European holiday markets delight Jayhawk travelers

Posted on Jan 21, 2016 in Alumni News and News

Holiday Markets Flying Jayhawks trip 2015
I recently had the opportunity to host twelve Jayhawks on a Flying Jayhawks trip that featured the Holiday Markets in Germany and Paris. It was a trip of a lifetime for me!

Our group flew into Frankfurt, Germany, and took a bus tour of the city before boarding our cruise ship. We spent a week aboard the Amadeus Silver II, which is a brand new ship. We boarded the ship in Bernkastel, Germany, a quaint little town on the Mosel River.

From that port, we took a day trip via bus to Trier, Germany, and Luxembourg. Trier is one of the oldest towns in Germany with some things built as early as 17 AD. We saw a Roman Bath, castles and cathedrals, along with the holiday market. Luxembourg was much more modern and is a banking capital. The holiday market in Luxembourg was very festive and had a big Ferris Wheel! After returning from our excursions, we sailed overnight to Cochem, Germany. At Cochem, we enjoyed a tour of the Cochem Castle, situated atop a hill with a beautiful view, along with a smaller holiday market in the valley. Later that day, we set sail to Koblenz, Germany.

Holiday Markets Flying Jayhawks trip 2015

In Koblenz, we took a walking tour of the city which had an unforgettable memorial statue. We also saw a gorgeous cathedral and shopped at a large holiday market. After the walking tour, the ship set sail again, and it was a beautiful day to be sailing. Our Jayhawk flag flew on the front of the ship as we cruised down the Mosel and Rhine rivers. While cruising, we passed castles, vineyards and lovely towns. We also enjoyed a lecture entitled “Castles and Legends of the Rhine,” so we learned about the sights we saw. We ended up in Rudesheim that evening. Our evenings on the ship included amazing five-course meals served by an outstanding international staff.

After docking in Rudesheim for the night, we set sail for Mainz the next morning. In Mainz, we took a bus to Heidelburg—they call it “Romantic Heidelburg” for a reason. It is a magical place. We went to the castle atop the hill overlooking the city, where we visited another holiday market, and then another one down in the wonderful town. When the sun went down, the holiday views of Heidelburg were truly magical—like no other.

Holiday Markets Flying Jayhawks trip 2015

After our tour of Heidelburg we set sail for Worms, Germany, where we were treated to a rainy walking tour featuring more beautiful cathedrals along with another festive holiday market. After Worms, we set sail for Kehl, Germany, where we docked overnight. From Kehl, we took a bus into Strasbourg, France. What a lovely town, along a river. The holiday market in Strasbourg was huge! This concluded our time on the ship, and the next morning we took a train traveling up to 200 mph to Paris.

In Paris, we had quite a bit of time to explore on our own, but a few things were planned for the entire group. Our particular group of Jayhawk travelers had a special treat the first night in Paris: we held a reception at our hotel and invited a group of KU alumni who live in Paris. The Jayhawk connections we all made that night were very special.

Holiday Markets Flying Jayhawks trip 2015

Other planned adventures included an optional excursion to the Palace at Versailles, which was amazing, and a cruise on the Seine River which featured the main attractions of Paris. Although it was a bit rainy, the Eiffel Tower was gorgeous all lit up. Paris was wonderful to see, and the entire trip was a truly amazing experience.

Our Jayhawk group was a special bunch. We all thoroughly enjoyed each other and plan to stay in touch. I would highly recommend a Holiday Markets trip in your future!

Paige Hofer, coordinator of student programs, hosted the Flying Jayhawks trip to Germany and France in December. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the 2016 schedule, or to sign up to receive emails or brochures about future adventures, visit www.kualumni.org/flyingjayhawks.

See more pictures from this trip on Flickr.

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Joe and Susan Morris of Leawood to receive Homecoming Spirit of 1912 Award

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Susan and Joe Morris
The University of Kansas Alumni Association and the student-led Homecoming Steering Committee have named Joe and Susan Morris of Leawood as the winners of this year’s Rich and Judy Billings Spirit of 1912 Award. The annual award recognizes special contributions to Homecoming and other KU traditions.

