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KU students, industry professionals connect at blockchain conference

Posted on Dec 12, 2019 in Alumni News

KU blockchain conference

A spring semester gift to the University of Kansas is already paying dividends.

On Feb. 7, Silicon Valley financial technology company Ripple awarded a $2 million grant to KU as part of the University Blockchain Research Initiative​. The program focuses on accelerating academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments at top universities.

Ripple is led by Brad Garlinghouse, c’94 who serves as CEO of the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency and digital-payment processing firm.

One of the programs benefitting from the grant is the KU Blockchain Institute, a student-led organization that focuses on advancing KU’s standing in the constantly-developing world of blockchain. The group is open to students from all disciplines, including engineering, business, economics, mathematics, science, healthcare and technology.

Daniel Jones, a senior from Owasso, Oklahoma is president and co-founder of the KU Blockchain Institute. His interest in blockchain was sparked by attending industry conferences and studying abroad.

“I was able to network with seasoned professionals who seemed adamant that blockchain technology would be a huge disruption for their industry,” Jones says. “I remember thinking ‘If these executives are so worried about this technology, maybe I should check it out.’ Incumbent firms may see blockchain as a major disruption, but the KU Blockchain Institute sees blockchain as a serious opportunity for student entrepreneurs to challenge the status quo.”

Daniel Jones, Brad Garlinghouse and Jack SchraadDaniel Jones, Brad Garlinghouse and Jack Schraad, co-founder and vice president of the KU Blockchain Institute

Since its launch in August 2018, the KU Blockchain Institute has hosted three large-scale conferences, including an October 2019 conference on cybersecurity. Speakers from FedEx, Lockheed Martin, the University of Arkansas and IBM attended, as well as Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

So what exactly is blockchain?

“Blockchain uses applied mathematics and cryptography to create trust in any transaction,” Jones explains. “Blockchain is a verifiable data structure that creates trust or traceability through a transfer of value. The transfer of value takes place through a transaction around a digital asset. ​A digital asset can represent any piece of physical property or store of value.”

“Using distributed ledger technology, blockchain creates a direct peer-to-peer exchange system for the transfer of value. Blockchain is to value what the internet is to information.”

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Wishing you a peaceful holiday season

Posted on Dec 11, 2019 in Alumni News

We wish you laughter, joy and peace this holiday season.

Our staff enjoys creating fun holiday greetings for alumni. Click here to see our holiday cards from years past.

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Twin Cities show ‘KU Cares’ with spooky supply drive

Posted on Dec 10, 2019 in Alumni News

KU Cares Twin Cities supply drive

The third annual KU Cares Month of Service brought Jayhawks closer to the communities they call home. One of our favorite events comes from the Twin Cities Jayhawks.

When your doorbell rings on Halloween, you’re expected to answer with candy in hand. But when the Pence family shows up, it’s time to hit the pantry.

Stacy, c’10 and her husband Tyler, d’11, have spent their Halloween evenings for the past six years going door to door in their Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Instead of candy, they’re collecting donations for the St. Louis Park Emergency Program, a local program that offers food, clothing and other forms of assistance for those in need.

“My husband and I did the first trick or treat supply drive only on our block to meet neighbors and help a good cause,” says Stacy. “It was so popular that we decided to make it an entire neighborhood effort the following year.”

The scope of the night continued to grow the past two years as the all-call went out to other Jayhawks to help out as part of the KU Cares Month of Service.

“Generally, it is very well-received,” says Stacy. “So many thank yous! Flyers are given to every home in advance so many people are ready with bags of donations. Others are surprised when an adult is knocking on their door on Halloween, but when we explain our cause they run to their kitchen to get something.”

As for the results? They’re spook-tacular.

“I couldn’t count the items as there are literally thousands that fill our entire living room. This year 1,705 pounds were donated, which brings our to-date total over 11,500. Pretty insane.”

Thanks again to all Jayhawks who participated in the third annual KU Cares Month of Service. Jayhawks can make a difference in their community anytime. Visit kualumni.org/info-for/volunteer to learn how you can organize a KU Cares event in your network.

