All signs point to KU

Posted on May 16, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Rock Chalk Ready yard sign

High school seniors planning to arrive on the Hill next fall have found unexpected surprises in their yards lately: yard signs declaring they are “Rock Chalk Ready.”

Volunteers delivered the signs, a joint effort between the KU Office of Admissions, the Provost’s office, and the KU Alumni Association, to incoming freshmen in Lawrence, Topeka, Wichita and the Kansas City metro area over the past few weeks.

“This was our first crack at welcoming the incoming freshman class with KU yardsigns, and we could not have pulled it off without the collective effort of our KU alumni and staff,” said Joy Maxwell, director of legacy relations. “It has been so fulfilling to watch KU alumni share their time and Jayhawk pride to blanket these major in-state markets with crimson and blue. We hope to expand the campaign statewide and nationally with more funding and volunteer help in years to come.”

Check out our collection of photos below to see the signs:

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Jayhawks rally to give alumnus an unforgettable Commencement

Posted on May 12, 2017 in Alumni News and News

One of the most treasured traditions at the University of Kansas takes place every spring, when thousands of graduating students walk through the Campanile and down the Hill for Commencement.

Brian Palermo | www.kualumni.orgBrian Palermo, a KU Admissions representative based in St. Louis, never got to experience that moment. Shortly after graduating in December 2012, he accepted a job at a mental health facility for children in Oklahoma City. Knowing it would be difficult to take time off in May for the ceremony, he let the opportunity slip by.

Earlier this year, Palermo, c’13, shared with his supervisor, Elisa Zahn Krapcha, c’05, j’05, g’11, that he never participated in Commencement. She mentioned that the Admissions team should stage a small ceremony for him.

“I kind of knew we might do a little something, but I didn’t expect too much,” Palermo says.

Krapcha and Heidi Simon, g’00, senior associate director of Admissions, had a surprise in store. On May 8, they summoned nearly 20 team members to the Campanile, where Palermo was given a traditional cap and gown, as well as party beads and a crimson and blue lei.

Brian Palermo and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little | www.kualumni.org“As I’m getting ready to walk through the Campanile, Heidi hands me a bottle of sparkling cider,” he recalls. “I got so focused on trying to open it, because people were shouting ‘Pop it, pop it!’ I was looking down at it and still walking when I heard someone say ‘Whoa, whoa! Hold on a moment.’”

When Palermo looked up, he saw Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little standing in front of him. “I was just floored,” he says. “I couldn’t believe she was there.”

The chancellor congratulated Palermo and delivered remarks, reminding him of KU’s noble mission: to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.

“I challenged the graduates at the 2012 Commencement to continue to do all of these things after they walked down the Hill,” Gray-Little told him. “You’ve done these things even without being there to hear my call.”

As Palermo wraps up his first year as a KU Admissions representative, he’s more determined than ever to continue serving the University, thanks to the kindness and support of his team and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

“It was just a really special moment that I don’t think I’ll ever forget,” he says.

—Heather Biele

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University’s student recruitment efforts impress Hawkeye

Posted on Jan 30, 2017 in Alumni News and News

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An article posted on LinkedIn praising the KU Office of Admissions’ student recruitment efforts has been spreading like wildfire among Jayhawks recently. The post, published in November by Ed Baldwin, a human resources strategist, analyzes KU’s recruitment of his son and compares it to a job candidate’s experience.

Baldwin, a graduate of the University of Iowa, explains that it’s often the little things that differentiate a school or employer from the competition, and he describes several small “extras” that KU staff member did to make his family feel special, such as sending personalized letters and emails to him and his wife.

“You’ve differentiated yourself amongst a field of great universities, and you may also be rewarded with a KU student attending in the Fall that is great young man because of it,” Baldwin writes.

Read the full article on LinkedIn.

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Kansas vs. Austin Peay: Work hard, play hard

Posted on Mar 17, 2016 in Alumni News and News

March Madness can create some unlikely rivalries, and KU’s feisty first-round match against Austin Peay produced some good natured trash talking on Twitter this week. The admissions offices from KU and Austin Peay exchanged shots that were too good to miss. Check it out. These loyal staffers work hard and play hard. Let the games begin!

