While many University of Kansas alumni head to local game watch parties to feel like they’re back home in Lawrence, one family came to see if Lawrence was home.
Curtis Rach of Orange County, California, says he always pushed his kids to explore things outside of their home state. So when his son Davis was choosing a college, he had narrowed it down to two choices: follow his twin brother to Auburn, or strike out on his own at KU. To help him make the decision, Curtis took Davis to a local watch party for KU’s tournament game against Purdue last season.
Rach reached out to Ramy Rahman, b’09, Orange County Network leader, beforehand and told him about his plans. When he arrived at the watch party with Davis, they both were more than impressed with the hospitality.
“When people at the event heard he was thinking about KU, they all came up, introduced themselves, and told us stories about their experience at KU,” Rach said.
Both alumni and current students on spring break took time to meet Davis and his father. “What helped with the decision for him was how warm and inviting everyone was, and that they were so passionate about KU,” Rach explained.
The camaraderie and excitement of KU watch parties may have surprised the Rach family, but Danny Woods, assistant director of legacy and alumni programs, knows it well.
“The goal of watch parties is to provide a venue in which alumni can gather and feel like they’re back on campus for a big game,” Woods said. “When you graduate you’re still yearning for that experience. ”
He added that watch parties are like the “front porch” of KU alumni events. “They are often the first alumni gathering that people attend, and it opens the door for them to attend other events in their area.”
Davis carried through on his promise and is now a freshman at KU.
Interested in finding a watch party near you? Visit our website for a list of watch sites by state, and check out the online calendar for official watch parties organized by alumni networks.
Alumni play an important role in helping to recruit new students to the University of Kansas, and the KU Alumni Association works closely with the KU Office of Admissions in these efforts. Each year, the Office of Admissions staffs recruiters to represent KU throughout the state of Kansas an in key territories across the country. We asked each of the admissions reps to share a little information with us so alumni can get to know them.
Today’s post features Annie Frizzell, c’10, a native of Prairie Village. Annie is the Southern California Regional Representative.
What is your fondest memory of your time at KU?
I would guess this is probably true for a lot of other Jayhawks who were in Lawrence in 2008, but hands down my fondest memory during my time at KU is the 2008 National Championship. My friends and I watched the game in Allen Fieldhouse and were dancing on the court by the time overtime ended. Running full speed to Mass after the game and seeing the crowd grow larger by the second is something that I get chills just thinking about!
What clubs, organizations or traditions did you participate in as a student?
I joined Student Union Activities (SUA) as a senior at KU. Having been a devoted attendee of SUA events throughout my first three years on campus, it was so cool to be able to take a leadership position and be able to give back to the KU community. I was able to study abroad for a spring break and summer break during my undergrad career, as well. Walking past the British Museum on my way to class, reading Robert Burns in Scotland, visiting the moors in Haworth and understanding why Wuthering Heights is the way it is—I felt a really different kind of connection with what I was studying while I was abroad. I spent two summers working as an Orientation Assistant, as well; if you ever want a way to come “full circle” with your KU experience, that’s the perfect way to do it.
Name one class you think every KU student should take and why.
I was an English major (if it wasn’t obvious after that last answer) so I’ll take classes in that department off the table because I’m clearly biased. I took two linguistics classes and absolutely loved them. Language and the Mind (with Professor Sereno) was an incredibly compelling class and got me thinking about language in a whole new way.
When did you know you loved KU?
I started referring to Templin and Lawrence as home. I found an incredibly wonderful family of friends in my residence hall and classes and my transition to KU could not have been smoother. We all pushed each other to apply for different programs, honors societies, to “get involved with that group you keep talking about.” Having that support to get out there and jump into something new and different, while knowing I had a family of sorts (who hailed from all over– Kansas City, Pratt, KS, Atlanta, GA) who would welcome me back to Templin really cemented KU as my “home away from home.”
Describe your perfect day in Lawrence.
I’ve had a lot of perfect days in Lawrence. If I had to script it, it would likely involve eating on Mass. St. and watching a KU basketball game.
What’s the most important piece of advice you give prospective students?
Embrace your KU experience—don’t be afraid to try something new, go out of your way to meet new people, take classes that intrigue you that don’t have a thing to do with your major, and find a way to change KU for the better. You’re only here for four years—make them count!
How do you show your Jayhawk pride?
Working with Southern California students is a pretty perfect way to show my KU pride every day. When I’m not in and out of high schools and college fairs, I love walking around in San Diego in KU gear and seeing people notice the colorful bird on my clothes and (more often than I ever expected) stop me to tell me they went to KU. There are an awful lot of Jayhawks out here!
Tell us about your involvement with your local Alumni Association chapter and describe how this network can help prospective/current students.
I’m becoming more and more aware of the great network of KU alumni out here in Southern California. During my eight months as a San Diegan, I’ve attended quite a few watch parties at the Boardwalk in Mission Beach with the San Diego Chapter and have noticed that while KU grads are very excited to cheer with you, they’re also interested in who you are and how they can help connect you with other Jayhawks.
How does your KU degree help you in your career and daily life?
My KU degree has prepared me to do anything — nothing is out of reach. I am so proud of how I grew as a person during my four years in Lawrence and the confidence I carry stems from the University of Kansas diploma hanging on my wall and the knowledge that I represent a place that has changed so many lives. Also, I get to sign every email I send with a hearty “Rock Chalk!” and I think that’s just the greatest thing ever.
Click here to visit Annie’s page on the Office of Admissions website, which includes her recruitment territories and school visit schedule. Contact Annie at 619.501.5453 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.