Isolation Inquiries

Posted on May 7, 2020 in Alumni News and News

If you’re like us, you’ve been spending a lot of time during the pandemic connecting with friends online. Since our Jayhawk networks can’t connect in person at happy hours, networking nights and volunteer events, we decided to bring some of that fun to you.

Watch and listen as some of our network leaders around the country share their memories of KU and how they are handling these trying times.

 

Thanks to our participants:
Meridith Ashley, Nashville
Robert Greenwood, Washington, D.C.
Juliann Harvey, Casper, Wyoming
Brian Watts, Houston
Brandon Snook, New York City
Abbey Shea, Denver
Meagan Reichstein, Chicago
Brandon Monroe, Austin
AJ Cleland, Denver

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Twin Cities show ‘KU Cares’ with spooky supply drive

Posted on Dec 10, 2019 in Alumni News and News

KU Cares Twin Cities supply drive

The third annual KU Cares Month of Service brought Jayhawks closer to the communities they call home. One of our favorite events comes from the Twin Cities Jayhawks.

When your doorbell rings on Halloween, you’re expected to answer with candy in hand. But when the Pence family shows up, it’s time to hit the pantry.

Stacy, c’10, and her husband Tyler, d’11, have spent their Halloween evenings for the past six years going door to door in their Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Instead of candy, they collect donations for the St. Louis Park Emergency Program, which provides food, clothing and other assistance for those in need.

“My husband and I did the first trick or treat supply drive only on our block to meet neighbors and help a good cause,” Stacy says. “It was so popular that we decided to make it an entire neighborhood effort the following year.”

The scope of the night continued to grow the past two years as the all-call went out to other Jayhawks to help out as part of the KU Cares Month of Service.

“Generally, it is very well received,” Stacy says. “So many thank yous! Flyers are given to every home in advance so many people are ready with bags of donations. Others are surprised when an adult is knocking on their door on Halloween, but when we explain our cause they run to their kitchen to get something.”

As for the results? They’re spook-tacular:

“I couldn’t count the items as there are literally thousands that fill our entire living room. This year 1,705 pounds were donated, which brings our to-date total over 11,500. Pretty insane.”

Thanks again to all Jayhawks who participated in the third annual KU Cares Month of Service. Jayhawks can make a difference in their community anytime. Visit kualumni.org/info-for/volunteer to learn how you can organize a KU Cares event in your network.

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Jayhawks connect at Kyou Networking Day

Posted on Aug 8, 2019 in Alumni News and News

Houston Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

More than 300 Jayhawks at 22 different events came together Aug. 1 over coffee, at happy hours or online to network and make new connections for Kyou Networking Day.

One of those connections came from San Antonio, where 30 Jayhawks attended a happy hour. “We had a woman who had recently moved to San Antonio and was looking for a job in the education field,” said network leader Morgan Bertram, d’02. “She was able to connect with a principal of a local school who was able to help her in finding some teaching openings.”

Here’s a look at a few more of the many events that alumni organized for Kyou Networking Day.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

“Out of 11 attendees, four of them were from Hugoton, Kansas. Small town, small world!” -Network leader Julie Andrews, d’81

Houston

Houston Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect
Twelve Houston Jayhawks made the trip to Holman Draft Hall for a happy hour, including three attendees who had moved to Houston in the last six months.

North Denver

Jayhawks connect

“We had a great Denver Kyou Networking Day breakfast this morning. There were seven KU alumni in attendance, two returning from a previous breakfast event. And Chris won the award for furthest drive, joining us in north Denver from over an hour away!” – Network volunteer Alisha Templeton, c’01

Chicago

Chicago Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

Fifteen KU alumni spent their Thursday afternoon together, including a large group of recent graduates.

If you enjoyed your network’s event, or want to see one happen in your own city, visit our volunteer resource page. To learn more about how KU can help you find a career connection of their own, visit the Jayhawk Career Network.

