On August 21, Lawrence and the University of Kansas campus were in the path of a rare solar eclipse. Estimates indicated that 99.3% of the sun would be blocked by the moon; however, cloudy conditions in Lawrence obstructed the view of the eclipse for most residents. We reached out to Jayhawks around the country to see how they celebrated the eclipse. Here are a few of their stories and photos. Enjoy!
Larry Stoppel, c’73 Optometrist, Drs. Stoppel & Brown, Optometrists, and Flint Hills Network volunteer
Larry Stoppel and his wife Nancy, d’73, headed to northeastern Washington County and waited at the Evangelical Lutheran St. John’s Cemetery for the solar eclipse. The cemetery is in Lanham, a community that sits on the state line between Kansas and Nebraska.
“The temperature dropped and it was very dark,” according to Nancy. “Looking at the sun when it was in totality was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Words can not describe it.”
Larry added that “the solar eclipse was AWESOME, but hard to photograph. I like this short video time lapse that runs from 10 minutes before, during totality and 10 minutes after.”
The week before the eclipse I was swamped with work and didn’t have very much time to plan, but I hopped on Amazon to find the most inexpensive solar filter possible for my camera. I found a 4×4 solar filter sheet, cut it to the diameter of my 70-300 mm telephoto lens, and affixed a UV filter so it would stay on during shooting.
The day of the eclipse I had quite a few conference calls to run, emails to answer and work, work, work but I wasn’t going to let that prevent me from capturing the eclipse. Around 9:05 a.m. (PT) I went outside to set up my Canon 6D camera and check out where the sun was going to be.
Initially we had some cloud coverage in Costa Mesa, but it eventually cleared and I was able to focus on the sun within a matter of minutes. I have a custom firmware installed that allows me to automate shooting with the built-in intervalometer which shot a 1/100th of a second exposure every 10 seconds with an f5.6 aperture and ISO set to 100.
I left the camera shooting right outside my office window and between work emails and calls, I went outside to reposition the camera to account for the movement of the sun out of frame. Eventually, around 11:49, I had captured about 856 shots of the entire event. Every shot was pretty clear considering we had no cloud coverage in SoCal that day—shocker, I know.
During my lunch break I downloaded the shots and began to post on Facebook. Here is the beginning of eclipse:
Then I went back to work and as the day was winding down, I discovered I had enough shots to do a progression. I took shots from 10-minute intervals of the event and compiled this:
Thomas Wall, g’11
Owner/Architect, Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design
Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design in St. Louis was the location of a little-known KU alumni eclipse watch party. With over half my staff being graduates, pretty much every day is.
My wife, Megan (Lowdermilk) Wall, d’97, joined us about 11:15 a.m. and I got to work setting up my late father’s telescope. After much fiddling, focusing, adjusting, and focusing again, I managed to get the telescope focused on the sun (with a filter of course) and my camera attached to it.
By noon, everyone in the office was coming in and out in a constant parade. I don’t think any work got done for about 90 minutes.
But soon the moon started taking a sizable bite out of the sun, and we all stood together outside looking up at the sky. I haven’t seen this many Jayhawks looking at an orange ball since Mario’s Miracle. And when the sky got dark, and the birds stopped chirping and the crickets started, we all exclaimed at the same time. Seeing the green and gold and red and purple shooting from the sun as totality was reached was a site to behold. It was truly an amazing experience.
Photos shot with a Canon 6D using a Celestron C5 telescope as a lens.
The pair of KU Alumni Association program staffers are looking at potential growth cities as part of their goal of unique and diverse programming across the nation. Their itinerary included visits to Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Phoenix, and New York City.
Kallail, d’04, l’07, and Woods, j’13, hosted a meeting at each stop to connect existing network leaders with new area volunteers. They introduced their plan for successful networks to the group, and then let the local alumni plan amongst themselves.
“We really want to empower all of the network leaders,” Woods said. “These leaders know their network way better than we ever could. We just want to give them the tools to build a successful network and let them run with it. This will ultimately help the network sustain and grow for years to come.”
One of the main goals of the network visits was to promote planning events in all of the five event buckets such as Rock Chalk Connect, which provides networking opportunities, and Rock Chalk Cultivate, which gives alumni the opportunity to learn a new skill—often from other Jayhawks.
