Remembering The Crossing on the anniversary of its demolition

Posted on Apr 19, 2019 in Campus News and News

Hawks Crossing

This weekend marks the anniversary of an event that many Jayhawks would rather forget. The Crossing, a campus icon, was demolished in 2008 to make way for the Oread Hotel.

The building opened in 1923 as Rock Chalk Café. It served as a lunch haven for students and catered to soldiers during World War II. Through the years, it became a go-to spot for students to spend an afternoon relaxing on the porch or playing darts inside. And if a student was hungry, Yello Sub and the Glass Onion were right next door.

Andrea Graham and her college boyfriend, Brandon, were big fans of the bar during their time at KU in the early 2000s. “My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, threw me a surprise 22nd birthday party at the Crossing,” says Andrea, j’02. “We loved that place!”

After a new owner took over in 2006, the bar stayed open until the teardown date arrived. The nine-story hotel complex opened in 2010.

In total, the bar was open for 85 years at 12th Street and Oread Avenue. The bar’s name fluctuated as owners changed in the 70s and 80s. Monikers for the dive bar included New Haven, Catfish Bar ‘N Grill, and Rock Chalk Bar. It became known only as The Crossing in 1988.

If you want to take a real trip down memory lane, check out the aptly-named “I drank at the Crossing in Lawrence Kansas in the 80s” Facebook group.

Do you have some memories or stories from hanging out at the Crossing that you’d like to share? Send them our way at share@kualumni.org.

—Ryan Camenzind

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Jayhawk Career Network helps connect Ad Club, NYC Jayhawks

Posted on Apr 18, 2019 in Campus News and News

KU Ad Club JCN

When a group of KU students needed help connecting with alumni in New York City, the Jayhawk Career Network was there to help.

The KU Ad Club is a student organization that hosts professionals in advertising and marketing to discuss their career journeys. In April, the group took its biennial trip to New York City, home to one of the largest networks of advertising agencies. With an assist from the Jayhawk Career Network, 11 students were able to meet with KU alumni at multiple agencies in the area.

“It was a lot of work planning the trip,” says Wilcox, a senior in journalism and president of the Ad Club.  “We had some connections from when we visited two years ago, and the Alumni Association helped us find more businesses with alumni. KU grads in New York are outnumbered by east coast schools, so when Jayhawks come by they really want to help you succeed.”

One of the highlights of the trip was a panel discussion at NBC, featuring five employees who got their start at KU. Jamie Cuthburth, b’95, senior vice president of integrated marketing at NBC, organized and moderated the panel.

“Some of the panelists didn’t even know their co-workers went to KU,” Wilcox says. “It was cool seeing them all working at such a prestigious company, and to know they were in our shoes at one point.”

The trip to New York also meant a chance to make a KU Mentoring connection in person. Wilcox had previously connected with Carol Journey Adler, b’09, an enterprise account executive at Apple.

“I spoke with her over the phone earlier in the semester, and she gave me good advice and recommended a couple of sales books to read,” Wilcox says. “We met at a KU alumni happy hour in New York, where I got a chance to meet her in person and continue the conversation.”

—Ryan Camenzind

If you want to make connections with alumni like Stephanie did, the Jayhawk Career Network give students and alumni access to career resources, jobs, events, programming and connections at every stage of their career. Services include KU Mentoring, a job board, informational articles and more. For more information about the Jayhawk Career Network, contact Kristi Laclé, assistant vice president for the Jayhawk Career Network, at kristilacle@kualumni.org.

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Memorial Stadium memories: A conversation with Howard Graham

Posted on Apr 12, 2019 in Campus News and News

Memorial Stadium Football

As David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium approaches its 100th year, one researcher has set out to find untold stories of the historic building.

Howard Graham, g’09, spends his days in the Office of First Year Experience as associate director of academic programs. He’s also a doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

Graham’s dissertation has him deep diving into the history of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. More than just memories from football games, Graham is looking for the experiences students, alumni, and fans have all shared in the building.

“I want to make sure we have living memories,” said Graham. “I want living stories for future researchers, for students, faculty and staff to be able to go into the archives and read your stories, and to best understand how Memorial Stadium has been a part of this community.”

Conversation with Howard Graham

David Johnston, vice president for strategic communications and digital media at the KU Alumni Association, sat down with Howard Graham to discuss the history of the nearly 100-year-old center of campus.

Part one includes discussions on the commonality of Memorial Stadium experiences, and Johnston, j’94, g’06, shared his own Memorial Stadium memories from attending the Kansas Relays as a boy, which led to him competing for the KU track and field team.

(If listening on a mobile device, click “Listen in browser.” If you already have the SoundCloud app installed, or want to install it, click “Play on SoundCloud.” 

Part two’s topics include the first walk down the Hill for Commencement, the annual Traditions Night to welcome freshmen, and how the game of football has changed from its violent beginnings.

