When Corey Goodburn arrived on Mount Oread last year for Crimson and Blue Day, he already knew he wanted to attend the University of Kansas. He became only more confident in his decision after he and his mother, Sara Dickey Goodburn, j’86, who joined Corey for the campus tour, stumbled across an image of the University’s first female graduate, Flora Richardson Colman, c1873, in a KU handbook.
“My mother pointed to the picture and said, ‘That’s your great-great-great-grandmother,’” Corey recalls. “I knew of her, have heard the stories, but being on campus and seeing her pictured in a KU publication, it really hit home. I’m so proud of my KU lineage. It’s such an honor to be a part of a family that has such deep roots to the University of Kansas.”
In addition to his mother and great-great-great-grandmother, Corey’s great-great grandmother, Nellie Colman Bigsby, c1900; his great-grandmother, Flora Nell Bigsby Dickey, c’28; and his grandfather, David Wendell Dickey, b’56, graduated from KU.
Despite his family’s proud legacy, Corey wasn’t pushed to become a sixth-generation Jayhawk. “There was no pressure from my family or friends, which was actually a huge relief,” he says. “My parents always knew I wanted to go there, and of course, they were very excited when I made the decision. I actually didn’t apply anywhere else.”
Corey credits his parents for instilling in him a lifetime love for KU, especially its sports teams, which he admits influenced his decision to become a Jayhawk. “During my early childhood and adolescence, I attended KU football and basketball games with my parents,” he says. “I watched the student section go crazy when they won and even witnessed college students taking down the goal posts and putting them in Potter Lake. That enthusiasm and spirit was something that attracted me.”
The Roeland Park freshman, who excelled in academics as student body president at Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, also was attracted to KU’s UKanTeach program, which allows him to earn a degree in mathematics—and his teaching license—in four years.
Although Corey’s days as a Jayhawk are just beginning, he’s already looking ahead to another four-year milestone. “On [my mother’s] graduation day in 1986, she and my grandfather took pictures by the Jayhawk statue in front of Strong Hall,” Corey says of the landmark that his grandfather’s class gave to the University in 1956. “It’s my wish to take the same photo with my mom upon my graduation in May 2020.”
It only took 18 years and nearly 40 college-campus visits for Rob Nickel to determine he wanted to go to KU. Although he hailed from a proud lineage of diehard Jayhawks, his decision to follow tradition didn’t come easily.
“Throughout high school I was convinced that I wasn’t going to KU,” says Rob, who enters KU as a freshman this fall. “I thought it was too close, that too many of my friends and people from my school were going there. I wanted to go somewhere new.”
Rob’s family waited patiently for him to find his own path and fielded questions from inquisitive friends who wondered if the Nickel’s middle child would go where generations of family members had gone before him.
Not only did his parents, Mike, b’89, and Lisa Karr Nickel, c’89, graduate from KU, but his grandparents, Michael, ’64, and Janet Phelps Karr, ’66, and great-grandparents, Robert, l’32, and Dorothy Winsler Karr, c’29, and Edwin, e’36, and Yvonne White Phelps, ’35, attended the University. Even his great-great-grandparents, Thomas Jefferson Karr, l’00, and Benjamin, c’12, and Beulah Murphy White, c’12, were Jayhawks.
After Rob narrowed his list of prospects to 12 schools, he applied to seven, including KU. Once he got accepted into the University’s Self Engineering Leadership Fellows (SELF) and Honors Programs, he happily announced his decision in the most unique way: by making a video for his family, which featured all the schools he considered and ultimately, the one he chose.
“I figured that’d be a cool way to make this decision and have it stand out,” Rob says.
His family is delighted with his choice, not only because they’ve added a 5th-generation Jayhawk to their flock, but also because it was the perfect fit for Rob.
“While we were thrilled he wanted to be a Jayhawk, it wasn’t just because he wanted to be a Jayhawk,” says his mother, Lisa. “It was because he found the program, the school and the opportunities that were best for him. We’re proud that our alma mater provided that.”
More than 40 out-of-state Jayhawks gathered Wednesday evening to celebrate a shared success on the Hill: the Jayhawk Generation scholarship.
