The pair of KU Alumni Association program staffers are looking at potential growth cities as part of their goal of unique and diverse programming across the nation. Their itinerary included visits to Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Phoenix, and New York City.
Kallail, d’04, l’07, and Woods, j’13, hosted a meeting at each stop to connect existing network leaders with new area volunteers. They introduced their plan for successful networks to the group, and then let the local alumni plan amongst themselves.
“We really want to empower all of the network leaders,” Woods said. “These leaders know their network way better than we ever could. We just want to give them the tools to build a successful network and let them run with it. This will ultimately help the network sustain and grow for years to come.”
One of the main goals of the network visits was to promote planning events in all of the five event buckets such as Rock Chalk Connect, which provides networking opportunities, and Rock Chalk Cultivate, which gives alumni the opportunity to learn a new skill—often from other Jayhawks.
“For our network moving forward, I would like to see the meeting’s enthusiasm to continue,” Brandon Snook, New York City network leader, said. “I want us to fully embrace the new event branding, which I love…especially KU Cares. It will be a great way for us to give back to the community, and strengthen our bonds in the process. I hope the new branding will be a springboard for our network board, and that everyone involved won’t be hesitant in popping out fresh new ideas for programming.”
Kallail and Woods also introduced a new structure for network leadership. Instead of traditional roles such as president, vice president, and treasurer, networks will have leaders who manage event buckets. “I like the concept of having a group with individuals focused on different areas of outreach for the Alumni Association,” Scott Lundgren, Portland network leader, said.
After the planning meeting, other local Jayhawks joined for a happy hour. Both Snook and fellow New York City network leader Kellie Johnson were pleased with their meeting. “We assembled a nice variety of people who seem enthusiastic to lead,” Snook said.
Wherever they went, Kallail and Woods were excited to see the networks’ turnout. Johnson has a theory why.
“I think KU alumni attend the events to keep that special connection alive. I’ve met several people from other schools who have noted that KU alumni are the most loyal they have ever met. One told me he doesn’t get involved with his alumni because he left nothing there – and when I asked him to clarify – he said it was clear all of us had left our hearts in Lawrence.”
The University of Kansas Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Dan Gailey, performed April 12 at the Appel Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. The program included selections from Charlie Parker, Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington, along with compositions by a KU alumnus and a current student.
The ensemble performed the world premiere of “Bright Day Moon” composed by Andrew Linn, u’10, who attended the concert. The group also played “Everybody is with Everybody Else,” by Kai Ono, a junior piano major from Irvine, California. Ono won the 2016 Downbeat Student Music Award for Outstanding Original Composition.
KU Jazz Ensemble I has received 23 Downbeat Student Music Awards, including Best Large Jazz Ensemble 2015 in the Graduate Division.
Joining the ensemble in New York was acclaimed jazz vocalist Deborah Brown, a Kansas City, Missouri, native who has performed in more than 50 countries and recorded 11 albums.
Playing on one of jazz’s most celebrated stages with Brown was “a really great feeling,” says trombonist Fern Stevermer, a junior from Fulton, Missouri. “The School of Music gives us so many opportunities, great faculty and great experiences. It gets us ready to go out in the world as prepared musicians.”
Alumni support helped make the students’ trip possible. Lead sponsors of the performance were James Zakoura, c’70, l’72; Reach Out Kansas Inc.; the Law Offices of Smithyman & Zakoura; and the Zakoura Family Foundation.
Watch our video below for highlights from the performance and comments from students. A slideshow of additional photos from the rehearsal, reception and performance is below the video. Photos and video by Dan Storey.
Looking for a way to connect with fellow Jayhawks, expand your professional and social networks and learn a little KU history at the same time?
Don’t miss the latest program from KU Libraries and the KU Alumni Association: Evolution of the Jayhawk.
At this one-of-a-kind event, you’ll have the opportunity to see and hold rare KU archival materials that showcase the fascinating origins and the evolution of our beloved Jayhawk. View some of the most exclusive and intriguing iterations of our distinctive mascot, while making connections with fellow Jayhawks.
Events are currently scheduled for the following locations:
If the past week is any indication, the ’Hawk Days of Summer are still going strong.
Alumni Association staff members hosted a boat cruise with all-you-can-eat crabs in Washington, D.C.; a behind-the-scenes tour of Madison Square Garden in New York City; a harbor cruise Charleston, South Carolina; a wine tasting in Springdale, Arkansas; and a day at the Topeka Zoo. We also co-hosted three events with KU Libraries and their popular Naismith artifacts exhibit in Huntersville and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia.
