Each spring Kansas senior student-athletes experience one of the proudest traditions bestowed upon a Jayhawk—receiving their K Rings.
After years of competition in the Crimson and Blue, practices and classes, triumphs and defeats, the senior class joins a group of extraordinary individuals who have poured their hearts and souls into their sports and studies.
The K Ring symbolizes a uniquely shared experience among generations of varsity letter-winners at Kansas. For senior rower Bailey Blood, it was an opportunity to celebrate the connection of three generations in her family.
Bailey received her K Ring April 22 on the tail end of her fourth season with Kansas rowing. For the special occasion, she honored her late grandfather, Bill Cole, by wearing his Kansas letter sweater—another treasured item earned by Jayhawks during his competition days.
As KU’s varsity rowing team prepares for its Oct. 22 season opener, the always festive Jayhawk Jamboree at Burcham Park on the Kansas River, one small bit of business remains unfinished: naming one of the two new boats that recently joined the Jayhawk fleet.
While one already has an as-yet-to-revealed name, the other shell awaits its moniker, and interim coach Carrie Cook-Callen, b’07, has opted to launch a naming contest. Cook-Callen suggests that entries incorporate University or state themes; to submit an entry, click here.
Fan voting will begin Oct. 16, when the finalists are revealed on the team’s Twitter and Facebook pages, @KU_rowing and /KansasRowing, and concludes the following day. The winning name will be revealed when the boat is christened at the Jayhawk Jamboree.
You might know her as the trainer on NBC’s hit show “The Biggest Loser,” or recognize her from the January 2015 cover of Health magazine. But did you know that Jen Widerstrom is also a Jayhawk?
Now a prominent fitness expert, the Chicago native arrived at KU eager to try a new sport. She originally joined the rowing team at KU and admits she was “so bad.” Late in her sophomore year, however, fate intervened when another coach spotted her lifting weights and persuaded her to try throwing hammer.
“To have people believe in me, and really support me in that transition, it really turned my life around at KU,” says Jen, d’05.
Watch our video below to learn more about how Jen stays connected to KU, what helped her make the decision to take on “The Biggest Loser” and why she’s a proud Life Member of the KU Alumni Association. Rock Chalk, Jen!
Have you seen the Harlem Shake videos taking the internet by storm? It’s the latest internet meme to go viral, and various groups in the KU community have created their own version, including the men’s basketball team, the volleyball team and even the student body.
What is it? It’s basically a video lasting around 30 seconds that features an excerpt from the song “Harlem Shake.” The video often starts with one person dancing with a group of people sitting or standing around the dancer and pretending not to notice the activity. After about 15 seconds, the video switches to the entire crowd dancing for the remainder of the video, often wearing crazy costumes. In a word, it’s silly.
A better question is “why is it.”
Here’s a roundup of the Harlem Shake videos we found that feature KU students.
KU volleyball team
KU men’s basketball team
Big Jay and the KU student section at the KU vs. Texas game
KU rowing team
KU students on Wescoe Beach (click here to read the Kansan coverage)
Who have we missed? Let us know by tweeting to us (@kualumni) or dropping an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.