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Barbara Bichelmeyer named provost and executive vice chancellor

Posted on Dec 6, 2019 in Campus News

Strong Hall

University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas A. Girod sent the following message to KU faculty and staff members Friday, December 6.

Colleagues,

Throughout its history, the University of Kansas has been a community of talented scholars and leaders who believe in the power of higher education. Today, we have a special opportunity to welcome another remarkable scholar and leader — and to do so with excitement and optimism about our university’s future.

It is my pleasure to announce Barbara Bichelmeyer as the next provost and executive vice chancellor of the Lawrence campus. She will begin her new role in late February.

As many of you observed during her campus visit, Barbara is a tremendously talented researcher and administrator, as well as a proud KU alumna with an unabashed love for this place. She is currently the provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she also served as interim chancellor. Prior to that, she excelled in multiple leadership roles at Indiana University-Bloomington – a fellow Association of American Universities institution – and elsewhere within the IU system.

My excitement about Barbara goes beyond her credentials. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her for years on initiatives to enhance higher education’s role in regional economic development. As a result of our work together, I have come to know Barbara as a genuine and compassionate person who cares deeply about students, research and higher education. Moreover, she is a Jayhawk to the core and committed to this university’s success. For all these reasons, I have no doubt she will be a strong and effective leader.

I will tell you, this was not an easy decision — and that’s a good thing. Our national search produced four outstanding finalists who each offered distinctive strengths that would benefit KU. That said, when I consider KU’s challenges and opportunities, and my vision for KU, I am confident Barbara is the right fit at the right time for our university.

I want to thank the search committee, including co-chairs Michelle Mohr Carney and Steven Soper, for guiding us through this process. I also want to thank everyone who participated in the process by attending the finalists’ campus presentations and providing feedback. Your input was central to my decision.

Importantly, I would like to express my deep appreciation for Carl Lejuez, who has provided strong leadership and energy as our interim provost amid challenging circumstances. KU is in a better place today as a result of his efforts during the past 19 months. Please join me in thanking Carl as he returns to his role as dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

As I said at Visioning Day, despite challenges in higher education, KU is in a position of strength and poised to determine our own destiny. My vision is for KU to be a destination for talented scholars nationwide, an engine of economic growth, and a strong member of the Association of American Universities. I look forward to working with Barbara, and all of you, in pursuit of that vision.

Respectfully,

Doug

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor
University of Kansas

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KU Alumni Association sets dates for Homecoming 2020

Posted on Dec 5, 2019 in Campus News

KU Homecoming 2020

The University of Kansas will celebrate its 108th Homecoming Sept. 26-Oct. 3, culminating in the KU football game against Iowa State Oct. 3 in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

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

Homecoming leaders will meet throughout the spring semester to select a theme and finalize the schedule of activities, which will include competitions for student organizations, community service activities, reunions, the Homecoming parade, and the selection of 10 student finalists for the Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (Ex.C.E.L.) Awards. The winners will be announced during halftime of the football game Oct. 3.

The Alumni Association will continue to update kualumni.org/homecoming as information becomes available.

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Cartoonist’s latest project is picture of success

Posted on Dec 2, 2019 in Alumni News

Grant Snider, ’07, the orthodontist by day and illustrator by night who calls himself “the incidental comic,” this fall published his first picture book for kids. What Color is Night?, which explores the wonders and colors of night, came out in November from Chronicle Books. The read-aloud bedtime book’s target audience is 3- to 5-year-olds, but as Snider’s own experience suggests, kids of any age will delight in the book’s message that there’s plenty to appreciate in the night if only you look closer.

“Even before I had kids, I would read picture books,” says Snider, the subject of a 2013 feature in Kansas Alumni. “It’s a medium I think you can say so much in, and has so much possibility, and that’s why I hope I can master it or come close some day.”

