Jayhawks reflect on cost of freedom in Normandy

Posted on Sep 8, 2019 in Alumni News

Flying Jayhawks | Normandy

Seventeen KU alumni shared the extraordinary experience of visiting Normandy, as the Flying Jayhawks took part in our nation’s continued commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

“Homebased” out of the picturesque city of Honfleur, we spent eight days covering the Normandy region, including walking the hallowed ground of the Normandy invasion—the beaches of Utah, Omaha and Pointe-du-Hoc. Joined by 12 alumni from the University of Nebraska (who all were highly impressed with the great support we received from the KU Alumni Association), our group of 29 gained a newfound appreciation for the incredible sacrifices that the “Greatest Generation” made in liberating France and Europe.

As I reflect back on our trip, I don’t believe our eight-day visit could have been planned or executed any better—just like a military operation! We owe a huge shout out to the KU Alumni Association (thanks Tegan!); our intrepid travel leader, Emiliano “Emi” Rio; our daily tour guides, William, Claire and Marie; and the entire team from AHI Travel – you all rocked! As Emi continually reminded us in his perfect Argentinian, French and Belgian cocktail of an accent: “Dress like onions—many layers!” (The Jayhawks had to interpret for the Cornhuskers.)

While the beaches and the D-Day Memorial were certainly our primary calling, let’s be honest, everyone on the trip was a foodie. So let’s start there.

Each morning we awoke in our lovely hotel to the smell of a breakfast—and there was nothing “petit” about this petit déjeuner. The local cheeses, flaky chocolate-filled croissants, baguettes slathered with Normandy butter, fresh fruits (something had to be approved by our cardiologists!), the spécialté de la maison, Teurgoule. Stick a fork in me; I’m done!

Monday

Flying Jayhawks | NormandyOkay, back to the trip. We were treated with a “soft landing” on Monday, our first day in Normandy. We were led through the streets and rich history of Honfleur, which included Saint Catherine, which is quite an unusual wooden church. Saint Catherine looks a bit like an upside down boat, largely because the local shipbuilders constructed it in the 1500s.  And perhaps most importantly, our local guide pointed out the “must dine” restaurants in Honfleur.

Tuesday

Tuesday, was completely dedicated to visiting Mont Saint-Michel: amazing. Mont Saint-Michel looks like something straight out of a Hollywood studio—a fantastical city rising from Normandy’s tidal marshes with towering spires and ramparts.

As we quickly discovered, the Mont is not for the faint of heart, it was a bit of a workout traversing from our shuttle stop to the Mont’s entrance, and then onward and upward through the steep winding village street lined by museums, restaurants and shops. Finally, the “Grand Degre” stairs (350 steps) gateway led to the goal of our hike, the imposing abbey which has served as the goal for pilgrims since the 8th century. You cannot visit Mont Saint Michel without reflecting on Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and the improbable craftsmanship and ingenuity of 8th-century church-builders.

Wednesday

Wednesday was jam-packed and included one of the best meals we had as a group. (Did we mention we enjoyed the food?)

The day began with a visit to the Caen Memorial, which was thoughtfully placed at the beginning of our World War II battlefield study.  The museum included an overview of the beginnings of World War II, which provided us with a strong educational foundation for our upcoming walks along the D-Day landing beaches.

Following Caen, we drove to Les Vergers de Ducy, a family farm, which makes classic fortified apple cider and our group’s new favorite liquors: Normandy Pommeau and the famous apple brandy, Calvados. We were treated to a tour of the distillery and then shared an delectable French dejeuner of rooster, meats, local cheeses, fresh salads, another Teurgoule recipe, and of course, baguettes with butter! After lunch, we “sampled” the Poummeau and Calvados, and then made a beeline to their gift shop.

Wednesday afternoon continued our D-Day study, with visits to Utah Beach, the landing site of the US Army’s 4th Infantry Division (led by Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.), and Sainte-Mère-Église, the first town liberated by Operation Overlord.

We walked along reflectively, considering the lost youth and innocence of the young men who stormed ashore in 1944, supported by air assaults conducted by units from the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions. During our bus ride back to Honfleur, our tour guide William Jordan provided us a moving rendition of speeches given by Generals Eisenhower and Montgomery, as our group quietly considered our first experience of the D-Day invasion.

Flying Jayhawks | Normandy

Thursday

Flying Jayhawks | Normandy

Again, I have to tip my chapeau to the trip organizer: Thursday was a day afforded to each traveler to do as they please!

After the emotional visit to the beaches, each of us was ready for a day to recharge and refit for the rest of the week. The world’s greatest travel director, Emi, worked with several groups to help them schedule visits to the art museums of Rouen; the modern-looking church of Eglise Jeanne d’Arc, which sits on the site of Joan of Arc’s burning; Lisieux, the home of the Catholic saint, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who founded “the Little Way”;  and of course, several chose to hang in Honfleur to take in a day cruise on the Seine and a bucket of mussels for lunch. (I’m not sure what the Nebraska group did on their day off—shucked some corn?)