“For our network moving forward, I would like to see the meeting’s enthusiasm to continue,” Brandon Snook, New York City network leader, said. “I want us to fully embrace the new event branding, which I love…especially KU Cares. It will be a great way for us to give back to the community, and strengthen our bonds in the process. I hope the new branding will be a springboard for our network board, and that everyone involved won’t be hesitant in popping out fresh new ideas for programming.”
Kallail and Woods also introduced a new structure for network leadership. Instead of traditional roles such as president, vice president, and treasurer, networks will have leaders who manage event buckets. “I like the concept of having a group with individuals focused on different areas of outreach for the Alumni Association,” Scott Lundgren, Portland network leader, said.
After the planning meeting, other local Jayhawks joined for a happy hour. Both Snook and fellow New York City network leader Kellie Johnson were pleased with their meeting. “We assembled a nice variety of people who seem enthusiastic to lead,” Snook said.
Wherever they went, Kallail and Woods were excited to see the networks’ turnout. Johnson has a theory why.
“I think KU alumni attend the events to keep that special connection alive. I’ve met several people from other schools who have noted that KU alumni are the most loyal they have ever met. One told me he doesn’t get involved with his alumni because he left nothing there – and when I asked him to clarify – he said it was clear all of us had left our hearts in Lawrence.”
Caleb Bobo, c’16, is a native of St. Louis who earned a degree in political science with a minor in African and African-American Studies. He is currently a first-year graduate student and diversity fellow at Saint Louis University. Caleb is a member of the KU Alumni Association and served on the Student Alumni Leadership Board as an undergraduate.
I became a Jayhawk because…
Simply put, there was no competition. I applied to and visited several universities, but none gave me the same feeling that the University of Kansas did. It was the perfect size and distance from home. I found it to be the perfect balance between the social scene of a major, state university and the academic rigor of an elite research institution. Everything one could want out of their college experience, they can get at KU.
How has KU propelled you into your current career?
Graduate school is difficult for many reasons. Professors expect a lot out of their students and most of us balance professional opportunities with classes. Luckily, KU’s academic programs prepared me extremely well for my graduate studies, and the emphasis my professors and advisers put on internships during my undergraduate career allowed me to find employment in my new city.
What’s your favorite spot on campus? and/or What spot do you return to whenever you’re back on the Hill?
The Nunemaker Center is the home of the KU Honors Program. Not only is it an awesome place to study on The Hill, but the staff who works there always made me feel so welcomed when I walked through the doors. I’ve remained very close with several of the faculty and staff I met through KU Honors, and I always try to visit when I come back to Lawrence.
My best advice for college students:
Be flexible with your academic program! A lot of students, myself included, think we have our lives figured out at 17 or 18 years old but that’s often not the case. Allow yourself to be challenged through classes, projects and extracurricular activities outside of your chosen discipline. You never know when you’ll discover an interest or passion that you didn’t know existed.
Describe a moment, during or after your time as a KU student, when you felt the greatest sense of Jayhawk pride.
I was really fortunate to make a great group of friends at the University of Kansas and after we all graduated, it’s been amazing to watch each of them begin their lives post-undergrad. Several are working for major corporations in New York, Chicago and Kansas City. A few moved to Washington D.C. to work for members of Congress or other governmental organizations. A handful ended up in elite graduate, legal or medical programs across the country, and I know a few who became officers in the United States Military. Each and every time I’m able to touch base with them over the phone or via social media, I always feel so much pride knowing that although we have a wide variety of interest and goals, we all walked the streets of Lawrence together.
Few Jayhawks would appreciate being surrounded by a pack of tigers at a sports event, let alone on a daily basis at work. Reuben Shelton, a St. Louis attorney and immediate past-president of the Missouri Bar, is used to it. Not only does he accept his fate, he happily makes the most of it.
“Everywhere I go, I tell people I’m a Jayhawk,” says Shelton, j’78, who frequently speaks to large audiences of Mizzou-loving attorneys. “All over the state—from Cape Girardeau to Brookfield. Everywhere.”
