Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our weekly 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
“A kid from Chicago,” as Sherron Collins referred to himself, will see his No. 4 jersey hanging in the rafters on Monday next to the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Jo Jo White and Paul Pierce. “I never thought where I come from, I could have this much of an impact on a University, let alone a community.” Read full article.
Brandon Woodard, c’13, a University graduate and KU Endowment employee, is running for the 30th District of the Kansas House of Representatives as a Democrat. If he wins, he would be the first openly gay member of the Kansas Legislature. Read full article.
Beyond the uniforms and debates about being necessary, there is a reality: As sports become a bigger and bigger business, the spirit squad is not advancing commensurately. Do you know why you should cheer for the cheerleader too? Mike Whitaker, c’91, analyzes their vital yet thankless role as brand ambassadors. Read full article.
AIA’s Associates Awards are given to individual Associate AIA members to recognize outstanding leaders and creative thinkers for significant contributions to their communities and the architecture profession. Recipients include University of Kansas graduates Jake Banton, g’15, and Timarie Trarbach, g’12. Read full article.
A University of Mississippi geologist’s collaboration with researchers at the University of Arkansas has yielded the discovery and digital preservation of the first tracks of carnivorous dinosaurs ever found in Arkansas. Brian Platt, g’05, PhD’12, assistant professor of geology and geological engineering at UM, was lead author of “LiDAR-based characterization and conservation of the first theropod dinosaur trackways from Arkansas, USA,” an article in the Jan. 2 edition of the journal Public Library of Science ONE. Read full article.
Nikki Wentling’s in-depth reporting on veterans’ issues for Stars and Stripes serves to keep former military members and the public informed about everything from political maneuverings in the halls of Congress to malfeasance in local medical centers. Wentling, j’14, was named one of HillVets’ top reporters on the veteran experience. Read full article.
Lawrence resident and former Journal-World editorial page editor Ann Gardner, j’75, has received one of the state’s top journalism awards. Gardner received the Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award from the Kansas Press Association. The award recognizes a Kansas editor for a lifetime of achievement that involves commitment to community, the Kansas newspaper industry and the state. Read full article.
Nine KU students have reached the semi-finalist stage of the Fulbright competition. These nine applicants will now be reviewed by the respective country commissions and will learn in the spring if they will receive the prestigious award. Thirty-one students applied. Read full article.
From this day forward no member of the Boston Celtics will ever again wear No. 34. That number will forever be associated with the name Paul Pierce and hang in the rafters above the Celtics’ signature parquet floor, with the likes of Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Robert Parrish and Kevin McHale. Pierce is a former KU basketball player. Read full article.
Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at email@example.com, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.
It’s the first time in KU history that a mother and daughter graduated together from the KU School of Social Welfare. Carole Painte Walker walked down the Hill last May with her daughter, Kelly. The pair earned Master of Science in Social Work degrees. Read full article.
Jim McCrossen is one of eight journalism teachers from across the country who will receive the National Scholastic Press Association’s (NSPA) Pioneer Award this year. McCrossen, j’84, has taught at the school for the past 24 years. Read full article.
KU alumnus Aric Toler was interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered, where he discussed his work for Bellingcat.
KU Alum Aric Toler was on NPR’s All Things Considered today, discussing his work for Bellingcat. Toler, c’11, g’13, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Slavic languages and literatures. Read interview transcript.
The professional football team announced Mayra Aguirre, Executive Director, Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund, as the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. Aguirre, l’07, was honored during a pregame ceremony on the field at the team’s Sept. 25 game against the New York Jets. Read full article.
Jason Barr created the Lawrence-based podcast A.D.D., which started out as an art podcast but morphed into a culture show with a real cast. Barr, c’10, ran an indie rock show at KJHK while he was a student at KU. Read full article.
KU alumnus’ documentary celebrates national prairie reserve in Flint Hills | University Daily Kansan
After learning that the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve was about to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Dave Kendall started work on a film that explores the history of the eastern Kansas preserve. Kendall graduated with an undergraduate degree in cultural geography in 1975 and received master’s degrees in journalism and anthropology in 1983. Read full article.