Friday

Friday was our capstone event: the trip to Pegasus Bridge, Arromanches, Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc.

On this day, we came to appreciate the herculean effort involved in the allied amphibious invasion to liberate France and the rest of Western Europe. From the implausible construction feat of the “mulberries” to Colonel Rudder’s Ranger assault on the formidable cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, our travel guide and military historian introduced us to the everyday men and women who served our country with the highest valor.

As we walked along, we couldn’t help consider the juxtaposition of the serene beaches we experienced, with those blood-stained and scarred beaches of 1944. Perhaps the height of this juxtaposition was experienced during the last component of our Normandy battle visit—the visit to the iconic American Cemetery. Situated on a bluff overlooking Omaha beach, the American Cemetery is a solemn site. We are all transfixed by the green fields filled with seemingly endless ranks of white Christian crosses and Jewish Stars of David, especially when we consider they represent only a small fraction of the Americans who died here.

Flying Jayhawks | NormandyContaining the graves of more than 9,380 of our military dead and the engraved names of the 1,557 American soldiers whose bodies were never identified or found, the cemetery memorializes the human cost of the Normandy invasion with unimaginable peace and tranquility. The statue “The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves” symbolizes the thousands of men who sacrificed their lives in Normandy for a people they never knew.

As we leave this cemetery this moving and somewhat haunting statue is our last stop. Rightfully so, as we complete the World War II component of our trip, we are left to ponder the incalculable cost of freedom: the lives lost, the dreams incomplete and families left behind.

Saturday

We leave our incredible journey on a lighter note with a trip to a town that managed to avoid bombing in World War II, the city of Bayeux.

Flying Jayhawks | NormandyIt is here that we visit the best-known piece of embroidery in the world, the Bayeux Tapestry. Intended for an illiterate audience, the tapestry commemorates King William’s conquest of England. The tapestry is 230 feet long and contains exquisitely detailed scenes embroidered with tiny, precise stitches. Saturday evening provides our group one last opportunity to celebrate our combined Jayhawk camaraderie, reflect on the incredible travel experience we shared and bid farewell to one another and to our effervescent host, Emi.

As part of our farewell reception, we broke down in small groups and enjoyed a “Jeopardy-like” trivia contest to determine who had the best grasp of renowned KU trivia and important tidbits from the trip.

  • Question: “This classic hangout has served as the beginning of many long-term relationships to include that of your hosts”
  • Answer: “What is the Wheel?!”

(Sorry, Cornhuskers, missed that one?)

After recognizing the winning team with a bottle of Pommeau and some of Honfleur’s finest shot glasses, our group headed out for a wonderful meal in the heart of the dining district. Did I mention that we were all foodies?

Rock Chalk!

Mike and Karen

The Flying Jayhawks “Normandy” trip took place Aug. 17-25, 2019. The trip was hosted by Mike Denning, c’83, a retired Marine Corps colonel and director of the KU Office of Graduate Military Programs, and his wife, Karen Abram Denning, c’83.  Find more information about Flying Jayhawks trips, including a schedule, or sign up for travel emails.

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Jayhawks in the News | July 19

Posted on Jul 19, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Endangered language | Globe Miami Times

Dr. Willem de Reuse, g’83, a linguist employed by The Language Conservancy, is part of an effort to save the Western Apache language. de Reuse has studied the Apache for 25 years and is the author of A Practical Grammar of the San Carlos Apache Language.
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Serious distance runners can’t stay away from Flagstaff, lure of high altitude | Arizona Daily Independent

Courtney Barnes, a former collegiate runner at the University of Kansas, is one of the newest employees of Run Flagstaff, a specialty running store located downtown on Historic Route 66. Barnes, c’18, c’18, moved to Flagstaff last year and is training for the USA National Championship in Des Moines, Iowa.
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Former Jayhawk Perry Ellis inks with professional club in Japan | KUSports.com

Perry Ellis has agreed to join the Osaka Evessa club in Japan for the upcoming season. Ellis,’16, has spent his professional career playing in the NBA’s G League as well as overseas in Australia, Italy, Germany and Turkey.
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YWCA Greater Pittsburgh finds new chief executive in Texas | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Janine Woods was named chief executive of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh effective July 8. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, a master’s from Webster University in St. Louis, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.
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Camcorp names new president | Feed & Grain

Camcorp, a manufacturer of high-performing air pollution control and pneumatic conveying equipment, named Tony Thill as its new president effective July 1, 2019. Thill earned an undergraduate degree in business in 1989 from the University of Kansas.
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Walker School names new communications and marketing director | Marietta Daily Journal

The Walker School has named Karen Park, j’16, as its new director of communications and marketing. Park has worked at The Detroit Free Press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and most recently at InterContinental Hotels Group.
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Expert in advance care planning named Director of Regenstrief’s Center for Aging Research | BioSpace