The publication of his first book, The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity, in 2018 marked the realization of a longtime dream for Snider, who drew a daily comic strip for the University Daily Kansan’s editorial page in 2007 and in 2008 won the Charles M. Schultz Award for college cartoonists. His whimsical takes on life and literature soon found a place in the pages of The New York Times and The New Yorker.

In an interview with Kansas Alumni about The Shape of Ideas, the father of four acknowledged the deep satisfaction he got from launching his first book into the world, while hinting at another goal he hoped to fulfill.

What Color is Night? by Grant Snider“One thing I’ve been working on in both rewarding and frustrating ways for about three years now is a picture book,” Snider said. “Having kids and being interested in art and reading and drawing, the natural thing to do is draw a book your kids can read. It’s a fun process that’s a lot more challenging than I thought it would be, but that’s another thing that over the next year, five years, or 10 years I want to explore creatively.”

Just how difficult that process proved to be—and the many false starts Snider encountered along the way (who knew it would be hard to sell a book about a tapir learning to ride a tricycle?)—is the subject of a recent post on Snider’s excellent website, incidentalcomics.com.

What Color Is Night? will be followed in May by What Sound Is Morning?

“It feels incredible,” Snider says. “My children have been an eager sounding board for ideas over the long process of making a book, and they are always ready to hear a new story. When my wife, Kayla, showed them the first copy of the book, my son Trent (who the book is dedicated to) said ‘We’ve already read this before!’ They’d heard it over and over again in the revision process, so weren’t too impressed by seeing the exact same story in printed form. Reading to one’s own kids is a good way to stay humble as an author!”

—Steven Hill

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A Different Perspective: Flying Jayhawks Exotic Vietnam and Angkor Wat Trip

Posted on Dec 2, 2019 in Alumni News

First, a disclaimer: This was my third Flying Jayhawks trip, but I’m not actually a Jayhawk (gasp!). My wife, son and daughter-in-law are the Jayhawks. I’m a West Point graduate, and I served more than 22 years on active duty in the Army, including fighting in Vietnam in 1971 to ’72 as an armored cavalry platoon leader, where I was wounded twice.

Tegan suggested to me that it would be interesting for the Flying Jayhawks to hear about my experiences in going back to Vietnam for the first time since 1972. I will leave it to another Flying Jayhawk to describe the entire trip, but here are my highlights.

Hanoi

We had a great local guide named Viet, a 40-year-old North Vietnamese man who was with us during our entire visit to Hanoi. He was smart, thoughtful and very willing to answer questions and give us his views, which sometimes didn’t correspond with the party line. He definitely was not a typical minder and was our best local guide of the entire trip.

Flying Jayhawks | Exotic Vietnam and Angkor WaThe most interesting part of the visit to Hanoi for me was visiting the Hoa Lo Prison (the “Hanoi Hilton”). Most of the prison has been torn down and only a small part of it remains as a museum. That museum highlights how badly the French treated the Vietnamese they imprisoned there during the French colonial era and their war in Indochina and includes mannequins that show how they were shackled, how they were tortured, and how some died there, often by guillotine.

The part of the museum devoted to the “American War” was limited to a display of a few items, including a POW uniform and some photos of prisoners relaxing, playing chess, cooking and putting up Christmas decorations. It was pure propaganda and intended to contrast their “humane” treatment of the Americans with the brutality of the French. I have a good friend and West Point company mate who was shot down over North Vietnam and imprisoned there from December 1972 to February 1973. He told me that the cell where he was held, part of what the POWs called the “new guy” section, was still there. I’m not sure I was able to identify the exact cell that was his, but the prison is a dark and gloomy place that was depressing to tour.

After telling Viet that I’d fought in Vietnam, I mentioned that my friend was a POW there and I asked whether I could tell our group about his imprisonment. That was well received and a number of folks told me they appreciated my telling his story.

Cu Chi tunnels

The Cu Chi tunnels near Saigon are a massive complex of miles of tunnels stretching from the Cambodian border towards Saigon. They were designed to allow the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army to move troops into South Vietnam and provide sanctuaries where they could rest, get medical care, etc.