The Morrises are scheduled to receive their award during the Homecoming reception at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union. The reception also honors the 10 finalists for the Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (Ex.C.E.L.) Awards. Two Ex.C.E.L. winners will be named at halftime of the KU vs. Oklahoma football game, which kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Memorial Stadium.

Joe Morris graduated from the KU School of Business in 1961 and for decades has assisted KU as a volunteer. He served on the business school’s Board of Advisors and on the national Board of Directors for the Alumni Association from 2002 to 2009, leading the organization as chair from 2007 to 2008. He is a longtime member of Jayhawks for Higher Education. He and Susan are life members of the Alumni Association and contributors to its Presidents Club. He also volunteered for the KU Medical Center as a member of the Heart Advisory Board. The Morrises have participated in numerous KU events nationwide, and they co-chaired the 2010 Rock Chalk Ball in Kansas City. Joe received the Alumni Association’s Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 2006 for his extraordinary volunteer service to KU. In 2009, the School of Business honored him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The Spirit of 1912 Award commemorates the first year of KU’s Homecoming and honors Rich and Judy Billings of Lakewood, Colo., who in 2011 created an endowment to fund future editions of Homecoming. The Billings, both 1957 KU graduates, will attend their 56th KU Homecoming celebration this year.

The theme for KU’s 103rd Homecoming is “Ghosts of Jayhawks Past.” The Homecoming parade begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, rain or shine, on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. This year’s grand marshal is Catherine Carmichael, the reigning Miss Kansas World and a 2014 University of Kansas graduate. A pep rally featuring KU football coach David Beaty on Eighth Street follows the parade.

A complete Homecoming week schedule is available at www.homecoming.ku.edu. Jayhawks also can follow KU Homecoming on Facebook (/KUHomecoming), Twitter (@KU_homecoming) and Instagram (@ku_homecoming).

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Reigning Miss Kansas World to lead Homecoming parade

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Homecoming 2015
Catherine Carmichael, the reigning Miss Kansas World and a 2014 University of Kansas graduate, will be grand marshal of the KU Homecoming Parade at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. A pep rally on Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets will follow the parade.

Catherine Carmichael, Miss Kansas World (submitted photo)Carmichael, who grew up in Manhattan, Kansas, played volleyball for KU while completing her degree in African and African-American Studies with a minor in communication studies. She is now assistant director of football recruiting for Kansas Athletics.

The parade is part of a weeklong celebration that begins Sunday, Oct. 25, and includes daily activities leading up to the KU-Oklahoma football game Saturday, Oct. 31, in Memorial Stadium. The theme for KU’s 103rd Homecoming is  “Ghosts of Jayhawks Past.” A complete Homecoming week schedule is available at www.homecoming.ku.edu, along with an informational packet for organizations participating in the various Homecoming competitions.

In conjunction with the parade, the KU Alumni Association and student-led Homecoming Steering Committee have produced special buttons for the celebration. A variety of downtown merchants will offer one-time discounts during Homecoming Week to customers who present the buttons. Buttons and fliers describing the discounts will be available during Homecoming week at the Adams Alumni Center, 1266 Oread Ave., and at the following Lawrence campus locations:

Monday, Oct. 26: the front lawn of Watson Library
Tuesday, Oct. 27-Thursday, Oct. 29, in front of Wescoe Hall

The student director of KU’s 103rd Homecoming is Caleb Johnson, a Basehor senior in civil engineering. He works with Alumni Association advisers Paige Hofer, student programs coordinator, and Jacey Krehbiel, assistant director of alumni programs. The Association will continue to post details at www.homecoming.ku.edu. Jayhawks also can follow KU Homecoming on Facebook, Twitter (@KU_homecoming) and Instagram (@ku_homecoming).

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What’s the deal with Homecoming on Halloween?

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Homecoming 1987, via kualumni.org

Horrified alumni have been asking: why is Homecoming on Halloween this year? Was the decision intentional or just a scary coincidence? We’ve solved the mystery in this quick Q and A with Paige Hofer, Homecoming adviser and coordinator of student programs for the KU Alumni Association.

So, what’s the deal with Homecoming on Halloween?

