Pyramid Pizza closing brings memories of advertising schemes

Posted on Feb 11, 2020 in Campus News and News

Pyramid Pizza, a popular local pizza joint that endured various iterations, closed its doors last fall. Alumni and Lawrence residents mourned its passing and reminisced about Pyramid in a popular local Facebook group. Sean Williams, j’78, photographed many of Pyramid’s quirky advertising campaigns and shared some of his memories with us.

KU Cheer Squad with Pyramid Pizza boxes // photo courtesy of Sean Williams

I had a photography business shooting party pics for organized living groups on the KU campus. I also did ad shoots for Litwin’s, Pyramid and general mercenary work, including various KU political groups or individuals.

The photos for Pyramid merged my immersion in the fraternity, sorority and dorm life party pics business with pizza sales targeting that demographic. I frequently had extra photos from parties, and they would end up under glass at the Pyramid Pizza desk in the lower level of the Wagon Wheel Cafe.

John "Tan Man" Schneider on Wescoe Beach // courtesy of Sean Williams“We get it …”

I was studying advertising (and any photo course offering available), and Mark McKee, ’87, former owner of Pyramid, was practicing business and marketing. We collaborated on the “We get it …” ad campaign and had a blast imagining how to advertise Pyramid’s unique sales points as a way to “get it.” It seemed a relatively bold theme and we got a few clucking tongues from the administration, but we smiled and suggested that they get their minds out of the gutter because we were obviously talking about multiple methods of getting yummy pizza.

Tan Man” was featured in the first ad, as I recall, due to his enormous acceptance and fame with students, townsfolk, faculty, and all ages and persuasions. Tan Man “gets it whenever the sun shines …” Of course.

Late-night operators

I can’t remember all the other themes, but the “late-night operators” was my favorite. We staged the photographic shoot in a local veterinarian’s office (tight quarters) and used studio lights and detailed direction for the illustration (tilting the pizza and using a scalpel) to trumpet the availability after bar-closing hours.

Late night operators // Pyramid Pizza photo courtesy of Sean WilliamsShameless audacity

Mark’s chutzpah was most impressively displayed when he walked on stage at Allen Field House to deliver a pizza to Bob Hope, who was performing the KU Homecoming show in front of a packed house. Officials, audience members, and Hope himself thought that it was a planned part of the show, but it was just Mark, promoting that you could get it for a big event. Hope didn’t skip a beat, added a few jokes, and smoothed along. Mark and I both regretted that I didn’t have my camera in the audience and wasn’t assigned to shoot pics for KU that night.

I think KU officials reprimanded him for the photo of the KU cheer squad, taken before or after an organized practice (posing in a full squad pyramid with Pyramid Pizza boxes, they “get it in front of thousands …”). KU officials didn’t want the ads interpreted as an implied endorsement from the University, so I think he tamped that approach. In the meantime, the pizza’s popularity had taken off, Mark hired “Pizza Pete,” the locally famous manager of Pizza Hut, and advertising shifted to coupons and other themes.

Mark was an energetic, aggressive, positively ebullient and engaging personality driven to provide a great product in a popular fast food market in Lawrence. The Campus Hideaway, Green Pepper Pizza and other mom-and-pop shops arrived and disappeared while Pyramid expanded to Westport and multiple locations in Lawrence and elsewhere. Mark’s enthusiasm and drive for excellence prompted the success of the company, but as he launched into other ventures, quick-food competition exploded to put pressure on the Lawrence originals. Mark’s ardent promotion of Pyramid Pizza was truly the strong catalyst to Pyramid’s popularity as the primary meal choice for students who wanted to get it their way—one way or another.

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Lawrence community invited to KU’s 3rd annual Trunk or Treat

Posted on Oct 21, 2019 in Campus News and News

Trunk or Treat 2019The University of Kansas Student Involvement & Leadership Center, Student Alumni Network and Center for Community Outreach will host KU’s third annual Trunk or Treat from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Adams Alumni Center parking lot, 1266 Oread Ave. on the Lawrence campus. Admission is free.

The family-friendly event features decorated trunks and candy stations for community members and their children to trick-or-trick in a safe and fun environment. Other activities include pumpkin painting, photos with Baby Jay, games and a contest for Best Halloween Costume. Hot chocolate and refreshments will be provided by KU Dining.

Families are encouraged to bring a donation for the KU Fights Hunger food drive, which collects nonperishable food items for Campus Cupboard and Just Food of Douglas County. Items of greatest need include peanut butter, canned protein, beans, whole-grain cereals, pasta and nuts, and canned fruit and vegetables.

