Jayhawks in the News | June 16

Posted on Jun 16, 2017 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

#KSProud: Deaf Derby native defies odds with audiology doctorate from KU | KWCH.com

Derby native Casey Combs walked across the stage at KU earlier this month, as she earned her Doctorate in Audiology. Casey is profoundly, or totally for a more practical term, deaf.
Read full article and watch video

What a journey: Bryan Sperry is a former KU football player & World War II veteran | Four States Home Page

Bryan Sperry made national headlines two years ago at the KU football alumni game scoring a touchdown. The World War II veteran also spent 35 years at Pittsburg State as a math professor.
Watch video.

A step toward greater diversity: New business school camp reaches out to under-represented populations | LJWorld.com

The Summer Venture in Business program is open to high-achieving 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade minority students or those who would be the first in their families to attend college. Former KU student body president Stephonn Alcorn and his Student Senate coalition had proposed such a camp last year as one way to help increase campus diversity.
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Devonté Graham and current Jayhawks edge KU alumni team 82-75 in scrimmage | Kansas City Star

The alumni team included Ben McLemore, Mario Chalmers, Sherron Collins, Perry Ellis and Keith Langford, to name a handful of former KU stars.
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Tom Eblen, mentor to a generation of KU journalists, remembered as ‘old-school teacher’ | LJWorld.com

Tom Eblen, who mentored a generation of journalists as general manager and news adviser for the University Daily Kansan, died Saturday at age 80 in Prairie Village. As general manager and adviser of the Daily Kansan, Eblen oversaw the newspaper’s business affairs and provided lasting advice to students on writing and editing.
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Scot Pollard tells Bill Self ‘my ’97 team would dominate any of your teams’ | Kansas City Star

Former KU big man Scot Pollard tells current Jayhawks coach Bill Self that his teams would beat Self’s more current teams at the KVC Hero Luncheon on Thursday, June 15, 2017.
Watch video.

Rock Chalk Roundball Classic turns into ‘KU Day’ at Lawrence Free State High’s gym | Kansas City Star

Perry Ellis was one of the many fan favorites participating in an exhibition game that featured more than 40 former KU players and coaches including 12 members of Kansas’ 2008 national title squad.
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Former KU vice chancellor dies at 91 | University Daily Kansan

Robert Cobb, a University faculty member and administrator for over 30 years, passed away last week at the age of 91. In his time at the University, Cobb was an English professor, department head, dean, executive vice chancellor, professor emeritus and more.
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Kings host College Player of the Year Frank Mason for second pre-draft workout | ABC10.com

The Sacramento Kings hosted a second pre-draft workout on Wednesday with last season’s National College Player of the Year – Kansas’ point guard Frank Mason III. Upon arriving in Sacramento on Tuesday, Mason caught the attention of social media for inviting a Jayhawks fan to meet him at his downtown hotel.
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Jayhawks in the News | May 19

Posted on May 19, 2017 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

Former KU and NBA forward Drew Gooden basks in joy on his college graduation day | KUHoops.com

Former KU and NBA basketball player Drew Gooden finished work on his communication studies degree in December and enjoyed the fruits of his academic labor walking down Campanile Hill on Sunday morning into Memorial Stadium for KU commencement exercises.
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MAcc alumna wins award from American Institute of CPAs | Medium.com

Devenie Ross, a 2016 School of Business graduate, is one of the winners of the American Institute of CPAs’ 2016 Elijah Watt Sells Award. A total of 102,323 individuals sat for the exam in 2016, and Ross was one of 58 candidates to meet the award criteria.
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It’s Your Business | Topeka Capital-Journal

Attorney Diane L. Bellquist, of Joseph, Hollander &Craft LLC, is the newly elected president-elect of the Topeka Bar Association. She earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Kansas School of Law.
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Minnesota Justice David Stras, Trump’s pick for Eighth Circuit, enjoys broad swath of support | Star Tribune

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras, nominated Monday by President Donald Trump to fill a vacancy on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, is described by colleagues as a scholar who can build bridges with colleagues on the bench.
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Just Play Sports Solutions lands seven pro sports clients | Startland News

Just Play Sports Solutions announced it will partner with seven professional WNBA teams — the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, LA Sparks, Seattle Storm and Washington Mystic. Austin Barone, a graduate of the KU School of Business, is a co-founder of the company.
Read full article.