Flying Jayhawks | Exotic Vietnam and Angkor WaDuring the war we discovered some tunnels but were unaware of many others, including a complex directly under a major U.S. base. We had a different but also good local guide, a South Vietnamese man, who gave us a tour of the site, which is one of two they take people to (not the one that was under the big U.S. base that I’d been to at one point in 1972). They had some tunnels that we could crawl through and our guide explained the measures they took to conceal the tunnel complexes from the Americans and demonstrated the types of punji stakes and tiger traps they used to deter Americans from entering the tunnels. I crawled through the longer tunnel—about 50 yards—and had to do part of it on my hands and knees, while my wife, Sondra, did a shorter one, which was a little larger; she was able to get through by stooping over in some places.

My experience in crawling confirmed that I never could have been a tunnel rat! As I did in Hanoi, I told our guide that I’d fought nearby in 1971 to ’72 (that got a startled expression) and asked him whether I could speak with the group about my experiences. On the bus after our tour I explained how we cleared bunkers and tunnels, what tunnel rats did, and how we used smoke grenades to identify air holes and exits. Sometimes we used CS grenades if the tunnel rats had gas masks.

Napalm Girl

Throughout Vietnam, I found the Vietnamese people to be friendly and mostly too young to have experienced the war. One other highlight of the trip was having Kim Phuc with us as a lecturer. She was the “Napalm Girl” in the iconic photo, which showed her running away naked from a napalm strike, and now she is a woman in her 50s. She was badly burned over most of her back and one arm, but she has recovered after multiple operations, although she still is in a lot of pain.

She defected with her husband to Canada some years ago, has two children and is now a UNESCO Ambassador for Peace who tells her story around the world. She’s a remarkable woman, and through faith she has been able to turn her life around from anger and resentment to forgiveness. She is always smiling. Sondra and I made a personal connection with her, and I told her that I operated very near her home in Trang Bang six months before her horrific injury.

Bangkok

Tired of visiting temples, Sondra and I daringly broke away from the group itinerary and, at Sondra’s suggestion, took an all-day excursion with a private guide and driver to the bridge over the River Kwai.

You may know the general story of the bridge and what they call the Death Railroad from the 1957 movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” We discovered that the movie, although based in fact, is not historically accurate. The short version of the real story: the railroad was built during World War II in 1943 by the Japanese to connect existing north-south railroads in Thailand and Burma and allow the Japanese to move troops and supplies into Burma for their attack west into India.

They used around 200,000 conscripted local Thaisand other natives and more than 60,000 POWs, mainly British, Australian and Dutch, many of whom had been captured when Singapore fell, to build the railroad. Working in terrible conditions, more than 100,000 laborers (both natives and POWs) died from malnutrition, chronic dysentery, malaria, cholera, and other diseases; brutal treatment from sadistic Japanese guards; and unfortunately, from bombing by the Allied Air Forces who were unaware that the camps housed POWs.

Flying Jayhawks | Exotic Vietnam and Angkor Wa

This is one place where the movie presents an unrealistically rosy picture of the conditions in the camps. The famous bridge was built using POW forced labor (designed by Japanese engineers, not British ones as shown in the movie), and actually consisted of concrete and steel spans rather than wood scaffolding and was not blown up by British commandos but was bombed by US B-24s in June of 1945, which dropped three central spans. The bridge was rebuilt after the war by replacing the dropped spans, and the eastern two-thirds of the railroad is still in use.

We drove about three hours from Bangkok, got on a train with hordes of tourists and Thais, rode over the bridge on the train and later walked back over it. In addition to seeing the bridge, there is a superb museum there, which alone was worth the visit. Near the museum, there is a cemetery that is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and includes the graves of thousands of POWs who died building the railroad. They did an amazing job of identifying remains and collecting them in the cemetery. Apparently if they could identify family or NOK of the dead, they allowed them to include personal messages on the markers, most of which are heartbreaking. A few of the messages I read were: “A voice we love is still, a place is vacant which we can never fill,” and “We think of him still as the same and say: ‘He is not dead, he just is away.’” These messages really brought home the sacrifice and loss of those young men long before their time. The visit, although it took all day, was memorable and I’m very glad we made the trip.