Susan Hickman, Ph.D., has been selected to lead the Indiana University Center for Aging Research at the Regenstrief Institute. She will be the second director in the center’s history. Dr. Hickman, g’95 PhD’98, is a clinical geropsychologist focused on optimizing the quality of life for older adults through improved decision-making and communication about treatment preferences.
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Akron Children’s Hospital names chief ambulatory officer, 2 VPs | Becker’s Hospital Review

Akron (Ohio) Children’s Hospital has appointed Matthew Groninger as vice president of medical and surgical subspecialties. Groninger, g’04, most recently served as vice president of ambulatory services at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. He earned his master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.
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Jayhawks in the News | July 12

Posted on Jul 12, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Jersey Mike’s SVP of leadership, coaching and culture presents strategies for improving work culture and personal development in new book | KITV4

With over 40 years of leadership and coaching experience, author Keith Hertling, the senior vice president of leadership, coaching and culture for Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, knows how to create and maintain a great work culture. In his new book “Life Lessons on Leadership, Coaching and Culture,” Hertling, g’86, shares his inspiring stories which also double as a resourceful guide for both business owners, managers, and employees.
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Vice chancellor for public affairs named facilitator for the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission | University Daily Kansan

Reggie Robinson, vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas, has been named facilitator for the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission, Governor Laura Kelly announced Tuesday. Robinson previously served as director of the School of Public Affairs and Administration. He also received both his undergraduate and graduate law degrees from the University.
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KU Libraries announces 2019 Research Sprints participants | University of Kansas

Melissa Peterson, g’11, was selected to participate in the 2019 Research Sprints. Peterson’s research project, “Kansas Homesteading: It’s More Interesting and Complicated Than You Would Expect,” focused on the daily experiences of Kansas homesteaders, the history of indigenous peoples’ dispossession and the expansion of the nation-state.
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Multi-brand insurance company names CFO to bolster strategic financial operations | NBC29.com

Susan Wollenberg has been selected to serve as Chief Financial Officer for Windhaven® Insurance and The Hearth Insurance Group™, Jimmy E. Whited, CEO of the Florida-based companies, announced today. Wollenberg, b’85, began her career as a Certified Public Accountant at Deloitte and Touché.
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Who’s Who 2019: Gary Komar | Chicago Agent Magazine

Gary Komar, c’92, is a vice president of residential lending at Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. and is based out of their downtown Chicago branch. In addition to his home market of Illinois, he is licensed to originate mortgages in California, Texas, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
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Who’s Who 2019: Josh Denlow | Chicago Agent Magazine

As the leader of The Denlow Mortgage Team at Draper & Kramer Mortgage Corp., Josh Denlow, c’95, serves a diverse range of clients across Chicago, Evanston and the surrounding suburbs. He began his professional life in the telecommunications industry before the dot-com crash inspired him to seek a new direction.
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Arbor Investments promotes Schoenfelder to VP | Food Business News

Josh Schoenfelder has been promoted to vice president of Arbor Investments, a private equity firm focused on the food and beverage industries. Schoenfelder, b’09, joined Arbor in 2014 and since 2016 was a senior associate.
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Jake Silverman joins Strategic Capitol Consulting | The Missouri Times

Political consultant Jake Silverman is the newest addition to Strategic Capitol Consulting, LLC, a government affairs and business development firm. Silverman, c’11, joins the firm as a lobbyist and political strategist.
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KU photographers capture campus from every angle | University Daily Kansan

Andy White, c’12, and Meg Kumin, c’99, g’03, the official photographers for the University of Kansas, are responsible for capturing campus life from every perspective. From the top of Fraser to the chaos of Allen Fieldhouse, there are few places Kumin and White haven’t captured.
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Tommy Bohler hired as city administrator | Waushara Argus

Tommy Bohler, g’15, was hired as the new city administrator, clerk and treasurer by the Wautoma City Council. He earned a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on city management.
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Rutgers Brain Health Institute announces appointments to further autism research | Rutgers News

Brian Greer, g’12, PhD’14, will join Rutgers in late July as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics in RWJMS and as a core member of BHI. He will serve as the assistant director of CSH-RUCARES, overseeing the Severe Behavior Disorders in Children Program.
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Medical doctor connects faith and health care through theology degree | Public

Donna Ewy, m’94, holds a total of six degrees. She specializes in geriatrics, long-term care and hospice care, and uses her background in theology to connect her faith with health care.
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Former governor staffer launches Congressional campaign | Ottawa Herald

Abbie Hodgson, D-Lawrence, has launched a 2020 campaign for the Kansas Second Congressional District. Hodgson, c’03 g’09 PhD’18, holds three degrees from the University of Kansas and taught in KU’s Communication Studies department for a decade.
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Meet new Kansas executive director for Latino affairs Aude Negrete | KSHB

Aude Negrete, c’09, was announced as the state’s new executive director fo rthe Hispanic and Latino America Affairs Commission. The commission helps connect the Latino and Hispanic community with the governor’s office.
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Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

 

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Jayhawks in the News | July 5

Posted on Jul 5, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Copiah-Lincoln Community College announces new leader for Natchez campus | Natchez Democrat

The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Sandra Barnes, Ph.D., of Natchez as the new Vice President of the Natchez Campus during a recent special meeting, school officials said. Barnes, PhD’99, will begin her new role as vice president at Co-Lin, Natchez on July 15.
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New United professor brings unique perspective to pastoral theology | Winslow Evans & Crocker, Inc.