KU alum Pritchard ready to use agressive approach with Pacers | Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Pritchard — who played at Kansas and was the starting point guard on the Jayhawks’ 1988 national championship team — is the new president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers.
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Matriarch of ‘Jayhawk family’ from Saudi Arabia completes second KU degree | Lawrence Journal-World

Fatimah Al Ghafli, 53, is a University of Kansas student from Saudi Arabia, a mother of nine and a grandmother of nine. She celebrated her second degree from KU, a master’s in math. Her husband and two kids also have degrees from KU, and two more children currently attend the university.
Read full story.

KU art history professor remembered for emphasis on learning through experience | Lawrence Journal-World

University of Kansas professor emeritus of art history Edmund Eglinski was known as an advocate for learning through direct experience. Eglinski, 85, died Sunday in Lawrence of a heart attack.
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With founding professor’s retirement, KU’s biological anthropology lab is changing hands | Lawrence Journal-World

Michael Crawford — professor of anthropology, founding director of the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology and a founder of the field of anthropological genetics — has been at KU since 1971 and founded the lab in 1975. After more than 45 years on the Hill, Crawford is retiring and handing over leadership of the lab.
Read full article.

Former KU guard Nick Bradford hired as girls hoops coach at Olathe North | KUHoops.com

Former Kansas basketball guard Nick Bradford remembers consulting two of his college mentors — former Jayhawks head coach Roy Williams and assistant Neil Dougherty — about his future career path. Bradford was announced as girls head basketball coach at Olathe North High School.
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Jayhawks in the News | April 7

Posted on Apr 7, 2017 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

Gary Woodland in Masters field for fifth time | LJWorld.com

Two-time PGA tour winner Gary Woodland, who ranks 10th on this season’s money list with four top 10 finishes in 11 events, is playing in his fifth Masters and first since 2015. He did not qualify for the tournament last year.
Read full article.

Kala Stroup blazed a trail for women in higher education | University Daily Kansan

As a graduate of the University and the last dean of women, Kala Stroup, c’59 g’64 PhD’74, has held many positions in higher education and still works with students to make the University an inclusive place.
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Once A Jayhawk, Always a Jayhawk: Linda Ellis-Sims | Kansas Athletics

Linda Ellis-Sims spent her childhood in Independence, Missouri. Though her parents did not attend college themselves, they always placed a priority on education. Ellis-Sims gained an appreciation for math and science while achieving academic success in high school. An athlete in high school, Ellis-Sims also developed a strong passion for sports. Both of her interests factored into her decision to attend the University of Kansas.
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Susan Tabor inextricably connected to Audio-Reader, a program helping visually impaired people | University Daily Kansan

Susan Tabor, who was born blind, works for a service that provides both readings and information to those who are blind, visually impaired or print-disabled. After high school graduation, Tabor went on to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degree in social welfare at the University of Kansas.
Read full article.

Law school to honor four with Distinguished Alumni Award | KU School of Law

A veteran, a state government leader, a CEO and a managing partner will be recognized with the University of Kansas School of Law’s highest honor. The awards will be presented at a private dinner April 8 in Lawrence.
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To KU data guru Deb Teeter, it’s all about the people | University Daily Kansan

Teeter, b’71 g’75, has been working in analytics at KU for 45 years. Not only has she changed the way the University handles the data, but she has forever impacted the lives of those that work with her.
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Washburn hires Brett Ballard as head men’s basketball coach | Topeka Capital-Journal

Washburn University has hired former University of Kansas player and Wake Forest assistant Brett Ballard, d’04, to succeed Bob Chipman as head men’s basketball coach, the school announced Thursday.
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UNCW names C.B. McGrath Head Coach of Men’s Basketball | University of North Carolina Wilmington

C.B. McGrath has been named UNCW’s 11th head coach of men’s basketball, the university announced today. His appointment is effective Tuesday, April 4. McGrath earned a B.A. in human biology and a master’s degree in education from KU.
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Brandee Caswell named 2017 ‘Top Litigator’ by Law Week Colorado | Faegre Baker Daniels

Faegre Baker Daniels partner Brandee Caswell, l’98, has been selected for the 2017 “Top Litigator” award by Law Week Colorado. The award is given to lawyers who excel inside and outside of the courtroom in plaintiff and defense work, and in trials and appeals.
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Cyclist Steve Tilford dies in crash involving three vehicles | LJWorld.com

Topeka native and University of Kansas graduate Steve Tilford, a popular figure at cycling events in Lawrence because of his outgoing personality and area roots, died early Wednesday morning on Interstate 70 near the Utah-Colorado border, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
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Looking back on another great season

Posted on Mar 30, 2017 in Alumni News and News

IMG_news_sactowatchparty
 

Always proud to be a Jayhawk!

