KU roommates reunite at watch party after 45 years

Posted on Feb 16, 2015 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Linda Miller and Cindy Morgan Franks | www.kualumni.org

Some friendships stand the test of time. That’s certainly true for Linda Miller and Cindy Morgan Franks, former KU roommates who recently reunited at a Jayhawk watch party in Henderson, Nevada. The women hadn’t seen each other in 45 years.

Life Member Miller, d’70, and Franks have known each other since first grade, attending the same elementary and high schools in Kansas City and later becoming roommates as freshmen at GSP. But Franks left Lawrence to attend nursing school and moved to Las Vegas shortly after graduating. Little did she know that her friend would eventually follow: Miller moved there in 2002.

Over the years, the women lost touch but continued to receive emails and notifications for their elementary and high school reunions. Franks finally recognized what she thought could be Miller’s email address. She took a chance and contacted her. A few emails and phone calls later, and the women made a date to meet at the Jan. 24 watch party.

“It was really fun to reunite with her,” says Franks. “It was one of those, ‘Oh my gosh! After all these years, I can’t believe we’re finally getting together’ moments.”

Miller was overjoyed to see her dear friend, too, and remembers more about their visit than the game that day. “We talked most of the time instead of watching,” she admits.

Now, the longtime friends are determined not to let years go by before their next reunion. “We have to do lunch together—just the two of us,” says Franks. “We still have a lot of catching up to do.”

—Heather Biele

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Millie Award Recipient: Dee Clifford

Posted on Jan 5, 2015 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Dee Clifford, Proud Member and Mildred Clodfelter award recipient | www.kualumni.org
Dee Clifford, c’71, is among six loyal Jayhawks honored with the 2014 Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award.

The “Millie” recognizes Jayhawks who have served KU as ambassadors in their local communities for 10 years or more and honors the memory of Clodfelter, b’41, for her 47 years of service to the University, including 42 years working at the Association.

Clifford is a Path to Life Premium member who has been active in the Las Vegas, Nevada alumni network since retiring in the area in 2005; she currently serves as the network leader. She was the watch site coordinator and helped the local KU Jayhawks grow from a handful of participants to about 200 faithful.

Before her retirement, she spent her career in information technology, including 16 years with Marion Laboratories and affiliated companies in the Kansas City area. She retired from Aventis Pharmaceuticals in 2000 but returned to work as director of information technology for North Kansas City Hospital before retiring “for good” in 2004.

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Vegas Jayhawks enjoy ’Hawk Days

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

On July 12, the Las Vegas Chapter held their ’Hawk Days of Summer event at the Las Vegas Distillery, the first artisan spirit manufacturer in Nevada.

Around 35 people gathered to hear about the distillery process, from cooking the grains to fermenting the mash to bottling the spirits, during a tour of the distillery.  The group was also invited to try the various spirits—the favorite was “Grandma’s Apple Pie Moonshine”!

After the tour, the group met in the adjoining social area to enjoy fabulous barbecue from Captain Cook’s KC BBQ food truck and to hear updates and news about KU from Mike Davis, senior vice president for donor relations, and Tyler Rockers, coordinator of chapters.  It wasn’t exactly an escape from the summer heat but it was a great opportunity to get together!

—Dee Clifford, Las Vegas Chapter leader

Thanks to Dee for providing a few pictures from the event. Watch the slideshow below, or click here to see the photos on Flickr.

 
'Hawk Days | www.kualumni.orgThis event is part of the ‘Hawk Days of Summer, the KU Alumni Association’s annual summer sojourn across the country and around the world. The 90-day series of events resulted from a determination to make the most of the summer months. The 2014 tour kicked off on Saturday, May 17, and includes picnics, receptions, baseball games and more. Visit our online calendar to find upcoming events near you.

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Las Vegas Jayhawks cheer the NBA draft results

Posted on Jul 2, 2014 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

The Las Vegas Chapter is one of many KU Alumni Association chapters whose members gathered for a happy hour on Thursday, June 26 to watch the NBA Draft.

