The University of Kansas Alumni Association and the student-led Homecoming Steering Committee have named Larry and Nancy Stoppel of Washington, Kansas, winners of this year’s Rich and Judy Billings Spirit of 1912 Award. The annual award recognizes Jayhawks who consistently display school spirit, pride and tradition.
The Stoppels will ride in the Homecoming Parade at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence and receive their award at the Homecoming Reception, two hours before kickoff of the KU-Texas Tech football game Saturday, Oct. 7.
About the Stoppels
Larry earned his KU bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1973, the same year Nancy graduated with her KU bachelor’s degree in education. He is an optometrist with Drs. Stoppel & Brown, where Nancy also works full time. As Jayhawk volunteers, they served for more than a decade as Washington County coordinators of the Alumni Association’s Kansas Honors Program, which recognizes academically talented high school seniors statewide. Nancy also served on the statewide advisory board for the Lied Center of Kansas, KU’s performing arts center.
The Stoppels led the Flint Hills Network of KU alumni for many years, and they continue to advocate for KU in the Kansas Legislature as Jayhawks for Higher Education members. In 2004, they received the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award for their local volunteer service to KU. From 2009 to 2014, Larry served on the Alumni Association’s national board of directors. The Stoppels are Association life members and Presidents Club donors.
About the Spirit of 1912 Award
The Spirit of 1912 Award commemorates the first year of KU’s Homecoming and honors Rich and Judy Billings of Lakewood, Colorado, who in 2011 created an endowment to fund future editions of Homecoming. The Billings, both 1957 KU graduates, will attend their 58th KU Homecoming celebration this year.
The theme for KU’s 105th Homecoming is “Jayhawks of the Galaxy.” This year’s parade grand marshals are Jayhawks and former NASA astronauts Joe Engle, a 1955 KU graduate, and Steven Hawley, a 1973 graduate who is now a KU professor of physics and astronomy.
A complete schedule of Homecoming week activities can be found online. The Alumni Association and its Student Alumni Network oversee Homecoming 2017, which is sponsored by Crown Toyota Volkswagen and supported by Kansas Athletics, PepsiCo and Student Union Activities.
University National Bank of Lawrence will sponsor University of Kansas men’s basketball pregame activities Dec. 3 and Feb. 4, 2017, for Presidents Club members of the KU Alumni Association. The exclusive events include a complimentary buffet and drinks at the Adams Alumni Center two hours before tip-off.
The Association created the Presidents Club as an opportunity for KU alumni and friends to support critical endeavors the Association provides to KU. Members contribute annual gifts of $1,000 or more to boost the Association’s goal of building a larger, more powerful network of Jayhawks worldwide.
“We are immensely grateful to University National Bank for our vital activities for donors,” said Heath Peterson, Association president. “The Association’s outreach is especially important during basketball season, when countless alumni gather to cheer the Jayhawks at events hosted by our 129 alumni networks.”
“University National Bank is thrilled to sponsor KU men’s basketball pregame events for Presidents Club members,” said Todd Sutherland, president of University National Bank. “This is a great way for us to support the Alumni Association, its generous donors and the Jayhawks during basketball season.”
For one loyal alumna, a recent trip to Mount Oread turned into an unexpectedly delightful trip down memory lane. While attending the Presidents Club tailgate Oct. 22 at the Adams Alumni Center, just hours before the KU-OSU Homecoming football game, Barbara Schmidt Keating, d’63, and her husband, Con, c’63, were stunned to see a photo of Barbara, the University’s Homecoming queen in 1962, on display in a campus yearbook.
“They had a table set up with a display of previous Homecomings by decade,” Barbara explains. “We just walked past the table and there in the 1960s was the yearbook and my picture. We were both just shocked.”
The display was courtesy of KU Libraries, which partnered this year with the Alumni Association to showcase historical photos and memorabilia of campus life for alumni and friends to enjoy during Presidents Club tailgates.