Our socially-savvy staff and volunteers posted updates and pictures online during each of the events, so we put them together in one place for easy consumption. Check it out below, or click here to see the story on Storify.
A few highlights: the most spirited KU fan ever, a yet-to-be-explained food fight involving baked beans, and the appearance of Caitlin Wise, our former coordinator of student programs who now lives in the Washingon, D.C. area. Enjoy!
This 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.
KU Alumni Association staff members Mike Davis, Danny Lewis, Teri Harris, Dan Storey, Kelsey Hill and Brad Eland hit the road last weekend to help spread the Jayhawk madness of March around the country.
They joined hundreds of Jayhawks at official KU Alumni Association chapter watch parties in San Francisco, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Chicago and Washington, D.C. to watch the KU men’s basketball team beat Western Kentucky on Friday night. After the big win, they traveled on to Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis and New York City where they watched the Jayhawks defeat North Carolina for the third time in five years.
Danny, director of alumni programs, and Dan, staff videographer and photographer, captured a behind-the-scenes look at the not-always-glamorous side of travel as they ventured east to visit the Washington, D.C. and New York City chapters. Have you ever seen the inside of an airport at 4:55 a.m.? It’s not pretty.
Watch the video below for more, including an ill-fated decision to reenact a scene from Rocky.
The KU men’s basketball team takes on North Carolina on Sunday, Mar. 24. Jayhawk fans and alumni have one more opportunity to fill Kansas City with crimson and blue!
Join us in the Power & Light District across the street from the Sprint Center for a pregame party and pep rally. KU fans should be very familiar with this area after spending two basketball-filled weekends here. The pregame party at Z-Strike will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday, followed by a KU pep rally on the main stage at 2:30 p.m.
The KU vs. North Carolina game tips off at 4:15 p.m.
If you’re a member of the Alumni Association, don’t forget your membership card. Show it to the staff members at our table at Z-Strike and pick up your free, members-only gift. If you don’t have your card handy, just pull up a copy of a recent email from the Alumni Association that shows your membership status at the bottom.
Not in Kansas City? We’re taking the madness of March on the road!
Join staff members Mike Davis, Kelsey Hill, Brad Eland, Teri Harris, Danny Lewis and Dan Storey at official KU Alumni Association watch parties in major cities across the country. If you’re in Los Angeles, Denver, Minneapolis, Houston or New York City, we want to meet you! Click here to view our calendar of events to get details for each location.
Bring your membership card to these events for your free gift.
Find fellow Jayhawks
If you want to watch the game with other KU alumni and fans, check out our list of official KU Alumni Association watch sites around the country. We also have a lot of geographic-based Facebook groups, so you’re sure to find other Jayhawks in your area. Click here to find a list of Facebook groups.
Eighty student members of the KU Wind Ensemble are celebrating Spring Break in enviable fashion–preparing for their March 26 performance at renowned Carnegie Hall, where they will present the world premiere of a symphony commissioned especially for the ensemble.
The musicians and their director, Paul Popiel, will board a bus bright and early Friday, March 22, for their long-awaited journey. On Saturday, they will rehearse at The Ohio State University School of Music in Columbus, then pile back on the bus, arriving in New York City Sunday night. The itinerary for Monday includes a private tour of the 9/11 Memorial, which will provide poignant inspiration for their performance of “In the Shadow of No Towers,” a symphony by New York-based composer Mohammed Fairouz that examines life in the post 9/11 world.
Fairouz, a native New Yorker, traveled to Lawrence in February to assist in rehearsals. “Mohammed spent a lot of time creating this symphony, and it was a luxury to have him here and bounce the music back and forth with him,” Popiel says. “He gave this symphony to us, and now we must grab it and own it. Our students have the rare opportunity on one of the world’s great stages to be the professionals they aspire to be now.”
The ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. March 26 in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage of Carnegie Hall. Alumni and friends can purchase half-price tickets for $12.50 by using the code KAN15783. To purchase, visit www.carnegiehall.org, call Carnegie Charge at 212.247.7800 or visit the box office in New York City. Students can purchase tickets at the box office for $5 with a valid ID.