Around 25 people gathered at Crab Corner to socialize and watch the draft. We cheered loudly for Andrew Wiggins as he was selected first and then again for Joel Embiid, the third pick overall—it was a very exciting outcome for KU fans. The happy hour was a nice warm-up for our Alumni Association ’Hawk Days of Summer stop on Saturday, July 12. Our group will tour the Las Vegas Distillery and enjoy a Captain Cook’s food truck featuring KC-style barbecue!

You can still make reservations online for the ’Hawk Days event. The cost is $20 for Alumni Association members and $30 for nonmembers. Presidents Club donors may attend at no cost. Don’t miss this opportunity to mingle with fellow Vegas Jayhawks, as well as hear news from the Hill! Mike Davis, senior vice president for donor and membership programs, and Tyler Rockers, coordinator of chapters, will join us.

—Dee Clifford, c’71, Las Vegas Chapter leader

Thanks to Dee for providing a few pictures from the happy hour. Watch the slideshow below, or click here to view the photos on Flickr.

 

'Hawk Days | www.kualumni.orgThis event is part of the ‘Hawk Days of Summer, the KU Alumni Association’s annual summer sojourn across the country and around the world. The 90-day series of events resulted from a determination to make the most of the summer months. The 2014 tour kicked off on Saturday, May 17, and includes picnics, receptions, baseball games and more. Visit our online calendar to find upcoming events near you.

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Barbecue and basketball in Vegas

Posted on Mar 19, 2014 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Jayhawks in Las Vegas had to quickly improvise when their KU basketball watch party was bumped— in favor of a UFC fight.

A few days before the KU men’s basketball team faced Texas in Allen Fieldhouse, the regular Vegas watch party site notified the group that the game conflicted with a fight. Choosing another sport over KU basketball might be a foreign concept to die-hard KU fans, but UFC events are popular in Las Vegas and many of the fighters train in the area.

Steve Wichmann and Bryan Holmes had planned to watch the KU game with fellow ‘Hawks, but instead of letting this news derail their plans, they came up with a new one.

Bryan is the master smoker and cook for Captain Cook’s Kansas City BBQ, a new food truck concept that the pair is launching. They decided to host a watch party for local Jayhawks at Steve’s home.

The firewood used to smoke the meat is from Lawrence.The scenario was perfect: the weather was beautiful, fans could watch the game outside and the hickory wood they use to smoke the meat had just arrived from Lawrence. “The wood in the desert just isn’t as good as the wood from the midwest,” Steve said. “It doesn’t burn as well, and the hickory flavor we want doesn’t come off the wood like the kind we found in Lawrence.”

The pair also wanted to get feedback on their food from folks who know how great Kansas City barbecue really is, so they contacted Dee Clifford, c’71, leader of the Las Vegas Chapter, and within a few hours they were making plans to get the word out to area Jayhawks

Steve reports that the usual suspects all showed up in time for tip off, and the food came off the smoker just in time. “Now that the Jayhawks are undefeated when we have watch parties at my house, we may watch every tournament game there,” he said.

“Sorry Buffalo Wild Wings, but you should know by now not to keep a Jayhawk fan from watching our boys on the court.”

Las Vegas Chapter members gather for a watch party

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Fine night for baseball in Vegas

Posted on Jun 25, 2012 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

 

Sure, it was hot. But 25 KU alumni and friends—and 10 K-State alumni who were invited—still enjoyed the Las Vegas 51s AAA baseball game Saturday night at Cashman Field.

Chris Bargiel, boyfriend of Angela Mai, g’08, threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches on behalf of KU. Sort of.

“Two little kids threw out pitches before Chris did, and I’d have to say they threw better strikes than Chris,” says Dee Clifford, c’71, the Las Vegas Chapter leader. “Chris’ bounced a little before the plate, but he shrugged it off.”

A nice buffet down the third-base line no doubt consoled Bargiel and the rest of the KU contingent. A 7-2 Las Vegas win over Sacramento didn’t hurt, either.

(View photos above, or click here to view them on Flickr.)

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