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Chris Longino named Wintermote recipient

Posted on Apr 15, 2019 in Alumni News and News

Chris Longino

In thanks for his time and service to the University and his Jayhawk network, the KU Alumni Association is proud to present Chris Longino the Dick Wintermote Volunteer of the Year award. The award will be presented to Longino, b’06, at an alumni event in Tampa Apr. 18.

After a childhood on the move as a military kid, Longino attended Free State High School in Lawrence and later received his bachelor’s degree from the KU School of Business. His career took him to Chicago before a move to Tampa in 2010.

Longino has lead the Tampa-St. Petersburg network since 2016 and has helped organize activities such as a holiday toy drive, a food drive after Hurricane Irma and fundraising efforts for a local elementary school after a fire.

Longino currently serves as a senior field information analyst at the National Insurance Crime Bureau, where he has worked since 2007. He and his wife, Kelley, are expecting their first child.

About the Award

This annual award recognizes network volunteers who demonstrate extraordinary leadership to their network and the KU Alumni Association during a one-year period (July 1-June 30). An internal staff committee within the KU Alumni Association consisting of those who work closest with volunteers meets each year to decide on award winners.

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Jayhawks give back during second annual KU Cares Month of Service

Posted on Dec 3, 2018 in Alumni News and News

The second annual KU Cares Month of Service gave Jayhawks the chance to meet each other and support their communities at the same time. Alumni in 23 cities across the country organized 27 different events.

The KU Alumni Association set out to have participants share the spirit of the holidays by giving back to people in need.

Here’s a sample of the many awesome events that alumni network volunteers organized. Thanks again to all who participated!

Phoenix Jayhawks: Lunches for the homeless

KU alumni in Phoenix packed meals for people in need at St. Vincent De Paul’s “Hearts and Hands” event.

Phoenix volunteers | second annual KU Cares month of service

Twin Cities Jayhawks: Halloween Supply Drive

Minneapolis Jayhawks started the month of service a day early: a night early, to be exact. They partnered with the St. Louis Park Emergency Program to spend their Halloween forgoing candy and collecting supplies for a local homeless shelter instead.

Twin Cities Jayhawks | second annual KU Cares month of service

Portland Jayhawks: Oregon Food Bank

A small group made a big difference in Portland. Six Jayhawks showed their love for their city with two and a half hours of work leading to 455 packaged meals.

Portland Jayhawks |second annual KU Cares month of servicePortland Jayhawks | second annual KU Cares month of service

Milwaukee Jayhawks: Breakfast for military families

Area Jayhawks got to work to thank area veterans and their families by cooking breakfast at the the Fisher House, a temporary housing option for military families. Families stay at the house while their loved one receives care at the Medical Center.

Milwaukee Jayhawks | second annual KU Cares month of service

Denver Jayhawks: Watch party with a purpose

Local alumni started their watch party season with a purpose. The group collected more than 500 items for the St. Francis Center, a local homeless refuge.
Denver Jayhawks | second annual KU Cares month of service

KU Cares Month of Service may be over, but Jayhawks can get together to support their communities anytime! Visit the KU Cares page for more information, and reach out to your local network leaders to organize an event in your area.

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KU Alumni’s own hosts Late Night in the Phog

Posted on Oct 1, 2018 in Alumni News and News

KU’s annual Late Night in the Phog brings with it the excitement of a new basketball season. And when Kansas Athletics needed a high-energy host to keep the crowd of 16,300 buzzing, they turned to KU Alumni’s own Danny Woods.

Woods, j’13, helps manage the 50-plus networks of Jayhawk alumni across the country with a level of enthusiasm worthy of the Phog. We sat down with him to hear about his experience on James Naismith Court.

Danny Woods hosts Late NightHow did you get the job?

I was approached by KU Athletics around the time of the KU vs. Rutgers football game. They asked if I would be interested in doing pregame PA announcements for Gameday on the Hill, a tailgating experience on Campanile Hill with food, beverages, retail and live music before football games. Nothing was mentioned about Late Night at this time, but I think it was a test run. Athletics was just making sure I could, as the saying goes, walk and chew gum at the same time. I was offered the emcee position the following week.

