It’s time for our sometimes-annual roundup of holiday cards from departments across the University of Kansas campus.
KU School of Music
The KU School of Music’s video greeting includes original music and animation by Leslee Wood, a graduate student working on a doctorate in musicology. The music is performed by the Bellissimo bell choir, directed by KU alumnus Jackson Thomas.
KU School of Law
Dean Stephen Mazza and the entire KU School of Law family are wishing Jayhawks an easy, breezy holiday season filled with peace & good cheer. Their greeting gives a playful nod to Dean Mazza’s area of expertise, tax policy and procedure.
KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
As the fall semester drew to a close, the College took the time to thank those who makes the KU experience special for everyone involved with a snowy picture of the bronze “Academic Jay” outside their office in Strong Hall.
Thank you, Jayhawks, for another fantastic semester. It’s you, our creative, compassionate and curious faculty, students, staff and alumni, that make the College the #HeartofKU. We appreciate all you do and hope you enjoy the winter break! pic.twitter.com/jhV3m7hWox
The streets of Kansas City’s most popular shopping district, the Country Club Plaza, are buzzing with holiday cheer.
The city commissioned local artist and University of Kansas alumnus John Keeling, f’83, to create artwork depicting a winter night at the Plaza. Keeling’s watercolor banners now line the streets in front of the storefronts. His work also appeared on a billboard to promote the KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony, a Kansas City tradition with 88 years of history that seems to grow in spectacle each year.
“(I wanted to invoke) the feelings of joy and wonder that the Plaza Lights experience gives Kansas City and its visitors each year,” Keeling said. “As a watercolorist, I wanted to bring something more emotional to the banner artwork. Of course it has to be about the lights first, but my depiction of them in watercolor hopefully captures the feeling more than a graphic design would.”
After a 25-year career with Hallmark, Keeling is now self-employed and offers commissioned works from his website. Transitioning to being his own boss has allowed Keeling to learn more about the Kansas City art culture— and himself.
“I’ve been reinventing myself as a painter for the past four years,” Keeling said. “As an art director and creative director at Hallmark, I wasn’t painting for work. I also didn’t get to know the art community outside of the workplace. There are multiple arts organizations, including ArtsKC and the InterUrban ArtHouse, that I’m now involved with and meeting more and more of the community.”
As Kansas City shoppers hurry to buy their last-minute gifts, the lights will shine on the Plaza and Keeling’s artwork until January 14.
We received this fun message from Sally Ramseyer Beck, d’77, about the Future Jayhawks program. Visit www.kualumni.org/futurejayhawks for more information or to register your future ‘Hawks. Children up to age 18 are eligible to participate, and membership makes a great gift!
I just wanted to let you know how much I love the Future Jayhawks program! I signed up my two oldest grandsons (age 2 and 3 years) when they were born, and just bought memberships for my two newest grandsons (four months and one month old). The boys are always excited when they receive something in the mail from the KU Alumni Association.
Timing couldn’t have been more perfect when Carter’s most recent gift arrived after I renewed his membership this year. His parents had just taken him to visit Santa, where he proceeded to tell Santa that all he wanted for Christmas was a teddy bear (which was totally different from what he had asked for in his letter to the North Pole, much to his mother’s dismay). When they arrived home an hour later and looked in their mailbox, they were amazed to find a Future Jayhawks teddy bear waiting for him! Carter’s comment was, “Wow, Santa sure acts quickly…I can’t believe he already got it to me!”.
Thank you so much for making this happen! Not only do we all believe in Santa, but also in all that you do at the KU Alumni Association. I love the beautiful ceramic ornaments that you have sent me each year when renewing their memberships and have them hanging on my Jayhawk Christmas tree. I will have to buy a bigger tree in the future, as I look forward to adding the whole collection as I renew Future Jayhawks memberships for each of my grandchildren (and hopefully add some more KU National Championship ornaments to the tree, too).
I am encouraging my friends and relatives to sign their grandchildren up for the Future Jayhawks program! Rock Chalk!
We wish you a joyous holiday season! Please enjoy our video greeting below, featuring favorite campus landmarks decked out for the holidays.
Love the photos? Send them to your friends and family! We created shareable versions of our favorite scenes for you to download and share.
Thank you for being a Proud Member of the KU Alumni Association, and Rock Chalk!
The KU Alumni Association offices will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 24, and Friday, Dec. 25, for the holidays. We’ll be open again at 8 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 28. The office will be closed on Friday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s Day, and we’re back to regular hours on Monday, Jan. 4.
Each year, our creative staff brainstorms ideas for a holiday message to alumni. Past cards have included Jayhawk sugar cookies, Potter Lake ice-skating escapades and animations featuring iconic University locations.
This year, our holiday card gives a nod to the sense of family we have at the Alumni Association—right down to clowning around with “siblings” and never quite nailing that “perfect” family photo. And, in case you’re wondering, the candy cane was broken by the end of the photo shoot.
From all of us to Jayhawks everywhere, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Your loyalty and support are vital to our beloved university. Rock Chalk!
In the world of paper engineering and pop-up books, author and artist Chuck Fischer, f’77, has made a big impact. His Christmas-themed pop-up books include A Christmas Carol, Angels: A Pop-Up Book, and Christmas Around the World. But it’s the re-release of his first book, Christmas in New York, that gives Fischer giant exposure in a new world market—literally!
A firm in Hong Kong reached out to Fischer in September for permission to create a marketing campaign for the book. The company created giant pop-up page spreads which went on public display this week. The oversize sculptures introduce new audiences to Fischer’s work and have delighted the crowds. Fischer was on site for the official unveiling of the campaign. “Needless to say, it’s a thrill to be here and see my work in person, to have it come alive in 3D at this scale,” he says.
The original artwork for Christmas in New York, as well as art from six other pop-up books, interior design murals, china, crystal and fabric are now part of the collection at KU’s Spencer Research Library. The works are an important addition to the holdings that include limited-edition artists‘ books, children’s books and 19th-century scientific books, all of which include varieties of pop-up features and are regularly studied by KU book arts and design students.
Classes began at our beloved university on Sept. 12, 1866.
According to KU History, tuition for college classes at that time was $30 per year.
Some of our staff members shared their birthday wishes for KU:
Happy birthday KU! Not everyone can claim that they get better looking every year, but you just grow more magnificent, especially with the recent Jayhawk Boulevard improvements! Rock Chalk, and let the campanile bells sing. —Susan Younger, creative director
Wishing you the happiest of birthdays KU! Thank you for providing me with unique experiences I will cherish for a lifetime. You have truly molded me into who I am today. —Emily Ellison, alumni programs coordinator
Happy Birthday KU! May the worldwide network of Jayhawks continue to grow, one of the many reasons being a Jayhawk is so special. Cheers to the Jayhawk family. Rock Chalk! —Heath Peterson, vice president for alumni programs
Happy Birthday KU, because of you I have learned what it truly means to #beajayhawk. Here’s to many more years of inspiring students to make discoveries that change the world. —Leah Kohlman, communications coordinator
My birthday wish for KU would be for every future Jayhawk to have the same great experience that I had as a KU student. Rock Chalk! – David Johnston, vice president for marketing and Internet services