Jayhawks in the News | July 6

Posted on Jul 6, 2018 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org | Jayhawks in the News

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

 

KC’s Paul Rudd opens up about his superpowers: Ant-Man, Big Slick and eternal youth | Kansas City Star

Paul Rudd, who grew up in Overland Park and attended the University of Kansas, has roles in two new movies. He reprises his role in “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” a sequel he co-wrote. And, he portrays real-life secret agent Moe Berg in “The Catcher Was a Spy.” Read more about his thoughts on superheroes, eternal youth, and Worlds of Fun.
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‘Pay feed’ at alumni’s replicated Allen Fieldhouse | University Daily Kansan

They’re back: Jarrod and Kate Williams are featured in the campus newspaper. A few weeks ago, the pair became famous among Jayhawks for their “Alhen Fieldhouse,” a chicken coop created in the likeness of Allen Fieldhouse.
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Trinity University names first general counsel | Trinity University

Rachel Rolf, a graduate of KU Law School, was named as Trinity University’s first in-house attorney. Rolf has most recently served as KU’s interim general counsel. Trinity University’s president is Danny Anderson, who formerly served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the university.
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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 29

Posted on Jun 29, 2018 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org | Jayhawks in the News

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

 

New director takes the helm at House of Compassion | Times-Republican

House of Compassion, a non-profit organization in Marshalltown, Iowa, has named March Runner its new director effective July 1. Runner holds a degree in tribal environmental law from the University of Kansas. She previously worked as executive director for the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, for 2.5 years.
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Communicate the Impact: Travis Goff is NEXT UP | College AD

Travis Goff, c’03, j’03, was selected as one of 11 members of the adidas 2018 NEXT UP class. The honorees are senior-level athletics administrators. A brief interview with each honoree accompanies the announcement.
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What started as a homework assignment turns Anchorage basketball star Mario Chalmers into an author | Anchorage Daily News

Mario Chalmers of Anchorage is one of the few basketball players to win an NBA championship, an NCAA championship and a state high school championship. Now he’s one of a handful who also can say he’s a published author.
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Free State to add former KU athletics director Sheahon Zenger to football staff | University Daily Kansan

Free State high school’s football program has added former KU Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger to its staff as linebackers coach. Zenger served as director of football operations at Kansas State University in the late 1980s and has also coached at the University of South Florida and the University of Wyoming.
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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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KC sports panelists offer guidance for getting in the game

Posted on Jun 29, 2018 in Alumni News and News

Kansas City Sports Networking Night | Jayhawk Career Network | KC sports panelists

The importance of mentors and the rise of e-sports highlighted a lively discussion June 21, when eight Kansas City-area professionals in the sports industry shared their varied expertise, career journeys and advice during a Jayhawk Career Network event at the headquarters of Populous in Kansas City. The Association’s Greater Kansas City Network hosted the panel discussion, which drew an audience of more than 50, including alumni and students.

Association President Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, encouraged participants to join the KU Mentoring digital community at mentoring.ku.edu or through the Association’s mobile app. KU Mentoring is the first phase of the Association’s Jayhawk Career Network, a multi-faceted strategy to connect students to the powerful network of Jayhawks worldwide and connect alumni across industries, he said. Kristi Durkin Laclé, c’99, assistant vice president of the Jayhawk Career Network, leads the program.

Program and panelists

Introducing the panelists was Jordan Bass, KU assistant professor of health, sport and exercise science who directs the sport management program. Panelists included:

  • Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff
  • Earl Santee, a’81, a’82, Americas managing director and founder at Populous
  • Andrea Hudy, KU assistant athletics director for sports performance
  • Stephen Hopkins, a’05, president of Shield Healthcare and Sport
  • Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation
  • Matt Baty, d’07, KU associate athletics director, Williams Education Fund
  • Kim Hobbs, j’94, vice president of corporate partnerships and premium sales for the Kansas City Chiefs
  • Zach Mendenhall, c’05, j’05, director of client engagement at VML

Santee, who in his 33 years with Populous has helped design stadiums, arenas and other event spaces nationwide, says architects and designers must collaborate to create not only inviting spaces but also great experiences for the public—and that extends to the new trend, venues for e-sports.

