Film & Media Studies professor takes Oscar for co-writing ‘BlacKkKlansman’

Posted on Feb 25, 2019 in Campus News and News

Kevin Willmott (image courtesy of KU)

After months of Oscar buzz, Kevin Willmott’s work on “BlacKkKlansman” was lauded with an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay Feb. 24.

Willmott, a University of Kansas film & media studies professor, co-wrote the screenplay for the 2018 film about Ron Stallworth, the first black police officer in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Stallworth wrote a 2014 memoir about how he infiltrated a cell of the virulently white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.

Willmott collaborated on the screenplay with Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz. The film has been gathering accolades, from the Grand Prix prize at the Cannes Film Festival to a BAFTA award for best adapted screenplay.

Read more on Kevin Willmott’s accomplishment at today.ku.edu.

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Millie recipients honored for longtime contributions to KU

Posted on Feb 4, 2019 in Campus News and News

Vaun and Sydnie Kampschroeder

For their unwavering commitment to the University, Vaun and Sydnie Bowling Kampschroeder are recipients of the 2018 Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award.

Vaun, c’63, g’65, and Sydnie Bowling Kampschroeder, c’65, are retired and split their time between Lawrence and Chicago. They have served as board members for the Chicago Jayhawk Network and have organized several network events for local Jayhawks. They are members of Jayhawks for Higher Education and have helped recruit numerous students to KU. The Kampschroeders are Life members and Presidents Club donors and support Kansas Athletics through the Williams Education Fund. They have attended KU Mini College for the past five years and are members of KU Endowment’s Chancellors Club, the Dole Institute, the Spencer Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum and the Lied Center.

Sydnie also served on the Alumni Association’s national Board of Directors from 2000 to ’05, as well as advisory boards for the School of Business, the KU Memorial Union Corporation and the Chancellors Club. She’s currently involved with Women Philanthropists for KU.

The Kampschroeders received the award at a Presidents Club event in Lawrence on Feb. 2.

About the award

The Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award was created in 1987 to thank alumni and friends for sustained volunteer service to the University at the local level. The award honors Mildred Clodfelter, b’41, who worked for the University for 47 years, including 42 at the Alumni Association.

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St. Louis Jayhawk recognized with Wintermote Award

Posted on Jan 25, 2019 in Campus News and News

Paul Brickler Wintermote Award

In appreciation of his time and dedication to the University of Kansas, the KU Alumni Association is proud to present Paul Brickler with a Dick Wintermote Volunteer of the Year Award.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Brickler graduated in spring 2002 from the School of Architecture & Urban Design. After moving back to his hometown, Brickler has worked as an architectural designer & graphic artist since 2005.

Regularly involved with the KU Alumni St. Louis Network since 2006, Brickler joined the network leadership group in 2012 and has served as network leader since 2014.

Brickler currently works at Kuhlmann Design Group in St. Louis as a designer, 3D rendering specialist & BIM expert for their Architecture & Interior Design department.

About the Award

This annual award recognizes network volunteers who demonstrate extraordinary leadership to their network and the KU Alumni Association during a one-year period (July 1-June 30). An internal staff committee within the KU Alumni Association consisting of those who work closest with volunteers meets each year to decide on award winners.

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Association programs, design and communications win regional honors

Posted on Jan 9, 2019 in Campus News and News

Adams Alumni Center | CASE honors 2018
The Association and several other KU entities won regional honors in the annual competition of Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VI, which includes eight states.

The Association’s honors include:

Month of Service returns

For the second consecutive year, alumni donated their time and treasure for the Alumni Association’s KU Cares Month of Service campaign, which encourages Jayhawks nationwide to give back to their communities during the month of November. Nearly 350 volunteers—more than double last year’s participation—from 24 alumni networks generously gave more than 100 hours of service to:

  • Organize blood drives
  • Collect food, clothing and personal hygiene supplies
  • Prepare and serve meals for families in need
  • Restore and enhance neighborhood parks
  • Make sleeping bags for homeless individuals
  • Clean beaches in seaside communities
  • Gather pet supplies for local animal shelters
  • Raise money for national and local nonprofit organizations

Overall, the University community received 30 awards for programs, events and communications from the Office of Marketing Communications, KU Endowment, the KU Cancer Center, The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the William Allen White School of Journalism. The awards will be presented Jan. 15 at the annual CASE District VI conference in Denver.