Upon spotting the Keatings’ surprise—and overhearing Con exclaim, “Well, here she is, right here!”—KU Libraries staff snapped photos of the former Homecoming queen with the yearbook, capturing yet another campus keepsake for Jayhawks to enjoy.
“It was a huge honor, it really was,” Barbara says, recalling the moment she was crowned more than 50 years ago. “They made the announcement outside of Strong Hall; everybody was out there. It was such a surprise, because there were so many wonderful girls who were candidates. It was just really a nice occasion.”
The Adams Alumni Center recently welcomed more than 30 U.S. Army officers and civilians for a three-week “strategic broadening seminar,” hosted by the Office of Graduate Military Programs and the School of Business’ Center for Business, Industry and National Security.
The University of Kansas was one of only four civilian universities in the nation to host the event, which prepares individuals to confront the national security challenges of the 21st century through a series of individual, organizational and global leadership courses taught by KU researchers and business leaders.
“The experience and the growth in their leadership ability is a direct outcome,” says Steve Leonard, director of National Security Programs at the School of Business. “That’s something that goes on their official file. They have a skillset that’s assigned to it for the rest of their careers.”
In the summer of 1966, 25 high-school graduates who attended KU’s Science Camp were selected as research apprentices from a pool of 100 participants. Fifty years later, nine of those former apprentices returned to the Hill for a reunion at the Adams Alumni Center.
“Everybody was thrilled to see all the different people,” says Jim Bredfeldt, c’70, m’74, a reunion attendee. “Of course we told the usual war stories. But we also talked about what we’ve done and where we are now.”
Chancellor Emeritus Del Shankel, who directed the camp from 1965 to ’68, hosted the attendees and gave them a tour of campus during the two-day event.
“It was really very nice,” says Shankel, assoc. “It was especially nice to see that a bunch of smart, nice kids had turned into a bunch of successful, nice adults. I really enjoyed seeing them.”
The camp, which promoted and enhanced science education for high-school students, was part of the Midwest Music and Arts Camp and was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, which in 1965 provided $5,065 for the apprenticeship program and $21,525 for the general camp.
As participants in the apprenticeship program, students enjoyed the privilege of returning to campus the following summer to test their science skills and assist University faculty members in their laboratories. Of those chosen in 1966, seven went on to attend KU, and the majority pursued advanced education, obtaining doctorates and master’s of science degrees.
Photo courtesy Jim Bredfeldt
Back Row: Bonner Bowden, c’70, Bullard, Texas; Ben Withers, Houston; Phil Coop, Memphis, Tennessee; Tanai Starrs, Aspen, Colorado; Edith Lord, c’70, Rochester, New York.
Front Row: David Paden, d’70, Lawrence; James Bredfeldt, c’70, m’74, Bellevue, Washington; Michael Terrin, Baltimore; William Wehrbein, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Students from 17 states gathered last week for a Jayhawk Generations scholarship dinner and reception at Adams Alumni Center. Each scholarship recipient was recognized by class, name and field of study and was given a KU license plate frame and gift card to the KU bookstore. Camille Nyberg, c’96, g’98, national chair of the Alumni Association’s board of directors, also attended.
“The recipients of this scholarship are involved, hardworking and grateful for the opportunity to study at KU,” says Joy Maxwell, c’03, j’03, director of legacy relations for the Alumni Association. “It’s a financial plus and an honor to receive and retain this scholarship.”
Spencer Hartley, a senior in American studies and communication studies from Kansas City, Missouri, participated in the event and spoke briefly to the younger students. “Do your work and use all the resources the University provides to you,” he advised. “This Jayhawk Generations scholarship helped me to make my decision final to come to KU. So do your best to keep it because it’s a good opportunity.”
The Jayhawk Generations scholarship assists out-of-state students who have a parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, great-grandparent or legal guardian who graduated from the University of Kansas. To quality for the partial tuition waiver, incoming freshman students must meet specific requirements for grade point average and ACT or SAT scores; renewal scholarship criteria for current KU students are based on grade point average and credit hours.
There are 289 Jayhawk Generations scholars currently on campus.