Hats off to the teams that work hard AND play hard for the Governors and the Jayhawks. Rock Chalk!

–David Johnston

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Legacy students experience KU’s game-day glory

Posted on Sep 15, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Sophomore legacy recruitment day 2015High school sophomore legacy students were treated to a special KU visit day last weekend, hosted by KU’s Office of Admissions.

A total of 224 people attended the event, including 96 sophomore students and 128 guests. Participants experienced KU in all its game-day glory, and enjoyed campus tours, lunch in the Union and presentations about what it’s like to be a Jayhawk.

One lucky attendee even won a basketball signed by the 2014-15 men’s team, which will surely entice her to enroll at the University in a few years.

After the formal program, students and their guests had a few hours to explore campus and Lawrence on their own or tailgate on the Hill before heading to the football game in Memorial Stadium.

Students and parents, as well as organizers, were pleased with the event. “We really enjoyed the entire program, and thought everything was well organized and informative,” said parent Jay Burgess. “Our ambassador did a great job of showing off the school and answering all our questions—I know I was ready to come back to school at the end of the day!”

Joy Maxwell, the Alumni Association’s director of legacy relations, declared the program a winner. “Saturday’s event was top-notch!”

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A New Flock Flies to the Hill

Posted on May 28, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Jayhawk Generations | www.kualumni.orgThe Alumni Association has tracked Jayhawk family legacies since the early 1900s, when second-generation Jayhawks landed on the Hill. Faithful families have continued to fortify their legacies through the years and, with help from the Office of Admissions and University Archives, the Association has continued to honor legacy students each fall in our Jayhawk Generations tribute. Each fall we are honored to salute second-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-generations Jayhawks and beyond. Family members and fellow alumni look forward to tracing the histories of KU families and spotting former KU classmates among the photos of parents.

Since 2005 we have featured hundreds of second-, third-, and fourth-generation Jayhawks and highlighted fifty-seven fifth-generation Jayhawks, including Thomas Leach from Jayhawk Generations 2013. Thomas is one of many fifth-generation Jayhawks who are descendants of David Robinson, one of KU’s founding faculty members. We’ve also welcomed three sixth-generation students, including Gabriel Hass, Jayhawk Generations 2012, whose family tradition dates back to 1870. As KU traditions continue to flourish , we look forward to hailing the arrival of freshmen who represent seven generations and beyond.

We are beginning to research the family trees of fall 2014 freshmen, and we will send emails to the families of legacy students who have at least one parent who attended KU and a parent or grandparent who is an Alumni Association member. If you are an Association member sending a legacy freshman to the Hill this fall and you haven’t heard from us by mid-June, please send an email to jhawkgenerations@ku.edu, call us at 800-584-2957 or visit our website. The deadline for submissions is July 18, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your summer before your Jayhawk leaves the nest and heads to Mount Oread.

Update: The deadline has been extended to Aug. 31! There’s still time to have your legacy student featured in Jayhawk Generations.

—Leah Kohlman

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Meet the Admissions Rep: Michael Chavez

Posted on May 8, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Alumni play an important role in helping to recruit new students to the University of Kansas, and the KU Alumni Association works closely with the KU Office of Admissions in these efforts. Each year, the Office of Admissions staffs recruiters to represent KU throughout the state of Kansas an in key territories across the country. We asked each of the admissions reps to share a little information with us so alumni can get to know them.

Today’s post features Michael Chavez, c’11, a native of Topeka. Michael recruits students from Kansas City, Shawnee and Topeka.

What is your fondest memory of your time at KU?Chavez
One of my favorite memories is attending LeaderShape, a 6-day leadership conference. Not only was I around KU’s finest and brightest, but I gained a much deeper understanding of myself as a leader.  I gained valuable skills that I use in my everyday life now and still keep in touch with the Jayhawks I met during that time.

What clubs, organizations or traditions did you participate in as a student?
I was involved with and worked for the University Advising Center as a Peer Advisor. It was a great experience working with incoming freshman and helping them navigate the enrollment and advising process during orientation. It is one of the reasons why I am in higher education today!