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Jay Craig honored with Millie Award

Posted on Dec 10, 2018 in Campus News and News

Jay Craig | Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award

In recognition of his time and talents given to the University, the KU Alumni Association is proud to honor Jay Craig with the the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award. The award will be presented to Craig, b’85, g’87, at an alumni event in Milwaukee Dec. 13.

After stops in Dallas, San Francisco, and San Diego, Craig’s career in real estate led him to the Milwaukee area. After a couple long nights driving to and from KU alumni watch parties in Chicago, Craig set out to launch a network in his new home.

What began as an attempt to get alumni together to cheer on the Jayhawks has turned into one of the most active KU networks. Milwaukee Jayhawks have enjoyed cruises on the Milwaukee River, brewery tours and charity golf events. They’ve also attended away games together and participated in the KU Cares Month of Service.

Jay completed a bachelor of science degree at the KU School of Business in 1985 while working at the Adams Alumni Center as a bartender. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from the business school in 1987.

In addition to continued participation in the Milwaukee Jayhawk network, Jay currently serves as Vice President – Senior Project Executive at MSI General in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

A life member, Jay resides in Fox Point, Wisconsin, with his wife, Jenny, and their children, Garrett and Halle.

About the award

The Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award was created in 1987 to thank alumni and friends for sustained volunteer service to the University at the local level. The award honors Mildred Clodfelter, b’41, who worked for the University for 47 years, including 42 at the Alumni Association.

—Ryan Camenzind

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KU to present three honorary degrees at 2019 Commencement

Posted on Nov 8, 2018 in Campus News and News

Strong Hall | KU honorary degrees 2019

An Olympic gold medalist and humanitarian, a former director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the CEO of a global scientific instrumentation company will receive honorary degrees from the University of Kansas.

Billy Mills, Elizabeth Broun and Teruhisa Ueda will each receive an honorary degree at KU’s 147th Commencement on May 19, 2019, in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The three nominations were approved earlier today by the Kansas Board of Regents.

“Billy Mills, Elizabeth Broun and Teruhisa Ueda have made lasting contributions to our world,” said Chancellor Douglas A. Girod. “They embody the mission of the University of Kansas and serve as role models for students, faculty, staff and individuals throughout society who want to make meaningful contributions to the world around them. I am thrilled for the chance to recognize these three exceptional individuals at Commencement, and I know their presence will make the day that much more special for our graduates and their families.”

The degrees to be awarded and the justification for each are as follows:

  • Billy Mills will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for his outstanding contributions to improving the lives of Native Americans and commitment to lifting the voices of diverse and underrepresented people.
  • Elizabeth Broun will receive the degree of Doctor of Arts in honor of her extraordinary contributions to the field of American visual history.
  • Teruhisa Ueda will receive the degree of Doctor of Science for his outstanding contributions to science and technology.

KU awards honorary degrees based on nominees’ outstanding scholarship, research, creative activity, service to humanity or other achievements consistent with the academic endeavors of the university. Recipients do not need to be KU alumni, and philanthropic contributions to the university are not considered during the process. The university first began awarding honorary degrees in 2012 and has since presented 16 such degrees, not including the 2019 nominees announced today. For additional information and a list of past degree recipients, visit honorarydegrees.ku.edu.

2019 Honorary Degree Recipient Profiles

Billy Mills

Billy Milles | KU Honorary Degrees 2019Billy Mills is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Mills attended Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas. He attended KU on an athletic scholarship and was a three-time NCAA All-American cross-country runner. During the 1964 Summer Olympics, Mills won an Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 meters, and he remains the only American to ever win the event. Mills’ win in the 10,000 meters is considered one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history.

Mills is a co-founder and national spokesperson of Running Strong for American Indian Youth, an organization that aims to help American Indian people meet their immediate survival needs while creating opportunities for self-sufficiency and self-esteem in American Indian youths. In 2014, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of his gold medal, Mills started Dreamstarter, a grant program to jump-start the dreams of American Indian youths.