Alumni are invited to share their memories of Memorial Stadium, whether they include football games, track meets, traditions night, commencement, or any kind of gathering in the historic stadium set at the foot of the Hill.

If you have a Memorial Stadium experience you’d like to share, email your stories to Howard at hgraham@ku.edu.

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Driving with Jayhawks: Curtis Marsh

Posted on Mar 28, 2019 in Campus News and News

Every Jayhawk seems to know, or know of, Curtis Marsh. He’s the quintessential “KU guy,” overflowing with knowledge about everything Jayhawk-related from his years of managing KU Info.

Marsh recently started a new job at KU Endowment as the associate development director for the KU School of Music and the Lied Center.

Marsh, j’92, is in the passenger seat for this edition of “Driving with Jayhawks.” He shares tales of his favorite KU traditions— including a piece of history we bet you didn’t know— and the story of one of the greatest characters born in Allen Field House.

WATCH:

 
Thanks to our postseason partner, Crown Automotive, for allowing us to use the Jayhawk car for this series. Click here to watch more “Driving with Jayhawks” videos.

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Driving with Jayhawks: David Johanning

Posted on Mar 23, 2019 in Campus News and News

We hit the road again for our next installment of “Driving with Jayhawks” with David Johanning.

Johanning, f’94, played basketball for the University of Kansas from 1992-94. He is currently the managing partner of The Sandbar, a popular bar in downtown Lawrence.

Johanning talks about what it’s really like to own a bar and his path to KU. Find out more about the game he’ll never forget being a part of. And, he shares some memories about playing for basketball coach Roy Williams.

WATCH:

Thanks to our postseason partner, Crown Automotive, for allowing us to use the Jayhawk car for this series. Click here to watch more “Driving with Jayhawks” videos.

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Driving with Jayhawks: Heidi Simon

Posted on Mar 21, 2019 in Campus News and News

KU Alumni is Driving with Jayhawks!

Our first guest is Heidi Simon, senior associate director for freshman and transfer recruitment for KU’s Office of Admissions.

Simon, g’00, takes a ride down Jayhawk Boulevard with our host, Ryan Camenzind, j’17. She talks about what incoming Jayhawks need to know about KU, her favorite place on campus, and some of her favorite KU basketball memories.

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Thanks to our postseason partner, Crown Automotive, for allowing us to use the Jayhawk car for this series. Click here to watch more “Driving with Jayhawks” videos.

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Kansas City Jayhawk shares Rock Chalk Ball memories

Posted on Mar 6, 2019 in Campus News and News

Sasha Boulware Rock Chalk BallKU’s biggest party is coming soon to Kansas City.

Rock Chalk Ball, the annual celebration of KU and its alumni is set for April 27 at Bartle Hall.

Sasha Flores Boulware is entering her third year as a Rock Chalk Ball chair, after attending the ball for years with her husband Al, c’98, l’02, g’02.

Boulware, c’98, g’00, earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and remained at KU to complete her MBA. She formerly worked for Pfizer and Accenture Foundation and is currently a part-time consultant. Sasha also has volunteered for Jayhawks for Higher Education and the Emily Taylor Center’s advisory board.

We reached out to Boulware, who lives in Fairway, to hear about her experiences at KU and with Rock Chalk Ball.

Why did you want to be a co-chair of Rock Chalk Ball?

The ball is one of my favorite events and it never disappoints. Every year there is a new twist on what is offered to attendees. The detail I’m most excited about this year is the beneficiary of the Fund-A-Need, the Jayhawk Career Network. This tool gives Jayhawks the ability to truly connect and help each other far beyond their days on the hill and I love that!

What is your favorite Rock Chalk Ball memory?​​​

Watching Dan Besco do a live carving of a Jayhawk in 2017 was amazing. I will always remember his excitement that day when he finished and presented the sculpture. That positive vibe is what Rock Chalk Ball is all about!

What advice do you have for young professionals looking to take the next step in their careers?

Networking and more networking, and not just with people in your current industry. I found that when I was ready for a change, it was the people I had meaningful relationships with who took a chance on me. It’s also how I learned about different opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

Hosted by the KU Alumni Association and the Greater Kansas City Network, Rock Chalk Ball unites Jayhawks in the nation’s largest KU community and raises funds for Association programs to advocate for KU; communicate to alumni and friends in all media; recruit students and volunteers; serve current students, alumni and KU; and unite all Jayhawks.

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Cleared for Lunch: ‘Free Food at KU’ then and now

Posted on Mar 5, 2019 in Campus News and News

Kristopher Velasco | Free Food Finder and @freefoodatku
For years, University of Kansas students have used a Twitter account to find a slice of pizza here or a hot dog there.

Kristopher Velasco’s idea for getting the word out about free food turned into a staple for student-campus synergy. Students got the free food they wanted, and campus organizations got students to their events—all thanks to the succinctly named @FreeFoodAtKU account.

