Sixth-generation Jayhawk at home on the Hill

Posted on Jan 12, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Corey and Sara Goodburn | www.kualumni.orgWhen Corey Goodburn arrived on Mount Oread last year for Crimson and Blue Day, he already knew he wanted to attend the University of Kansas. He became only more confident in his decision after he and his mother, Sara Dickey Goodburn, j’86, who joined Corey for the campus tour, stumbled across an image of the University’s first female graduate, Flora Richardson Colman, c1873, in a KU handbook.

“My mother pointed to the picture and said, ‘That’s your great-great-great-grandmother,’” Corey recalls. “I knew of her, have heard the stories, but being on campus and seeing her pictured in a KU publication, it really hit home. I’m so proud of my KU lineage. It’s such an honor to be a part of a family that has such deep roots to the University of Kansas.”

In addition to his mother and great-great-great-grandmother, Corey’s great-great grandmother, Nellie Colman Bigsby, c1900; his great-grandmother, Flora Nell Bigsby Dickey, c’28; and his grandfather, David Wendell Dickey, b’56, graduated from KU.

Despite his family’s proud legacy, Corey wasn’t pushed to become a sixth-generation Jayhawk. “There was no pressure from my family or friends, which was actually a huge relief,” he says. “My parents always knew I wanted to go there, and of course, they were very excited when I made the decision. I actually didn’t apply anywhere else.”

Corey credits his parents for instilling in him a lifetime love for KU, especially its sports teams, which he admits influenced his decision to become a Jayhawk. “During my early childhood and adolescence, I attended KU football and basketball games with my parents,” he says. “I watched the student section go crazy when they won and even witnessed college students taking down the goal posts and putting them in Potter Lake. That enthusiasm and spirit was something that attracted me.”

The Roeland Park freshman, who excelled in academics as student body president at Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, also was attracted to KU’s UKanTeach program, which allows him to earn a degree in mathematics—and his teaching license—in four years.

Although Corey’s days as a Jayhawk are just beginning, he’s already looking ahead to another four-year milestone. “On [my mother’s] graduation day in 1986, she and my grandfather took pictures by the Jayhawk statue in front of Strong Hall,” Corey says of the landmark that his grandfather’s class gave to the University in 1956. “It’s my wish to take the same photo with my mom upon my graduation in May 2020.”

—Heather Biele

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