Mills is the recipient of many distinguished athletic and humanitarian awards, including the 2015 President’s Council Lifetime Achievement Award, NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award and 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal. He has been inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame and the United States Track & Field Hall of Fame.

Elizabeth Broun

Elizabeth Broun| KU Honorary Degrees 2019Elizabeth Broun, director emerita of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, grew up in Independence, Kansas, and holds three KU degrees in art history — a bachelor’s, a master’s and a doctorate. From 1976-83, Broun served as curator and subsequently interim director of KU’s Spencer Museum of Art, overseeing a dramatic expansion of its collections. In 1983, she began her long tenure at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, beginning as chief curator and assistant director and assuming the position of director in 1989. She retired in 2016.

During her 27-year tenure, Broun conceived and successfully completed the renovation of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery’s buildings, all national historic landmarks. Under her direction and with her vision, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has become the premier center for research in the field of American visual history. By dramatically expanding the resources available for research and learning using both in-person and digital access, Broun expanded the appreciation and understanding of our collective cultural history.

On the occasion of her retirement, Broun’s outstanding service was recognized by the Smithsonian Regents with the Joseph Henry Medal, the institution’s highest award.

Teruhisa Ueda

Teruhisa Ueda| KU Honorary Degrees 2019Teruhisa Ueda is the president and CEO of Shimadzu Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of scientific instrumentation, with 10,000 employees and revenue in excess of $2.5 billion. Ueda is the driving force behind Shimadzu’s corporate philosophy, which is to contribute to society through science and technology. Under his leadership, Shimadzu Corporation is dedicated to making significant investments in research and development of new technologies.

Ueda was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial chemistry, a master’s degree in engineering and a doctorate in applied life science, all from Kyoto University. During the early 1990s, Ueda studied at KU at the Center for Bioanalytical Research, studying under Distinguished Professors Ted Kuwana and Ralph Adams. Ueda credits his time at KU for his understanding and appreciation of a global mindset, deepening his success in business management and broadening his professional expertise.

Ueda’s success illustrates the benefits of being committed to a diversified student experience. Ueda believes students should turn their attention outward, learn about other lifestyles and cultures, and see what they can offer the world. He promotes taking on challenges without fearing failure as well as scientific excellence and responsibility to future generations.

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KU to honor Rob Riggle with Distinguished Alumni award

Posted on Oct 9, 2018 in Campus News and News

Rob Riggle Distinguished Alumni Award
Rob Riggle, one of the most recognizable Jayhawk alumni, will be honored this year with the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas. He will visit Lawrence in November to accept the award.

Two distinct careers

Riggle has forged two distinct and notable careers since graduating from KU in 1992 with a B.A. in theatre and film. Following a career with the United States Marine Corps during which he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Riggle has become well-known in comedic films and television. He is also known for his philanthropic efforts and as an enthusiastic fan of KU.

“Rob Riggle’s accomplished and varied career exemplifies the many paths open to graduates with a well-rounded education in the liberal arts and sciences,” said Clarence Lang, interim dean of the College. “We are pleased to recognize him and welcome him back to campus.”

“An Evening with Rob Riggle”

The College will host “An Evening with Rob Riggle” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, at the Burge Union. Tickets are required and free. They are available at the Kansas Union. More details on tickets and the event are available here.

In a Q&A with the College, Riggle shared how his KU education has been of value in his career.

“My theatre and film degree helped me tremendously in pursuing my dreams,” he said. “Unless you’re going to specialize in a certain field, like medicine or accounting, I think you should seek an education that is well rounded. You should seek social and emotional intelligence as well as academic intelligence.”

Comedic turns

Riggle is familiar to filmgoers and TV fans alike for comedic roles in films such as “The Hangover” and “Step Brothers,” as well as his stints on “Saturday Night Live” and as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” His most recent film appearance is in “Night School” with Kevin Hart, which debuted at the top of the box office this fall. On the small screen, Riggle has most recently appeared in “Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy,” available on Sony Crackle. For his voice-over talents, he earned a 2012 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for Disney’s “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice.”

