Campus icon ‘Tan Man’ to celebrate 75th birthday, and you’re all invited

Posted on Jun 20, 2018 in Alumni News and News

John Schneider, more commonly known as the "Tan Man" at the University of Kansas
Wescoe Beach has been a central hub for KU students for decades, where students study, chat and chill between classes.

Thousands of students have spent time soaking up the sun in front of Wescoe. But KU students from the late 1960s through the 1980s remember one particular man’s legacy of relaxing on the beach.

John Schneider, more commonly known as  “Tan Man,” spent the better part of three decades as a campus icon, sharing his charm and kindness with Jayhawks.

Alumni track down legend

John Schneider, more commonly known as the Celeste Gruhin, ’79, and her fiancé, Marc Jasperson,  b’78, were reminiscing about their times at KU when their memories of Tan Man came up. After some digging, the pair got in contact with him and met in Rose Hill, where he now lives. Schneider showed them his scrapbook of photos from KU, and Gruhin and Jasperson knew they wanted to help more alumni celebrate his role in KU and Lawrence lore.

Gruhin organized a get-together to celebrate Schneider’s 75th birthday. She created a Facebook event to help get the word out.

“The response has been crazy,” Gruhin said. “We’re hoping to keep the momentum going and make it a memorable event.”

The birthday party is set for 4-7 p.m. June 23 at Johnny’s Tavern in North Lawrence. The event is open to the public. Those who attend are invited to contribute photos of  “Tan Man” to be added to a scrapbook.

-Ryan Camenzind

Can’t make it to the party? Email your pictures and memories of Tan Man to us at share@kualumni.org, and we’ll be sure to pass them along so they can be included in the scrapbook! For more about Tan Man, check out the Lawrence Journal-World’s article from 2006. Watch for more coverage of the birthday celebration in the next issue of Kansas Alumni magazine.

 

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