There are many factors involved with deciding the Homecoming date. We start by looking at the football schedule. Early to mid-October is usually the ideal timing. The students look forward to the many activities throughout the week leading up to the Homecoming game, as they unite the different groups on campus and promote school spirit all week long. However, with Fall Break for the students, that ends up taking away two weekends of possible dates.

Wait, what’s Fall Break?

Since 2001, KU has operated with a Fall Break near the middle of the semester to balance the academic calendar while giving students a few days off to recharge. This year the Fall Break is October 10-13. So that took away the October 10 home game (vs. Baylor) and the October 17 home game (vs. Texas Tech). The reason the weekend after Fall Break is not an option is because Homecoming activities for the student body go on for the entire week (Sunday through the following Saturday). This year, the only other option in October was Halloween (vs. Oklahoma), due to the other weekends in October being away games.

Who makes the decision?

It is a collaborative decision. We work closely with Athletics and the University to determine the date. We acknowledge that Halloween isn’t ideal for everyone, but it did lend itself to a great theme this year of “Ghosts of Jayhawks Past.” I do hope alumni will be able to partake in the festivities. Rock Chalk!

Thanks, Paige. If alumni are still wondering whether they should dare to attend Homecoming this year, fear not! We guarantee it’ll be a great time to see old friends and celebrate KU traditions. The Homecoming Parade will be downtown on Massachusetts Street Friday at 6pm, followed by a Pep Rally. After another summer of reconstruction, Jayhawk Boulevard has never looked better as campus is just starting to explode with beautiful fall color. Plus, the possibility of an early kickoff Saturday against Oklahoma would get everyone home in time to trick or treat …after celebrating a KU victory, of course. Sooners, BEWARE! See you at Homecoming 2015!

–David Johnston

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KU Alumni Association sets dates for Homecoming 2015

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 in Alumni News and News

 

Homecoming 2015 save the date | www.kualumni.orgThe University of Kansas will celebrate Homecoming Oct. 25-31, 2015, culminating in the KU football game against Oklahoma University Oct. 31 in Memorial Stadium.

The KU Alumni Association and a student-led steering committee will coordinate the week of Homecoming activities. Association staff members leading the effort are Paige Hofer, coordinator of student programs, and Jacey Krehbiel, coordinator of alumni programs. KU’s Homecoming tradition began in 1912.

Homecoming leaders will meet throughout the spring semester to select a theme and finalize the schedule of activities, which will include competitions for student organizations, community service activities, various reunions, the Homecoming parade and pep rally, and the selection of 10 student finalists for the Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Awards (ExCEL). The winners will be announced during halftime of the football game Oct. 31.

The Alumni Association will continue to update kualumni.org/homecoming as information becomes available.

Kansas Athletics has announced 2015 football season ticket prices, including a “loyalty pricing” campaign that enables fans to lock in 2014 prices for the seven-game 2015 season and save money on single-game tickets. The loyalty pricing campaign is open to everyone and will end Jan. 18, 2015. Fans can order by logging into their ticket account at KUAthletics.com/renewals or calling 800-34-HAWKS.

For more information on 2015 ticket packages and how fans can get all seven games for the price of six, click here.

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Homecoming 2014 dates set

Posted on Jan 22, 2014 in Alumni News and News

img_home_homecoming_parade_jayhawkJayhawks, mark your calendar!

The University of Kansas will celebrate its 102nd Homecoming Sept. 21-27, 2014, culminating in the KU football game against the University of Texas Sept. 27 in Memorial Stadium.

The KU Alumni Association and a student-led steering committee will coordinate the week of Homecoming activities. Association staff members leading the effort are Paige Hofer, coordinator of student programs, and Jacey Krehbiel, coordinator of alumni programs. KU’s Homecoming tradition began in 1912.

Students must apply for positions on the 10-member steering committee; applications are available online at kualumni.org/homecoming. The application deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 7, and committee members will be announced in mid-February.

Homecoming leaders will meet throughout the spring semester to select a theme and finalize the schedule of activities, which will include competitions for student organizations, community service activities, various reunions, the Homecoming parade and pep rally, and the selection of 10 student finalists for the Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Awards (ExCEL). The winners will be announced during halftime of the football game Sept. 27.

Be sure to check kualumni.org/homecoming frequently for new information!

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