Mendenhall manages sports marketing partnerships, including the digital campaigns, for Wendy’s, a VML client. “We are challenged to not just slap logos on ads but to do a lot with social media activation and trying to find relevant, fun ways to bring sponsorships to life,” he said.  As for the e-sports craze: “We all rolled our eyes at first, but it’s amazing how many people watch these competitions. It speaks to the fact that advertising in sports is constantly evolving.”

Hancock, who began his career in the athletics department at his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, and went on to lead the NCAA Final Four and the Bowl Championship Series before launching the College Football Playoff, said the fervor for college sports is intrinsically tied to school loyalty: “A triple-A Lawrence team in the NFL or the NBA would not have nearly the passion that the Jayhawks have, and it’s because it’s a part of higher education.”

When the discussion turned to mentors, Hancock named three: former North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, d’53; Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer; and longtime KU Athletics Director Bob Frederick, d’63, g’64, EdD’84. “If you’re lucky, your mentors also become your friends,” Hancock said.

—Jennifer Jackson Sanner

WATCH:

 

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Jayhawks in the News | June 22

Posted on Jun 22, 2018 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org | Jayhawks in the News

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

 

Former KU golfer Chris Thompson is having his best year as a pro … at age 41 | Kansas City Star

After 19 years of trying to make it as a professional golfer, grinding away on every mini-tour imaginable without a breakthrough, Chris Thompson is within striking distance of the PGA Tour promotion he’s been chasing since he graduated from Kansas in 1999.
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Mason and friends entertain at charity softball game | University Daily Kansan

A slew of former Jayhawks, Wildcats, and even a Blue Devil, took to T-Bones Stadium in Kansas City, Kansas in front of about 1,500 fans to benefit Children’s Mercy Kansas City and the National Youth Foundation.
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Former KU guard Elijah Johnson taking his new ‘Too Strong Tour’ across Kansas | KUSports.com

Elijah Johnson’s barnstorming concept began with the idea of visiting towns around Kansas that are far enough away from Lawrence that it makes getting to Allen Fieldhouse to catch a game in person somewhat difficult.
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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 15

Posted on Jun 15, 2018 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org | Jayhawks in the News

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

 

McLemore erupts for 52 points in Roundball Classic, dreams of duplication in NBA game | Kansas City Star

Ben McLemore and a host of other former KU basketball players returned to Lawrence June 14 for the tenth annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic. The event raises money for families battling cancer. Brian Hanni, the Voice of the Jayhawks, founded the event.
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Three chief judges | KU Law Blog

First, they were KU Law students, then they were Assistant United States Attorneys, then they were judges. Today, some 28 years after they first started working together as litigators for the Department of Justice, they are all now chief judges of their respective courts.
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Former KU attendee Kate Spade remembered as vibrant and colorful, like her creations | University Daily Kansan

Fashion designer Kate Spade died by suicide in her New York City apartment June 5. She was 55. Spade attended the University of Kansas before transferring to Arizona State University. She graduated with a degree in journalism in 1985.
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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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Flying Jayhawks traverse the Amalfi Coast

Posted on Jun 13, 2018 in Alumni News and News

If I were to make a souvenir T-shirt for our Amalfi Coast trip, it would say “Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto.” Translated, that means “Eat well, laugh often, love much.”

The love part was easy.

Well, to be clear, it was easy after 20 hours of traveling. The Hotel Raito is built into the hillside above the charming village of Vietri sul Mare. From my balcony I sat and stared at the village below with its red tile roofs and terraced groves of lemon trees. The Tyrrhenian Sea faded into the horizon while the Apennine Mountains loomed in the distance. I could have sat on that balcony for hours, but there was too much to see.

Amalfi Coast 2018

Positano

By day two, we were ready to travel by boat to Positano. Seeing the Amalfi Coast by boat is a must. There is no better way to take in the sweeping views of the villages cut into the cliffs above the sea. It’s hard to imagine the first settlers arriving and deciding it would be a great place to build. Seeing it now, it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful place to live.

