Nearly 500 KU alumni and friends gathered April 13 at Murfin Stables for the Alumni Association’s Jayhawk Roundup, the Wichita Network’s largest fundraising event, which was presented this year in partnership with Kansas Athletics and Williams Education Fund. The event, typically held in the fall, moved to spring this year for the first time in its 15-year history.
The theme for the festivities was “Game of Hawks,” a playful spin on the popular fantasy epic “Game of Thrones.” Bleached-white trees with crimson leaves lined the stables and centerpieces of swords and shields adorned each table, echoes of medieval times.
The event featured silent and live auctions, with top dollars going for a trip to the 2018 Champions Classic in Indianapolis, and the KU Libraries exhibit “Commemorate the Gr8s,” which celebrates the 1988 and 2008 men’s basketball national championship teams. Guests were also treated a feast of food and drink and live music from the band Annie Up, as well as a live carving of a Jayhawk from Kansaw Carvings artist Dan Besco.
Alumni Association President Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, thanked event chairs and stable owners Dave, e’75, b’75, and Janet Lusk Murfin, d’75, for hosting the Roundup and honored longtime Wichita volunteer and 2017 Wintermote Award winner Camille Nyberg, c’96, g’98, along with Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award winners Jerry, p’69, and Lucy Burtnett, who hosted the event in 2011 and 2012.
Chancellor Doug Girod detailed the University’s recent accomplishments in Wichita, which included the debate team’s victorious run to the national championship title and the Jayhawks’ first- and second-round wins in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which brought thousands of alumni and fans to the area in March.
Several members of Kansas Athletics also attended the Roundup, including head football coach David Beaty, men’s basketball assistant coach Kurtis Townsend and Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger, PhD’96, who was celebrating his birthday.
“We had more guests in attendance than we have had in years,” says Danielle Lafferty Hoover, c’07, director of donor relations and Wichita programs. “The fans love having University partners and KU guests in the stables—it’s like bringing a part of Lawrence to Wichita.”
Check out more pictures from Jayhawk Roundup! Photos may be downloaded for personal use. Photos from the Lamphouse Photo Booth Company can be viewed here.
I am honored to write you for the first time as the 18th chancellor of the University of Kansas. Susan and I greatly appreciate the expressions of support we’ve received in recent weeks, and I look forward to working with each of you on behalf of this great institution.
I have had the privilege of serving KU for the past 23 years, most recently as executive vice chancellor of the KU Medical Center. Like so many of you, I am a Jayhawk to the core. I feel fortunate to be part of this university and believe deeply in our responsibility to serve the state, nation and world.
KU has been on a remarkable trajectory. We have grown the freshman class for five straight years while recruiting the most talented and diverse students in our history. We have transformed our physical campuses to provide scholars the facilities they need to excel. We have extended our reach to every corner of the state to help Kansans live happier, healthier lives. And thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends like you, we have completed a historic fundraising campaign that will bolster our efforts for years to come.
All of this means the university is in a good place — and there are opportunities to do more. Looking forward, we will strive to improve in every aspect of our mission, elevate KU’s national stature, attract the best students and researchers, and enhance our status in the Association of American Universities. With these goals in mind, I have three main areas I intend to focus on initially: improving the student experience, expanding our outreach to the state, and growing our research enterprise. I look forward to discussing these three areas in more detail in the days ahead.
In addition, we will continue our work to ensure KU is welcoming and inclusive and that every Jayhawk feels valued. And in an uncertain funding environment, we will continue to pursue new revenue sources while being responsible stewards of limited resources.
I have already begun meeting with faculty, staff and alumni to discuss the next chapter for KU, and I look forward to hitting the road to visit with Jayhawks across Kansas. I want to hear from you about KU’s strengths and areas in which we can improve. These conversations will be central to my thinking about the direction of our university.
I am fortunate to inherit a terrific leadership team from Chancellor Gray-Little, including Provost Neeli Bendapudi and Interim Executive Vice Chancellor Robert Simari at the medical center. I am thankful for the partnerships we have with KU Endowment, Kansas Athletics, KU Alumni Association and the University of Kansas Health System. I am particularly excited to work with alumni like you to advance the university.
Again, I am honored and humbled to lead this remarkable institution. The work we do changes lives and improves our world in meaningful ways. I look forward to collaborating with you on behalf of the state and society we serve.
City Manager Matt Allen was presented with Leadership Kansas’ Jim Edwards Alumnus of the Year Award in recognition of what the organization viewed as his steady, innovative community leadership. Allen earned a master’s degree from KU in 1997. Read full article.
Frank Mack, who teaches arts administration at the University of Connecticut and previously led Shakespeare theater companies in California and New Jersey, has been named executive producer at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Mack earned a bachelor’s degree from KU in 1985. Read full article.
Henry Wear, g’14, received his Ph.D. in sport and entertainment management in May from South Carolina and earned his first postdoctoral position, as a lecturer in the sport management program at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Read full article.
The University of Kansas has selected Dr. Douglas Girod as its 18th chancellor. The search committee tasked with finding Gray-Miller’s successor has local ties. Greg Ek, b’76, was part of the 24-person search committee. He also serves as a board member for the KU Alumni Association and serves as the chairman of its audit committee. Read full article.
VIVUS, Inc., announced that Thomas B. King has been appointed to VIVUS’ board of directors. Mr. King’s nearly 40 years of pharmaceutical experience ranges from large to development-stage pharmaceutical companies. He received an MBA from the KU School of Business. Read full article.
Bernard Greenberg, a retired professor of entomology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, would assist law enforcement agencies in murder investigations by helping to determine details of the death from the presence or absence of bugs on the body. He earned a doctorate in entomology from the University of Kansas in 1953. Read full article.
Nate White, 39, was named chief operating officer of Sanford Health in 2012 and will become executive vice president, based in Fargo, beginning in August. he earned a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2004. Read full article.
Today the Kansas Board of Regents announced the appointment of Dr. Douglas A. Girod as the 18th Chancellor of the University of Kansas.
“I am honored to be here today to make this important announcement. Naming the next Chancellor is one of the most important jobs we undertake as the Board of Regents,” stated Zoe Newton, Chair of the Board of Regents. “Dr. Girod is the right person for this time of transition. His 23 years of service are a testament to Dr. Girod’s love and commitment to KU. He will honor KU’s traditions and history while leading this great university into the future.”
Douglas A. Girod, M.D., became executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center on Feb. 1, 2013, where he oversaw the educational, research, patient care and community engagement missions of the University of Kansas Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions, with their total annual enrollment of more than 3,300 students; a workforce of more than 2,100 faculty and more than 4,000 staff; and research funding of nearly $100 million.
In addition to serving as executive vice chancellor, Dr. Girod also served as interim executive dean of the KU School of Medicine until March 24, 2014. Prior to those roles, he served as Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. A surgeon, Dr. Girod joined the University of Kansas Medical Center faculty in 1994 and quickly rose through the academic ranks, becoming chair of the Otolaryngology department in 2002. He was named Russell E. Bridwell Endowed Chair in 2008.
“Doug Girod brings a wealth of experience to this role. He is a proven administrator and an excellent listener, and those on the KU Medical Center campus already are well familiar with Dr. Girod’s steady guidance and leadership abilities,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Litte. “I congratulate him, and KU is in good hands. I know he will continue our work to fulfill our mission and elevate the national stature of our university into the future. ”
Learn more about the new chancellor in the official news release from the University.