At this time of year we joyously celebrate our newest assembly of graduates and wish them well in their personal and professional journeys. And then something powerful happens. Our new alumni apply what they’ve learned here, add more knowledge along the way, and, given a little more time and some hard work, emerge as leaders.
Our alumni give so much of their time, treasure, and talent to the University of Kansas that it is truly uplifting. One intangible gift they offer, specifically for KU students, is inspiration. These Jayhawks combined their knowledge, experiences, and KU connections and then fashioned them into remarkable success.
Throughout the year, the schools and the College make a point to recognize a handful of alumni who are shaping their workplace, their fields, their communities, and society. On Friday night, the School of Pharmacy recognized alumnus Joe Courtright, CEO of USA Drug, now part of Walgreens.
This weekend the School of Law presented its top alumni honor to three graduates, Judge Karen Arnold-Burger chief judge of the Kansas Court of Appeals; John Bowman, partner with King & Spalding LLP; and William “Brad” Bradley Jr., founder of NIC Inc. In September, the College feted diplomat and executive Delano Lewis, and the School of Architecture and Design announced three recipients of its inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards.
In February, the School of Music delivered its first Outstanding Music Educator Award to Kelli Baker during a statewide music educators workshop. In the coming days, the School of Business and the School of Engineering will announce honors for some of their luminaries; the School of Education will honor alumna and Superintendent of the Kansas City, Kansas, School District Cynthia Lane with KU’s Friend of Education Award; and the School of Social Welfare will recognize excellent field instructors, many of whom are program alumni, with the annual Margo Award.
Delano Lewis. Photo by Brian Goodman Photography.
The recognition of our Jayhawks isn’t limited to academic units. Achievements come from near and far. Music alumnus and organist Brian Mathias was recently selected to join one of the nation’s biggest gigs, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Over the past year, two of our alumni, Diane Yetter and Terry Putney, were named among Accounting Today’s 2017 “100 Most Influential People in Accounting.”
Closer to home, the KU Alumni Association presented its 2017 Fred Ellsworth Medallion to College alumnus John Mize and B-School alumnus John B. Dicus, who, incidentally, is now the first third-generation recipient of the award. In October the Black Alumni Network of the KU Alumni Association celebrated nine alumni — including Associate Dean of Engineering Andrew Williams and Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs Reggie Robinson — with the Mike and Joyce Shinn Leaders and Innovators Award.
Our institution-wide pinnacle, KU’s Honorary Degree, is regularly bestowed upon influencers, change leaders, and innovators, including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos.
Students, the abundant success of our alumni tells us something valuable: It’s important to take calculated risks and seize the opportunities as they appear to us. Be bold as you embark on your careers. As faculty and staff, we’ve seen your potential firsthand. We know you’re destined to succeed. Promise me you’ll maintain connections to KU — social media can’t do it all. Make a point to really stay in touch with each other and this great institution. What you know matters. Who you know matters, too.
One day in the future, and sooner than you might think, you too will be an inspiration for a fresh generation of KU graduates. You have it in you to be a leader. We know because you’re already a Jayhawk.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
It’s time for our sometimes-annual roundup of holiday cards from departments across the University of Kansas campus.
KU School of Music
The KU School of Music’s video greeting includes original music and animation by Leslee Wood, a graduate student working on a doctorate in musicology. The music is performed by the Bellissimo bell choir, directed by KU alumnus Jackson Thomas.
KU School of Law
Dean Stephen Mazza and the entire KU School of Law family are wishing Jayhawks an easy, breezy holiday season filled with peace & good cheer. Their greeting gives a playful nod to Dean Mazza’s area of expertise, tax policy and procedure.
KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
As the fall semester drew to a close, the College took the time to thank those who makes the KU experience special for everyone involved with a snowy picture of the bronze “Academic Jay” outside their office in Strong Hall.
Thank you, Jayhawks, for another fantastic semester. It’s you, our creative, compassionate and curious faculty, students, staff and alumni, that make the College the #HeartofKU. We appreciate all you do and hope you enjoy the winter break! pic.twitter.com/jhV3m7hWox
Check out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly 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 email@example.com.