Amalfi Coast 2018

Stepping off the boat in Positano was like stepping back in time. The cobblestone streets lead into the heart of the vertical city, painted in vibrant colors. Outdoor cafes line the coast and small shops selling linen clothing, handmade leather sandals, pottery and all things lemon, line the walkways. Trellises of wisteria cover the paths up the hill to provide a little shade for hiking up into the village.

Amalfi Coast 2018  Amalfi Coast 2018

The next day, we went to a farm that produces mozzarella di bufala. Yes, that is mozzarella cheese made with the milk from water buffalo. According to our travel director, it’s the only real mozzarella. The buffalo on the farm are pampered after milking-they actually line up waiting for their turn! After seeing the whole process, we sampled the final product. There’s no doubt it’s the freshest mozzarella di bufala I will ever have!

Amalfi Coast 2018

Paestum

Down the road, we explored the ancient city of Paestum. It was built by the Greeks more than 2,500 years ago. The city has has three temples that are still very well preserved, as well as an amphitheater and many of the surrounding walls. We were also able to see many of the artifacts from the site in the accompanying museum.

Amalfi Coast 2018

Amalfi Coast 2018  Amalfi Coast 2018

Naples & Pompeii

After spending a day in the countryside, it was time to head into the city. We got a nickel tour of Naples and stopped to visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. The museum houses hundreds of marble statues and thousands of artifacts from Herculaneum and Pompeii. The mosaics preserved from Pompeii were some of the most impressive pieces.

Amalfi Coast 2018

Pre-trip, I was most excited to visit Pompeii and it did not disappoint. Pompeii is such an amazing archeological site. We strolled up and down the cobblestone streets, toured the homes and the Forum, learned so much of the history from our guide and saw the plaster casts of those who didn’t escape the eruption. It was such an unbelievably unique opportunity.

Amalfi Coast 2018  Amalfi Coast 2018

There was so much beauty among the ruins. From the well preserved paintings to the poppies that thrive in the volcanic soil. If I ever make it back, it will definitely be on my list to revisit.

Amalfi Coast 2018

Herculaneum

Although Pompeii was fantastic, I think I enjoyed Herculaneum more. Although it’s a fraction of the size of Pompeii, it is better preserved due to the fact that it was destroyed more by pyroclastic flows than by falling ash. Standing in the streets of Herculaneum with Mount Vesuvius towering in the distance behind us made me feel as though I could see the Romans from 2000 years ago, going about their day with no idea of the fate that was about to befall them.

Amalfi Coast 2018

Capri

There isn’t much that can compare to the beauty of Capri. Yes, you can find the designer shops in Anacapri or sit at a café and people watch all day. But, if it were up to me, I would spend all my time in the water surrounding Capri. The crystal-clear blue green water juxtaposed against the sheer white cliffs is a sight to behold. The many grottoes, arches and at the time, hundreds, if not thousands, of migrating jellyfish, kept me entertained all day.

Amalfi Coast 2018

Ravello

We spent our last full day in Italy visiting the mountain town of Ravello. It is an inspiration to all kinds of artists, writers and musicians and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great place to sit and get lost in your thoughts, with its sweeping views of the coast and mountainside, ornate gardens and a charming town square.

Amalfi Coast 2018

I’m sure you can imagine how easy it was to “eat well.”

(We were eating gelato nearly every day…twice on one day. But, I stuck with the fruit flavors so it was basically a health food.) We went to an amazing pizza restaurant in Naples called Mammina. We sat and talked while the wine flowed (and the pizza did, too). I don’t ever order a traditional Neapolitan pizza at home and I’m not sure that I ever can now.

Amalfi Coast 2019

We spent hours laughing around Italy.

Limoneto is another great restaurant in Vietri sul Mare. I had fresh fish, pasta, bread and wonderful company. A great part about traveling with the Flying Jayhawks is all of the people you meet-alumni who have a passion for traveling and a love for KU.

We had a wonderful travel director and a great group of Jayhawks. Visiting beautiful places and sharing so many good meals bonds people together.

Amalfi Coast 2018

I leave you with a quote from an Italian writer, Francesco Guicciardini, “Poiché non c’è null ache vale così tanto la pena di avere come gli amici, non perdere mai l’occasione di farne di nuovi.” It means, “Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.” That is exactly what you do on a Flying Jayhawks trip, make friends, and I’m ready for my next opportunity.

