At Andale High School, in the small community of Andale in Sedgwick County, one senior pulls straight into Allen Fieldhouse by way of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
A recent and growing tradition, some high schools let their seniors paint their own parking spots, a fun way to show off their interests and art skills. Nick Summers, a senior at Andale High, teamed up with his grandfather to paint a Jayhawk masterpiece.
“I have always been a huge Jayhawk fan,” Summers says. “I go to all the home football games and senior night basketball game every year. Since I love both football and basketball I decided to combine them to make a parking spot.
“It took a lot of work; we used stencils that my grandfather made to get the details so exact. It took a lot of paint and a long time, about two weeks to finish.”
The end result is a sight to see:
So, is the University of Kansas in his future? Perhaps an art degree is in order.
“I plan on going to college after high school,” Summers says. “I have my heart set on Kansas but am exploring other options as well. It’s always been my dream to attend Kansas.”
Until then, he’s enjoying his senior year in style.
“All the teachers and students think it’s awesome, even the K-State fans!”
We love sharing stories of KU fans showing their Jayhawk spirit in unique ways. Send your story with pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The plaza in front of Wescoe Hall has been lovingly referred to as Wescoe Beach for decades. This year, a group of KU students are making a splash with a proposal to turn the classic building into a real beach party with a rooftop pool.
The concept of the #WescoeRooftopPool began as a humorous crusade on Twitter, which continues to grow with some big names jumping in on the fun, including Athletics Director Jeff Long and former NBA player Scot Pollard, d’97.
“@StudentsofKU had been tweeting about it for a while and made a Photoshop version of it,” says Jordan Yarnell, an architecture senior from Elgin, Illinois. “Someone commented ‘let the architecture students handle this’ so we did. The three of us started to joke about it and then we realized it would be fun and pretty easy to do.”
Yarnell teamed up with fellow architecture students Jordan Vonderbrink, of Eudora, and Aaron Michalicek, of St. Louis, to create the designs. The results are a sight to see:
As fun as it is to dream, it’s worth asking: Could this really happen?
“Short answer is no,” Yarnell says. “We don’t know the structural makeup of Wescoe for what really has to be done. To add 200 thousand gallons of water, another whole floor, a deck, a lot more people, and more concrete, that’s a lot of work.”
Don’t tell Jeff Long, as he appears to be all in. Long has certainly leaned into the joke, teasing the public with promises we don’t exactly expect to come true.
Halloween is fast approaching, and we have some treats—mostly the sugar-free kind— for our favorite Jayhawks! Read on to find out about a new community event the Student Alumni Network will co-host this week. And, we have some updated printables to help make your holiday prep a little easier!
The origin of these popular events is a mystery, but what’s not to love: less walking for the little ones and a safer environment for trick-or-treaters. KU student groups will decorate the trunks of cars parked in the Adams Alumni Center lot. Parents are invited to bring their kids to go from car to car to ask for candy.
Trunk or Treat takes place Friday, Oct. 27, from 6-8 p.m. Activities include pumpkin painting, games and a contest for best costume. And, Baby Jay will be available for photo opportunities!
As part of this event, we’re encouraging people to bring food donations for Just Food as part of the KU Food Drive. Most-needed items include canned proteins, beans, whole grain cereals, pasta and nuts.
Don’t let the cold weather forecast or the parking situation scare you off—plenty of indoor activities will be available! And, free parking will be available in the parking garage across the street.
Top your treats
Add some Jayhawk spirit to your Halloween treats with our printable bag toppers. Our designers created a new version this year since our original one was so popular.
Download the printable PDF, print as many as you need, and then cut, fold and staple onto your bag. They’re great for class parties or office treats!
Adult coloring books were one of the hottest trends of 2015 and a popular stocking stuffer during the holidays, and now you can color in Jayhawk style.
Susan Younger, creative director for the KU Alumni Association, whipped up this intricately designed Jayhawk (can you spot the hidden basketballs?!) to help you unleash your inner artist—and maybe relieve some stress, too.
Download and print your free coloring sheet, and take a few minutes to get in touch with your creative side. We’d love to see your masterpiece—email a picture to us at email@example.com, or post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us.
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.
“Dad, I am going to KU when I go to college!” this young Future Jayhawk told his father.
Dad shared more of the morning conversation with us:
“He was so cute this morning, he already had his school binder decorated with the Jayhawk stickers and the button, and he wanted to know where his Baby Jay birthday card was. As you can see, it is now part of the Jayhawk decorations on his school binder.”