The KU men’s basketball season ended abruptly in Kansas City when the Ducks of Oregon ousted the Jayhawks from the NCAA Tournament in the Elite 8. While the road to the Final Four has ended for the ‘Hawks, the accolades keep rolling in, including first-team AP All-American honors for senior Frank Mason and third-team honors for freshman Josh Jackson. That adds to the team’s haul of Big 12 honors, including Player of the Year (Mason), Freshman of the Year (Jackson) and Coach of the Year (Bill Self), in addition to KU winning its thirteenth consecutive Big 12 title. Obviously, it’s been a busy year.

The KU Alumni Association also kept busy connecting fans and alumni for watch parties coast to coast. Nick Kallail, assistant vice president for alumni and career programs, tallied up his attendance at KU basketball gatherings during his first year on the staff, sharing the total with friends and alumni volunteers on Facebook:

Reflecting on an incredible first basketball season with KUAA –
3 home games
4 games in KC
5 road games – Las Vegas, Ft Worth, Norman, Waco, Austin
14 watch parties – LA (3), Denver, Chicago (2), Manhattan Beach, Seattle (2), San Francisco (2), San Diego, Houston, Dallas

And loved every second of it… because of the time spent with so many of you. Heading home!

IMG_news_crowncarKCNick ended the season with our L.A. Jayhawks, where halftime festivities include a highlight video celebrating our loyal alumni and fans (see below). Similar celebrations took place all season every place Jayhawks flock, from Maine to Seattle, and last Saturday was no different. All told, the KU Alumni Association hosted 68 watch parties during KU’s Elite 8 contest with Oregon in Kansas City.

And throughout the postseason, our staff was able to travel in style, thanks once again to our postseason partner Crown Automotive. The Crown Jayhawk Car didn’t log as many miles as we had hoped, but fans loved seeing it and snapping pics with it when we hit the road to Tulsa and KC.

More awards and recognition will continue to come before Monday night’s national championship game, and we have one more to add, for the Best Fans and Alumni in the Nation, always proud to be a Jayhawk.

Rock Chalk!

 
 

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Tulsa shootaround lifts spirits of fans and players alike

Posted on Mar 16, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Men's basketball open practice, NCAA first round 2017
Open-practice shootarounds are usually mundane, forgettable affairs, with players practicing three-point shots, testing a few free throws and moving through light drills without breaking a sweat. Thursday afternoon, the top-seeded Jayhawks closed out their half-hour session in downtown Tulsa’s BOK Center with a thrilling sequence that brought raucous cheers from a blue-clad crowd of about 1,000 fans.

As the “practice” neared its conclusion, senior Frank Mason III, a leading candidate for national player of the year, planted himself in the corner of the court directly in front of the men’s basketball band and began drilling a succession of swishes from beyond the arc.

As his streak gained momentum, the festive musicians began shouting out a running count of swished three-pointers. When Mason missed on No. 16, a broad smile flashed across his usually stoic face and cheers turned to a quick roar.

The Jayhawks (28-4) closed out the practice with half-court shots, and, unusually, none were even close—until sophomore guard Lagerald Vick nailed a nothing-but-net swish that looked as effortless as a mid-ranger jumper.

That’s when coach Bill Self called for the team to huddle at midcourt. Once assembled in a tight pack, the players began chanting something unintelligible from a half-court away. The meaning of their words became clear as injured freshman center Udoka Azubuike grinned, shook his head, grinned again, and finally grabbed a ball handed to him by a teammate and thundered toward the goal.

Guarding his injured left wrist, Azubuike slammed home a thunderous right-handed dunk, which was quickly followed by Mason bouncing a ball off the backboard and grabbing it for a one-handed slam of his own.

As freshman sensation Josh Jackson began to follow suit, a look of panic shot across Self’s face and the veteran coach, a Naismith Coach of the Year finalist, shouted “Josh, don’t! Josh, don’t!” Jackson grudgingly obeyed orders and trotted toward the stands to join his teammates in an impromptu autograph session for eager fans.

The practice was so spirited that it might have served a purpose far beyond the typical bit of public relations splash: The Jayhawks seemingly generated a jump-start on rebuilding the momentum they lost after losing their first game of the Big 12 Tournament one week ago.

“I think it’s real important for all of us to get going,” junior guard Devonte’ Graham said of KU’s NCAA Tournament opener, 5:50 p.m. Friday against UC Davis. “We all gotta come out and be aggressive, especially on the defensive end, to get the jitters out and stuff like that. Everybody just needs to be aggressive.”