“When I was at KU, I spent nearly all of my time in the Union, and I saw so many events offering free food,” Velasco, c’13, said. “Over time, I became convinced that you could probably get free food every single day on campus if you just knew where to look. And as a poor college student, I knew that there were a lot of students out there like myself who would love to have this information.”

Love at First Bite

Soon after the first tweet, Velasco realized it wouldn’t have to be a one-man show.

“At first, I thought the account would primarily be successful because everyone loves free food,” he said. “I knew students would be interested in knowing about giveaways, whether it be pizza from the Dole Institute of Politics, hot dogs from the Alumni Association, or tea and cookies from SUA.

“What I didn’t expect was the support the account got from those giving out free food. As the account grew, organizations or departments holding events with free food would tweet at the account, hoping it would be shared and increase attendance to whatever they were promoting. That really helped the account take off because I became aware of so many more opportunities for free food. Even random students would tweet at the account letting us know about opportunities. It quickly felt like this was a tool everyone could benefit from, with students wanting food and organizers wanting students.”

As the man behind the curtain, Velasco faced a choice about revealing his identity.

“It was generally a secret. People close to me knew who was behind the account, but not a lot of people knew at first,” he said. “As the account became more prominent, though, and I would run into people I never met before talking about it, I would start to divulge. So over time it became well known who was behind it.”

Today, Velasco is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin working on a PhD in sociology. (No word yet on the quality of free food at UT.)

Free Food today

@FreeFoodAtKU is still active on Twitter today, tipping off students to campus events with giveaways. With food insecurity a growing issue, more options are now available for the campus community. The Campus Cupboard, a grocery store-style resource organized by the Center for Community Outreach, is open to anyone in need.

This year, the Student Alumni Network introduced the Free Food Finder. The calendar feed sends a push notification to students’ phones when there’s a bite to eat available. The Free Food Finder is available to all students at kustudentalumni.org and in the KU Alumni app.

Free Food Finder

Students, to find free food resources on campus, follow these steps:

  • Download the KU Alumni app.
  • Enable push notifications. We promise we won’t blast you with too many!
  • Register. Just tap “Register,”and enter your name and student ID number.
  • After you register, you’ll see a tile in the app called “Free Food,” which features a calendar that includes upcoming opportunities to find free food!

If your campus event offers free food and you want to include it on the app’s Free Food Finder, fill out our submission form. Events are added to the Student Alumni Network’s Free Food Finder calendar and promoted to KU Student Alumni Network members through email and push notifications. Only campus entities and KU Alumni partners are allowed to submit events for promotion. The KU Alumni Association reserves the right to decline submissions that don’t fit or align with our mission.

—Ryan Camenzind

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Rock Chalk Revue celebrates 70 years

Posted on Feb 28, 2019 in Campus News and News

On the 70th anniversary of the University’s student-run variety show for a cause, the KU Alumni Association presents the past and present of Rock Chalk Revue.

Variety shows on KU’s campus trace back to “College Daze,” a revue sponsored by the student union introduced after World War II.

In 1949, Roy Wonder, b’50, wanted a campus variety show with higher student participation.

Check out our online feature to learn more about the storied history of Rock Chalk Revue, one of the nation’s largest student-run philanthropy events. The event has raised more than $1 million for community non-profit organizations throughout its history.

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KU Mentoring connects current, aspiring sports communicators

Posted on Jan 10, 2019 in Campus News and News

Dayton Hammes, Jayhawk Career Network

The KU Mentoring program offers students the chance to get their burning career questions answered by those who know best: people in their career field.

Dayton Hammes, a sport management student and communications intern for Kansas Athletics, took advantage of the platform to connect with a pro in her dream field of college athletics communications.

Andrew Sherwood, j’08, has worked in collegiate athletics since graduation, including two years with the Williams Education Fund. We sat down with Dayton to hear more about her experience.

How did you and Andrew connect?

I was looking for a KU alumnus in college athletics to talk to, and a coworker recommended Andrew to me. I reached out to him on KU Mentoring and he was more than happy to talk!

What did you talk with him about?

As someone who wants to pursue a career in collegiate athletic communications, he shared a lot of his own personal experiences in the industry and what to do to continue finding new opportunities. We actually had the opportunity to meet in Dallas over fall break, and we are still in contact today!

Why would you recommend students use KU Mentoring?

The platform is a great resource for students that might not have many connections in their industry of interest. Personally, I already had several mentors in the industry, but the platform is great for students who aren’t sure how to make the first move to find that go-to person for advice. It’s great to immediately have a connection with alumni on the platform by being Jayhawks.

What advice do you have for students for using KU Mentoring?

Reach out to alumni and don’t be afraid to meet or set up a call with one! Alumni want to help students be the best they can be.

The Jayhawk Career Network provides a central hub to coordinate career connections and networking opportunities for students and alumni at every life stage. KU Mentoring is part of the Jayhawk Career Network and provides a mentor matching program for students and alumni to create connections as well as provide professional insight and opportunities. The Jayhawk Career Network is open to all KU alumni and students.

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