Name one class you think every KU student should take and why.
I think everyone should take COMS 130, Speaker-Audience Communication. One of the hardest things to do is to speak in front of an audience and I attribute a lot of my success as a presenter to this class. It teaches you how to organize your thoughts and effectively communicate that to the audience. You also gain valuable skills that you can use in other classes at KU and your career.

When did you know you loved KU?
I knew I loved KU the moment I sang the Alma Mater and the Rock Chalk Chant for the first time in Allen Fieldhouse. Being around 16,299 of my closest friends singing along, swaying back and forth and hearing the chant that to this day still gives me goose bumps. That was when I knew that I wasn’t just a KU student, but I was part of the Jayhawk family. That’s when I looked around and said, “Damn, I love this place!”

What’s the most important piece of advice you give prospective students?
My advice for prospective students is to not be afraid to be different. High school is over and college is a great opportunity to start fresh. Take classes you never thought of taking, join a club you normally wouldn’t join, talk to a complete stranger on campus. You never know what could happen. You may meet your best friend or significant other. You may decide to change your major after taking a certain class. You might even develop a new hobby! Whatever that may be, be open to the new experiences. Challenge yourself to be different. I guarantee that you won’t regret it!

How do you show your Jayhawk pride?
I show my Jayhawk pride by bleeding crimson and blue. I work for KU as an Admissions Representative where I talk about my alma mater as part of my job! My wife loves KU. I have been an Alumni Association member since I graduated and now my 9-month old daughter is a member of the Future Jayhawks program.

How does your KU degree help you in your career and daily life?
My KU degree was in Communication Studies. I have used this degree in my everyday life. I have improved my presentation skills, learned how to talk to all kinds of people in different situations, and can write effectively.  All of these things I use not only in my career, but in my personal life and in my graduate program in Higher Education Administration.

Click here to visit Michael’s page on the Office of Admissions website, which includes his recruitment territories and school visit schedule. Contact Michael at 785.864.5411 or by email at mchavez@ku.edu.

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Meet the Admissions Rep: Lacey Koester

Posted on Apr 25, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Alumni play an important role in helping to recruit new students to the University of Kansas, and the KU Alumni Association works closely with the KU Office of Admissions in these efforts. Each year, the Office of Admissions staffs recruiters to represent KU throughout the state of Kansas an in key territories across the country. We asked each of the admissions reps to share a little information with us so alumni can get to know them.

Today’s post features Lacey Koester, c’08 a native of Hoisington. Lacey is the Admissions Rep for Johnson County, Kansas City’s private schools, and the states of Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. UPDATE: Lacey’s last day with the Office of Admissions is May 20, 2014.

Lacey Koester, KU Office of AdmissionsWhat is your fondest memory of your time at KU?

The haunting melody of the Rock Chalk Chant filled the humid air and eerily escaped the confines of the expansive white tent. The heads of all present swiveled to take in the handful of recent graduates emitting this odd and mournful sound on such a festive summer day. No, I wasn’t gathered with my fellow students on the slopes of Mount Oread, or in the crimson and blue bleachers of Allen Fieldhouse; I was huddled with a few other Jayhawks as we celebrated our graduation from the Universidad de las Américas, Puebla.

Coincidentally, my fondest memories of my time at KU didn’t even take place in Lawrence. Rather, my favorite KU memories are of my two study abroad experiences in Granada, Spain, and Puebla, Mexico. These were formative times in my life when I truly became independent as I sojourned to foreign lands alone. I embraced adventure and scaled pyramids, gobbled down grasshoppers, danced among the costume-clad throngs at Carnaval and raucously cheered along with the impassioned masses of fans during the World Cup. I also began to perfect my Spanish and learned about the world from the perspective of my Spanish and Mexican host families and friends. Study abroad was truly a time when the foreign became familiar, and the familiar became foreign.

What clubs, organizations or traditions did you participate in as a student?

My college affiliations that I hold dearest are Sellards Scholarship Hall, my involvement in Latin American Solidarity, my student jobs at the Spencer Research Library and the Office of Admissions, and the summer I spent as an Orientation Assistant helping incoming students to make the transition to KU. These organizations are where I forged lifelong friendships and learned about my personal passions.

Name one class you think every KU student should take and why.