“The goal of the Jayhawk Generations scholarship is simple: to give legacy students as much assistance as possible to carry on the KU tradition and further enrich the unparalleled atmosphere we have here on Jayhawk Boulevard,” says Joy Maxwell, c’03, j’03, director of legacy relations for the Alumni Association.
Brenna Murray, a senior English literature major from St. Robert, Missouri, says that receiving the scholarship has made a huge impact in her life. “The grant has helped me create many experiences during my time here at KU,” she says. “I have studied abroad and enjoyed internships because the resources were there through the Jayhawk Generations scholarship.”
Maxwell explains that students receiving the scholarship are huge assets to the University. “These students retain well,” she says. “They have excellent graduation rates, and they bring an out-of-state perspective into our classrooms, which only helps to diversify and grow the campus as a whole.”
The Jayhawk Generations scholarship assists out-of-state students who have a parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, great-grandparent or legal guardian who graduated from the University of Kansas. To quality for the partial tuition waiver, incoming freshman students must meet specific requirements for grade point average and ACT or SAT scores. Renewal scholarship criteria for current KU students are based on grade point average and credit hours.
Watch our slideshow below to see more pictures from the recognition dinner, or click here to view the photos on Flickr.
Students from 17 states gathered last week for a Jayhawk Generations scholarship dinner and reception at Adams Alumni Center. Each scholarship recipient was recognized by class, name and field of study and was given a KU license plate frame and gift card to the KU bookstore. Camille Nyberg, c’96, g’98, national chair of the Alumni Association’s board of directors, also attended.
“The recipients of this scholarship are involved, hardworking and grateful for the opportunity to study at KU,” says Joy Maxwell, c’03, j’03, director of legacy relations for the Alumni Association. “It’s a financial plus and an honor to receive and retain this scholarship.”
Spencer Hartley, a senior in American studies and communication studies from Kansas City, Missouri, participated in the event and spoke briefly to the younger students. “Do your work and use all the resources the University provides to you,” he advised. “This Jayhawk Generations scholarship helped me to make my decision final to come to KU. So do your best to keep it because it’s a good opportunity.”
The Jayhawk Generations scholarship assists out-of-state students who have a parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, great-grandparent or legal guardian who graduated from the University of Kansas. To quality for the partial tuition waiver, incoming freshman students must meet specific requirements for grade point average and ACT or SAT scores; renewal scholarship criteria for current KU students are based on grade point average and credit hours.
There are 289 Jayhawk Generations scholars currently on campus.
Each fall we welcome new Jayhawks to the Hill, including many who are from KU families. We recognize these families in our annual online publication, Jayhawk Generations. Through our research of family trees, we discover some impressive lineages, including the Fee family of Hutchinson.
Martha Johnson Fee, c’55, and her late husband, James W. Fee, c’54, sent four of their five children to KU: Stacy Fee Shaw, b’80; Allen, c’84; Robert, c’87; and Daniel, c’91. The Fees’ tradition continues this fall, when five grandchildren will attend KU at the same time, including two incoming fourth-generation freshmen who are featured in this year’s edition of Jayhawk Generations.
Daniel Fee, c’91, sent his first Jayhawk to KU this fall. He says that he and his wife, Kimberly Koser Fee, c’92, did not insist that their daughter, Ashton, go to KU but that the memories they have shared with her and their experiences as a family cheering on the football and basketball teams might have played a role.
“As far as what I had to do with her decision making, not much,” he says. “I tried to always let Ashton know that she could go to college wherever she wanted. However, there is a GREAT school in state, at which her mom and I had a wonderful experience.”
“The University of Kansas is such a beautiful campus with very strong traditions,” Ashton says, “It also has a strong tradition in our family. I cannot wait to be a part of that on both levels. After seeing the experience my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins had there, I didn’t want to attend college at any other place.”
With the addition of Ashton and her cousin Melissa Fee, 11 Fee grandchildren have graduated or are currently attending KU.
A few more grandchildren have not yet made their way to the Hill, but chances are the Fee KU tree will continue to grow. The tradition began with Martha’s grandfather, Otis Allen, 1896, and was continued by her father, Oliver Johnson, e’26.
