Believe it: Boulevard construction still set for late-August completion

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 in News

The central-campus streetscape remains cleaved from stem to stern, yet University Architect Jim Modig assures the KU Alumni Association that Phase II of the four-summer reconstruction of Jayhawk Boulevard is still on target for completion by the Aug. 25 start of fall classes. Modig, a’73, says that while this summer’s work is approximately a week behind schedule, plans also included a “buffer” to account for weather delays.

“The project will be done for the fall semester,” Modig says.

Completion of “landscaping and less critical items” will continue into early fall.

This summer’s boulevard enhancement extends from Poplar Lane, between Strong and Snow halls, to the four-way intersection where Sunflower Road crosses Jayhawk Boulevard. Because the intersection at the heart of campus is impassable—even pedestrians and bicyclists are routed on wide detours behind Bailey Hall to the north of the four-way stop and between Watson Library and Stauffer-Flint Hall to the south—the entire boulevard between the Chi Omega fountain and 14th Street traffic booths has been closed to vehicle traffic since Commencement.

Next summer’s work will extend the improvements to Lilac Lane, adjacent to Danforth Chapel, and the project will be completed in summer 2016 with upgrades north to 13th Street—and possibly a bit beyond, depending on the remaining financial resources.

On its surface, the $11 million project is a sorely needed boulevard beautification—with an entirely new street surface, overdue landscape replacement, enhanced lighting, and improved crosswalks and other pedestrian safety features. Below ground, storm sewer and utility upgrades will help manage stormwater runoff, with new underground collection pools designed to filter the overflow water and feed it back toward the thirsty roots of new trees and other plantings.

—Chris Lazzarino

Staff photographer Dan Storey took photos of the progress on the boulevard this week. Watch the slideshow below or click here to see the pictures on Flickr.


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Weeping for the willows

Posted on Jul 18, 2014 in News

The storm that ravaged parts of Lawrence last week took out trees all over town, but many Jayhawks may not realize that the two weeping willows that stood near Potter Lake were among the storm’s victims.

Staff photographer Dan Storey took a few photos of the area yesterday:
Potter Lake willow tree
Potter Lake willow tree stump
Potter Lake willow tree
The two photos below are from our archives and were taken in 2013. Try not to cry.
Potter Lake willow trees
Potter Lake willow trees

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North Central Kansas Jayhawks gather for Salina Steak Out

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 in News

The fifth annual Salina Steak Out on June 21 brought more than 120 Jayhawks together to enjoy good food, good music and good news from the Hill.

The large crowd was treated to updates from Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger and Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment. Former KU basketball coach Ted Owens was also on hand to share some of his treasured memories. And, the popular Lawrence-based cover band Sellout provided live music and dance tunes.

Fun fact: Danny Loental, f’05, plays saxophone and sings with Sellout. The morning of the event, he posed this question on his Facebook page: “Can I ride my bike 100 miles this morning and finish in time to shower, drive to Salina and play with Sellout at the KU Alumni Association’s Steak Out at 5:30?”

In case you’re wondering, one CAN ride a bike a hundred miles and still have enough time to drive from Kansas City to Salina—and still have enough energy to entertain the crowd.

Special thanks to the Wilson family for once again hosting this wonderful event; to Jim Trower, b’77, North Central Kansas Chapter leader; and to Butch Billips, assoc., and America’s Best Steaks for providing a delicious meal.

Salina Steak Out 2014

Thanks to staff photographer Dan Storey for taking pictures at the event. Watch the slideshow below, or click here to see the photos on Flickr.

'Hawk Days | www.kualumni.orgThis event is part of the ‘Hawk Days of Summer, the KU Alumni Association’s annual summer sojourn across the country and around the world. The 90-day series of events resulted from a determination to make the most of the summer months. The 2014 tour kicked off on Saturday, May 17, and includes picnics, receptions, baseball games and more. Visit our online calendar to find upcoming events near you.

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Jayhawk Boulevard: A work in progress

Posted on Jun 16, 2014 in News

Phase 2 of the reconstruction of Jayhawk Boulevard is moving right along—although that’s not a phrase one would associate with trying to travel through campus (or anywhere in Lawrence for that matter) these days.

Dan Storey, our staff photographer, made his way through the detours last week to snap some photos of the work in progress. One of our favorites: this shot of the popular Jayhawk in front of Strong Hall, rising above the rubble.
Jayhawk Boulevard construction, June 2014

Recent rainstorms have dumped a considerable amount of rain on the Hill, as evidenced by this photo of a pond on Jayhawk Boulevard, posted last week on Twitter by Jack Martin:

If you’re planning to visit the KU campus this summer, be sure to read about the construction project and learn where to go—or in many cases, where not to go. For complete information, click on the “Construction” label at

Watch the slideshow below to see photos of the Jayhawk Boulevard reconstruction, or click here to view the photos on Flickr.


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Posted on Jun 2, 2014 in News

Baby Jay on the slide at Hawkstock The ’Hawk Days of Summer rolled through southeast Kansas as more than 80 Jayhawks young and old enjoyed ’Hawkstock,  hosted at the KAMO Ranch in Mulberry.