Labette County District Judge Jeffry L. Jack has been appointed to sit with the Kansas Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in one case on the court’s Tuesday docket. Jack was appointed a Labette County district judge in 2005. He graduated from the KU School of Law in 1987. Read full article.
Gregory Benefiel was confirmed as the next McPherson County Attorney Thursday evening. Benefiel, l’06, is currently an assistant attorney general for the state of Kansas in the criminal litigation division. Read full article.
Mahesh Daas, dean of the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design (Arc/D), and the school’s Dean’s Advisory Board have announced the names of Arc/D’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards. They are furniture designer Wendell Castle, designer and community planner Silvia Vargas, and architect Jim Walters. The Young Architect-Designer Award recipients are architects Justin Cratty and Kenneth Simmons. Read full article.
Visual artist Nick Strange’s life revolves around his art. Strange, a University graduate who majored in visual art with an emphasis on printmaking, recently returned to his alma mater to design the solar eclipse promotional posters seen around campus. Read full article.
Andy Hyland didn’t win when he appeared on “Jeopardy!” and in a way, maybe that’s a good thing. Hyland, who is an assistant director of strategic communications at the University of Kansas, was a contestant on the game show episode that aired Monday, Sept. 18. Read full article.
A new restaurant opened on Mass Street in downtown Lawrence recently. Stonewall Restaurant and Pizzeria features a unique combination of authentic New York-style pizza and home-cooked classics like fried chicken options. Joe Kieltyka, a University alumnus from New York City who opened and operated the original Stonewall Pizza in Lenexa in the late ’70s, co-owns and operates the restaurant. Read full article.
Bill James, baseball historian and analytics pioneer, and his daughter and researcher Rachel McCarthy James, chronicled a 15-year killing spree in small-town America that they believe was committed by one serial killer who hopped on and off trains. Read full article.
Stephen McAllister, a distinguished professor at the University’s law school, was nominated to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Kansas by President Donald Trump on Sept. 8. McAllister earned his bachelor’s from the University in 1985, and went on to graduate from the University’s law school in 1988. Read full article.
The University of Kansas has changed significantly over the past 20 years. Alumni, including Alumni Association staff member Jennifer Sanner, reflect on the changes in this feature from the Kansan, part of a larger special feature about the decade. Read full article.
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises has named R.J. Melman as the new president of Chicago’s largest restaurant group. His father, Rich Melman, founded the company 46 years ago. The younger Melman earned a degree in political science from KU in 2001. Read full article.
Allen County, Kansas, has been named as a 2017 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winner. Dave Toland, executive director of Thrive Allen County and a graduate of the university, shares more about what the prize means. Read full article.
Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine.
Rob Riggle, the actor, comedian, Fox NFL Sunday contributor, and Dos Equis “Most Interesting Fan” spokesperson, is a Kansas Jayhawks football fan. He’s an alum of the school and passionate to the point that when he hosted the ESPYs a couple of years ago, he had the house band play the fight song and was flanked by KU cheerleaders for his entrance. Read full article.
Those are the words of Sarah Frazier, CBS Radio Houston market manager, who has her team working frantically to keep the community informed during Hurricane Harvey. Frazier, j’94, told Radio Ink that Monday morning it was clear there was a need to offer local residents a constant stream of evacuation and shelter information. Read full article.
Former Kansas guard Michael Lee resigned his post as Portland (Ore.) Roosevelt High basketball coach in order to work on lifelong buddy/former KU guard Aaron Miles’ Santa Cruz Warriors NBA G-League staff. He and former KU point guard Miles are grads of Portland’s Jefferson High. They actually attended middle school, high school and college together — true definition of best friends. Read full article.
When you think biology degree, you may picture someone sitting in a lab or collecting specimens outside. For Stephanie Downes, a biology degree led to a different path, where skills in analyzing and experimenting help her engage audiences with digital media. Read full article.
