After two consecutive losses in the Elite Eight, KU basketball fans were thrilled to storm Massachusetts Street in celebration. KU beat Duke 85-81 in overtime and at the sound of the buzzer Jayhawks knew what to do: sprint to Mass Street. Within minutes, fans filled the street and began to commemorate the long-awaited trip to the Final Four.
Rod Ernst, third-generation owner of the iconic downtown Lawrence hardware store Ernst & Son, died Jan. 23, the store announced today on its Facebook page. Ernst is the subject of a feature story in the current issue of Kansas Alumni. He was 84.
Ernst began working summers at 12 and became a full partner in 1961. For many years the three generations worked side by side in the Mass Street store, which Philip Ernst Sr. opened in 1905.
“The store was what he did, and he did it to the very end,” said Gregg Anderson, ’81, who began working for Rod Ernst as a KU student and returned to work part-time at the store after a long career in the hardware industry. “He could have retired and sold out, but he chose to keep doing his family’s work.”
Anderson added that Ernst’s definition of “family” was expansive; it took in employees past and present, including the dozens of KU students he hired over the decades.
“It was a foot up for kids who wanted to go to school. If you had a big test, Rod had no problem with you sitting at the front desk looking at notes between customers, and he took an interest in what you were doing,” Anderson said. “A lot of them never lost contact; they’re still part of the hardware family.”
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 Sunday, Jan. 28, at Warren-McElwain funeral home in Lawrence, and the funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 29, at First United Methodist, 10th and Vermont.
Read Steven Hill’s feature about Ernst for Kansas Alumni magazine below.
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Kansas football will open the 2017 season hosting Southeast Missouri State on Saturday, Sept. 2—and Kansas Athletics and the KU Alumni Association have partnered with LIVE ON MASS to get the weekend started off in exciting fashion by hosting a KU Kickoff pep rally and concert.
All ages are welcome to the event, which will be held at the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. Gates will open at 6 p.m., with the pep rally with special appearances from Kansas football head coach David Beaty and the KU Spirit Squad and Pep Band will begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Phantastics, a seven-member band from Kansas City specializing in tantalizing, genre-blending dance music, will headline the concert following the pep rally. The Phantastics, along with their opening acts, The Band That Saved The World, Lucas Parker Band and DJ Josh Powers, will entertain the crowd to close the evening.
Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Peter Goplerud, l’74, who joins the firm as Of Counsel and brings more than 40 years of legal experience to the firm’s Business Transactions practice. Read full article.
The Woodward family has a deep history in Lawrence, including the Round Corner Drug Store, which they owned and leased for decades. Pete Woodward’s great-grandfather was an early member of the University of Kansas Board of Regents, and his grandfather was president of the KU Alumni Association. Read full article.
Former Kansas forward David Magley has stepped down as commissioner of the National Basketball League of Canada after fulfilling terms of his two-year contract and will serve as president/chief operating officer of the new North American Premier Basketball League. Read full article.
Sonia Hall, c’11, PhD’16, works with the Genetics Society of America in a newly-created role as Program Director for Early Career Scientist Engagement. Read this Q&A with her to learn about why focusing on helping this group of scientists is so important. Read full article.
Former University Daily Kansan editor Rob Karwath, j’86, is leading a fundraising effort designed to preserve the Kansan so that other students have the same opportunities he had. The fund, called Kansan Editors’ Endowed Partnership, or KEEP, includes several journalism alumni on the steering committee. Read full article.
Matt Baysinger, c’09, g’11, is the owner of Breakout Lawrence and has owned a location in Hawaii since late 2015. On Christmas Eve, he was notified that President Obama and his family would be visiting Breakout Waikiki that evening. Read full article.
Matt Lindberg, managing editor of the Montrose (Colorado) Daily Press, was the only journalist granted an exclusive interview with Trump during his campaign stop in Grand Junction, Colorado. Lindberg graduated from the KU School of Journalism in 2008. Read full article.
Lawrence businessman Matt Lomshek, d’91, is a co-owner of Mass St. Mercantile, which recently opened at 738 Massachusetts. The store carries T-shirts and hats with Kansas and Lawrence slogans, as well as novelties ranging from wall hangings to decorative wine bottle stoppers. Read full article.
Landing your dream job isn’t something everyone gets to realize, but this article highlights several KU School of Journalism alumni who had big goals, worked hard and found their dream jobs as voices of the Jayhawks. Read full article.
A pair of Jayhawk lawyers have been instrumental in Jessie Traylor’s petition for clemency to the United State Department of Justice. Carl Folsom III, c’02, l’05, spent 30-40 unpaid hours writing up the petition, and Lawrence lawyer Rebekah Gaston, b’01, l’05, submitted it as a volunteer attorney. Read full article.
The voice of the Kansas Jayhawks, Brian Hanni, periodically catches up with former KU student-athletes and staff members. Take a stroll down memory lane with Hanni as he’s joined by former KU basketball player Ryan Robertson. Listen to podcast.
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The 2014 renovation by Lawrence firm Gould Evans was led by Tony Rohr, a’85, and John Wilkins, a’86, and was overseen by library director Brad Allen, c’97. The $19-million project gutted the original building at 707 Vermont Street, built in 1972, and added 50 percent more interior space on top of the old building’s footprint, plus an outdoor plaza for performance and community events.
As reported in issue No. 4 of Kansas Alumni, the library earlier this year earned one of seven Library Building Awards from the American Institutes of Architects and the American Library Association. The Lawrence Public Library is one of only two U.S. libraries to make Wired’s international list, which draws heavily from Europe and Asia.
“A good library is more than a repository of books—it’s a community resource,” Wired notes. “Many of them function not just as singular temples to the written word, but community centers, auditoria, concert halls, and public gardens. All of them are works of art in themselves.”
In this case a work of art that’s meant to be enjoyed up close, not admired from afar.
“I hope that people see the library as a coming-together space,” Allen says, “that community living room that people talk about a good bit. I hope they see this is as really a place that we can all cherish for generations to come.”
Friday’s weather forecast threatened to cause cancellation of the annual Homecoming Parade, but ultimately the show went on.
The cold, soggy weather didn’t deter many of the student groups committed to participating in the parade. Colorful floats, banners and other special entries made their way down Massachusetts Street, to the delight of a small but dedicated crowd of Jayhawk fans.
Parade participants are eligible to compete for a number of awards, including best moving parts float, best non-moving parts float, best banner and best decorated vehicle.