Rev. Gary F. Green II, c’09, joined United theological Seminary of the Twin Cities as assistant professor of pastoral theology and social transformation. Green is a Ph.D candidate in pastoral theology at Brite Divinity School. His undergraduate degree is in applied behavior science.
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City attorney named VP at Colorado Municipal League | Centennial Citizen

Centennial city attorney Robert “Bob” Widner was elected by the Colorado Municipal League executive board to serve as vice president for 2019-20. Widner is a 1989 graduate of the University of Kansas Law School.
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After a career as Marion County’s ‘fixer,’ John Lattimer steps into retirement | Statesman Journal

After 51 years of public service – including positions in Oregon such as Legislative Fiscal Officer, State Auditor and Chief Information Officer – John Lattimer, g’72, retired as chief administrative officer for Marion County in Oregon.
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Rick Wiedemann named next Tuthill Transfer Systems president | Pumps & Systems

Effective August 1, 2019, Rick Wiedemann will become President at Tuthill Transfer Systems. Wiedemann, g’08, has been with Tuthill since 2015 when he joined Tuthill Vacuum & Blower Systems in Springfield, Missouri as Director of Global Business Development & Americas Sales.
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Preston James IV shared how he impacts the lives of students | Rolling Out

Preston James IV, the executive director and founder of the Other Side of Sports organization, shares what attracted him to the legal profession and how he impacts the lives of students. James, l’00, g’00, is also the sports management program director at LaGrange College.
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Senior-level hires and promotions in South Florida | Miami Herald

Tiffany M. Hurwitz is a new partner at Siegfried, Rivera, Hyman, Lerner, De La Torre, Mars & Sobel, P.A., based in the firm’s Coral Gables office. Hurwitz, j’00, focuses on construction law and heads the firm’s contract drafting department. She joined the firm in 2006.
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Dr. Maureen Weber joins staff at Wright Memorial Hospital | KTTN.com

Wright Memorial Hospital welcomed hospitalist, Maureen Weber, MD, to the medical team. Prior to joining Wright Memorial, Dr. Weber earned her medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, KS. She was a Chief Resident in the Research Family Medicine Residency Program in Kansas City, MO.
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Eastern Michigan University appoints dean of the Honors College and assistant vice president for academic affairs | Education Dive

Brian Pappas, a professor of law and public policy and administration with extensive experience in conflict management and resolution, has been named assistant vice president for academic affairs. Pappas earned a doctorate in public administration at the University of Kansas.
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Columbus’ Partners Dance Studio moves to new location, offers more classes | Columbus Journal

Sabrina Castillo begins teaching at Partners Dance Studio this fall. She recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in business, including a minor in dance.
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Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

 

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Jayhawks in the News | June 28

Posted on Jun 28, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Public opinion on wrongful convictions swayed by entertainment series, study finds | University of Kansas

A new study suggests entertainment programs about cases of wrongful conviction actually change public opinion more effectively than facts or statistics. Kevin Mullinix, assistant professor of political science at the University of Kansas, co-wrote an article titled “Framing Innocence: An Experimental Test of the Effects of Wrongful Convictions on Public Opinion.” Mullinix is an expert in public opinion and public policy and earned his master’s degree at KU in 2011.
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Meet Dr. Brenda Walker, interim associate dean of the College of Education | University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Dr. Brenda L. Walker began her tenure as the Interim Associate Dean for the College of Education at USF St. Petersburg on June 3, 2019. She has spent the past 28 years at the USF Tampa campus, where she advanced through the ranks from Assistant Professor to full Professor. Walker earned a doctorate degree from the University of Kansas in 1992.
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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, announces new appointments and curatorial promotions | Art Daily

Christopher Atkins, c’92, has been named as the inaugural Van Otterloo-Weatherbie Director of the Center for Netherlandish Art (CNA), an innovative center for scholarship on Dutch and Flemish art of the early modern period at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He comes to the MFA from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
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Horsley elected to INACSL board | The Brookings Register

Leann Horsley, assistant dean for South Dakota State University’s College of Nursing, was recently elected to the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning’s board of directors as vice president for programs. She earned a doctorate from the University of Kansas.
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Dr. Shaw’s career spans 4 decades, numerous AAP leadership roles | AAP Publications