Hutchinson native Rick Bright became intrigued with the devastating 1918 flu pandemic that started at the U.S. Army base at Fort Riley and spread globally. He spent a couple of years studying at the University of Kansas, and finished his bachelor’s degree in biology – medical technology – and physical sciences from Auburn University. 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.
In a blog post titled “One Bad Loss” Paul Pierce shared his memories of the one that got away in 1997, and for Pierce, ’99, KU’s epic upset loss to Arizona still stings.
“Our team was just about unstoppable that season — we started the year 22-0,” Pierce noted. “ESPN was calling us the national title favorites. Our only loss during the regular season was against Mizzou in double OT, and we beat them by double-digits the next two times we faced them.”
The 1996-97 Jayhawks featured a line-up many consider the best in KU’s storied history, including future NBA stars like Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz and Scot Pollard, along with Jacque Vaughn, Jerod Hasse, Ryan Robertson and Billy Thomas to boot.
“We entered the 1997 NCAA tournament that year as the No. 1 overall seed and won our first two games convincingly. In the Sweet 16, we were set to face No. 4 Arizona. We had beaten them the previous season in the Sweet 16, so I felt like we were ready.”
But fate has a funny way of manifesting itself, and as KU relished the role of Cinderella in ’88, it would experience the madness of March in ’97 running headlong into eventual NCAA Tournament Champion Arizona, which had a date with destiny. Despite a thrilling comeback, KU would fall by three points, as a last-second shot clanged off the rim. As bad as the loss was for the rest of the team to take, it might have been harder on Pierce. Like all champions, Pierce wanted the ball in that clutch situation, and he remains haunted by those final seconds in which he never touched the ball.
A University Daily Kansan clipping captured the heartbreaking loss
“Coming all the way back from a big deficit and me not having a crack at the final shot made it hurt that much worse. I just remember crying in the locker room after that game. All of us were crying — the entire team was completely devastated. To us, it was a wasted season.”
KU Alumni and fans also shed tears along with Head Coach Roy Williams, who would call it the most painful loss of his coaching career. But as Pierce concluded, that’s why they call it March Madness.
“The tournament is unforgiving. If you have one bad game, that’s it. Throughout my career I’ve had many losses, but all these years later, this is one that still stings.”
Pierce’s full post, including pictures and video clips, can be read online at theplayerstribune.com. Danny Manning’s reflection on the ’88 championship, titled “It’s Over,” was featured earlier this year.
Following the tragic events that occurred this week at the Boston Marathon when two bombs exploded near the finish line, KU alumni have been sharing their first-hand experiences and perspectives:
Several KU alumni attended either as runners or spectators, including Clifton Railsback, e’97, a former KU distance runner, and Tiffany Francis, who is married to KU soccer coach Mark Francis. Peter Johnston, c’94, l’97, and his wife Sara, c’96, m’00, of Salina, also traveled to Boston with friends and fellow KU alumni Chris Rupe, c’00, m’04, and his wife Abby, c’01, m’05 (pictured together here).
Chris, a Salina surgeon, finished seconds before the first bomb exploded and rushed to assist medics on the scene. His story of heroism was reported locally in the Salina Journal and nationally by RunnersWorld.com.
Ramsey Mohsen, b’05, a Kansas City blogger and social media director, tweeted and blogged from Boston while there to support his girlfriend, Ali Hatfield, who also blogged about her experience. Mohsen’s blog includes a tweet-by-tweet accounting (pictured at right).
Another runner was School of Journalism alumna Colleen McCain Nelson, j’97, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and reporter for the Wall Street Journal in Washington, D.C. Nelson, who was editor of the University Daily Kansan while at KU, finished the marathon just before the bombing, and her personal account was published in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. (Members might recall our feature story on Nelson in Kansas Alumni, issue 3, 2010.)
In Lawrence, many KU students joined an estimated 100 local runners in a “Run for Boston” event—similar to those taking place around the country—at South Park organized by KU alumnus Jon King, l’93.
Kansas City PR executive, Mike Swenson, j’76, posted this professional perspective on crisis communications and the news coverage that follows events like the tragedy in Boston.
Former KU basketball player Paul Pierce, ’98, (@PaulPierce34), who plays now for the Boston Celtics, shared this tweet with followers: “My prayers go out to everybody affected by yesterday. Boston, let’s come back stronger.”
These alumni join all of us in support of those affected.