Rob Riggle at a KU basketball game | Rob Riggle Distinguished Alumni Award

He is one of KU’s most well-known fans, appearing regularly at football and basketball games. During KU’s appearance last spring in the NCAA Final Four against Villanova, Riggle was the sideline reporter on the Kansas TeamCast broadcast on TNT. He hosted KU’s Late Night in the Phog in 2013 and served as the grand marshal of the KU Homecoming Parade in 2014. Sports fans may also know Riggle from the “Riggle’s Picks” skits during NFL coverage on FOX, or his podcast of the same name.

Philanthropic endeavors

In addition to maintaining close connections to KU, Riggle has kept close ties in the Kansas City area. He is a founder of the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend in Kansas City, an annual fundraising event that benefits Children’s Mercy. He and other celebrity hosts, several with ties to Kansas City, have raised more than $6 million since the initial event in 2010. Riggle grew up in Overland Park, Kansas and attended Shawnee Mission South High School.

As he broke into comedy, Riggle was still on active duty with the United States Marine Corps, which he initially joined at the age of 19. Riggle served in various countries including Albania, Kosovo, Liberia and Afghanistan. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve, having served 23 years total (9 years active duty, 14 years in the reserves) and earned more than 22 medals and ribbons. This fall, he will also be recognized by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) with the 2018 IAVA Veteran Leadership Award.

About the College

As the largest academic unit with the most alumni, students and faculty, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is the heart of KU. The College has recognized more than 50 liberal arts and sciences graduates with its Distinguished Alumni Award since 1996. Alumni have been honored for accomplishments across a span of career paths, including public and military service, business, arts, medicine, entertainment and publishing, and research. The full list can be viewed here.

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University of Kansas announces Ex.C.E.L. Award winners, concludes 106th Homecoming celebration

Posted on Oct 1, 2018 in Campus News and News

Home on the Hill | KU Homecoming 2018 | Sept. 23-29 | 2018 Homecoming winners
Two University of Kansas students, Jose Montoya of Los Lunas, New Mexico, and Jonnette Oakes of Topeka, are winners of the 28th annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (Ex.C.E.L.) Awards. The award presentation during halftime of the KU-Oklahoma State football game Sept. 29 in the David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium concluded KU’s 106th Homecoming celebration.

Jose Montoya

Montoya, a senior majoring in sport management and journalism, is president of the Multicultural Greek Council. He is a Hawk Link Honors Program graduate and participates in the Multicultural Scholars Program. He is treasurer of the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and he served as vice president of the Latino fraternity Phi Iota Alpha. He is a Marching Jayhawks rank leader and press announcer for KU Women’s Tennis. He served as a sports reporter and crew member for Playmakers Central on KUJH-TV and was a volunteer crew member for Rock Chalk Video. He won the Earl Falkenstien Honor Award in 2018 and has interned in Washington, D.C., for the past two summers.

Jose Montoya of Los Lunas, New Mexico | Ex.C.E.L. Winner 2018 Homecoming winners

Jonnette Oakes

Oakes, a senior majoring in political science with a minor in business, is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and served as the chapter’s president and nominating chair. She was secretary of the law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta and currently serves as vice president of outreach for the National Pan-Hellenic Council. She has been a student ambassador at KU and she assists new students as an Adidas peer mentor. She interned for the Kansas Legislature and was a desk assistant for the KU Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Jonnette Oakes of Topeka | Ex.C.E.L. winner 2018 Homecoming winners

The Ex.C.E.L. Award provides an annual $250 scholarship to two students. Nominees were selected on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations.

“Home on the Hill”

The theme for this year’s Homecoming was “Home on the Hill.” The event was sponsored by Crown Toyota, Volkswagen and Hy-Vee, with two locations in Lawrence, and was supported by Kansas Athletics. Students and alumni participated in several activities throughout the week, including competitions, reunions and tailgates. The Alumni Association also launched KU Mentoring, a program that provides career connections and networking opportunities for students and alumni. The program is the first phase of the Jayhawk Career Network.