Side note: People have asked me how it felt to go back to Vietnam and whether I recognized any of the places I had been. I didn’t have any extremely traumatic experiences in Vietnam, so I found I was OK with going back, although the visit to the Hanoi Hilton was emotional. Although my unit operated in an area northwest of Saigon very close to both Cu Chi and Trang Bang, I didn’t expect that I’d recognize places I had served, and that was the case. I spent almost all of my tour in the jungle, bashing through the trees on armored vehicles looking for bunker complexes or leading dismounted ambush patrols in search of Viet Cong or North Vietnamese Army, and jungle looks pretty much the same, no matter where it is. My sense was that Vietnam is much more built up than when I was there in the ’70s—roads that were dirt when I was there are now paved, and there are far more buildings, small businesses and houses than there were almost 50 years ago.

Bill Knowlton
Flying Jayhawks passenger, Exotic Vietnam and Angkor Wat

The Flying Jayhawks “Exotic Vietnam and Angkor Wat” trip took place Nov. 5-19, 2019. The trip was hosted by Tegan Thornberry, d’05, g’09, the Alumni Association’s director of membership. 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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Herford stamps passport to football championships

Posted on Nov 26, 2019 in Alumni News

Marcus Herford
Marcus Herford, Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year in 2007 and a member of KU’s victorious Orange Bowl team that season, is, more than a decade later, living his best life, coaching football and winning championships. That much is, more or less, going to script.

The part he never saw coming? Most of Herford’s players, fellow coaches, team ownership and fans speak English, if at all, as a second language. Turns out, coaching—or, more precisely, teaching—American football in Italy, Germany and Brazil offers unexpected joys.

“It’s football at its purest moment,” Herford says from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, shortly after joining Galo Futebol Americano as offensive coordinator. “They play with passion and enthusiasm. It definitely makes coaching that much more fun.”

Herford, c’09, a Dallas native, was in his first coaching job, at Valdosta State University in Georgia, when he was introduced to overseas football while watching clips posted by former KU teammate Jocques Crawford, ’10.

“He was tearing it up,” Herford recalls. “I’m like, man, where is this? He told me everything, as far as getting overseas and how to get looked at.”

Marcus HerfordHerford’s overseas playing career didn’t last long, with brief stints in France and Turkey in 2011 and ’12. He was newly married at the time, and carrying too much weight, so he returned stateside and accepted a job as passing game coordinator and receivers coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College. When he heard the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, a dominant team in Germany’s pro league, were looking for an offensive coordinator, he made a snap decision to apply.

Herford landed the job, but, three days before arriving in Germany, he learned that Baltic’s head coach, Dan Disch, had resigned to become defensive coordinator at Southern Miss. Baltic promoted Herford to the top job and he led the Hurricanes to within one game of the championship in consecutive seasons.

When Herford three years ago joined Seamen Milano, a powerhouse in the Italian league, as offensive coordinator, the club was coming off its third championship in four seasons. Seamen has since twice defended its title, including a 28-point fourth-quarter rally to win Italian Bowl XXXIX last July.

Shortly before that game, Herford was contacted by an international football talent scout who was helping the Galo Roosters hire an offensive coordinator. Rather than drift back to Dallas in the offseason, Herford accepted the gig; not long after he joined Galo, Milano announced it had promoted Herford to head coach for the 2020 season.

“It’s definitely been a blessed ride. My whole coaching career, how things have gone, it’s been pretty awesome. If I complain, I’ll be lying. I’m definitely excited about what’s going on.”

Fans eager to track Marcus Herford’s overseas success can follow him on Twitter, @Coach_MHerford; Seamen Milano streams games on YouTube and the team’s Facebook page.