Former KU basketball coach Ted Owens addressed the crowd, sharing some of his favorite memories. Along with Coach Owens, many former lettermen were in attendance including Bryan Sperry, d’50; George Nettles, e’50; Jeff Boschee, d’03; and Nick Reid.

Baby Jay visited with the families and also found time to join some of the kids bouncing in and on the inflatables.

Reed, d’01, and Jill Simpson Miller, d’01, and Jill’s family have hosted the annual gathering since 2011. Jill is a member of the Alumni Association’s national Board of Directors.

Watch the slideshow below for pictures from this year’s ’Hawkstock, or click here to view the photos on Flickr.

—Dan Storey

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Dean Bendapudi speaks at naturalization ceremony

Posted on Feb 6, 2014 in News

Eighty-eight candidates representing 36 countries completed their journeys to American citizenship Feb. 3 at the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita. The featured speaker of the evening was Neeli Bendapudi, PhD’96, dean of the KU School of Business.

Bendapudi herself became a naturalized citizen nine years ago. She shared her enthusiasm and excitement for America and encouraged the audience to fully embrace U.S. and Kansas citizenship.

“Become engaged, whether it’s in your children’s schools or the United Way,” she said. “Join the Rotary Club, become fully part of this great country. Also be very proud citizens of Kansas. We have the coolest motto of any of the states: ‘Ad Astra per Aspra, to the stars through difficulties.’ What else better embodies the immigrant dream?”

Each year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service welcomes approximately 680,000 citizens during naturalization ceremonies across the United States and around the world.

Below: Watch a short video of Dean Bendapudi speaking at the ceremony, or view pictures from the event in our slideshow. Photos and video by Dan Storey.

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The great snowpocalypse of 2014

Posted on Feb 5, 2014 in News

Last year, the University of Kansas campus closed for an unprecedented three snow days during the spring semester. This year, we’re close to matching that total after a winter storm hit Lawrence and shut campus down for two days this week.

Students and community members flocked to the Hill for a favorite tradition: sledding. Check out this Vine video from the Lawrence Journal-World.

Our photographer, Dan Storey, ventured out into the winter wonderland to snap a few photos of the fun. Click here to see our Facebook album.

And one last fun tidbit from the snow days: a snowball fight on Wescoe Beach organized via social media. Michael Marcus, a junior, sent out a single tweet on Tuesday that led to nearly 50 students showing up for the fight.

Click here to see coverage of the event, including a video, from 6 News Lawrence.

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A windy day on the golf course

Posted on Oct 16, 2013 in News

The fourth annual KU Alumni Association Invitational was held at Prairie Dunes Country Club near Hutchinson on Monday.

Twenty-five teams of four players each battled tough, windy conditions and a short rain shower on the famous course, but the golfers persevered.

The winning team included Life Member Mark Lierz, c’83, m’87, of St. Joseph, Mo., and friends Brad Nurski, Harry Roberts and Matt Thrasher. The winning score was a tournament record 18 under par 52.

The team will represent KU in the Acura College Alumni Team Championship at North Carolina’s legendary Pinehurst Resort.

Many thanks to Jeff Kennedy, j’81, chair of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, for working at the tournament and greeting golfers, and to his law firm, Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace & Bauer, L.L.P., for sponsoring the tournament.

Thanks also to Chris Hamman, b’85, and his business, Golf Etc., for sponsoring the tournament and providing hole prizes.

Stay tuned for information about next year’s tournament!

Check out pictures from the tournament in the slideshow below, or click here to see the photos on Flickr. The photos may be downloaded for personal use.

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Rock Chalkin’ on Wescoe Beach

Posted on Oct 2, 2013 in News

Wescoe Beach was awash in color Tuesday during the annual Chalk ’n’ Rock competition, one of the featured events of KU Homecoming. Students in 20 campus organizations crawled along the sidewalks, coloring, smudging and rubbing chalk to create giant murals illustrating the Homecoming theme, “Jayhawks Around the World.”

“We all get out here, and it’s really creative and it’s so colorful and we have so much fun getting covered in chalk,” says KZOO President Olivia Lynch.

This year’s entries included many Jayhawks flying in planes and hot air balloons around the world, an array of international flags, and various landmarks to achieve a worldly feel.

The friendly competition also offers an opportunity for student groups to collaborate. “I know that through partnerships we have on campus, more events will start to come up. That’s what I love the most is seeing all the organizations come out” says Mariah Givens of the Black Student Union.

The chalk drawings will be on display outside Wescoe Hall–weather permitting– through the rest of Homecoming Week.

Click here to see photos from Chalk ‘n’ Rock, and watch the video below.

–Dan Storey

Jayhawks Around the World, 2013 KU Homecoming | www.kualumni.orgThis year’s Homecoming theme, Jayhawks Around the World, celebrates the University’s global reach in terms of international students and faculty, research discoveries that change the world and the achievements of KU alumni, who live in 150 countries around the globe. Visit for a schedule of events and to learn more about KU’s Homecoming tradition.

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