Trunk or Treat is held in conjunction with Halloween in the Halls, another community event that runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at KU’s Gertrude Sellards Pearson and Corbin residence halls at 11th and Indiana streets. A shuttle bus will be available to take families between the Adams Alumni Center and residence halls parking lots.

For more information, contact Sarah Bowman, SILC assistant director of student development and engagement, at sarah.bowman@ku.edu or Ally Stanton, KUAA assistant vice president of student programs, at 785-864-3741 or allystanton@kualumni.org.

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KU track legend honored with ‘Billy Mills Middle School’

Posted on Nov 6, 2018 in Campus News and News

Billy Mills | Billy Mills Middle School

Kansas track legend Billy Mills received a weekend full of honors in Lawrence, culminating in South Middle School’s re-dedication as Billy Mills Middle School.

The South Dakota native’s KU story began at Haskell, and later the University of Kansas, where he was a three-time NCAA All-American. Mills’ running career reached its zenith at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where his winning time in the 10,000 meter run set a world record and won America’s first gold medal in the event.

After a unanimous vote by the Lawrence School Board in February, South Middle School was approved for a name change to honor Mills and the Native American history of the Lawrence area. Mills spoke at the dedication ceremony on his hopes for the school:

Mills also shared photos from a tour of the school:

The city of Lawrence and the University of Kansas joined in the celebration as well, with Mayor Stuart Boley proclaiming Saturday, Nov. 3, Billy Mills Day and the University announcing that Mills will receive an honorary degree at 2019 commencement.

Mills’ legacy continues to grow, thanks to Running Strong for American Indian Youth, a nonprofit he co-founded to support Native American communities.

For more on Mills’ incredible story, read Kansas Alumni magazine’s 2014 feature on the KU alumnus.

—Ryan Camenzind

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McLain’s Market opens in former Jayhawk Bookstore building

Posted on Apr 18, 2018 in Campus News and News

McLain's Market | in the former Jayhawk Bookstore

The Jayhawk Bookstore closed for good in 2016, leaving a prominent corner in Lawrence unoccupied. (Jayhawks everywhere surely remember the bookstore’s jingle: “At the top of the Hill.) With renovations complete, the building just west of the Chi Omega fountain and across the street from the EEEC is now open for business.

Textbooks, paper, and Jayhawk sweatshirts have given way to coffee, pastries, salads, sandwiches, and beers at McLain’s Market. The Kansas City-based small business also has a store in Overland Park, and the original McLain’s Bakery has operated in Kansas City since 1945.

McLain's Market in the former Jayhawk Bookstore McLain's Market in the former Jayhawk Bookstore
 
The market opened April 9 and already is a popular hangout for KU students as they prepare for finals. A variety of seating options in different nooks and crannies of the two floors gives a welcoming coffee shop vibe. Plenty of outdoor seating offers views down Naismith Drive. Construction isn’t done yet, with a side room under renovation for Kansas City-based clothing company Charlie Hustle to move in.

McLain's Market in the former Jayhawk Bookstore

-Ryan Camenzind

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Jayhawks storm Mass Street celebrating trip to Final Four

Posted on Mar 26, 2018 in Campus News and News

After two consecutive losses in the Elite Eight, KU basketball fans were thrilled to storm Massachusetts Street in celebration. KU beat Duke 85-81 in overtime and at the sound of the buzzer Jayhawks knew what to do: sprint to Mass Street. Within minutes, fans filled the street and began to commemorate the long-awaited trip to the Final Four.

Check out posts from Jayhawks below:

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Lawrence Network leader earns Wintermote award

Posted on Sep 28, 2017 in Campus News and News

Brandon Petz, b'06, g'07, Lawrence Network Leader and Wintermote Award recipient

With volunteers all across America, it takes a lot for one in KU’s backyard to stand out. Brandon Petz does that and more for local alumni as the Lawrence Network leader. The KU Alumni Association is proud to name Petz, b’06 g’07, a Dick Wintermote Network Volunteer of the Year Award recipient. The annual award recognizes volunteers who brought extraordinary leadership to their network.

“I am so honored to be named a Wintermote Award recipient. All the years volunteering for various networks has been so much fun and I cherish being a part of the KU Alumni Association and all it stands for,” Petz said.

Uniting local alumni

Petz’s work to bring together a group of alumni that already feels connected to the University due to their proximity to campus has impressed many inside the Alumni Association.