Saluti!

The Flying Jayhawks trip “Amalfi Coast” took place April 17-25, 2018. The trip was hosted by Michelle Lang, director of alumni programs. 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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Jayhawks in the News | May 18

Posted on May 18, 2018 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org | Jayhawks news

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

 

Local NASCAR race engineer learning on the job at Kansas Speedway | Kansas City Star

Lenexa native J.T. Adkins returned to Kansas City for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway. Adkins, e’11, is one of two race engineers for Daniel Suarez’s No. 19 team.
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HSSU Athletics Names Fred Lewis as Director of Track and Field | Hornets Athletics

Harris-Stowe State University is happy to announce the hiring of Fred Lewis, c’87 as the Director of Track and Field for the 2018-2019 season. Lewis is a well-known coach and athlete around the Saint Louis area where he has produced multiple Missouri State Champions as well as NAIA and Olympic athletes.
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Williams, former KU players laud Collison on retirement day | Topeka Capital-Journal

Nick Collison’s mom, Judy, and dad, Dave, summoned their son to a hallway of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chesapeake Energy Arena after a recent playoff game against the Utah Jazz. “We have a surprise visitor for you,” Judy informed the 37-year-old, 15-year NBA veteran, also the second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder in University of Kansas basketball history. The guest, Collison, c’03, discovered soon enough, was his former college coach, Roy Williams, the current head coach at North Carolina.
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Patriot Capital Expands Team | citybizlist

Kyle Griffith, b’06, joined Patriot Capital as an Associate Managing Director in April 2018. Kyle brings seven years of experience in middle-market commercial lending, including origination, underwriting, Sponsor Coverage Group providing lending and funding services to private equity firms.
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Everything Matters with Kevin Carroll | Lessons of Leaders Hospitality

Mr. Kevin Carroll, CCM, CCE, has been the GM/COO at the Atlanta Athletic Club since May 2013. Prior to the AAC, he was the GM/COO of The Loxahatchee Club in Jupiter, FL and Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, MO. Mr. Carroll is extremely involved with The University of Kansas as well as the Club Managers Association of America and Chair of the KU Alumni Association beyond his position at the Atlanta Athletic Club and is truly passionate about growing leaders.
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Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation celebrates hearing and speech month through May | Navajo-Hopi Observer

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) and the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) would like to present information about their audiology and speech therapy departments. TCRHCC offers speech and language services in its Physical Rehabilitation Center (PRC), which is located in the southeast corner of the TCRHCC campus. TCRHCC employs two full-time speech-language pathologists, Valerie Yazzie, MA, CCC-SLP and Cheryl Saganitso, G’05, MA, CCC-SLP.
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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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The Walk: A History of Celebration

Posted on May 12, 2018 in Alumni News and News

Ask KU alumni about their favorite KU traditions, and inevitably the walk down the Hill at Commencement will rank near the top. Chancellor Robert E. Hemenway famously remarked in nearly every one of his Commencement addresses that “the walk is the ceremony,” and all who have witnessed this unique spectacle agree that the winding procession down Mount Oread is not only beautiful to behold, it has become a cherished rite of passage for Jayhawks culminating their KU careers.

Fondly remembered by alumni, the walk down the Hill has been celebrated at KU with great pomp and pageantry for nearly a century, making it difficult to imagine a KU Commencement ceremony before this famous tradition.

At his final Commencement in 2009, former Chancellor Hemenway summarized the experience best. “Today, you have joined graduates in the University’s most time-honored ritual, one that binds Jayhawks together, that attaches them as friends with an emotional glue that never breaks. As we say every year, the walk is the ceremony. You have to walk before you can fly. The walk prepares Jayhawks for flight.”

2003: Chancellor Hemenway at Commencement

Founded with grand fanfare and lofty expectations in 1865, the University of Kansas was little more than a preparatory school offering a few college classes in its early days. As a result, it took more than four years for its first graduates to earn their degrees.

On June 11, 1873, KU conferred its first degrees at a formal ceremony inside the brand new and barely finished University Hall. The building, the most modern and finest of its kind on any college campus, would later be known for the chancellor who championed its construction and presided over that first Commencement ceremony, John Fraser.