Since joining the AAP in 1985, Pamela Shaw has dreamed of becoming president. She took a significant step closer to that goal when she accepted the nomination as a candidate for president-elect. Shaw, c’82, m’86, is a professor of pediatrics at KU Medical Center and assistant dean for clinical sciences and associate vice chancellor for student services.
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Ayesha Mehdi chosen for leadership program with national health care law association | Nevada Business

Las Vegas health care attorney Ayesha Mehdi of Frontier Health Law has been selected for the Leadership Development Program of the American Health Lawyers Association’s (AHLA) Fraud and Abuse Practice Group, starting July 1. Mehdi, l’10, g’10, and her physician husband spent five years in Kansas before moving to Las Vegas.
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KSU president named among most influential Atlantans | PublicNow

Kennesaw State University President Pamela Whitten was named this month to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Power 100, a list compiling the most influential and important leaders across metro Atlanta. Whitten holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Tulane University.
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Proper Title LLC promotes Wheatland, hires Gore | Daily Herald

Stacy Gore has joined Proper Title after a 10-year tenure as a real estate broker focusing on Chicago’s Gold Coast and surrounding neighborhoods. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a background in high net worth management.
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Unconditional love meets unbearable conditions in ‘Chasing Gods’ | University of Kansas

“Chasing Gods” opens July 12 under the direction of Markus Potter, co-artistic director of Kansas Repertory Theatre. DeAngelo Davis, c’19, has a role in the production, along with current KU students Gabrielle Smith and Jané Franklin.
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Three new district court judges appointed to the 17th Judicial District | Broomfield Enterprise

Patrick H. Pugh, l’05, was appointed to the 17th Judicial District Court in Colorado. Pugh is Of Counsel at Ballard Spahr LLP, a position he has held since 2007.
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New chief judge appointed for 21st Judicial District | Kansas Courts News Release

Hon. Grant Bannister, l’97, has been appointed chief judge of the 21st Judicial District by the Kansas Supreme Court. Bannister will serve in the role, which covers Clay and Riley counties, through the end of the year.
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Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

 

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Jayhawks in the News | June 21

Posted on Jun 21, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Neosho athletics director Cori Reid steps down to return to assistant AD role at MSSU | The Joplin Globe

Cori Reid, the first female to serve as athletics director at Neosho High School, has stepped down. She’ll return to her former role as an assistant athletics director at Missouri Southern State University. Reid is a 2005 graduate of the University of Kansas.
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Thomas Alan Kutscher Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who | 24-7 Press Release

Thomas Kutscher was presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a registered professional engineer who earned an MBA from the University of Kansas in 1982. Kutscher worked many years for Black & Veatch in Kansas City and later served as president of Kutscher Research. He retired in 2004.
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Hays native, TMP and FHSU graduate pens book describing 33 years in education | Hays Post

Chuck Schmidt recently published his first book “Tales from School: You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up!.” It’s a chronological narrative of his career experiences as a teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent. Schmidt earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education at the University of Kansas in 1972.
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David Whan’s human impact | American Builder’s Quarterly

David Whan, chief human resources officer for TopBuild Corporation, unifies the company’s 290 branches through humanitarian strategies. He’s been with TopBuild for 18 months, and previously spent 20 years at John Deere. Whan earned an MPA in public administration from the University of Kansas.
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President Nyre reflects on his eight-years at Iona College with The Ionian | Iona College

Iona College’s eighth President, Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., completes his eight-year tenure in New Rochelle at the end of this month. He reflects on his time at Iona in this article. Nyre earned two doctorate degrees from the University of Kansas.
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Juneteenth: Creative couple make book of expressive images, words | Winston-Salem Journal

Cornelia Webster and her husband, James, have co-authored a book, “Society Conscious,” that’s designed around her artwork and expressionist writing and his poetry. Cornelia received a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Kansas.
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Meet the founder of NYC’s newest fitness obsession | Coveteur

Kristin Sudeikis wants to take you on a spiritual (and sweaty) journey. She opened Forward_Space, a fitness studio, in Nolita in late 2018. Sudeikis grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and studied dance and kinesiology at the University of Kansas.
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Board announces Machalek as finalist for town administrator position | Estes Park News

The Estes Park Town Board announced Travis Machalek as the single finalist for the position of Town Administrator. Machalek has served as Assistant Town Administrator since April 2015. He earned a master of public administration degree from the University of Kansas.
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Brothers behind Blackhall Woodworks bonded by a shared love for design | St. Louis Magazine

nside Matt and Josh Bender’s 120-square-foot woodworking shop, in the basement of Matt’s house in Rock Hill, the two meet regularly after their day jobs—Josh is an architect, Matt a graphic designer. Josh studied architecture at the University of Kansas. The brothers’ interest in furniture making began to dovetail after college.
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Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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Jayhawks in the News | June 14

Posted on Jun 14, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Rusted oil cans you’ll want to drink out of and other ceramic delights | Missoulian

