As the 2017-2018 Kansas basketball season enters conference play, the “Commemorate the Gr8s” tour continues to provide fans a behind-the-scenes look at the history of KU Basketball.
The exhibit celebrates the anniversaries of the 1988 and 2008 title teams with memorabilia from KU’s national championship seasons. Thanks to a partnership between the University of Kansas Libraries and the KU Alumni Association, the exhibit is making its way across America on a 28-city tour, visiting watch parties and other Jayhawk alumni network events.
LeAnn Meyer, assistant director of advancement at KU Libraries, has seen firsthand how the Jayhawk connection brings people together on the tour stops.
“Connecting with alumni, both near and far, has been incredibly rewarding,” Meyer said. “Jayhawk pride can be found coast to coast, and these events provide an opportunity for friends and alums to mingle with one another while perusing iconic photographs and memorabilia from the University Archives. The exhibit items often spark fond memories, and the stories shared create bonds between local Jayhawks.”
The exhibit includes the newspapers and magazines chronicling Danny and the Miracles’ amazing run and Mario Chalmers’ tying shot against Memphis, pictures from before, during and after the games that made the titles possible, and other artifacts from the championship teams.
“I have had the opportunity to see the last three KU Library exhibits that have been here in Colorado Springs and each of them have been fun and interesting,” Merriman said. “The library staff has a track record of putting together amazing presentations of artifacts and memorabilia. Those of us living out of state truly appreciate the chance to view and relive those moments.”
The stops on the tour also provide a chance for local Jayhawks to get to know fellow KU alumni who live in their area. Visit our networks page to find a Facebook group with nearby Jayhawks, and visit kualumni.org/commemorate to learn more about the tour and see when it comes to a city near you.
Looking for a way to connect with fellow Jayhawks, expand your professional and social networks and learn a little KU history at the same time?
Don’t miss the latest program from KU Libraries and the KU Alumni Association: Evolution of the Jayhawk.
At this one-of-a-kind event, you’ll have the opportunity to see and hold rare KU archival materials that showcase the fascinating origins and the evolution of our beloved Jayhawk. View some of the most exclusive and intriguing iterations of our distinctive mascot, while making connections with fellow Jayhawks.
Events are currently scheduled for the following locations:
Alumni play an important role in helping to recruit new students to the University of Kansas, and the KU Alumni Association works closely with the KU Office of Admissions in these efforts. Each year, the Office of Admissions staffs recruiters to represent KU throughout the state of Kansas an in key territories across the country. We asked each of the admissions reps to share a little information with us so alumni can get to know them.
Today’s post features Elisa Krapcha, c’05, j’05, a native of Littleton, Colo. Elisa is the Colorado Regional Representative and recruits students from the states of Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, as well as the western half of Kansas.
What is your fondest memory of your time at KU? I often think about the last semester of my senior year at KU— enjoying basketball games in Allen Fieldhouse, finishing capstone classes while looking for a job, catching baseball games at Hoglund Ballpark, passing time on Massachusetts Street and just trying to do everything I could in Lawrence before I was no longer a KU student. Then everything culminated on a beautiful day in May as I walked down the Hill with my future husband and a great group of friends, as my family cheered me along. It was the perfect ending to an amazing four years!
What clubs, organizations or traditions did you participate in as a student? My interests and involvement as a student ran the gamut— I was a KU Student Ambassador, an Orientation Assistant, a member of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) through the J-School, a Mount Oread Scholar, intramural sport enthusiast (including one championship!), a student worker at the KU Rec Center, a member of the Crimson Crew (part of the KU football program) and most importantly, an avid camper for basketball games!
Name one class you think every KU student should take and why.
I learned so much from my Journalism 101 class, and think the messages of the class about critical and creative thinking is something all students should learn. Plus, I think the course teaches students to be more informed citizens and better evaluators of news and information, which is very important as the way we receive our news and form and share opinions is constantly changing (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and it will probably continue to change!
When did you know you loved KU?
To preface, family means everything to me and when something catches on in my family, it becomes a part of us forever. During my freshman year, my parents came from Colorado to visit me for Family Weekend, which also happened to be Late Night in the Phog. No one in my family had ever attended KU and my parents had not experienced the traditions before. When the crowd in Allen Fieldhouse linked arms, swayed and sang the Alma Mater with such pride and passion, I looked over and my dad had tears in his eyes. He knew this place was special and could finally see in person why I thought it was special. We are now forever a Jayhawk family!
Describe your perfect day in Lawrence.
Wake up, go for a jog through campus and the surrounding neighborhoods, eat breakfast at Milton’s, shop downtown, enjoy lunch at Free State Brewery and Sylas and Maddy’s for dessert, shop some more, have an early dinner at the Burger Stand before an evening basketball victory in Allen Fieldhouse, and wrap everything up with a night on Mass Street with friends!
What’s the most important piece of advice you give prospective students? I am always telling students how impactful it can be to go to college away from your home, specifically at KU. I often work with students who travel a good distance to move to Lawrence to attend KU, but I think this is also important advice for students that are from Lawrence, Kansas City or surrounding areas. Moving away for college allows you to step out of your comfort zone and develop a strong sense of independence. It lets you learn about yourself, your goals and ambitions and it expands your network of friends, colleagues, etc. You can still keep all your relationships back home with friends and family, and even return back home after college, but allowing yourself to go to a new environment and embracing that environment will change your life in more ways than you realize.
How do you show your Jayhawk pride?
