It’s that time of year again! Every year on April 1, the KU Alumni Association plays a playful prank on unsuspecting alumni, sending a special April Fool’s Day edition of our alumni e-newsletter. Last year, many alumni swore they wouldn’t be fooled again, so surely these “fake news” stories won’t make them do a double-take. With that caveat, you’ve been warned, dear reader. Proceed at your own risk, and have a happy April Fool’s Day!
KU Debate team wins argument to have NCAA overturn Elite 8 result
In a surprising turn of events, members of the KU Debate Team successfully argued to have the NCAA overturn the result of KU’s Elite 8 loss to the Oregon Ducks.
Fresh off their own appearance in the quarterfinals of the National Debate Tournament, KU sophomores Jacob Hegna and Henry Walter disproved that the Ducks deserved to win based on the final score, citing KU’s rich heritage in basketball as the prevailing factor– a tradition, they noted, surpassed only by the strong tradition of KU Debate, which includes five National Debate Tournament Championships and 15 final four appearances.
Kansas will take Oregon’s spot in the NCAA Final Four Saturday night against North Carolina. Sorry, Ducks.
Wescoe to rise Far Above
On the heels of KU’s most successful fundraising effort, Far Above: the Campaign for Kansas, KU officials announced the campaign’s crowning achievement today. Wescoe Hall will finally be completed, honoring the original plan for KU’s central classroom building to be a 25-story structure.
“Wescoe will rise ‘far above’ as intended all along,” said a KU spokesperson.
Once completed in 2073, just in time for the building’s centennial celebration, Wescoe will finally fulfill its destiny as the tallest building on campus–eclipsing Fraser Hall–while providing much-needed shade for sunbathers on Wescoe Beach.
Steam Whistle under repair, interim whistle appointed
KU’s aging steam whistle blew its top this week after years of tooting duty. To keep KU’s classes on schedule, an interim whistle with worthwhile whistling experience had to be named.
While several Big 12 basketball referees applied for the position, it was widely expected that the job would go to the the famous Fieldhouse whistlers we reported on here. Then, almost serendipitously, a suitable substitute successfully slid into the role. Watch the video below to listen to KU’s new (and we think, improved) steam whistle.
Texas asks for rematch at KU Football’s spring game
Still reeling from last fall’s loss in Lawrence, the Longhorns of Texas reportedly reached out to Kansas Football officials to request a rematch at this year’s spring game, scheduled for April 15 at 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
With little left to prove following KU’s 24-21 OT victory in 2016, Coach David Beaty and the Jayhawks continue preparations for the 2017 KU Football season, which opens at home Saturday, September 2 against Southeast Missouri State. Texas will have to wait until Nov. 11 when the Jayhawks come to Austin.
Bill Self adopts bulldog, names it Frank
Still emotionally compromised due to the expiring eligibility of “the best guard” he’s ever coached, KU men’s basketball coach Bill Self reportedly adopted a pet bulldog from the Lawrence Humane Society this week, naming the dog Frank after KU senior Frank Mason, who was recently named the AP National Player of the Year.
When asked why he specifically wanted to adopt that particular breed, Self said he happened to be in the market for a “guard” dog.
2016 was an eventful year that marked major milestones and gave cause for celebration. From our Jayhawks in Rio to our 27th Rhodes Scholar, KU alumni had plenty of reasons to be proud of their alma mater in 2016, so we’re recounting the most memorable moments and biggest KU stories of the past year. With help from our crack team of KU experts, a.k.a. your hard-working KU Alumni Association staff, we’ve assembled and ranked the top stories of 2016. So without further ado, we present the best of KU:
…How are we doing so far? Can you guess the biggest stories of 2016? Our final 15 feature some beloved KU buildings–both new and old–a few famous Jayhawks and some fond farewells. Keep reading while we reveal the rest of the best…
Once again, members found a special edition of our member e-newsletter in their inboxes on April 1. Last year’s gag convinced many alumni that the KU Alumni Association was revising its logo to replace the current smiling Jayhawk with the old 1941 Fighting Jayhawk. How did we top that joke this year?