Mitchell Span, a ceramic artist from Des Moines, Iowa, is participating in the Radius Gallery’s Ceramics Invitational show. He forages vintage labels from the Internet or books and catalogs to find these labels for his functional mugs, flasks and shot glasses. In graduate school at the University of Kansas, he spent several months developing his process through slip-casting, a molding process with liquid clay.
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LEAD1 Association Announces Institute Scholarship Winners | The Punxsutawney Spirit

The LEAD1 Association today announced the recipients of the minority scholarship award for the 2019 LEAD1 Institute. Mike Harrity, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kansas, is one of the recipients. Harrity serves as a Senior Associate Athletics Director at the University of Notre Dame where he leads the areas that directly impact the student-athlete experience. He formerly worked for Kansas Athletics.
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Lisa Marie Thalhammer launches ‘Spirit of Stonewall’ mural | Lesbian News

Lisa Marie Thalhammer painted a brand new mural commemorating the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Stonewall riots that launched the LGBTQ rights movement. The mural, entitled “Spirit of Stonewall,” is located outside the Aqua Bar and Nightclub in Key West. Thalhammer received a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in painting with a double minor in women’s studies and art history from the University of Kansas.
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John Colombo to become interim dean of CLAS | University Daily Kansan

John Colombo, director of the Life Span Institute, has worn many hats over his 37 years at the University of Kansas. Now, he’s preparing to start a one-year term as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences July 1.
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Tenet Board appoints Chris Lynch as new independent director | University Daily Kansan

Tenet Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: THC) today announced the appointment of Christopher S. Lynch to its Board of Directors. Lynch’s appointment will become effective August 7, 2019. He received a bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Kansas.
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KU selects former faculty member, alumnus to serve as pharmacy school dean | Lawrence Journal-World

The University of Kansas selected a former faculty member and university alumnus to lead its School of Pharmacy. Ronald Ragan, who served in several positions at KU from 1997 to 2012, will return to the university on Aug. 1 to become the new dean of the school. Ragan received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from KU.
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On the Move: Leslie Doyle | Diverse Education

Leslie Doyle has been named chief inclusion officer at Rockhurst University. Previously, she was director of service, diversity and social justice at Fontbonne University. Doyle earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University, a master’s degree from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree from Fontbonne University and an Ed.D. from Maryville University.
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Former student makes living playing Fortnite | University Daily Kansan

Amidst the pressure of earning a college degree, a former University of Kansas business student turned his gaming skills into a full-time paying job. Jack Schneider decided to break off from the traditional route of college and prioritize his passion in “Fortnite Battle Royale” competitive gaming.
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Ready to Rock | The Daily Sentinel

One year after a second-place finish in the Pioneer League, the Grand Junction Rockies are ready to take the field in 2019. For one new player, joining the Rockies is a homecoming. Owen Taylor was drafted by Toronto in the 27th round of the 2014 draft. Instead,he opted to play college ball at the University of Kansas, starting 42 games as a senior.
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Cherokee Global Brands appoints Evan Hengel to additional role of Chairman of its Board of Directors | AZCentral

Cherokee Global Brands (NASDAQ: CHKE), a global brand marketing platform that manages a growing portfolio of fashion and lifestyle brands, announced that the Company has appointed current Director Evan Hengel to Chairman of the Board of Directors. Hengel received a B.S. with honors from the University of Kansas.
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Sabetha Community Hospital welcomes new director of physical therapy | Hiawatha World Online

Sabetha Community Hospital announced that physical therapist Brian Voos will be the new director of the Physical Therapy program at SCH effective July 1. Voos graduated from the University of Kansas Medical Center and is in his 20th year of providing physical therapy services.
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KU School of Nursing-Salina graduates first class of students | KU Medical Center News

When Sarah Medlock begins her job as a registered nurse at Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Kansas, in June, she’ll be fulfilling a dream that began in childhood. Medlock is one of nine students who compose this first class from the Salina campus, who, along with more than 100 nursing students from KU School of Nursing main campus in Kansas City, received their bachelor of science in nursing diplomas at graduation ceremonies last month.
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Bruce Scott receives ASHP’s 2019 Whitney Award | ASHP

Bruce E. Scott, M.S., FASHP, a pharmacy leader noted for his efforts to expand patient access to pharmacists’ services, commitment to developing future generations of pharmacy leaders, and active service to the profession, is the recipient of ASHP’s 2019 Harvey A.K. Whitney Lecture Award. Scott received a Master of Science degree in Pharmacy Administration from the University of Kansas where he also completed an ASHP-accredited pharmacy residency.
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How these fathers inspired their daughters to become radiologists | MarketScreener

Dr. Ashley Huppe’s dad’s passion for radiology and breast imaging inspired her to follow in his footsteps. Huppe is a breat imager in an academic practice at the University of Kansas, while her father, Dr. Marc Inciardi is an assistant professor of radiology at KU. In this article, she shares how her dad’s work inspired her to enter the field.
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Canadian rookies to watch this CFL season | TSN

