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 Leader 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
Sorry, we can't investigate Villanova ripping your heart out of your chest, 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.”
REMINDER 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 seen a story featuring a Jayhawk? Send it our way so we can include it in a future post! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2014 renovation by Lawrence firm Gould Evans was led by Tony Rohr, a’85, and John Wilkins, a’86, and was overseen by library director Brad Allen, c’97. The $19-million project gutted the original building at 707 Vermont Street, built in 1972, and added 50 percent more interior space on top of the old building’s footprint, plus an outdoor plaza for performance and community events.
As reported in issue No. 4 of Kansas Alumni, the library earlier this year earned one of seven Library Building Awards from the American Institutes of Architects and the American Library Association. The Lawrence Public Library is one of only two U.S. libraries to make Wired’s international list, which draws heavily from Europe and Asia.
“A good library is more than a repository of books—it’s a community resource,” Wired notes. “Many of them function not just as singular temples to the written word, but community centers, auditoria, concert halls, and public gardens. All of them are works of art in themselves.”
In this case a work of art that’s meant to be enjoyed up close, not admired from afar.
“I hope that people see the library as a coming-together space,” Allen says, “that community living room that people talk about a good bit. I hope they see this is as really a place that we can all cherish for generations to come.”
The Lawrence Women’s Network is a new effort by the KU Alumni Association that enables members to meet for friendship, professional networking and service to the university and the association. As a division of the Lawrence Alumni Network, the group will sponsor educational, cultural and social events to further engage local Jayhawks and help us provide relevant and interesting programs.
The kickoff event is purely social: join fellow Jayhawks at Painted Kanvas, a local family-owned and operated paint and wine studio. The event will featured guided instruction to create your very own painting of the 1912 Jayhawk.
Light appetizers will be provided, and full bar service including beer, wine and cocktails will be available. Space is limited, so register online today! The cost is $35 for alumni association members and $45 for nonmembers. And, although this event is hosted by the new Women’s Alumni Network, all friends of KU are welcome to attend.
Do you have suggestions for future events or programs? Contact Tyler Rockers, assistant director of national and Kansas networks, at email@example.com, or reach out to one of our local network volunteers—a list of volunteers is available here. Be sure to also join our Lawrence Jayhawks Facebook group!
A University of Kansas sorority house was recognized by the City of Lawrence as a historical landmark this week.
Members of the Chi Omega sorority filed an application with the City of Lawrence last February to nominate the chapter’s house, 1345 West Campus Rd., for designation as a landmark on the Lawrence Register of Historic Places.
City staff recommended approval of the designation, and the Lawrence City Commissioners unanimously voted at their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to add the structure to the register.
Listing on the local register helps preserve resources important to Lawrence’s history; a primary goal of the Historic Resources Commission is to build a register of properties which show the diversity and growth of Lawrence since its inception.
The annual Veteran’s Day Run, hosted by the Veterans Alumni Network and KU’s Student Veterans of America, was held on Sunday, November 15.
The race began at Memorial Stadium, build to honor the 130 students and faculty members who lost their lives in World War I, including Lt. William T. Fitzsimons, an alumnus and doctor who was the first America officer killed in action. Runners traveled past other memorials on the KU campus before returning to the stadium for fun and festivities.
Congratulations to the 142 runners who completed the race! Race results are available here.
This Veteran’s Day Run is designed to honor all those who have served or are currently serving in our military and to raise awareness of the role veterans play at our university. All proceeds raised will support KU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund (WWSF) and Student Veterans of America (SVA).
For more information about the Veterans Alumni Network or to provide information about your military service, visit the network’s website.
See more pictures from this year’s run on Flickr. Participants are welcome to download photos for personal use.
The 2015 recipients of the Fred Ellsworth Medallion for extraordinary service to the University of Kansas are Carolyn “Kay” Cromb Brada of Lawrence and Ray D. Evans of Leawood. The KU Alumni Association will honor them Friday, Sept. 11, during the fall meeting of the association’s national board of directors. Since 1975, the medallions have recognized KU volunteers who have continued the tradition of service established by Ellsworth, a 1922 KU graduate who was the association’s chief executive for 39 years, retiring in 1963.
Brada has assisted KU in numerous roles since earning her bachelor’s degree from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in 1961. In Hutchinson, she coordinated annual events for the Kansas Honors Program, the Alumni Association’s longstanding tradition of recognizing academically talented high school seniors throughout the state. She also hosted many other KU events as an alumni network volunteer. In the 1980s, she served five years on the Alumni Association’s national board of directors.
She continued her service in Wichita, helping to recruit numerous KU students and Alumni Association members through the years and advocating for KU in the Kansas Legislature as a member of Jayhawks for Higher Education. Most recently she served on the 4-Wichita Advancement Board to expand the medical school’s curriculum to four years.
“The Alumni Association and many other areas of KU have benefited from Kay’s straightforward advice and keen insight through the years,” said Heath Peterson, the Alumni Association’s interim president. “She believes wholeheartedly in giving back to the university that changed her life so future generations will benefit from the KU experience.”
As Alumni Association life members and donors to the Presidents Club, Brada and her husband, Don, have attended countless KU events in communities throughout Kansas and the nation. In 2012, they created an endowment to support the Association’s alumni outreach programs.
For KU Endowment, she has served on the advisory boards for the Chancellors Club, Women Philanthropists for KU and the Greater University Fund. She also served on the Campaign Kansas National Council. The Bradas are members of the Chancellors Club, and they have provided support for numerous KU programs, including the Dole Institute of Politics. For Kansas Athletics, the Bradas are members of the Williams Education Fund.
Her father, Arthur “Red” Cromb, a 1930 KU graduate, was among the first winners of the Ellsworth medallion when the association created the award in 1975. Cromb led the Alumni Association as national president from 1959 to 1960 and served on the Kansas Board of Regents.
Evans, who earned his KU bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business in 1982 and 1984, is managing partner of Pegasus Capital Management in Overland Park and a former member of the KU School of Business advisory board.
He led the Alumni Association as national chair from 2012 to ’13 after beginning his term on the board in 2007. He also led the Kansas City Alumni Network as president and assisted the annual Rock Chalk Ball as a member of the steering committee. He and his wife, Sarah, chaired the event in 2012, and they are Alumni Association life members and Presidents Club donors. They also contribute to the Chancellors Club for KU Endowment, where he is a trustee and member of the investment committee.
“KU is a stronger institution today because of Ray Evans,” Peterson said. “He is a trusted adviser to the university on many important issues and has provided top-shelf leadership as a volunteer. Ray is a pillar of the KU community.”
Evans has advocated for KU in Kansas City as a member of the KU Edwards Campus advisory board and by raising funds to support the KU Cancer Center and the university’s successful quest to earn National Cancer Institute designation.
For Kansas Athletics, Evans led the search committee to hire Sheahon Zenger as athletics director. As a former football player for Coach Don Fambrough, Evans has steadfastly supported the football program and was part of the committee that hired Coach David Beaty. The Evanses are members of the Williams Education Fund.
Evans also continues a family tradition of commitment to KU. His father, Ray R. Evans, a 1947 KU graduate, led the Alumni Association as national president from 1952 to 1953 and received the Ellsworth medallion in 1976. He was a member of the 1948 Orange Bowl team and an All-American in both football and basketball. He also served on the Kansas Board of Regents.