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.
Dr. Brian Sullivan, p’96, shared his thoughts about the University of Kansas and the KU School of Pharmacy in this video for the KU Office of Admissions. Part of the “Why KU?” series, Sullivan explains how his education at KU prepared him for a successful career as the owner and president of Lindburg Pharmacy in Pittsburg, KS, and why coming back to Lawrence makes him feel like a student again.
“When I go back there,” Sullivan admits, “I sometimes forget I’m not a student. It’s nice. It’s like coming back home.”
Steve Hawley, c’73, is the newest adviser with the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson. The former astronaut, now a professor of physics and astronomy at KU, will counsel the Cosmosphere’s staff and board of directors.
“The Cosmosphere shares the story of spaceflight in a way that no other museum does,” Hawley says. “I’m proud to have such a unique facility in my home state, and I look forward to working closely with the Cosmosphere to increase awareness of this tremendous asset for Kansas and the nation. It is my belief the Cosmosphere can provide the spark that inspires our next generation of leaders and visionaries who will do the difficult and pioneering things that make a nation great.”
The museum includes several artifacts from Hawley’s time in space, including a window from Space Shuttle Columbia and a mission time clock that was part of several of Hawley’s missions. Read the full press release here.