The annual Homecoming celebration was organized by the KU Alumni Association and a student-led steering committee, which was chaired by Allyson Bellner, a sophomore from Marion, Iowa, majoring in biology; Ashley Dunn, a Lawrence junior majoring in communication studies; Logan Hotz, a Rose Hill junior majoring in mathematics and economics; Mary Claire McLaughlin, a junior from Ballwin, Missouri, majoring in mechanical engineering and business; and Rebecca Seldin, a junior from Deerfield, Illinois, majoring in strategic communications. They worked with Alumni Association staff members Ally Stanton, director of student programs, and Keon Stowers, assistant director of student programs.

The Homecoming parade was Thursday, Sept. 27, on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence and featured KU alumni Rich and Judy Howard Billings of Lakewood, Colorado, as grand marshals. The Billings are benefactors of the annual Spirit of 1912 Award and participated in their 60th Homecoming celebration this year.

Other 2018 Homecoming event and award winners are:

Jennifer Alderdice Homecoming Award
Brianna Mears, a junior from Georgetown, Texas majoring in strategic communications

Rich and Judy Billings Spirit of 1912 Award
Howard Cohen, a 1979 School of Business alumnus, and his wife, Debra, from Leawood

Overall Winners
Greek Life
1st place: Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Sigma Psi
2nd place: Kappa Delta, Sigma Kappa, Theta Chi, Delta Tau Delta
3rd place: Alpha Chi Omega, Triangle, Delta Gamma, Sigma Pi

Student Life – Chalk & Rock Competition
Best Interpretation of Theme: Sellards Scholarship Hall
Best Use of Space: Watkins Scholarship Hall
Difficulty Level – Picasso: Krehbiel Scholarship Hall
Most Spirited: The Big Event
Best Incorporation of Organization: Women in Medicine

For more information about this year’s event, visit the Homecoming website.

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Eight KU seniors named finalists for 28th-annual Ex.C.E.L. Awards

Posted on Sep 24, 2018 in Campus News and News

Homecoming 2018 | Home on the Hill | 2018 Ex.C.E.L. Awards

Eight finalists have been selected for the 28th-annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Awards at the University of Kansas. The finalists, all seniors, will participate in the Homecoming parade at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, along Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. Two winners will be announced during halftime of the KU-Oklahoma State Homecoming football game Sept. 29 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

The Ex.C.E.L. Award provides an annual $250 scholarship to two students. Nominees were selected on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The selection committee included representatives from Student Union Activities, the Board of Class Officers, the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Homecoming Steering Committee.

The award was first given in 1991 to recognize two students for achievement. Names of winners are listed on a plaque on the fifth level of the Kansas Union. To be eligible, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Each finalist completed an application and participated in an interview. The finalists and their academic majors are listed below, along with highlights of their campus achievements.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

From Lawrence

Autumn Crafton, management and leadership with a minor in psychology, is vice president of development for Student Union Activities and has coordinated events for the organization. She is a student assistant for School of Business career services and served as an Amazon Prime student lead brand ambassador. She volunteers at the Lawrence Public Library, where she assists with youth programs and services.

Ashley Dunn, communication studies with a minor in leadership studies, is a student ambassador for KU Admissions and an events coordinator for Student Union Activities. She served as a resident assistant for Student Housing and was a student assistant for the Center for Public Partnerships and Research. She is a Hawk Link graduate and participates in the Multicultural Scholars Program. She is a member of the Black Student Union and the Homecoming Steering Committee. She was a Student Senator for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and participated in the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy.

JOHNSON COUNTY

From Olathe

Harneet Sanghera, finance and political science, is president of the Kansas Memorial Unions Corporation Board and lead building manager for the Kansas Union. She has served Student Union Activities in several leadership roles, including president, vice president and special events coordinator. She participates in the University Honors Program and the Business Honors Program and is treasurer of Mortar Board. She was a Student Senator for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She has volunteered at Just Food, Kansas Appleseed, Project Create and KU Community Conversation.

From Overland Park

Nidhi Patel, English and biology, is a University Honors Scholar and student ambassador and peer mentor in the program. She also participates in the Honors Program Student Council and served as co-president. She has been a research assistant in medicinal chemistry and early childhood research, and she serves as academic chair of the medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon. She participated in the KU Jeeva Dance Group and was an APEX peer tutor. She volunteers at the Lawrence Community Shelter and Lawrence Memorial Hospital. She was named a Global Scholar in 2016 and a Hall Center Scholar in 2018.