Prosecuting Attorney Debra Mclaughlin was named as the judge for the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court in the Eastern Panhandle. McLaughlin, l’93, came to West Virginia in the late 1990s, and since 2002, has been a Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney. Read full article.
The 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America® has honored two Jayhawk attorneys from Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered. Sal Intagliata was honored for his work in the sectors of general practice and white collar criminal defense, and Trevor Riddle was honored in the criminal defense general practice sector. Both earned juris doctor degrees from the KU School of Law. Read full article.
Former Kansas Lt. Gov. Tom Docking died Thursday night at age 63. Docking served with Democratic Gov. John Carlin from 1983 to 1987. He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1986 but lost to Republican Mike Hayden. Read full article.
Mike Plank of Rock Chalk Talk sat down with Todd Reesing, starting quarterback of the 2007 Orange Bowl champion football team, to reminisce about that season and share what he’s been up to in Austin. Read full article.
Shala Mills was awarded the Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement, which was established in 2014 to honor exemplary faculty leadership in advancing the civic learning and engagement of undergraduate students. Mills, l’88, is chair and professor of political science at Fort Hays State University. Read full article.
The Office of Administration announced that Governor Greitens has appointed Guy Krause as Director of the Office of Administration’s Division of Personnel. Krause, l’90, has worked for the Office of Administration in various human resource and personnel positions since 1995. Read full article.
Michelle Larrabee-Martin and Greg Martin, owners of Kolo Collection in Atlanta, are featured in this article. The couple offers materials and design services in their business. Greg is a Kansas native who holds a law degree from KU. Read full article.
Kristi Rivera, d’08, g’10, always knew she wanted to be a teacher, and she has taught at Delaware Ridge Elementary in the Bonner Springs School District since 2009. Her brother nominated her to be recognized as the Blue KC Sporting Samaritan. Read full article.
Three new Ethics Commissioners were selected and sworn in August 3 in Wyandotte County, including John J. Bukaty, Jr., who holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. Read full article.
Nearly 10 years after the 2007 Kansas football team became the winningest in program history, members of the squad will see their names become permanent fixtures at the university. The entire team will be inducted into the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame, and Aqib Talib, ’09, Anthony Collins, ’09, and coach Mark Mangino will be inducted as individuals. Read full article.
Barry Slatt Mortgage has appointed Thomas Cohen as senior vice president in the firm’s San Diego office. Cohen, l’85, has more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage banking industry. Read full article.
Shala Mills has been appointed assistant vice president for graduate and extended learning at SUNY New Paltz, according to the college. Mills, l’88, will join the college administration on Aug. 28. She currently is director of liberal education and the political science chairwoman at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Read full article.
Kansas City’s culinary soulmates – barbecue and beer – are headed to the Power & Light District next spring in the form of a new locally owned restaurant. County Line Ice House is owned and operated by a newly-formed LLC that includes Jeff Stehney, j’84; Zach Marten, b’02, l’05, co-founder of Back Napkin Restaurant Group. Read full article.
Some phenomena in the ocean can only be witnessed after dark. Matt Davis, assistant professor of biology at St. Cloud State University explains “milky seas” in this article. Davis earned a PhD in ecology and evolution from the university in 2010. Read full article.
Grey Group promoted Michael Houston to Worldwide Chief Executive Officer. A 10-year veteran of Grey, Houston, c’15, has served since 2016 as Global President and becomes only the fifth person to hold the CEO position since Grey’s founding in 1917. Read full article.
If you attended the University of Kansas or lived in Lawrence during the early 2000s, you might remember the radical politics of Solidarity. The ECM has housed the Solidarity Library for about 10 years now, according to Ailecia Ruscin, a local photographer who helped found Solidarity as a KU graduate student around the dawn of the millennium. Read full article.
Former Kansas point guard Aaron Miles, who got a crack at the NBA and spent eight years playing overseas and later coaching on KU coach Bill Self’s staff, officially was named the head coach of the NBA G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors on Wednesday. Read full article.
Clay Barker, the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, on Monday joined the staff of Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer in anticipation of Gov. Sam Brownback’s resignation. Barker graduated from the KU School of Law in 1997. Read full article.