“Brandon Petz has gone above and beyond to revamp the Lawrence Network in the shape of the new alumni network strategy,” said Nick Kallail, assistant vice president of alumni and network programs. “He has recruited a team that have provided diverse events and continues to move forward engaging alums to make KU better. This is no easy task in Lawrence, where opportunities to connect with KU are so plentiful.”

Fellow Lawrence network volunteer Tom Larkin, a’09, echoed Kallail’s comments, noting Petz’s enthusiasm for KU “that clearly started before he became president of our Lawrence network. He’s extremely organized and focused, and has a knack for getting everybody energized about the current mission or task at hand. His leadership and positive disposition makes him a joy the be around and a true asset to the Association.”

Petz, a Cimarron, Kansas, native, lives in Lawrence with his wife, Bonnie, and his daughter, Eleanor. Petz is chief financial officer of Grandstand Glassware and Apparel, a local custom screenprinting company that specializes in glassware and apparel.

About the award

The award is named for Dick Wintermote, c’51, who served as the executive director of the Association from 1963 to 1983. His legacy represents the importance of building a strong volunteer network, the need for a dues-paying membership program and establishing the KU Alumni Association as one of the premier associations of graduates in the country.

—Ryan Camenzind

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KU Kickoff Pep Rally and Concert set for Friday, September 1

Posted on Aug 18, 2017 in Campus News and News

KU Kickoff Live on Mass
Kansas football will open the 2017 season hosting Southeast Missouri State on Saturday, Sept. 2—and Kansas Athletics and the KU Alumni Association have partnered with LIVE ON MASS to get the weekend started off in exciting fashion by hosting a KU Kickoff pep rally and concert.

All ages are welcome to the event, which will be held at the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. Gates will open at 6 p.m., with the pep rally with special appearances from Kansas football head coach David Beaty and the KU Spirit Squad and Pep Band will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The Phantastics, a seven-member band from Kansas City specializing in tantalizing, genre-blending dance music, will headline the concert following the pep rally. The Phantastics, along with their opening acts, The Band That Saved The World, Lucas Parker Band and DJ Josh Powers, will entertain the crowd to close the evening.

For more information on LIVE ON MASS’ KU Kickoff, visit The Granada’s website, or contact Kansas Athletics at OneTeam@kuathletics.com or KU Alumni Association at kualumni@kualumni.org.

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Jayhawks in the News | July 14

Posted on Jul 14, 2017 in Campus News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Spencer Fane Welcomes Peter Goplerud to Firm’s Business Transactions Practice | Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Peter Goplerud, l’74, who joins the firm as Of Counsel and brings more than 40 years of legal experience to the firm’s Business Transactions practice.
Read full article.

From hiding in a well to founding Round Corner Drug, New England family reconnects with Lawrence roots | LJWorld.com

The Woodward family has a deep history in Lawrence, including the Round Corner Drug Store, which they owned and leased for decades. Pete Woodward’s great-grandfather was an early member of the University of Kansas Board of Regents, and his grandfather was president of the KU Alumni Association.
Read full article.

Ex-Jayhawk David Magley leaves Canada pro league for new venture in U.S. | Kansas City Star

Former Kansas forward David Magley has stepped down as commissioner of the National Basketball League of Canada after fulfilling terms of his two-year contract and will serve as president/chief operating officer of the new North American Premier Basketball League.
Read full article.

Jayhawks with New Jobs in Sport | Medium.com

Jordan Bass, associate chair of health, sport and science education and program director for sport management, shares updates about Jayhawks who graduated from the program.
Read full article.

Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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LPD, #hilarious

Posted on Feb 7, 2017 in Campus News and News

Drew Fennelly, Lawrence Police Department

After launching the Lawrence Police Department’s Twitter page Dec. 31, 2015, with the usual dry reminders for revelers to designate sober drivers, Officer Drew Fennelly yearned to “find the voice for the Twitter account.”

His creativity burst forth three months later, as Fennelly, ’09, hunched over his laptop, bemoaning the men’s basketball team’s shattering loss in the NCAA Tournament. “Sorry, we can’t investigate Villanova ripping your heart out of your chest,” Fennelly wrote. “The crime occurred outside our jurisdiction. #RCJH”

The post was noticed by the Kansas City Star’s sports editor, who shared it with his 10,000 followers, and suddenly @LawrenceKS_PD zoomed to online fame.

“I felt the same frustration and despair that everybody else did about KU losing that game,” Fennelly says. “So I was thinking, how can I express to everyone else how I feel and relate it to the police department?”