This year’s version shared the exclusive plans for a second building next to the KU School of Business’ new Capitol Federal Hall, doubling the size of the school. Since the first building is shaped as a “K” when viewed from above, the new addition would be shaped as a “U,” naturally.
But we didn’t stop there.
Click the image to view the full e-newsletter
We also informed alumni that graduating seniors would walk down the Hill this year to a new tune, the popular 90’s number “Graduation (Friends Forever),” and that a dazed and confused student was found walking around the McCollum Hall rubble after sleeping through last fall’s implosion. Other “news” included a proud member profile on Clark Kent, the self-proclaimed “superfan” of the Jayhawks and native of Smallville, and an Instagram feature on the Campanile.
We heard from many alumni that they fell for at least some of our jokes. Here are a few of our favorite responses:
“I read the first one and said to my staff person, who went to KU, “Did you know the B-school is getting a 2nd building and they will spell ‘KU’ when it’s done?”. She said “are you sure that’s real?” and I immediately sighed and muttered a mild profanity.” —Chad
“You got me! I did not like that U addition at all and quickly emailed my husband so.” —Katie
“I took a break from busily preparing income tax returns to read todays newsletter. I hate to admit it – you had me going on the business school addition and I have an MBA from the KU School of Business! You also had me going on the Campanile one. Alas, the light finally came on with the McCollom one. Thanks for a good laugh!” —Janet
“What great news stories. As an architect I liked the idea of the new business school building, someone does need to work on that one. The McCollum Hall story did hit close to home as our daughter, now 32, could sleep through anything, did and still does, no joke. I’d wish you a Happy April Fools Day, but looks like you’re already having a great time. Enjoy.” —Leonard
“Genius! So awesome. What a great way of staying in front of members in a fun way.” —Aaron
We hope you enjoyed our special April Fool’s Day stories, and if our good-natured jokes caused any concern, we apologize!
On the heels of a successful effort to construct a new building for the KU School of Business, KU announced even more ambitious plans today for a second building to be constructed adjacent to the brand new Capitol Federal Hall. The second building will double the size of the school, expanding north to the current site of Robinson Gymnasium, which will be relocated.
Plans for the second School of Business facility reveal a similarly designed U-shaped building, with space for classrooms and faculty offices. Two business buildings, apparently, were all part of the plan.
“We want alumni to recognize their original nest,” a KU spokesperson said, “so we’re making it easy for them to fly home to KU.”
Aerial photos call for the new U-shaped building to be placed next to Capitol Federal Hall, which from above, is shaped as a “K.”
Robinson Gymnasium, meanwhile, will be rebuilt in the style of the 1907 Robinson and return to its original Jayhawk Boulevard location, near Wescoe Hall. Rather than encroach on Wescoe, which still houses classrooms and offices that serve thousands of students and faculty each day, Robinson Gymnasium will simply be placed on top of Wescoe.
A KU student was found walking around the McCollum Hall rubble dazed, confused and bit sleepy, though otherwise unharmed today, several months after McCollum Hall had been imploded. Zachary Cumberbatch, age 22, scratched his head when approached by workers removing debris from the site, asking “What’d I miss?”
The fourth-year freshman, who was already on academic probation for sleeping in class, stumbled out of the rubble in a T-shirt, gym shorts and flip-flops, then told medical personnel it sounded like there might have been a party on his floor. After being examined and released, Zachary was sent to class with a tardy slip.
Zachary’s mother, Mrs. Cumberbatch, was unfazed by the incident, explaining that her son could sleep through anything. “A freight train couldn’t wake him up,” she said.
Each May Jayhawks pass through the Campanile, leaving their student status behind and proudly striding down the Hill toward their future as KU alumni.
In honor of the University’s sesquicentennial, we at the KU Alumni Association took it upon ourselves to make the honorable procession down the Hill even more special by introducing yet another tradition.