Members of the Future Jayhawks program receive age-appropriate gifts each year when they join, along with a special birthday card and gift and other activities, announcements and surprise gifts throughout the year. A popular perk of membership is participating in the annual Summer Reading Challenge, where Future Jayhawks are encouraged to read 31 books or 31 hours in 31 days during the month of July.
We suspect this youngster will have a lot more fun studying for his classes with his stylish Jayhawk binder in tow!
Yesterday, Association members found a special edition of their monthly Member eNews in their email inboxes. The questionable content, however, might have led some to wonder—was this a joke? A quick check of the calendar confirmed it for those not willing to read to the end. Happy April Fool’s Day!
Click to enlarge
Still, our good-natured gag, in which we announced a new logo featuring the old 1941 Fighting Jayhawk, managed to fool more than a few loyal alumni, some of whom took time to write concerned replies. Many voiced strong support for our existing KU Alumni Association logo, which we greatly appreciated! Others praised the faux change, voicing equally strong support for the historic ‘hawk. Even more alumni conceded our playful prank had gotten them good.
Thanks for playing along and sharing your feelings with the KU Alumni Association about our beloved bird!
Enjoy a few of our favorite responses
One of the very best April Fools jokes I’ve ever seen. You had me until the last paragraph. But even then, I had to think about it. Well done! – Steve S.
You actually had me going. Pondering throwing my sweatshirts and t-shirts in favor of the new/old Jayhawk. –Ray S.
I wish it weren’t a joke. The Fighting Jayhawk would be an awesome mascot. –Doug P.
You got me! I was not a very happy camper until I got to the end of the article. –Drew C.
Still trying to get the taste of the bait out of my mouth. I swallowed it hook, line and sinker. –Tom B.
April Fool’s or not, I DO like the Fighting Jayhawk! –Richard S.
What fun! Thanks for the google maps and the game. I was concerned about the “fighting” Jayhawk. –Judi Y.
My own university punked me! I was ready to restock my Jayhawk gear with the fighting Jayhawk, it’s too hard to find. –Steven T.
I can only hope this “News” about changing the Jayhawk image is an April Fools joke! … I’m a proud alumna who even found a man to make me, “Mrs. J. Hawks”, that’s how loyal I am! –Jane H.
Ooh, that was mean—and you got me! I hope you both spend all day on the phone responding to angry and confused alumni! –Loren T.
Yes, Loren, we did spend a LOT of time correcting confused alumni, and if our good-humored joke caused any genuine concern among our members, we apologize. We appreciate the passion, pride and spirit our loyal alumni show us every day. Thanks for being such good sports! Rock Chalk!
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!
We want to know: which Jayhawk is the favorite of KU alumni? Cast your vote in our fun poll by December 31!
To assist you in the voting process, here’s a brief refresher on the history and rich tradition of our beloved mascot.
The story of the Jayhawk begins not with the bird, but with the word, which originated during the historic struggles of Kansas settlers in the 1850s. The name describes a bird that was a cross between a blue jay and a sparrow hawk, both of which displayed fierce, aggressive, even predatory traits. As Free State and anti-slavery forces struggled for control of Territorial Kansas, “Jayhawkers” most often described Free Staters who fought as vigilantes against Missouri “Border Ruffians” aligned with the Confederacy. The outcome of the Civil War and the end of slavery added luster to the word, and Kansans since then have worn it as a badge of proud history.
The University of Kansas informally adopted the term Jayhawk in 1886. Professor E.H.S. Bailey and his science club students adopted the famous rallying cry “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk,” and it remains one of the college world’s most distinctive chants to this day. KU student Henry Maloy drew the first Jayhawk mascot in 1912. To review the complete history and tradition of the Jayhawk, visit http://www.ku.edu/about/traditions/jayhawk.
Vote today! We’ll share the results after the start of the new year.
You may have noticed the cover of the July, 2014 issue of Kansas Alumni magazine, which featured bright, sunny porch steps stacked with colorful “books.” The library consisted of hand-painted bricks and pavers painted to look like old books featuring KU authors and other classics. If you are into crafty projects, you may have seen this popular idea online. Google “book bricks” and you’ll find more tutorials and how-to videos. In fact, our Associate editor, Chris Lazzarino, first spotted this idea, and we thought it would be fun to do. The bricks make great bookends, garden art, or even a nice focal point on a windowsill or shelf.