TSN highlights a Canadian rookie on each CFL team, including Alex Fontana of the Ottawa Redblacks. Fontana started nine of 12 games last season at the University of Kansas.
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President Donald J. Trump announces intent to nominate personnel to key administration posts | PublicNow.com

President President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Matthew Keenan to be a member of the board of directors of the Legal Service Corporation. Keenan is a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon and graduated from the University of Kansas and the KU School of Law.
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USC Upstate names student affairs vice chancellor | GoUpstate.com

The University of South Carolina Upstate announced Thursday that Andre Fortune has been named new vice chancellor for student affairs. A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Fortune earned his bachelor of arts degree in communication studies and a master of science degree in higher education administration from the University of Kansas.
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Barnaby Bright come out of a crisis with ‘Fight or Fly’ | Billboard

Barnaby Bright’s upcoming album came from what the married Kansas City duo of Becky and Nathan Bliss calls “a crisis point.” It’s the duo’s third album. Becky Bliss earned a degree in opera from the University of Kansas.
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Knipp & Liberman join culture marketing council board | HispanicAd.com

Gregg Knipp, CEP of Dieste, has joined the board of directors of the Culture Marketing Council. Knipp graduated from KU’s school of journalism in 1989 and has spent the past twenty years marketing to U.S. Hispanics.
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Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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High Point University dean selected to lead KU School of Pharmacy

Posted on Jun 11, 2019 in Alumni News

Strong Hall

The founding dean for the High Point University School of Pharmacy will be the next dean of pharmacy at the University of Kansas.

Ronald Ragan, a KU alumnus and past KU School of Pharmacy faculty member, will begin his tenure Aug. 1.

“We were fortunate to have great candidates who clearly understood the opportunities and challenges,” said Carl Lejuez, interim provost & executive vice chancellor. “Ron has an exceptional track record of success in his endeavors and programs, both at KU and at High Point. I appreciate his insight into the changing environments for pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical research, and I believe he will be an outstanding leader of the School of Pharmacy.”

Ronald Ragan selected as new dean of KU School of PharmacyRagan will succeed Kenneth Audus, who in November 2018 announced his decision to step away from the leadership role after 15 years. The School of Pharmacy offers the only pharmacy program in Kansas and has a presence on three KU campuses: Lawrence, Kansas City and Wichita. The school received more than $15 million in research funding in fiscal year 2018 and ranks seventh in the nation by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Approximately 150 students are accepted annually into the Pharm.D. professional degree program after completing two years of pre-pharmacy coursework. The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, and students in the class of 2018 achieved a first-time pass rate of 100% on the North American Pharmacists Licensure Exam.

“KU is recognized nationally and internationally for its clinical and graduate programs in pharmacy,” Ragan said. “This recognition is directly related to the exceptional faculty, staff and students we attract. I am proud to be a graduate of both the clinical program and the graduate program at KU and am honored to be returning to my alma mater as the eighth dean in the 134-year history of the school. There are great opportunities ahead, and this is the ideal time to return to Kansas and build on the success the school has enjoyed over the years.”

Ragan has been at High Point University, in High Point, North Carolina, since 2012. As founding dean of the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, Ragan has overseen development of a program that now enrolls 189 students. He also helped design the $120 million facility that opened in 2017. Prior to joining High Point, where he is also a professor, Ragan held several positions at KU. From 2004 to 2012, he was associate dean for academic affairs, managing a variety of curricular affairs for the school. During this time he also served on leadership teams that led construction of the Pharmacy Building and established the satellite teaching facility in Wichita. Between 1998 and 2011, Ragan directed KU’s nontraditional Pharm.D. program, a 44-credit-hour program that bridged professionals through the degree upgrade process. He initially joined the KU faculty as an adjunct instructor of pharmacy practice for the 1997-1998 academic year.

From 2000 to 2013 Ragan was president of Midwest Pharmaceutical Consulting Inc. His professional experience also includes direct patient care positions at independent and medical center pharmacies. While at KU as a student he worked at the Student Health Pharmacy in Watkins Health Center. His graduate student tenure also included positions as a graduate teaching assistant and as a researcher in pharmacology and toxicology. Ragan has published in various journals on topics related to neuronal cell death, drug therapy and pharmacy education research.

He is a member of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists and served on its board of directors from 2013 to 2017. He is also a member of the American Pharmacists Association, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Society of Neuroscience, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and more. His service commitments include work on several committees and organizations at the school, university, community and regional levels. He received a KU Center for Teaching Excellence award in 2009, and he also received the 2003 PRISM Award from the Greater Kansas City Public Relations Society of America. In 1989, he was selected as the Kansas Pharmacist Association Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year.