During our months of brainstorming to create a new Jayhawk tradition, a couple of our favorite possibilities included:
• Instead of students walking through the Campanile, we would allow students to walk up the Campanile and ring the bell towers, one by one.
• At the graduation fair, while grabbing caps and gowns, students would also have the option to rent a drone from the Alumni Association. The drones would follow each graduate from Memorial Drive, through the Campanile, down the Hill and into Memorial Stadium. Each drone would have a unique live broadcast on the Alumni Association website. This way, family and friends both near and far could watch their student progress down the Hill. Plus, no need for flimsy balloons in order to be recognized!
Then the perfect idea hit us like a ton of limestone. We’ve all heard the beautiful sounds of the Campanile carillon bells ringing across campus; why not spread another sentimental sound over the Hill during Commencement?
We called for submissions from all Jayhawks: what song would you like to hear over the Campanile bells? We received input from Jayhawks across the world: “How Far We’ve Come” by Matchbox 20, “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper, “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus and the ever-popular “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” by Baz Luhrmann. We were even surprised when a Missouri grad requested “Photograph” by Nickelback.
After much deliberation, we are excited to announce that KU alumni, parents, families and friends will pay heed to the charming tunes of “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C.
After all, what could elevate a moment more than a trendy, one-hit-wonder, ’90s pop song?
Clark Kent moved to Kansas at a young age, growing up in Smallville. A a self-proclaimed “superfan” of the Jayhawks, he flew through school, and his admiration for the KU School of Journalism led him to a career as a reporter for the Daily Planet in Metropolis.
Kent is a proud Life Member of the KU Alumni Association because, as he told us, “So many of my heroes are Jayhawks. They are the ones out there saving the world.”
Using a free, downloadable app, the Campanile bells are being auto-tuned this morning. This fine-tuning comes after a unanimous vote to give the chimes, and campus, more of a 21st-century vibe.
In weeks to come crews will begin to add the well-liked ‘clarendon’ Instagram filter to the Chi Omega fountain; incorporate a new flag on top of Fraser Hall with the motivational phrase “YOLO;” and the KU Alumni Association plans to invite Justin Bieber to speak at 2017 Commencement.
The following was shared with alumni members as an April Fool’s Day joke on April 1, 2015. Our playful prank, which included a “new” logo added to the website, fooled more than a few alumni, but by sundown everything was back to normal, and everyone was let in on the joke. We’ve kept the post for posterity, but don’t be fooled again! What follows is pure folly and is not to be believed. Proceed at your own risk:
At the end of 2014, we asked alumni to vote for their favorite Jayhawk, and hundreds of you responded. In January we shared the results of the survey, and the winner, with a whopping 27% of the vote, was the 1941 “Fighting” Jayhawk.
KU alumni spoke, and we listened.
So starting today, a new era begins for the KU Alumni Association, with an old twist. Today we are proud to announce our new logo and brand identity that pays tribute to KU’s history and tradition, while echoing the voice of KU alumni.
The Fighting Jayhawk Returns
Our new logo proudly features the Fighting Jayhawk, originally designed by student Eugene “Yogi” Williams in 1941. Williams, who worked as a cartoonist for the University Daily Kansan, created the Fighting Jayhawk with a more aggressive demeanor, reflecting the mood of campus and the country in the midst of World War II.
Though the Fighting Jayhawk was replaced as KU’s official symbol by a happier version in 1946, Yogi Williams’ version never went away entirely, attesting to its popularity. As of today, it’s been called back into action.
We expect the rest of the university to follow the Alumni Association’s lead, adopting the Fighting Jayhawk everywhere from KU business cards to the center of James Naismith Court, including the mascots. While Big Jay is already imposing enough to intimidate opponents, a new “Fighting Baby Jay” will strike fear into the hearts of children who dare support KU opponents.
Don’t be fooled by today’s announcement, as logos are often here today and gone tomorrow. We appreciate all of the proud members of the KU Alumni Association who voted for their favorite Jayhawk, giving an old bird a fighting chance.