Jessica Nelson has been selected for the KC Chamber’s ATHENA Young Professionals Leadership Award. Nelson, j’11, is the current president of the Greater Kansas City Network of the KU Alumni Association and is the managing director for TeamKC:Life+Talent with the Kansas City Area Development Council. Read full article.
Holly Teeter, l’06, has been nominated by President Trump to be a federal judge in Kansas. Teeter currently works in Kansas City, Missouri, and her background includes work at the Shook, Hardy & Bacon law firm’s Kansas City office. Read full article.
The University of Kansas will soon have a new interim vice chancellor for public affairs. Reggie Robinson, director of KU’s School of Public Affairs and Administration, will assume his new role effective Aug. 14, KU announced earlier this week. Robinson, a KU alumnus, has led the School of Public Affairs and Administration since 2014. Read full article.
In her new position at the AAG office, Emily Fekete will lend her expertise in communications and media geographies to the communications team through new content curation, social media and program development. Fekete holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Jenifer Ashford, a Prairie Village resident who current serves as prosecutor for the cities of Shawnee and Lake Quivira, has been named to fill a 10th judicial district magistrate judge opening. Ashford, who graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law, will be sworn in later this month. Read full article.
Russ and Linda Sims, e’79, have sort of made it their signature move to take a bright blue flag that reads “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” to all of the historic and scenic places they’ve traveled to both capture the moment and represent the Jayhawks. Read full article.
The Institute for Energy Law is honoring Houston partner John Bowman, l’80, with its Lifetime Achievement in Energy Litigation Award, which is given to one energy litigator each year whose achievements “have won the admiration of his or her peers,” according to the organization. Read full article.
Barry Swanson, the university’s chief procurement officer, has left Kansas after spending the better part of his career in Lawrence. Swanson, c’83, began working at the University of Kentucky at the end of June as its Chief Procurement Officer. Read full article.
Former KU basketball player C.B. McGrath, an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina for the past 14 seasons, is hosting basketball clinics as the new head coach at UNC-Wilmington. Read full article.
Topeka native Mark Turgeon, c’87, had last been to Lawrence in March 2011, when his fourth and final Texas A&M team fell to the Jayhawks 64-51 as part of KU’s Senior Day festivities at Allen Fieldhouse. Read full article.
Shelly Freeman, a 30-year veteran with a specialty in employment law, joined Jackson Lewis PC’s Overland Park office as a principal. Freeman, l’88, previously worked at her firm, Freeman & Fowler LLC in Kansas City. She also is president of FineLine HR Consulting. Read full article.
Remember that Kansas team that reached back-to-back Final Fours (2002-03) and the national title game in ’03? Although he played just two games in the Association, Keith Langford might have had the most successful professional career of anyone on that squad. His list of overseas accomplishments make him look like the Kobe Bryant of Europe. Read full article.
Jeffrey Dingman is a finalist for the city manager’s job in Topeka. Dingman has more than 20 years of local government experience and earned a law degree and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Former University of Kansas player Aaron Miles is the new head coach of the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors. Miles comes from Florida Gulf Coast, where he was an assistant under head coach Joe Dooley, a former KU assistant. Read full article.
Clinkscales Elder Law Practice, P.A. announced last week that Adam C. Dees recently joined its team of professionals. Dees, l’11, joins the firm as an Associate Attorney and will focus on estate planning and elder law. Read full article.
With a busy coaching career and family life dominating most of his time, former Kansas sharp-shooter Jeff Boschee has not been able to get back to Lawrence as often as he would have liked since the end of his playing days. He returned last weekend for the Hardwood Classic AAU tournament at Sports Pavilion. 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 email@example.com.
Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Peter Goplerud, l’74, who joins the firm as Of Counsel and brings more than 40 years of legal experience to the firm’s Business Transactions practice. Read full article.
The Woodward family has a deep history in Lawrence, including the Round Corner Drug Store, which they owned and leased for decades. Pete Woodward’s great-grandfather was an early member of the University of Kansas Board of Regents, and his grandfather was president of the KU Alumni Association. Read full article.