HIST 370 – Violence & Conflict in Latin America: This history class delves into topics such as the drug trade, poverty, civil wars, and military corruption, while exploring America’s role in the region and the influence of this violence upon immigration to the United States.

Lacey Koester, Office of AdmissionsLAA 332 – Language & Society of Latin America: The history of the United States is inextricably linked with Latin America and this class explores the linguistic, cultural, and historical nuances of the countries and people beyond our southern border. More so, Mexico and Brazil are among the most important trading partners for the United States and this class lends a deeper understanding to these relationships.

When did you know you loved KU?

I think it took a bit longer for me as compared to most students to realize my profound affection for KU. This realization came the day that my younger sister wrecked into my already shoddy sedan with one of our farm tractors and delayed my return to Lawrence to begin my sophomore year. I was absolutely devastated that I wouldn’t be able to move back early as planned to join the other members of the executive committee of my scholarship hall and to reunite with my friends as planned. Through the tears and a few angry barbs hurled at my sis, it struck me that I was so emotional because KU had come to mean so much to me in just a year’s time.

Describe your perfect day in Lawrence.

My perfect, jammed-packed day in Lawrence consists of the following activities: strolling around the Farmer’s Market early in the morning and consuming some homemade tamales, swinging by The Merc to munch on some mochi ice cream, jostling with the crowds along the sidewalks of Mount Oread to cheer on yet another of my younger sisters during their walk down the Hill, bicycling along the Kansas River levee, catching a recently released indie flick at Liberty Hall, cheering on my favorite Kaw Valley Kickball team under the lights at Hobbs Field and dancing the remainder of the night away to the tunes of a live band in a crowded basement on Massachusetts Street. The days are still 24 hours long, right?

What’s the most important piece of advice you give to prospective students?

I’ve got three pieces of advice: Do something daring, start sooner rather than later, and document it all. In my time at KU, I’ve learned that you experience the most growth when you push yourself to tackle the unimaginable. Whether it’s a new language, a sport you’ve secretly always wanted to try, or a class to which you’ve never had any previous exposure, I guarantee that the result will be worth the endeavor.

Of course, the sooner that you push yourself to take these chances, the more quickly that you’ll reap the rewards. Finally, each time that I open a photo album, read an old research project, or decipher my notes to friends from the margins of an old UDK, I am instantly transported back to my college years.

Lacey Koester, Office of KU AdmissionsYou’ll create lots of rich memories in your four years as a Jayhawk and you’ll want to remember them all. So, snap lots of photos and be sure to keep your favorite college mementos for the years down yonder.

How do you show your Jayhawk pride?

I make creative costumes to don at the basketball games, including at the 2012 Final Four in New Orleans and the final KU vs. Mizzou game in Allen Fieldhouse. My friends are always slightly embarrassed to be spotted with me at these sporting events but my enthusiasm is infectious, or so I’d like to think.

How does your KU degree help you in your career and daily life?

My KU degree has equipped me for the future and set me up to achieve my personal and academic goals. I’ve actually returned to the university again in the role of a student this past fall as I work toward a Master of Social Work degree with the ultimate goal of working with immigrants and refugees upon my graduation. More so, KU allowed me to explore my interest in languages and the world, which I yearned to do as a youngster growing up in a rural community in the exact center of the state of Kansas. I’ve endeavored to learn three languages, have traveled to eighteen countries, and even spent an entire year in Mérida, Spain, teaching English to middle and high school students. KU helped me to claim my curiosity.

Click here to visit Lacey’s page on the Office of Admissions website, which includes her recruitment territories and school visit schedule. Contact Lacey at 785.864.5407 or by email at lkoester@ku.edu.

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Meet the Admissions Rep: Kaci Bray

Posted on Apr 11, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Alumni play an important role in helping to recruit new students to the University of Kansas, and the KU Alumni Association works closely with the KU Office of Admissions in these efforts. Each year, the Office of Admissions staffs recruiters to represent KU throughout the state of Kansas an in key territories across the country. We asked each of the admissions reps to share a little information with us so alumni can get to know them.