Alumnus James Zakoura commissioned Fairouz to create the symphony especially for the KU Wind Ensemble. Zakoura has provided numerous gifts to the KU School of Music, including support for performances throughout Kansas, but “In the Shadow of No Towers” represents an intense collaboration over many months. In September 2011, Zakoura met with Popiel and Fairouz. “It was very emotional,” he recalls. “I basically told them my aspirations for the piece, which was that it address an important issue, and to honor the people who lost their lives and the families and the friends that survived that. I wrote a note to Paul saying, ‘These are my hopes, that this can be positive and a wholly inspiring gift from Kansas to New York and to the world.’” And Paul told me that he took my note and put it with the score and he looks at it from time to time so that he can be reminded where we’re heading and … the important work we’re doing together.”
To follow the story of the students’ journey to Carnegie and the collaboration of Popiel, Fairouz and Zakoura, visit www.ku.edu/carnegiehall.
The KU men’s basketball team earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s South Region, and lucky for us (and them!) it means they’ll play in Kansas City’s Sprint Center– where they won the Big 12 Championship last weekend.
The ‘Hawks will take on the No. 16 seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at 8:50 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 22.
Z-Strike will once again serve as the headquarters for Jayhawk fans, with a pregame party starting at 3 p.m. on Friday. The Alumni Association, Kansas Athletics and KUStore.com will be set up here with giveaways and KU gear available for purchase.
The KU pep band, spirit squad and mascots will take center stage at the pep rally at 5:15 p.m., though Big Jay likely won’t be sporting the adidas “camo” shorts this time.
If you’re a member of the Alumni Association, don’t forget your membership card! Show it at our table and you’ll receive a free, members-only gift.
We’re bringing March Madness to you!
This year, the Alumni Association is taking March Madness on the road. Staff members will host watch parties in eleven different cities on Friday and, should KU advance, on Sunday.
On Friday night, staff members will be in Washington, D.C. (The Bottom Line); Chicago (Lottie’s Pub); San Francisco (The Pub); Colorado Springs (Fox and Hound); Dallas (Park Tavern) and Wichita (Larry Bud’s).
If KU wins on Friday, staff will attend watch parties in New York City (Cornerstone Tavern); Minneapolis (Tiffany Sports Lounge); Los Angeles (The Parlor); Denver (Stoney’s); Houston (Coaches Midtown) and Wichita (Larry Bud’s).
Members can show their cards at the staff-hosted watch parties and receive a free gift.
If you’re near any of these cities, we’d love to meet you! And if you’re not, click here to find a list of official Alumni Association watch sites around the country.
Every KU fan has probably seen the photo of famous actors Paul Rudd, ’92, and Tina Fey holding KU shirts that was widely circulated on Facebook late last week:
Photo submitted by Teresa of Mix 93.3
But have you heard the story behind it?
The host of the Rocket and Teresa Show on Mix 93.3 radio station in Kansas City, Teresa, was invited to fly to New York City for a screening of Rudd and Fey’s new movie, “Admission,” and to interview the stars.
Teresa has worked with Paul’s mother, Gloria, to help promote his annual Big Slick charity poker tournament in Kansas City. Before her trip to New York, Teresa asked Gloria for something cute she could take along as a gift, and Gloria gave her a book and some other trinkets from his old bedroom to give him as a joke (we didn’t get the inside scoop on just what those items were).
Since the movie “Admission” is about getting into college, Teresa also asked Kansas Sampler/Rally House if they would provide KU shirts for the actors, and of course they said yes.
Although Teresa didn’t attend KU, she has lived in the Kansas City area since 2000, and according to her bio on the Mix 93.3 website, her two sons “think they are automatically Jayhawks just because they were born in Kansas.”
The now-famous picture was taken at the Waldorf-Astoria on Friday, Feb. 8.
Jayhawks are everywhere, including the state of New Jersey.
Katie Keating provided this photo and a few stories to us during her recent visit to the Garden State.
“I was in New Jersey this past week and was taking a bus into New York City. This kid was at the bus stop,” Katie said. She said “Rock Chalk” to him and he smiled.
Later on that same trip, Katie ran into an alumnus of the KU Law School at a bagel shop. She didn’t have a camera on hand to take a picture of him, but noted that he was wearing a hat depicting the 1941 Jayhawk.
“It’s always neat to see Jayhawks wearing their favorite Jayhawk,” Katie said, adding that her personal favorite is the 1912 Jayhawk.
Have you spotted Jayhawks around the world? Send us a picture! Email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and it could be featured here.