To view the 2014 edition of Jayhawk Generations click here.
The Alumni Association has tracked Jayhawk family legacies since the early 1900s, when second-generation Jayhawks landed on the Hill. Faithful families have continued to fortify their legacies through the years and, with help from the Office of Admissions and University Archives, the Association has continued to honor legacy students each fall in our Jayhawk Generations tribute. Each fall we are honored to salute second-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-generations Jayhawks and beyond. Family members and fellow alumni look forward to tracing the histories of KU families and spotting former KU classmates among the photos of parents.
Since 2005 we have featured hundreds of second-, third-, and fourth-generation Jayhawks and highlighted fifty-seven fifth-generation Jayhawks, including Thomas Leach from Jayhawk Generations 2013. Thomas is one of many fifth-generation Jayhawks who are descendants of David Robinson, one of KU’s founding faculty members. We’ve also welcomed three sixth-generation students, including Gabriel Hass, Jayhawk Generations 2012, whose family tradition dates back to 1870. As KU traditions continue to flourish , we look forward to hailing the arrival of freshmen who represent seven generations and beyond.
We are beginning to research the family trees of fall 2014 freshmen, and we will send emails to the families of legacy students who have at least one parent who attended KU and a parent or grandparent who is an Alumni Association member. If you are an Association member sending a legacy freshman to the Hill this fall and you haven’t heard from us by mid-June, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 800-584-2957 or visit our website. The deadline for submissions is July 18, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your summer before your Jayhawk leaves the nest and heads to Mount Oread.
Update: The deadline has been extended to Aug. 31! There’s still time to have your legacy student featured in Jayhawk Generations.
Fifth-generation KU freshman Marlow Reese, from Brentwood, Tenn., acknowledges that her family tradition strongly influenced her choice of KU. But the deciding factor? “The Alumni Association,” she says. “I received a lot of personal attention throughout the recruitment process, and it really helped.”
Another helpful nudge came in the form of a Jayhawk Generations Scholarship, KU’s four-year, renewable partial tuition waivers for academically qualifying out-of-state students from Jayhawk families. To celebrate the fifth year of the program, the Association hosted a dinner Oct. 29 for 65 Jayhawk Generations Scholars from 19 states. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and Association President Kevin Corbett, c’88, greeted the students, and Joy Maxwell, c’03, j’03, the Association’s director of legacy relations, introduced each student and shared the history of the legacy scholarship, which the Association and KU leaders created in 2009 with approval from the Kansas Legislature. “The goal was very simple,” she explained, “ to give legacy students as much assistance as possible to carry on the KU tradition. You see, the KU Alumni Association wants you here just as much as your parents or grandparents do.” She urged the students to become involved in the Student Alumni Association, which offers opportunities for students to connect with alumni: “It’s never too early to begin networking,” she said.
The Association hosts a dinner each fall for the scholars; 218 are on campus this year. Since fall 2009, the program has steadily grown, from 43 freshman scholars in 2009 to 134 freshman recipients in fall 2013. The deadline for fall 2014 scholarship consideration has been extended to Nov. 8.
Summer is approaching, and while that may mean slower days for some, activity is picking up here at 1266 Oread Avenue as we prepare to bring you 2013’s edition of Jayhawk Generations. Our alumni records team is busy gathering information about fall 2013 freshmen legacy students who come from KU families. We’re confirming all of the family trees so we can bring you the best-yet version of our online tribute to second-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-generation Jayhawks and beyond.
In June we will send an email to the families of legacy students whose parents or grandparents are Alumni Association members. We’ll need info about you, your student, your KU forbears, and even some photos.
To view past year’s editions of Jayhawk Generations, click here. You may get some ideas of what to share.
For Association members who know they have a legacy Jayhawk coming to the Hill this fall, keep an eye on your email inbox in the coming weeks. If you don’t hear from Lydia Benda by mid-June, just email Lydia or call 785-864-4767. The deadline for submissions is July 15, so you’ll have plenty of time to savor your summer before we really start pestering you. We are eager to welcome another class of Jayhawk Generations to the Hill.