Fans are invited to a pregame event at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 17, at the Cox Business Center. The event, hosted by the KU Alumni Association, Kansas Athletics and the Williams Education Fund, will include a pep rally at 3:30 featuring the spirit squad and the basketball band. More information is available at the alumni association’s postseason site.

—Chris Lazzarino

Check out photos from today’s open practice in the slideshow below, or click here to see the pictures on Flickr. All photos by Steve Puppe.

NCAA Tournament 2017: Open Practice

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Rock Chalk Road Trip

Posted on Mar 16, 2017 in Alumni News and News

IMG_slider_crown2017
 

Flying South to Tulsa

'Hawks 'n Hoops via www.kualumni.org

Follow the ‘Hawks as they fly through the postseason on our ‘Hawks and Hoops page, where alumni can find the latest updates on tournament games, pep rallies, shoot arounds and alumni watch parties around the country. And watch out for our KU Alumni Association staff on the road. They’ll be hard to miss.

Once again, thanks to Miles Schnaer’s Crown Automotive in Lawrence, your KU Alumni Association staff will be driving to Tulsa in style on the ‘Road to the Final Four.’ Be sure to wave at them in this one-of-a-kind Jayhawk Car.
Crown Toyota-Volkswagen
Our postseaon partners at Crown tell us the Jayhawk car has been a favorite among fans and auto enthusiasts young and old, so if you spot us during March Madness, don’t forget to post a pic and tag #kualumni.

See you on the road!

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Senior night special for Self

Posted on Feb 27, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Men's basketball student section
Senior night is always memorable for Jayhawks, and this one will be no different as KU bids farewell to starters and fan favorites Frank Mason and Landon Lucas, along with a third senior named Self. The only son of Head Coach Bill Self, fifth-year senior Tyler Self will thank his coach and father in what will surely be an emotional night for the Jayhawk family.

Get ready with our curated round up of senior night coverage below, and tune in tonight for the 8 p.m. CST tip off versus Oklahoma. Rock Chalk!
 

Dzwierzynski: Senior Night is a reminder of the greatness of college sports | University Daily Kansan

Senior Night at Kansas special for underclassmen too | KUSports.com

Gameday: No. 1 Kansas vs. Oklahoma | University Daily Kansan

KU basketball coach Bill Self expecting ‘one of the best senior nights we’ve ever had’ | CJOnline.com

Brought up on Kansas basketball, walk-on Tyler Self prepares for only start | KUSports.com

KU’s Tyler Self looks forward to first career start, Senior Night festivities | KUHoops.com

Senior Night came quickly for Kansas trio | KUSports.com

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Jayhawks in the News | February 24

Posted on Feb 24, 2017 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

KU provost introduces new program to help break down barriers for first-time students | Leader & Times

KU Provost Neeli Bendapudi visited southwest Kansas recently to discuss efforts made at the University of Kansas to alleviate transfer issues as well as a program to help Pell Grant and first-generation college students acclimate to a large campus. Alumnus Al Shank, a member of the KU Alumni Association’s national board of directors, is also mentioned in the article.
Read full article.
 

Dole Institute unveils full slate of spring programs | The University of Kansas

The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced additional public programs for the spring 2017 semester. A group of distinguished KU alumni will headline the semester’s programming, including 2017 Dole Lecture guest Robert Kaplan.
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Filling the Federal Reserve Board Vacancies? | The Beacon, Independent Institute

Sheila Bair has been mentioned as a potential candidate for one of three vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board. Bair, c’75, l’78, is currently the president of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.
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Sook joins Jeter Law Firm as a partner | Hays Post

Christopher W. Sook has joined Jeter Law Firm LLP in Hays as a partner. Sook, l’02, has a general civil practice.
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University alumnus and Guinness World Record holder determined to win Taco Bell wedding | University Daily Kansan

Dan Ryckert, an alumnus who holds two Guiness World Records and is a well-established voice in the gaming community, and his fiancee are competing to become the first couple to be married in the new Taco Bell Chapel in Las Vegas. Ryckert, c’08, has also published six books, including one about his experiences at KU.
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Spencer Fane Reunites With Lovett-Bowman, Expands Litigation Practice | Market Wired

Stephanie A. Lovett-Bowman, c’05, j’05, l’10, has rejoined the Spencer Fane’s litigation practice after serving with the U.S. Department of Education. Previous to her time at the DoE, Stephanie served with Spencer Fane for five years.
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Virtual reality field trips offer black history experiences for KC students | Startland