How much freedom were you given?

Working with the Athletics marketing office was great. Leading up to Late Night they provided me with a script and a timeline of events. But they told me, “We want you to be yourself out there. Change up any of the language so it feels comfortable and natural to you.” It was a great feeling to have the framework of the house, but then be able to furnish it myself.

How did you think your performance went?

Well, I didn’t get fired yet, so that’s always a plus! But for real, it was awesome. To be honest, I was super nervous. Late Night is a huge night for KU students, alumni and fans, and I just wanted to make sure they had a great experience. There are definitely opportunities for me to grow and make future emcee performances better. And yes, this is definitely me openly lobbying to be the emcee for future Late Nights.

What was your favorite part of the night?

Can I take the easy road out and say the whole thing? This was actually the first Late Night I have been to since I was a student. When I worked in the Office of Admissions, Late Night always fell during travel and recruitment season. *cough cough* Any prospective students out there reading this make sure you apply by the Nov. 1st scholarship deadline! And since I have been at the Alumni Association, I have always been out in one of our national networks during Late Night. So just having the opportunity to be in Allen Fieldhouse during Late Night was the best.

Most importantly: Did you get to meet 2 Chainz?

2 Chainz and I got to be in the same room and we definitely breathed the same air. I did not, however, formally meet him. I was afraid if I actually tried to introduce myself to him before Late Night that I would pass out from excitement.

There you have it, folks. Make sure you get out to one of our national alumni network events to meet the man himself!

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Omaha Jayhawks connect at network happy hour

Posted on Jul 19, 2018 in Alumni News and News

Omaha Jayhawks connect at network happy hour

Summer on the road: Omaha Jayhawks

The KU Alumni Association’s summer on the road continues! The alumni networks team has visited Jayhawks in San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and most recently, Omaha.

Omaha is home to 1,700 alumni, including network leader Holly Currie. Currie, c’09, g’10, organizes watch parties for KU games at the Good Life Bar and Grill. “The watch parties and the network have grown exponentially with Holly,” said Grace Knott, h’78. “She chose a great location.”

The happy hour brought together Omaha residents of all ages and levels of knowledge about their city. Knott has lived in Omaha for 40 years, while Ashlee Duffy, c’01, just moved to the city from Alabama this month.

The trips are part of a summer-long effort to encourage Jayhawks to volunteer in their local networks. “The best kind of event you can organize is one you are passionate about,” said Danny Woods, assistant director of legacy and alumni programs.

More trips are in store, with Woods visiting Oklahoma City and Tulsa next week.

—Ryan Camenzind

Check out the KU Alumni Association calendar for more upcoming events. For more on how to volunteer in your network and the types of events you can help coordinate, visit the network volunteer page.

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Joyce Davis Pulley earns Wintermote Award

Posted on Jul 10, 2018 in Alumni News and News

Joyce Davis Pulley faced a big challenge when she joined the Sacramento Jayhawks: a small group of alumni far away from Lawrence.

Her hard work connecting KU graduates and fans in the area paid off. As a result, the KU Alumni Association is proud to present her with the 2018 Dick Wintermote Volunteer of the Year Award.

Pulley, c’77, moved to Sacramento in 1997 and has organized watch parties and other alumni events for Jayhawks since 1999.

Nick Kallail, assistant vice president of alumni and network programs, is impressed with Pulley’s efforts.

“Sacramento checks in with just under 600 alumni within 25 miles, but always compares favorably in event attendance and network Facebook activity with much larger groups,” said Kallail.

“The great connections within this network and love for KU was shared with Jayhawk Nation at the KU/Stanford Basketball game played in Sacramento this past December and is a testimony to the great volunteer work Joyce has done for the KU Alumni Association.”

Kallail will present the award to Pulley at a summer happy hour July 11.