He’d found the voice he’d been searching for, and his ensuing parade of comedy gold gained an even wider audience—hello, Jimmy Kimmel—Sept. 29: “We realize politics can make emotions run high, but being mad at a presidential candidate in a debate is NOT a reason to call 911.”

Fennelly says he scrutinizes every post for any possible hint of controversy or disrespect, but he otherwise lets the laughs loose almost daily, including an election-day reminder that “Electioneering is not a major at KU,” K9 officers posed for cute dog pics, Bad Luck Brian reminding citizens not to tempt thieves with unattended porch packages, and best of all, the occasional Saturday-night #LKPDTweetalong, during which he rides with a fellow officer and tweets the action from a citizen’s point of view.

“Humor really is one of the best coping mechanisms for dealing with what we see on a regular basis,” says Fennelly, an officer since 2009. “I think you would be hard-pressed to find a police officer with out a pretty good sense of humor.”

From dry to wry, all in a day’s work.

—Chris Lazzarino


This post was originally published in the Jayhawk Walk section of Kansas Alumni magazine, issue no. 1, 2017, but it’s not the only press about the police department’s Twitter antics. Check out the links below for more.

This Police Department Has The Most Hilarious Twitter Game Ever And You Won’t Stop Laughing | Thought Catalog

Day in the Life: Meet the man behind the famous LPD Twitter account | University Daily Kansan

Cops in Kansas foster engagement with an arresting Twitter feed | PR Daily

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Jayhawks in the News | Dec. 2

Posted on Dec 2, 2016 in Campus News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Lawrence artist’s business grows out of campaign to cheer up hospitalized friend | LJWorld.com

Art has been central to Stacey Lamb’s identity since she was a child, and she went on to earn a degree in fine arts from KU and worked as a greeting card illustrator for thirty years. After a close friend was diagnosed with leukemia, she turned to art to deal with her emotions and help her friend.
Read full article.

Walt Riker, former Topekan, still taking on challenges, tapping into adrenaline | Topeka Capital-Journal

Former Topekan Walt Riker spent much of his career traveling the world, first as press secretary for Sen. Bob Dole and then guiding McDonald’s Corp. as its vice president of corporate communications. Riker, c’70, j’78, also served on the KU Alumni Association’s national board of directors.
Read full article.

Koley Jessen enhances health law practice | Omaha World-Herald

Amanda Angell, a 2015 graduate of the KU School of Law, recently joined Koley Jessen, a full-service business law firm based in Omaha. Angell was previously a compliance consultant for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.
Read full article.

KC chamber’s top honor goes to Hallmark CEO Donald J. Hall Jr. | Kansas City Star

Donald J. Hall Jr. was awarded the Kansas City area’s highest honor for civic leadership at the 129th annual dinner of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Hall, g’83, is the fourth member of the Hall family to receive the honor.
Read full article.

Littler adds plateful of young attorneys to its Kansas City office | Kansas City Business Journal

KU Law School graduates Luke Hangge and Kyle Kitson have joined Littler Mendelson PC as associates in its employment and labor law practice. Hangge, l’16, served as a judicial intern for the U.S. District Court in Kansas City this past year. Kitson, l’13, was previously an attorney with two other firms in the Kansas City area.
Read full article.

Q&A: Hank Driskill, University alumnus and technical supervisor for Disney’s ‘Moana’ | University Daily Kansan

The Kansan got a chance to have a conversation with Hank Driskill, c’88, a technical supervisor for the film. Read as he discusses his Kansas beginnings, his work at Disney and “Moana.”
Read full article.

Richard Rogers, who spent 40 years as a federal judge in Kansas, dies at 94 | Topeka Capital-Journal

Richard Rogers was a decorated war veteran, mayor of Manhattan, and member of both chambers of the Kansas Legislature. He graduated from the KU School of Law in 1947 and entered private practice.
Read full article.

University alumna Una Nowling talks Trans Awareness | University Daily Kansan

Una Nowling, e’93, g’93, was the keynote speaker for Trans Awareness Week, which was hosted by the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity. She shared her experiences of her transition both in and out of her workplace in the STEM field with the audience.
Read full article.

New DA to make changes in prosecutors | Wyandotte Daily

Damon Mitchell, a Kansas City native and 2000 graduate of the KU School of Law, was named chief deputy district attorney for Wyandotte County by the newly elected district attorney Mark Dupree.
Read full article.

Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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