Thanks to more than 550 alumni and friends and numerous University partners who participated in the first eight Hawks & Highways events in June. The ongoing series supports Chancellor Doug Girod’s priority to strengthen KU’s statewide outreach.
The KU Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics are coordinating Hawks & Highways, which thus far has featured the chancellor, football coach David Beaty, men’s basketball coach Bill Self and leaders from KU Admissions, the Office of Public Affairs, KU Libraries, KU Edwards Campus, KU Endowment, and the schools of Law, Medicine and Social Welfare.
After visiting eight communities this summer, Hawks & Highways will resume the first week of October, with four events in Great Bend, Liberal, Dodge City and Winfield. Other upcoming events include 14 regional Kansas Honor Scholars receptions from September through November.
We’re grateful to the Alumni Association members and donors and the Williams Education Fund donors whose support is critical to Hawks & Highways. Together we will continue to bring the best of KU to communities throughout Kansas.
The Hawks and Highways tour stopped in Hutchinson for a Jayhawk tradition unlike any other. The ninth annual KU Alumni Invitational took place June 25 at Prairie Dunes Country Club.
The annual event brought members of the Presidents Club together to enjoy a round of golf with KU special guests. Chancellor Doug Girod, Bill Self, head men’s basketball coach, and Heath Peterson, president of the KU Alumni Association, all attended.
The foursome of Zach Dyer, Will Moore, Cameron Wilste and Kyle Tucker won the championship flight.
“The alumni invitational at Prairie Dunes is a fantastic event,” said Moore, l’06. “Having the opportunity to play one of the best golf courses in the world with fellow Jayhawks is an unbelievable opportunity. The event is well organized and always a great time. I look forward to playing every year.”
“First, it’s a great venue, a first class golf course,” said John Miles. “My group and I played last year and knew we had to come back. The Alumni Association and the Williams Fund do a great job setting up the event and making everyone who participates feel important.”
Kent Deutsch, Kent Richardson, Tommy Castor, and Chris Ugolini made up the first flight leaders.
The event was presented by Tickets for Less, a partner of the KU Alumni Association. Campus partners includingKansas Athletics the Williams Education Fund, KU Admissions, the School of Social Welfare, and the KU Medical School also attended.
Hawks & Highways is a multi-year effort coordinated by the KU Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics. Tour events feature appearances by KU coaches as well as university administrators and other special guests.
This is the first year of an effort to reach Jayhawks throughout Kansas by bringing the best of KU to their hometowns. The tour has visited Leavenworth, McPherson, Hays, Manhattan, Garden City and Pittsburg and has featured several KU guests, including athletic directors and coaches, campus administrators and Alumni Association staff.
“More than 150,000 KU graduates and former students live in Kansas,” says Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, Alumni Association president. “It’s a priority for us to connect with these Jayhawks in their communities to show our appreciation for their dedication and support.”
Speakers at the events shared sentiments of a positive trajectory for the University. Peterson reminded the crowd that total enrollment has grown for the fifth straight year. Matt Baty, d’07, senior associate athletics director, praised the relationship between Kansas Athletics and the Alumni Association, calling it “one of the best in the entire country.”
Future stops include the annual KU Alumni Invitational at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, along with a Salina event Monday, June 25. Chancellor Doug Girod and Head Basketball Coach Bill Self will headline an impressive group of Jayhawk leaders.
It’s easy to follow along with Hawks & Highways! Follow us on Instagram for stories from the events, or follow us on Twitter for updates. The Williams Education Fund Twitter account also provides information about Hawks & Highways.
The University of Kansas Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics are coordinating “Hawks & Highways,” a multi-year effort to host KU events in communities throughout Kansas. The series will begin with eight events in June and will include other schools and departments at KU.
Plans are underway for October events in Dodge City, Great Bend, Liberal and Winfield, as well as the traditional “KU Kickoff” celebrations in August in Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka and Lawrence. Details for all events in the ongoing series can be found at kualumni.org/highways.
The initiative supports Chancellor Douglas A. Girod’s goal to continue strengthening outreach throughout the state. “KU’s mission includes building healthy communities throughout Kansas,” said Girod. “Hawks and Highways is a terrific opportunity for us to visit with Kansans and hear their ideas about how the University can better serve the state.”
“More than 150,000 KU graduates and former students live in Kansas,” said Heath Peterson, KU Alumni Association president. “It’s a priority for us to connect with these Jayhawks in their communities to show our appreciation for their dedication and support.”
“We must continue to reach out and engage with our shareholders in their own backyard,” said KU Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger. “Hawks and Highways is a committed effort to join with our campus partners, as we are all one KU.”
Chancellor Girod and KU men’s basketball coach Bill Self are scheduled to attend the KU Alumni Invitational in Hutchinson and a dinner June 25 in Salina. KU football coach David Beaty and Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Reggie Robinson will attend two June 14 events: lunch in Garden City and dinner in Pittsburg.