Catina Taylor, a co-founder of the V Form Alliance, uses virtual reality that allows elementary and middle school students to take a “field trip” exploring landmarks in Kansas and Missouri that are relevant to black history. Taylor earned a degree from the KU School of Law in 1999.
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School board veteran Mary Loveland among candidates for vacant seat | LJWorld.com

Mary Loveland, a member of the KU Alumni Association’s national board of directors from 1977-1982, is a candidate for the open seat on the Lawrence school board. Loveland, c’70, previously served on the board from 1987-2003 and again from 2007-2011.
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National champion, KU basketball alum Brandon Rush set for jersey retirement | Topeka Capital-Journal

Former KU basketball star Brandon Rush, ’09, was honored at the Feb. 22 basketball game when his jersey was retired at halftime.
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Have you seen a story featuring a Jayhawk? Send it our way so we can include it in a future post! Email us at share@kualumni.org.

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Sweepstakes winner revels in KU’s historic hoops victory

Posted on Feb 15, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Carole Haggard, Membership Mania Sweepstakes winner
Carole Haggard, a retired teacher in Olathe, could not believe her good luck in January, when she learned she had won the grand prize in the Alumni Association’s Membership Mania Sweepstakes. Haggard, g’94, who renewed her annual membership to enter the drawing, scored a $1,000 Visa gift card, a basketball autographed by the KU men’s basketball team and four tickets to a home game in Allen Field House.

Her good fortune continued Feb. 13, when Haggard, her daughter-in-law Calla Haggard and granddaughters Sara and Dorothy enjoyed prime seats for the Jayhawks’ improbable comeback 84-80 win in overtime against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The family rejoiced with the rest of the thunderous crowd, which set a new Guinness world record when the roar reached 130.4 decibels, the  loudest in an indoor arena.

“This was an unforgettable night, and I’m truly grateful,” Haggard said. Sharing the experience with her family made it all the sweeter.

Calla Haggard and her daughters, Sara and Dorothy, celebrated with their grandmother, Carole Haggard, during the KU’s memorable home-court win over West Virginia Feb. 13.

Calla Haggard and her daughters, Sara and Dorothy, celebrated with their grandmother, Carole Haggard, during the KU’s memorable home-court win over West Virginia Feb. 13.

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Family negotiates fun into Sunflower State rivalry

Posted on Feb 3, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Justin and Kelly Law | www.kualumni.org

Justin Law is the first to admit that his spouse is much better at compromising than he is—especially when it comes to watching college sports. But he’s no stranger to compromise either.

Justin, b’99, g’04, a diehard Jayhawk, lives in Manhattan with his wife, Kelly, a K-State graduate. They met in Kansas City in 2004, thanks to a friend who played matchmaker. An engagement soon followed, and the young couple decided to ditch the big city and move to a smaller town.

“Manhattan wasn’t necessarily on the list at the time,” Justin recalls wryly.

That changed when Kelly accepted a job at the K-State Alumni Association. The Laws have been in the Little Apple ever since.

The Laws | www.kualumni.orgDespite the fact that Justin bleeds crimson and blue, and Kelly’s pride is purple, the two make it work. “She’s come to KU basketball games with me but not against K-State,” says Justin. “I’ve been to K-State football games when they’re not playing KU. I’m a little more competitive and more interested in the outcome of sporting events, especially against K-State—especially living in Manhattan.”

Kelly, who now works at USI Insurance Services and counts the KU Alumni Association as one of her clients, has softened her stance against her intrastate rival. “I will willingly go to KU games when they’re not playing K-State, and I’ll cheer for KU,” she says. “But I typically wear pretty neutral colors.”

Justin gets a little support from their daughter, Kherington, who’s almost 7. The young girl, who at first favored the Wildcats over the Jayhawks, has been singing a different tune lately. The future Jayhawk, who is a big fan of Baby Jay and can easily recite KU’s alma mater, proudly sports her Jayhawk cheerleading outfit to school and willingly endures teasing from her teachers and classmates.

“She actually started out a K-State fan,” says Justin. “Around the age of 4, she switched allegiances. I’m honestly not sure how that happened. I wish I knew how, so if she started wavering I could bring her back.”

The Laws keep the family rivalry fun by placing wagers, which include dinner duty or a household chore for the losing fan, on KU vs. K-State games. “We have a lot of family bets,” says Kelly. “It’s always Kherington and Justin against me.”

Although Justin and his daughter often don’t fare well during football season, they look forward to basketball season and rely on their ’Hawks to outplay the Wildcats—if for no other reason than to dodge dinner duty. Here’s hoping they get their win.

—Heather Biele

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