MORRIS COUNTY

From Burdick

Nellie Landon Kassebaum, English with a minor in public policy, is co-executive director of the student advocacy organization Rise KU and president of board of class officers. She is a student advisory board member for the Dole Institute of Politics and a member of the Student Alumni Leadership Board. She participated in Student Senate and was vice president and founding member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority. She is a student ambassador for the University Honors Program and served as Homecoming executive director in 2017. She volunteers at Camp Planet D and the Lawrence Public Library. She was named a Hall Center Scholar in 2017.

ROOKS COUNTY

From Damar

Hannah Berland, human biology and pre-medicine, is a KU School of Medicine Rural Scholar and participates in the University Honors Program. She is president of Phi Delta Epsilon and has served as the medical fraternity’s vice president of programming and technology chair. She directs recruitment for the KU Dance Marathon and oversees the rural medical brigades for the Jayhawk Health Initiative. She is a mental health peer educator at KU Counseling and Psychological Services and she interns at the JayDoc Free Clinic. She has volunteered at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the St. Lawrence Center, where she currently serves as a eucharistic minister.

SHAWNEE COUNTY

From Topeka

Jonnette Oakes, political science with a minor in business, is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and served as the chapter’s president and nominating chair. She was secretary of the law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta and currently serves as vice president of outreach for the National Pan-Hellenic Council. She has been a student ambassador at KU and she assists new students as an Adidas peer mentor. She interned for the Kansas Legislature and was a desk assistant for the KU Office of Multicultural Affairs.

NEW MEXICO

From Los Lunas

Jose Montoya, sport management and journalism, is president of the Multicultural Greek Council. He is a Hawk Link Honors Program graduate and participates in the Multicultural Scholars Program. He is treasurer of the men’s music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and he served as vice president of the Latino fraternity Phi Iota Alpha. He is a Marching Jayhawks rank leader and press announcer for KU Women’s Tennis. He served as a sports reporter and crew member for Playmakers Central on KUJH-TV and was a volunteer crew member for Rock Chalk Video. He won the Earl Falkenstien Honor Award in 2018 and has interned in Washington, D.C., for the past two summers.

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Howard and Debra Cohen of Leawood to receive Homecoming Spirit of 1912 Award

Posted on Sep 17, 2018 in Campus News and News

Howard and Debra Cohen of Leawood to receive Homecoming Spirit of 1912 Award

Howard and Debra Cohen of Leawood to receive Homecoming Spirit of 1912 AwardThe University of Kansas Alumni Association and the student-led Homecoming Steering Committee have named Howard and Debra Cohen of Leawood as winners of this year’s Rich and Judy Billings Spirit of 1912 Award. The annual award recognizes Jayhawks who consistently display school spirit, pride and tradition.

The Cohens will ride in the Homecoming Parade at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence and receive their award at the Homecoming reception, before kickoff of the KU-Oklahoma State football game Saturday, Sept. 29.

Howard earned his KU bachelor’s degree in business in 1979 and for nearly 40 years has worked at Deloitte in Kansas City, where he’s a lead client service partner. He chaired the business school’s advisory board and served on the national board of directors for the Alumni Association from 2006 to 2011. He has volunteered as a trustee for KU Endowment since 2003. He is a Life member of the Alumni Association and participates in Jayhawks for Higher Education. In 2005, the School of Business honored him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Debbi is a dedicated Jayhawk and co-chairs the Women Philanthropists for KU advisory board. She and Howard have attended numerous KU events in Kansas City, including the Rock Chalk Ball, the Association’s largest fundraising event, for nearly two decades. The Cohens are longtime contributors to the Presidents Club and donated to the School of Business’ capital campaign, which raised funds for the construction of Capitol Federal Hall.

The Spirit of 1912 Award commemorates the first year of KU’s Homecoming and honors Rich and Judy Billings of Lakewood, Colorado, who in 2011 created an endowment to fund future editions of Homecoming. The Billings, both 1957 KU graduates, will attend their 60th KU Homecoming celebration this year, serving as grand marshals in the parade.

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