—Chris Lazzarino

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University of Kansas announces Ex.C.E.L. Award winners, concludes 107th Homecoming celebration

Posted on Oct 28, 2019 in Campus News

Far Above the Golden Valley | KU Homecoming 2019 | Oct. 19-26| Ex.C.E.L. Award 2019

Three University of Kansas students, Tiara Floyd of Junction City, Daphne Lin of Coffeyville and Jalynn Tann of Centennial, Colorado, are winners of the 29th annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (Ex.C.E.L.) Awards. The award presentation during halftime of the KU-Texas Tech football game Oct. 26 in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium concluded KU’s 107th Homecoming celebration.

Floyd, a senior in African American studies with minors in Germanic language and literature and political science, is the 2019-’20 KU student body president. She served as chair of the diversity, equity and inclusion committee and director of policy and development for Student Senate, and she was a student representative in University Senate. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and the Black Student Union, and she served as chair of diversity and inclusion at Douthart Scholarship Hall. She interned at the Kansas Legislature and worked as an administrative assistant at a law firm in Manhattan. She received the KU Black Alumni Network Impact Award in 2019.

Lin, a senior in humanities and pre-medicine, is president of Sigma Psi Zeta, a multicultural Greek organization for women. She also served as the sorority’s chair of community service, social media and academics. She is co-coordinator of the Center for Community Outreach’s Concerned, Active and Aware Students Program, and she has been a member of the Asian American Student Union since 2016, during which time she held several leadership roles. She participates in the University Honors Program, and she was a research assistant in the department of anthropology. She is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon medical fraternity and volunteers at KU Lutheran Campus Ministry. She received the 2017 SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital Value in Action Award for her volunteer services.

Tann, a senior in business administration with a minor in Spanish, has been a resident assistant for KU Student Housing since 2017. She is vice president of KU G.E.M.S. and also served as treasurer for the female student organization. She was the freshman action team president and served as treasurer of the KU Resident Hall Government Association. She participated in a study abroad language and cultural immersion program in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in summer 2018, and she has worked for the City of Aurora Parks, Recreation & Open Space in Colorado for several years. She has volunteered for the Big Event at KU and Harvesters’ BackSnack Program in Kansas City.

The Ex.C.E.L. Award provides an annual $250 scholarship to students. Nominees were selected on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations.

The theme for this year’s Homecoming was “Far Above the Golden Valley.” The event was sponsored by Best Western Plus West Lawrence; Crown Toyota, Volkswagen; and the KU Bookstore. Students and alumni participated in several activities throughout the week, including competitions, reunions and tailgates.

The annual Homecoming celebration was organized by the KU Alumni Association and a student-led steering committee, which was chaired by Brianna Gabriel, a senior from Westlake Village, California, majoring in strategic communications; Eli Linder-Taylor, a senior from Overland Park majoring in strategic communications; Brianna Mears, a senior from Georgetown, Texas, majoring in strategic communications; Nick Siegel, a junior from St. Louis majoring in accounting; and Chelsea Stitt, a senior from Ottawa majoring in economics. They worked with Alumni Association staff member Ally Stanton, director of student programs, and Keon Stowers, development officer for the Alumni Association at KU Endowment.

The Homecoming parade was Friday, Oct. 25, on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence and featured Chancellor Douglas Girod as grand marshal.

Other 2019 Homecoming event and award winners are:

Jennifer Alderdice Homecoming Award

Julie Jorgensen, a junior from Cedar Falls, Iowa, majoring in strategic communications

Rich and Judy Billings Spirit of 1912 Award

Lawrence residents Warren Corman, a 1950 School of Engineering alumnus, and his wife, Mary Crissman Corman, a 1973 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and 1974 School of Health Professions alumna

Overall Winners

Greek Life
1st place: Triangle, Sigma Kappa, Alpha Delta Pi
2nd place: Alpha Sigma Phi, Sigma Delta Tau
3rd place: Alpha Tau Omega, Theta Chi, Delta Gamma

Student Life – Large Organization
1st place: Scholarship Hall Council
2nd place: University Daily Kansan
3rd place: Grace Pearson Scholarship Hall

