Top 19 Stories of 2019

Posted on Dec 20, 2019 in News

Jayhawk Boulevard
As a new decade approaches, it’s time to take a look back at the year with our top 19 stories of 2019. It’s a mix of our favorites, your most-read and the KU stories that shaped the year. Thanks for a great year, Jayhawks!

Barbara Bichelmeyer19. Barbara Bichelmeyer named provost and executive vice chancellor

Chancellor Doug Girod announced Barbara Bichelmeyer as the next provost and executive vice chancellor of the Lawrence campus in a message to the KU community.

18. KU couple returns to their ‘Home on the Hill’

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.

17. Jayhawk Career Network: How to talk about yourself and your value

Half the battle of getting a job is putting in the hard work to be prepared and gain relevant experience. The other half is conveying that work and experience to prospective employers.

How do you effectively talk about yourself and your value? Bill Mar, a manager for site reliability engineering at LinkedIn, is involved with NOVA, a nonprofit employment agency that offers customized services to job seekers in Silicon Valley. Through his work, Mar has learned some tips and tricks to landing a job.

16. Film & Media Studies professor takes Oscar for co-writing ‘BlacKkKlansman’

After months of Oscar buzz, Kevin Willmott’s work on “BlacKkKlansman” was lauded Feb. 24 with an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

15. Flying Jayhawks pay tribute at Normandy on 75th anniversary of D-Day

A June Flying Jayhawks trip brought KU alumni to Celtic Lands, visiting the ports of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France and England. 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.

14. KU to present three honorary degrees at 2019 Commencement

An Olympic gold medalist and humanitarian, a former director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the CEO of a global scientific instrumentation company received honorary degrees from KU at the 2019 Commencement.

13. Rock Chalk Ball brings a Jayhawk party to Kansas City

Rock Chalk Ball 2019

Nearly 550 Jayhawks gathered April 27 to celebrate the University of Kansas at the 24th annual Rock Chalk Ball, which is hosted by the Alumni Association and the Greater Kansas City Network.

12. Part-time beauty blogger blossoms into full-time social-media influencer

When Sarah James started blogging in 2005, she was searching for no more than a creative outlet to offset the somewhat draining days as a pharmaceutical sales representative, a role she held through most of her 30s. “I wasn’t looking to completely sidetrack my career,” says James, “but sure enough, that’s what happened.”

11. KU senior relishes behind-the-scenes opportunity with the Blues

Using the Jayhawk Career Network’s mentoring platform, Jordan Kriete had the chance to go behind the scenes at the St. Louis Blues team headquarters to learn about a career in sports marketing firsthand.

10. The Rock Chalk Roundball Classic

Top 19

KU basketball athletes become legends when they wear the crimson and blue in Allen Fieldhouse. But what they do with that fame is up to them. Since 2009, the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic has invited KU alumni back to Lawrence for a charity basketball game to raise money for local children fighting cancer.

9. Herford stamps passport to football championships

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.

8. Commencement regalia origins have KU connection

The University of Kansas has a long history of traditions at Commencement, but one tradition with a Jayhawk connection is celebrated at graduations everywhere. The regalia that graduates wear for their official conferral of degrees looks much the same no matter what college or university you visit.

7. University receives NCAA notice of allegations

On Monday, Sept. 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.

6. Rock Chalk Revue

On the 70th anniversary of Rock Chalk Revue, learn the story of one of the nation’s largest student-run philanthropy events. The event has raised more than $1 million for community nonprofit organizations throughout its history.

5. Woodland reminisces about KU after U.S. Open victory

Days after closing out his first major-tournament victory, Gary Woodland shared stories of his time at KU and his new future as a U.S. Open champion.

4. Jayhawk’s license plate disaster warrants Alumni Association assistance

The KU Alumni Association receives hundreds of letters from Jayhawks across the globe, but it was an ominous note from Brooke Collison, a Corvallis, Oregon, alumnus, titled “Insidious KSU Plot” that recently caught the attention of several staffers. Curious what Collison had uncovered about our pesky neighbors to the west, we read on.

3. Joe’s Bakery served up sweet memories

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.

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

Hailey Solomon, a senior from Oswego, nominated her civil engineering professor, Matt O’Reilly, for the H.O.P.E. Award. 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.

1. Students make a splash with ‘Wescoe Rooftop Pool’

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.

And there you have it — our most popular stories of 2019! Thank you for a great year, and Rock Chalk!

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