Today’s post features Kaci Bray, c’12, a native of Olathe. Kaci recruits students from Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Marshall, Nemaha, Pottawatomie, Riley, Wabaunsee, and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and from the state of Nebraska.

Kaci Bray, KU Office of AdmissionsWhat is your fondest memory of your time at KU?
The best memory I have during my time at KU would have to be the final basketball Border Showdown. Winning the last match up between an old rival, with a history that goes back farther than most rivalries, was epic to say the least. I have never felt more proud to be a Jayhawk than I was that day and to be surround by 16,300 others who I knew felt the same way was amazing.

What clubs, organizations or traditions did you participate in as a student?
I participated in HawkLink my first two years at Kansas. This organization was a great way for me to be introduced to the college lifestyle, and I met some really great people who helped me all throughout my time at KU.

When did you know you loved KU?
During my time at KU I knew that I was a part of the Jayhawk family, but I don’t think it really hit me until after I graduated. After being away from campus I realized that I had so much pride for my university and was happy when I saw anyone wearing a Jayhawk.

Describe your perfect day in Lawrence.
My perfect day in Lawrence would include spending the afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse at a men’s basketball game,  heading down to Massachusetts Streets afterwards to do some shopping and ending the day at Free State Brewery.

What’s the most important piece of advice you give prospective students?
The most important piece of advice I would give to prospective students is to get involved in any and everything you can while in college.

Click here to visit Kaci’s page on the Office of Admissions website, which includes her recruitment territories and school visit schedule. Contact Kaci at 785.864.5416 or by email at krbray@ku.edu.

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Meet the Admissions Rep: Bonnie Ewart-Fisher

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Alumni play an important role in helping to recruit new students to the University of Kansas, and the KU Alumni Association works closely with the KU Office of Admissions in these efforts. Each year, the Office of Admissions staffs recruiters to represent KU throughout the state of Kansas an in key territories across the country. We asked each of the admissions reps to share a little information with us so alumni can get to know them.

Today’s post features Bonnie Ewart-Fisher, c’13, a native of Wichita. Bonnie recruits students from Butler, Cowley, Harvey, Sedgwick and Sumner counties in Kansas and from the state of California.

What is your fondest memory of your time at KU?EwartFisher
Walking down the hill on graduation day with my closest Jayhawk friends!

What clubs, organizations or traditions did you participate in as a student?
I was the vice president of the All Scholarship Hall Council and social chair for my scholarship hall, a student senator, and social chair and secretary for the Japanese Student Association. I also studied abroad in Japan and worked for the Office of Study Abroad. And, of course, I went to basketball games!

Name one class you think every KU student should take and why.
Any language class, especially a less common language—KU offers so many opportunities to learn a language and the communities that form around learning these languages are fantastic! You’ll learn to think differently, you’ll be challenged, and you’ll meet some amazingly passionate people.

When did you know you loved KU?
My first night in my scholarship hall freshman year. All of the older residents helped me unpack my car, told me all about campus and were so welcoming—I fell asleep that night while my roommate and I giddily discussed the amazing things we had to look forward to as new Jayhawks.

Describe your perfect day in Lawrence.
My perfect day in Lawrence would be a walk around campus in the fall, followed by a basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse and coffee with all of my friends at Henry’s.

What’s the most important piece of advice you give prospective students?
Get involved in campus life and study abroad! KU is the best place for both of these activities and that’s where I made all of my lifelong friends.

How do you show your Jayhawk pride?
By guiding prospective students to the best opportunities at KU.

Tell us about your involvement with your local Alumni Association chapter and describe how this network can help prospective/current students.
The Alumni Association chapter in Wichita has helped me to know my hometown in a way I never did before—I have a community of professionals behind me to help me with whatever decisions I make. I love that the Alumni Association also helps me out when I’m in California traveling for work—I always know where to go to feel at home and I always have help when I’m planning an event!

How does your KU degree help you in your career and daily life?
The strong academic, research and leadership experience I gained in college is all reflected in my degree. I know wherever I go that my experience is respected because of the quality KU represents.

Click here to visit Bonnie’s page on the Office of Admissions website, which includes her recruitment territories and school visit schedule. Contact Bonnie at 785.864.5213 or by email at bfisher21@ku.edu

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