I would say that within 5 minutes of talking with anyone, whether they’re a perfect stranger or even my mother, I bring up something awesome that KU is doing. Whether its academics, a neat student accomplishment, a hilarious positing from the message boards, a basketball victory, or something from my job, I am always singing the praises of KU. I show my pride by sharing how KU positively impacts the world and my life every day. That, and I never board a plane without “wearing my colors,” as my husband puts it. Sporting the Jayhawk and crimson and blue is typical Krapcha airplane attire.
Tell us about your involvement with your local Alumni Association chapter and describe how this network can help prospective/current students. While I am not as actively involved in the local chapters in Colorado Springs and Denver as I would like to be, it is definitely a goal of mine to step this up! I know that alumni can help with KU presence at events KU Admissions hosts, like our Jayhawk Nights, and at college fairs around the area. Having alumni share their experiences with students and families at these events adds “real world” examples to what Admissions shares with students. If any KU alumni want to help out, they can contact Admissions and we will find a way for them to help!
How does your KU degree help you in your career and daily life? While I think a college degree in general helps anyone navigate the world better and find greater success in personal and professional ventures, I think my KU degree specifically helps me think critically, have a better ability to see different perspectives on everything I encounter, and it has given me confidence and the work ethic to know that I can be successful in everything I put effort into. Plus, I expanded my basketball knowledge exponentially while at KU and you can really teach people a lot of things when they are watching a game. Do you know how many people don’t know what a triangle and two defense is?
Click here to visit Elisa’s page on the Office of Admissions website, which includes her recruitment territories and school visit schedule. Contact Elisa at 719.344.9986 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KU Alumni Association staff members spend a lot of time on the road, especially during the ‘Hawk Days of Summer. Ever wonder what they do for entertainment during those long hours in the car? Wonder no more.
We’ve documented antics in the car before–check out this video of our esteemed president, Kevin, air-drumming his way across Kansas in 2011– but we stepped it up a notch this year with a dash cam. Typically used to record traffic incidents and positioned to capture what happens outside the car (they’re widespread in Russia), our dash cam is intended to record what happens inside.
Here’s a short story from the road to last week’s Front Range Golf Tournament, along with some beautiful scenery at the Kissing Camels Course at the Garden of the Gods Club in Colorado Springs.
For more photos from the event, click here. Video by Dan Storey.
More than fifty Jayhawks enjoyed the annual Front Range Golf Tournament in Colorado last Friday. The tournament is held at a different golf course each year, and this year the tournament was in Colorado Springs at the Garden of the Gods Club.
Staff members Mike Davis, Teri Harris, Kelsey Hill and Dan Storey traveled west to welcome the golfers. Thanks to all the Jayhawks who joined us this year!
Click here to see our photos from the event, or watch the slideshow below.
The KU Alumni Association plans over 500 events every year for chapters across the country, and wine tastings are a popular event for many groups.
The Colorado Springs Chapter held their third annual wine tasting on April 20 at the Patty Jewett Clubhouse. Jayhawks who attended enjoyed wine and appetizers, along with a silent auction of KU items. Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs, attended the event to share updates from the Hill.
Chapter leader Julie Andrews, d’81, provided photos for us:
The next day, April 21, Jayhawk alumni, fans and friends in the Manhattan area took over the upstairs room at Varney’s bookstore for the Flint Hills Chapter’s wine tasting.
Chad Lohman led a tasting of Italian wines from the Piedmont area, and the event also featured a silent auction and raffle with unique KU items. Dr. Larry Stoppel, c’73, a member of the Alumni Association’s national Board of Directors and frequent event photographer, provided the photos below:
Be sure to check out our list of chapters to find one near you! We’re busy planning the third edition of ‘Hawk Days of Summer, where staff members will travel the country to host events to bring Jayhawks together. A full schedule will be available soon.
The KU men’s basketball team earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s South Region, and lucky for us (and them!) it means they’ll play in Kansas City’s Sprint Center– where they won the Big 12 Championship last weekend.
The ‘Hawks will take on the No. 16 seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at 8:50 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 22.
Z-Strike will once again serve as the headquarters for Jayhawk fans, with a pregame party starting at 3 p.m. on Friday. The Alumni Association, Kansas Athletics and KUStore.com will be set up here with giveaways and KU gear available for purchase.
The KU pep band, spirit squad and mascots will take center stage at the pep rally at 5:15 p.m., though Big Jay likely won’t be sporting the adidas “camo” shorts this time.
If you’re a member of the Alumni Association, don’t forget your membership card! Show it at our table and you’ll receive a free, members-only gift.
We’re bringing March Madness to you!
This year, the Alumni Association is taking March Madness on the road. Staff members will host watch parties in eleven different cities on Friday and, should KU advance, on Sunday.
On Friday night, staff members will be in Washington, D.C. (The Bottom Line); Chicago (Lottie’s Pub); San Francisco (The Pub); Colorado Springs (Fox and Hound); Dallas (Park Tavern) and Wichita (Larry Bud’s).
If KU wins on Friday, staff will attend watch parties in New York City (Cornerstone Tavern); Minneapolis (Tiffany Sports Lounge); Los Angeles (The Parlor); Denver (Stoney’s); Houston (Coaches Midtown) and Wichita (Larry Bud’s).
Members can show their cards at the staff-hosted watch parties and receive a free gift.
If you’re near any of these cities, we’d love to meet you! And if you’re not, click here to find a list of official Alumni Association watch sites around the country.
Jayhawks in the Colorado Springs area enjoyed a sampling of wines at a KU Alumni Association-sponsored wine tasting Saturday, May 12, 2012, at Falcon Stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy. View photos below, or click here to see them on Flickr.