Ragan has a doctor of philosophy and a master’s degree in pharmacology and toxicology from KU. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from KU, and he has an associate’s degree from Butler County Community College. He is a licensed pharmacist in Kansas and North Carolina.

Lejuez expressed appreciation for those involved in the successful search effort.

“The dean of pharmacy search committee — led by Michael Branicky, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and past dean of the School of Engineering — worked diligently to identify great candidates and involve faculty, students and staff from all our campuses,” Lejuez said. “Our administrative support staff worked without the assistance of a search firm, and they and the others in the search committee did a remarkable job. I am grateful for their service.”

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Jayhawks in the News | June 7

Posted on Jun 7, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Ross A. Hollander ranked among top Kansas labor & employment lawyers by Chambers USA 2019 | Joseph Hollander & Craft LLC

Ross A. Hollander, of Joseph, Hollander & Craft LLC, has been ranked among the state’s top band of labor and employment lawyers by Chambers USA 2019. This is the 11th consecutive year Hollander has received a top ranking from Chambers USA, which surveys clients and lawyers then ranks attorneys based on pre-eminence in their practice areas.
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Women’s World Cup soccer player Estelle Johnson got her start in Fort Collins | Coloradoan

Estelle Johnson joined Cameroon’s national team on a trial basis a month ago and last week was named to its World Cup team. Johnson, 30, grew up in Fort Collins and played soccer at the University of Kansas. She’s payed nine seasons of professional women’s soccer.
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Napa Valley winery Chappellet names David Francke new managing director | North Bay Business Journal

David Francke has been named managing director of Chappellet, a 52-year-old winery in upper Napa Valley. After studying at University of Kansas and University of Bordeaux, Francke, c’88, began his career in wine sales in Kansas City. He then went to work at Robert Mondavi Winery, where he rose to general manager and vice president. In his new role, he oversees sales and marketing including direct-to-consumer initiatives, hospitality, strategic planning, and operations in the vineyard and winery.
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Nick Collison, Perry Ellis honored by separate Kansas Halls of Fame | KUsports.com

It’s been a big week for former Kansas basketball greats and Halls of Fame, with Nick Collison and Perry Ellis both receiving career honors in the past seven days. Collison will be inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame later this year. Ellis was inducted into the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the state track meet in Wichita.
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Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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3 reasons to move Provence with Flying Jayhawks to the top of your travel list

Posted on May 26, 2019 in Alumni News

Flying Jayhawks | Springtime in Provence

If you’re like me, your bucket list consists of many different places. After my most recent trip to Provence with Flying Jayhawks, I can share a few insights for travelers.

If you are a historian, artist and/or wine lover and Jayhawk, Provence should be your next adventure!

1. Wine!

A staple in this area of France, wine appears to be in unlimited supply. Vineyards stretch for miles, can be found on hillsides (where some of the most valuable wines come from) and all along the Rhone River.

Châteaus sit on hilltops offering breathtaking views, long family history and of course, excellent wine. Our group of Jayhawks was lucky to begin our seven-day adventure with visits to two chateaus.

First stop: Château de Rully.

Flying Jayhawks | Springtime in Provence

This castle has been kept in the same family since it was built in the 12th century!

Our private tour was led by Count de Ternay, a member of the family who owns the estate. After learning a little more about his family’s long history, our tour concluded with a welcomed wine tasting.

Second stop: Château de Montmelas en Beaujolais.

At another family-run chateau, we toured the grounds and learned of the family’s history, plus we got to enjoy a private piano concert. Of course, no tour is complete without a wine tasting!

Flying Jayhawks | Springtime in Provence

Even though these were our only two major stops for wine tastings, we certainly got our fill of great wine for the remainder of the trip!

2. The Roman Empire’s best work

I didn’t imagine that my time in France would take us to so many Roman landmarks. After all it does makes sense—the Roman influence was very strong throughout Europe and many structures that were built in France are still standing today. But don’t be fooled, these Roman landmarks and cities have their own French flair.

For example, traditional Roman temples now sit alongside modern artwork:

Flying Jayhawks | Springtime in Provence

The famous Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard is considered one of the most beautiful Roman constructions in the region:

Flying Jayhawks | Springtime in Provence

Roman amphitheaters still stand but are now surrounded by French homes and businesses:

Flying Jayhawks | Springtime in Provence

3. Picturesque countryside

The views are breathtaking, the churches are covered in intricate detail that tell Biblical stories, and the towns are patriotic. Provence offers all the best views, from atop the rolling hills and through the narrow streets.

Flying Jayhawks | Springtime in Provence

But don’t take my word for it—see the Flying Jayhawks adventure for yourself!

Flying Jayhawks | Springtime in Provence

The Flying Jayhawks trip “Springtime in Provence” was May 8-16, 2019. The trip was hosted by Crysta Moon, coordinator of marketing and business development. View more photos from the trip; pictures may be downloaded for personal use. Find more information about Flying Jayhawks trips, including a schedule, or sign up for travel emails.

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