University Hall

Although KU’s first graduates did not walk down the Hill, KU’s commencement has always featured a procession. At KU’s first Commencement in 1873, the walk was atop the Hill, starting just south of what is now Spooner Hall toward University Hall, positioned just west of present-day Fraser. Around 1897, the graduates adopted the practice of donning academic regalia, including caps and gowns.

When Robinson Gymnasium was completed in 1907, with a larger space for convening a growing class of graduates, the procession moved with graduates gathering at Fraser Hall and continuing west to Robinson, where Wescoe is currently located.

1913: Commencement at Robinson gymnasium

By 1921, plans were being made to construct a memorial stadium on the site of McCook field, and in 1923, organizers decided to try an outdoor ceremony. A giant tent was erected near the new stadium, however the ceremony proved so hot that the tent-covered Commencement would never be repeated.

1923: The infamous commencement tent

In 1924, Commencement exercises were held for the first time at Memorial Stadium located at the foot of the Hill. Graduates walked from Strong Hall down Mount Oread into the stadium, and the tradition continues to this day.

1950s: Commencement as the Campanile is under construction

In the 1950s, KU graduates added to the tradition by walking through the new World War II Memorial Campanile. With the tower nearing completion–yet still clad with scaffolding–enthusiastic seniors found it too difficult to resist and became the first graduates to walk through the Campanile. The symbolic act of walking through Campanile has signaled the transformation from KU student to graduate ever since.

To learn more about Commencement, including the history of class banners, honorary degrees, and the special experience for Big and Baby Jays, read our full feature, The Walk.

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The Walk: Big Shoes Filled

Posted on May 12, 2018 in Alumni News and News

For the students who play Big Jay and Baby Jay, their special KU experience is one big secret. The students are told to tell as few people as possible their identity, leading to some awkward questions about their whereabouts on game days.

The identity of the students behind the masks are never publicly revealed. You can’t look them up on any website, and there’s no trace of their mascot exploits on social media.

But when Commencement comes, the graduating seniors get their one day to share with the world the activity that made them both a campus icon and completely nameless.

Laura Ballard, d’08, g’09, spent three of her four years at KU cheering for the Jayhawks from the sidelines as Baby Jay. As a sophomore, a graduating senior explained to her the tradition of wearing the boots for the walk down the hill.

“One of the first rules I learned as a mascot was to never be partially dressed in the suit – it ruins the ‘magic’ of the mascot,” Ballard said. “That’s when it hit me how truly special Commencement is. We spend our mascot career doing our best to perform anonymously, and graduation is the one time when we can be both Baby Jay and ourselves.”

“I overheard lots of people commenting on my shoes. A few thought it was a random way to stand out in the crowd, but I heard many exclaim, ‘She must be Baby Jay!’ I was really proud of all I had accomplished at KU as a student and a member of the Spirit Squad, so it felt good to be recognized. I was even asked to take a few pictures with random students, which actually felt very normal since I posed in many pictures with random people as a mascot.”

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The Walk: A Banner Day

Posted on May 12, 2018 in Alumni News and News

Briana McDougall carries the class of 2010 banner down the hill

The class banner tradition dates back to the first Commencement in 1873. Since then, students have lead their graduating class down the hill with banners designed by the Board of Class Officers. A collection of class banners is available for viewing in the Kansas Union.

For Board of Class Officers member Briana McDougall, ’11, Commencement led to “long discussions about what the banner should say” for the class motto, before settling on “Rooted in the Blue, Towering Toward the New.”

“We also got to take photos with the chancellor in her office before Commencement & sat on stage during the ceremony,” McDougall said. “It was a great honor to be able to represent the class & present our motto to the university.”

Jason Fried, c’14, served on the Board of Class Officers, and was chosen to carry the class banner down the hill. “Looking back, it was a great moment. It was definitely something that my parents and relatives were proud of.”

 

Jason Fried carries the class of 2014 banner

To learn more about Commencement, including the history of the ceremony, honorary degrees, and the special experience for Big and Baby Jays, read our full feature, The Walk.

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