Competition Winners

Greek Life
Décor
1st place: Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Gamma, Theta Chi
2nd place: Triangle, Sigma Kappa, Alpha Delta Pi
3rd place: Alpha Sigma Phi, Sigma Delta Tau

Chalk & Rock
1st place: Alpha Sigma Phi, Sigma Delta Tau
2nd place: Scholarship Hall Council
3rd place: Abbi Dougherty

Jayhawk Jingles
1st place: Triangle, Sigma Kappa, Alpha Delta Pi
2nd place: Alpha Sigma Phi, Sigma Delta Tau
3rd place: Alpha Tau Omega, Theta Chi, Delta Gamma

Parade
1st place: Triangle, Sigma Kappa, Alpha Delta Pi
2nd place: Alpha Sigma Phi, Sigma Delta Tau
3rd place: Alpha Tau Omega, Theta Chi, Delta Gamma

Student Life – Large Organization
Décor
Scholarship Hall Council

Most Outstanding Homecoming Participant – Individual
Abbi Dougherty

For more information about this year’s event, visit kualumni.org/homecoming.

Homecoming 2019 sponsors

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KU couple returns to their ‘Home on the Hill’

Posted on Oct 24, 2019 in Alumni News

Baby Jay

When Matt Lindberg reached out to us about a special 10-year anniversary surprise for his wife Sarah, we couldn’t pass up the chance to give the Life Members a tour of campus to see their alma mater, old and new.

Ten years since they last visited campus has been 10 years too long for this Jayhawk couple. Matt, j’08, and Sarah Strathman Lindberg, c’09, returned to Lawrence October 11 to find a campus filled with change, but still familiar.

Their day began with a trip to the Oread Hotel, a far cry from the pile of rubble that was once the Crossing. On the 9th-floor rooftop terrace, familiar sights mixed with the new: A giant apartment complex across the street from the nearly 100-year-old Memorial Stadium, and renovated Jayhawk Boulevard and Memorial Drive connecting historic campus buildings.

The Nest

Next, a walk down Jayhawk Boulevard past Fraser Hall where the couple met in French class, and Watson Library, home to studying among the stacks.

“It still feels comfortable walking around. I recognize everything,” Matt said. “It still feels like campus to me.”

The tour brought the pair to Matt’s old stomping grounds at the School of Journalism and the University Daily Kansan, where memories of 2008 came back.

2008 Championship edition of the Daily Kansan

Matt was on the paper’s staff as a student, including serving as special sections editor his senior year.

“After KU won the title, Mario Chalmers came into the Kansan offices asking for a paper, apologizing for not having his KU student ID,” he said. “I think we gave him a dozen copies.”

From there, the couple trekked across campus to the new football complex, which has seen massive changes since the Lindbergs’ graduation after the 2007-’08 Orange Bowl season.

KU Football meeting room

They were able to poke their head into the football facilities, in part due to their fandom: They spent the night camping for front-row seats in the student section during the Jayhawks’ 12-1 season.

The last stop on the tour was the DeBruce Center, where the couple got to check out the “Original Rules of Basket Ball,” an exhibition that features a recording of James Naismith describing his invention.

DeBruce Center
After a full morning of tours, the Lindbergs were sent off to explore Mass Street and Lawrence, thanks to gift cards from KU Alumni restaurant partners Papa Keno’s Pizza, Jefferson’s and Merchants.

Memories

In between stops to see the newest additions to the campus, the Lindbergs were happy to reminisce about memories of the little things.

“For me, it’s been walking up and down the hills,” Sarah said. “I did that so many times, and now here I am doing it again, except now I’m not going to class.”

For Matt, it’s a return to what was once normal. “Going into the Kansan room, I haven’t been there since I graduated. I used to be in there every day.”

Despite everything that’s changed, the campus contains a spirit that continues to last.

“It feels very much the same, but current,” Matt said. “Some things just haven’t changed, and I like it.”

—Ryan Camenzind

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