The books are fairly easy—the hardest part may be deciding your favorite classics— and can be made by anyone. If you don’t feel up to hand-painting the lettering, you can use alphabet stickers found at most craft stores. We kept our books simple, decorating only the spine, which is really all that shows if you choose to use them as bookends. Painting on bricks is a rough endeavor, so embrace the imperfections and don’t strive for perfect lines!
Here’s the easy step-by-step tutorial:
Step 1:Bricks and Pavers
Gather old bricks if you can find them, or buy an assortment of pavers from a garden or home improvement store. If you are using old bricks that have a little bit of moss on them, first soak them in a light solution of water and bleach (about 1/4 cup to 1 gallon of water), and then scrub them to remove the moss. Let the bricks dry several hours or overnight. If you are using pavers that you have just bought, they tend to be dusty so rinse them off well and let them dry several hours or overnight.
For other supplies, you will need acrylic paint, brushes, blue painters masking tape, tracing paper, and computer printouts of book titles (or use alphabet stickers for the lettering). You can use inexpensive paint for this project. In fact, the liquid acrylic that you can buy in bottles at the craft store are perfect for this. You also need to have an assortment of brushes on hand, from wide flat brushes, to small narrow brushes for lettering. Use bristle brushes—foam brushes will not hold up against the surface of the brick.
Step 3:Base coat
Paint your bricks and pavers with a white coat of paint. This helps seal in the porous surface, and will help you get even coverage when you apply more coats of color.
Step 4:“Pages” To created weathered-looking pages, paint three edges with an off-white or cream paint. Add a second coat. When the paint is mostly dry, use a darker tan and with a long narrow brush, paint lines along the pages. Broken lines work well, and we are going for a rough, weathered look here, so wiggle the brush and don’t worry that the lines aren’t straight. Add additional lines with white paint to achieve the look.
Step 5:Book Covers Make sure the paint on the “page” area is thoroughly dry, and then tape over the edge, leaving a margin for the book cover. (Be sure to press the tape down on the edges well.) Paint your book with a solid color, adding two coats. Add a little black paint to your book color, and add the deeper tone to cracks and creases in the brick. Use a wet paper towel to blend the dark color in and wipe away the paint that is not in the cracks. Next, add a little white for highlights to the cover. This is easy to do with “finger-painting.” Dip your finger in a little paint, wipe most of it off on newspaper or a paper towel, and then lightly rub across your book. Adding the deeper tones and highlights help give the book a bit of dimension.
Step 6:Spine and Details The next step is to embellish the spine. Add panels for the book titles, stripes, and symbols. Most publishers used a small symbol or brand on their spines, and adding a small embellishment to mimic this can add to the effect. When the book is completely dry, remove the tape that protected the “page” part of the book. Even if your page paint was thoroughly dry when you taped it, you may remove some paint when you strip off the tape. Don’t worry about this, the random spots will add to the aged look of your books, or you can go back and touch up with paint if you prefer.
Step 7:Lettering We printed out book titles from the computer, and then traced them onto the books before we hand-lettered them. You can totally wing it if you feel comfortable, or you can use small alphabet stickers. (Stickers not recommended if you will use these books outdoors). For help with hand-lettering, have a good tracing paper to transfer the title. Speedball’s “Mona Lisa” tracing paper has dark carbon, and it shows up well on the rough surface of the brick or paver. Tape a piece of tracing paper in place, and then trace your printout. The result will be rough because of the surface of the brick, but it should give you enough to go on. Carefully paint your lettering, dark paint on light surfaces, and light paint on dark surfaces. Don’t worry if your lettering is rough, it just adds to the charm!
Paint a “drop shadow” to the left of the letters, which will help the title pop a bit. If you want, add the title to the front of the book as well, especially if you plan to use the books as pavers in a garden.
Use a very rough sandpaper (we used 60 grit), to sand along the edges and rough up the bricks. If desired, drag the sandpaper across random areas to remove paint.
And that’s it! Have fun making your own colorful library of brick “books.” Recreate your favorite childhood stories, plan a themed collection for a boy or a girl, or decorate a windowsill near your favorite reading nook. These would also look great edging a garden area. If you plan to use them outside, you might want to coat them with a matte-finish spar varnish so that the paint will last longer. Have fun and be sure to send us photos of your “new” books.
—Susan Younger, Creative Director
Photograph of books on steps by Steve Puppe,