California watch party leads new Jayhawk to Lawrence

Posted on Dec 18, 2017 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Davis Rach attends a California watch party in Orange County

While many University of Kansas alumni head to local game watch parties to feel like they’re back home in Lawrence, one family came to see if Lawrence was home.

Curtis Rach of Orange County, California, says he always pushed his kids to explore things outside of their home state. So when his son Davis was choosing a college, he had narrowed it down to two choices: follow his twin brother to Auburn, or strike out on his own at KU. To help him make the decision, Curtis took Davis to a local watch party for KU’s tournament game against Purdue last season.

Rach reached out to Ramy Rahman, b’09, Orange County Network leader, beforehand and told him about his plans. When he arrived at the watch party with Davis, they both were more than impressed with the hospitality.

“When people at the event heard he was thinking about KU, they all came up, introduced themselves, and told us stories about their experience at KU,” Rach said.

Both alumni and current students on spring break took time to meet Davis and his father. “What helped with the decision for him was how warm and inviting everyone was, and that they were so passionate about KU,” Rach explained.

The camaraderie and excitement of KU watch parties may have surprised the Rach family, but Danny Woods, assistant director of legacy and alumni programs, knows it well.

“The goal of watch parties is to provide a venue in which alumni can gather and feel like they’re back on campus for a big game,” Woods said. “When you graduate you’re still yearning for that experience. ”

He added that watch parties are like the “front porch” of KU alumni events. “They are often the first alumni gathering that people attend, and it opens the door for them to attend other events in their area.”

Davis carried through on his promise and is now a freshman at KU.

-Ryan Camenzind

Interested in finding a watch party near you? Visit our website for a list of watch sites by state, and check out the online calendar for official watch parties organized by alumni networks.

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