this a special year.



Douglas A. Girod
University of Kansas