Former Kansas forward David Magley has stepped down as commissioner of the National Basketball League of Canada after fulfilling terms of his two-year contract and will serve as president/chief operating officer of the new North American Premier Basketball League. Read full article.
“Garfield: The Musical With Cattitude” opened Friday night and, even at the matinee show the following day, the actors, including alumna Brianna Woods, gave energized performances that would make you think it was opening night all over again. Read full article.
As one of the first American designers to challenge the boundary between utility and fine art, Wendell Castle creates an enticing breed of objects marked by superior craftsmanship and ingenuity in form, style, and technique. Castle, f’58, g’66, received an honorary degree from KU in 2013. Read full article.
Circuit Judge John Christian Yoder, whose work in law and politics spanned more than 40 years, including two terms in the West Virginia Senate, died Friday as a result of complications from heart surgery. He began a career in government service in his native state of Kansas and graduated from KU School of Law in 1975. Read full article.
NASA was slammed with a record number of astronaut applicants this year and out of more than 183,000 people, only 12 were given that proverbial golden ticket. The deserving dozen includes a Texan and University of Kansas graduate named Loral O’Hara. Read full article.
Peter Mallouk, c’93, b’93, l’97, g’97, an estate planning attorney, started his business with an eye toward servicing medical professionals in suburban Kansas City. Today the company, Creative Planning, is at the vanguard of a profound shift in finance. Read full article.
David Seely, l’82, was elected the new president of the Wichita Bar Association. He joined Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch in 1984 and focuses on civil litigation, especially cases involving oil and gas. Read full article.
Philosophy majors spend their college years pondering deep questions, such as: What is the meaning of life? Do we have free will? And what job am I going to get with this degree after graduation? As chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Sheila Bair, c’75, l’78, leaned on her philosophy degree from the University of Kansas to make crucial decisions during the financial crisis. Read full article.
Nikki Glaser’s come a long way from her days as a reluctant college student at the University of Kansas. Eleven years after graduating with an English degree, Glaser’s back in Lawrence, this time as a headliner at the Free State Festival. Read full article.
The first couple to ever say “I do” in the new, upscale Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas, in a ceremony on Sunday, happened to be Olathe native Dan Ryckert and his beloved Bianca. Dan is a 2007 graduate of the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation recognized the third class of Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellows, which includes KU graduate Justin Fairchild, g’13. Read full article.
City Manager Matt Allen was presented with Leadership Kansas’ Jim Edwards Alumnus of the Year Award in recognition of what the organization viewed as his steady, innovative community leadership. Allen earned a master’s degree from KU in 1997. Read full article.
Frank Mack, who teaches arts administration at the University of Connecticut and previously led Shakespeare theater companies in California and New Jersey, has been named executive producer at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Mack earned a bachelor’s degree from KU in 1985. Read full article.
Henry Wear, g’14, received his Ph.D. in sport and entertainment management in May from South Carolina and earned his first postdoctoral position, as a lecturer in the sport management program at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Read full article.
The University of Kansas has selected Dr. Douglas Girod as its 18th chancellor. The search committee tasked with finding Gray-Miller’s successor has local ties. Greg Ek, b’76, was part of the 24-person search committee. He also serves as a board member for the KU Alumni Association and serves as the chairman of its audit committee. Read full article.
VIVUS, Inc., announced that Thomas B. King has been appointed to VIVUS’ board of directors. Mr. King’s nearly 40 years of pharmaceutical experience ranges from large to development-stage pharmaceutical companies. He received an MBA from the KU School of Business. Read full article.
Bernard Greenberg, a retired professor of entomology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, would assist law enforcement agencies in murder investigations by helping to determine details of the death from the presence or absence of bugs on the body. He earned a doctorate in entomology from the University of Kansas in 1953. Read full article.
Nate White, 39, was named chief operating officer of Sanford Health in 2012 and will become executive vice president, based in Fargo, beginning in August. he earned a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2004. Read full article.