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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Wichita alumna earns Wintermote honor for stalwart service

Posted on Apr 11, 2018 in Alumni News and News

Camille Nyberg, 2017 Wintermote Award Recipient
As a local and national KU volunteer, Camille Bribiesca Nyberg is known for her warmth, dedication and hospitality—qualities that earned her a 2017 Dick Wintermote Volunteer of the Year Award. As her hometown Wichita Network alumni gather this week for the 15th annual Jayhawk Roundup, Alumni Association president Heath Peterson will honor Nyberg, c’96, g’98, who has contributed countless hours to the Roundup and, with her husband, Glenn, ’79, chaired the event in 2014 and 2015.

Nyberg’s guidance was critical for Danielle Lafferty Hoover, c’07, when she joined the Association staff in 2015 as assistant director of Wichita programs. “Camille was instrumental when I first began my role,” says Hoover, who is now director of donor relations and Wichita programs. “She spent a lot of time helping me get to know the other volunteers and network board members. Anyone who knows Camille would agree that she is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.”

As a new KU graduate, Nyberg left her home state to live in Dallas, where she quickly became involved in the local network, helping to host alumni and athletic events and Jayhawk Generations picnics for new freshmen and their families. Her fellow alumni nominated her to serve on the Association’s National Board of Directors, which she joined in 2009. Nyberg led the Association as national chair from 2014-’15, shortly after she moved back to her hometown. Back in Wichita, she attended numerous activities in addition to the Roundup, and she hosted events for alumni mentors and Wichita North High School students through the Helpful Alumni Working for KU (HAWK) Mentor Program with KU’s Office of Admissions.

Peterson, d’04, g’09, credits Nyberg for strengthening the Wichita Network: “Camille has invested considerable time in our events. Thanks to her efforts, KU has a much more visible and active presence in the largest city in Kansas.”

Nyberg was one of three alumni in 2017 to receive the annual award named for Dick Wintermote, j’51, who served as the Association’s executive director from 1963 to 1983 and helped establish the strong Jayhawk tradition of volunteering to help alumni and current students as well as prospective Jayhawks. The other winners were Kate Feller McSwain, b’12, who leads the Dallas Network, and Brandon Petz, b’06, g’07, who leads the Lawrence Network.

About the Award

This annual award recognizes network volunteers who demonstrate extraordinary leadership to their network and the KU Alumni Association during a one-year period (July 1-June 30). An internal staff committee within the KU Alumni Association consisting of those who work closest with volunteers meets each year to decide on award winners.

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Burtnett family to receive Millie Award

Posted on Apr 10, 2018 in Alumni News and News

In recognition of their service to Wichita-area alumni, Jerry and Lucy Burtnett will be presented with the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award, affectionately known as the “Millie” award, at Jayhawk Roundup on April 13.

Roundup reliable

Jerry and Lucy Burtnett, Millie Award recipientsJerry, p’69, and Lucy have helped organize the Jayhawk Roundup since 2006, and they hosted the event in 2011 and 2012. KU Alumni Association president Heath Peterson thanked the Burtnetts for giving “a tremendous amount of sweat equity to Jayhawk Roundup, both serving on the volunteer committee and later as chairs of the event.”

Danielle Hoover, director of donor relations and Wichita programs, echoed Peterson’s praise, stating the Burtnetts “are some of the hardest working volunteers I have ever worked with. They’ve spent many, many hours helping set up, decorate and clean up the Murfin Stables for Jayhawk Roundup.”

Jerry and Lucy also served on the Wichita Network‘s board from 2011 to 2015 and contribute their time for Jayhawks for Higher Education.

“We got involved because of our local KU contacts and wanted to help,” said Jerry. “Working with our KU friends was very enjoyable and we continue to help with Roundup.”

The Burtnetts, who are Life Members of the KU Alumni Association, now split their time between Wichita and Florida.

Jerry and Lucy Burtnett as event chairs at the 2011 Halloween-themed Jayhawk Roundup

The Burtnetts as “event chairs” at the 2011 Halloween-themed Jayhawk Roundup

About the award

The Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award was created in 1987 to thank alumni and friends for sustained volunteer service to the University at the local level. The award honors Mildred Clodfelter, b’41, who worked for the University for 47 years, including 42 at the Alumni Association.

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