Kevin Corbett, president of the KU Alumni Association, answered the ALS #IceBucketChallenge today after being called out by too many people to name.
The Borden Family Plaza in front of the Adams Alumni Center is named in part for Larry Borden, b’62, g’67, a former chair of the Alumni Association’s board of directors—and the one who extended the job offer of president to Kevin ten years ago. A year later, Mr. Borden passed away from ALS.
Kevin issued his own challenges after being doused by a surprise visitor with not one, but two buckets of water (that, unbeknownst to him, had been pre-chilled in the freezer at the Adams Alumni Center): Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the KU School of Business; Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment; and Morgan Said, KU student body president.
Friends, you have 24 hours to meet this challenge. Rock Chalk!
Have you ever heard of the term “Pareidolia?” Most people haven’t, but surely everyone has experienced it. Pareidolia (parr-i-DOH-lee-uh) is the phenomenon of recognizing familiar shapes in clouds or objects, the man in the moon, religious icons in toast … or Jayhawks in rocks.
Tim Brandt, b’74, director of the Adams Alumni Center, saw this rocky likeness of our beloved mascot while he was running around the Troon North Golf Course in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was struck by the shape of an outcropping of rock, and he sent us the photo. “All you need is a little paint, and it would look just like the Jayhawk,” he says.
Through the years, alumni have sent images of Jayhawks in clouds, piles of leaves and even puddles. The Adams Alumni Center is also home to a collection of figurines from alumni, including this cute little Jayhawk made from four garden rocks glued together and painted in bright hues. No one knows who sent it or when, but its silhouette does look quite a bit like the rock formation in Arizona.
Studies show that if a person sees images in objects and clouds, an activation in the brain has occurred. Alumni know that when we see Jayhawks everywhere, there’s been an activation in the heart. If you have images of your own “Hawk Pareidolia,” email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can post them.
The fact that it’s Friday is enough to make most people do a happy dance, but it’s not just any Friday– it’s the Friday before the first home football game of the season! There’s a flurry of activity at the Adams Alumni Center as our staff gets ready for game day.
Home Football Friday
The Student Alumni Association presents Home Football Fridays before every home football game. The tailgates take place on the front lawn at the Adams Alumni Center, and students are treated to free food, beverages and giveaways.
The tailgate is from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and all students are welcome to attend. Are you, or a student you know, interested in joining the Student Alumni Association? It’s a level of membership just for students that includes benefits like networking events with alumni, free dinners during finals, discounts and the KU Bookstore, and more. It’s only $25 per year to join, or you can purchase a four-year membership for just $75. Visit www.kualumni.org/join to learn more.
Game Day at the Adams
On game day, alumni, fans and friends are invited to the Adams Alumni Center to celebrate football season. Tomorrow’s tailgate begins at 3 p.m., and future game day tailgates will start three hours before kickoff of each home game.
Each tailgate includes a buffet from either Salty Iguana or Bigg’s Barbecue (tomorrow features Bigg’s), along with water, soda and two drink coupons if you’re 21 or older. The cost is $12 for members and $22 for non-members. Kids are welcome, too– the cost is just $5 for kids 5-12, and if they’re under five they can attend for free.
A tailgate wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from the Spirit Squad, mascots and Marching Jayhawks!
If you’re worried about parking, you’ll be happy to know that the city of Lawrence has a helpful solution: a downtown shuttle bus. You can park in downtown Lawrence– the parking garages will have free parking!– and catch a bus to the stadium.
Don’t let the construction scare you away–the Adams Alumni Center is still open for business!
Construction crews are tearing out the brick sidewalk in front of our building and replacing it with concrete. The process is expected to last three days, but in the meantime, there’s an alternate entrance.
On the north side of the building (from the parking lot), there’s a lovely patio terrace with a glass door. Just inside the door, you’ll find the same friendly faces to greet you from a temporary front desk. Consider this a great opportunity to see another part of the building.
We’ll share pictures of our new sidewalk once the construction is complete, but until then, be sure to stop by and check out the activity!