Given Shelton’s diehard dedication to his alma mater—a particularly brave undertaking in Tiger territory—it was only fitting that the bar would find a special way to honor its outgoing president at its recent annual meeting in St. Louis. The organization enlisted the KU Alumni Association to write a humorous, Jayhawk-themed resolution for Shelton, one that would applaud his crimson-and-blue commitment in the rival school’s domain.
Sebrina Barrett, executive director of the bar, presented the resolution. A Mizzou graduate, she worked closely with Shelton during his tenure as president and knew she had to do it right. “I just thought, ‘I can’t do this unless I truly get into it and put on a Kansas T-shirt,’” she recalls. “I wasn’t even sure whether I could find one in Columbia where I live, but I did.”
When the time came, Barrett put on the KU T-shirt and began reading the resolution, much to the surprise and delight of the nearly 40 Missouri fans in the room.
“Everybody in the room was just dying,” says Shelton. “It was so funny because Sebrina is a dyed-in-the-wool tiger.”
Although it may have pained her to wear KU colors that day, Barrett was happy to honor the man who’s done so much for the bar during his presidency. “Reuben leaves behind a tremendous legacy of inclusion,” she says. “He believes everybody should have a seat at the table. This was a lighthearted way for me to show a willingness to do that, and to embrace Reuben’s culture and personality.”
If you’re headed to St. Louis this weekend for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, you need to read this. Paul Brickler, a’02, St. Louis Chapter leader, shares his best suggestions for places to go, things to see and what to eat and drink while you’re in town. Paul helpfully provides info about several popular districts in the city, including downtown, Forest Park, the Central West End and more.
Downtown: Dining and Drinking
There are a lot of great establishments to visit in downtown St. Louis, especially along the vibrant Washington Avenue corridor, which features a number of unique restaurants, bars and shopping opportunities. Some of my favorite places to eat and drink downtown include:
Photo credit: shock264 via Flickr
1. For a brunch, my favorite two places downtown are Blondie’s (1301 Washington Ave.) and Rooster (1104 Locust St.). Blondie’s serves one of the best, most diverse menus for weekend brunch, and Rooster features the best crepes in the city. Both have excellent coffee.
2. If you are looking for a familiar lunch you can’t go wrong at Planet Sub (211 N. 9th St.). You may know this place better as the famous Yellow Sub from Lawrence. If you need a quick bite and are already downtown, it’s great to get a little taste from home. Also, they give a discount to KU students and alumni.
3. Pi Pizzeria (610 Washington Ave.) features excellent pizzas in both the deep-dish Chicago style and a thin crust variety. They serve all sorts, from vegan to meat-lovers, and have a fun atmosphere to go along with their great pizzas.
4. For a great brewpub lunch or dinner, or even just for excellent beer, try Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust St.). They are perhaps the largest of the many locally-owned, family-run micro-breweries that St. Louis is famous for, but they may have the best selection when it comes to food. Ask to try the spicy ketchup, it’s really good.
5. If you like excellent wine, good beer, and small plates, Robust Wine Bar (635 Washington Ave.) has a great selection of all three, with an intimate atmosphere to go with it. Probably the best prosciutto I have sampled outside of Italy, too.
Downtown: Cultural Attractions
Most people would expect the Gateway Arch to appear here, but at present, I would advise against going. The grounds are in the midst of a major renovation so access is limited and many of the attractions are closed. You can still get an excellent view of it from Market Street, though, on your way to the Scottrade Center.
Instead, check out the City Museum (750 N. 16th St), a sculptural menagerie of found objects (airplanes, school buses, etc.) blended with architecture to create a sort of educational and experiential fun-house/playground that’s very entertaining to visit. The cost is about $12 per person, but there’s no place like it anywhere. Kids love it, but so has every adult I’ve taken there. Don’t be afraid to try the three-story-high roller-slide down to the lobby. It’s nowhere near as intense as the ten-story spiral slide from the roof. The museum also features the World’s Largest Pencil and an aquarium. It’s difficult to explain if you haven’t been, but I highly recommend it.
City Museum, photo by Jon DeJong via Flickr
Downtown West/Saint Louis University area
The SLU campus and its neighborhood cover an area west of downtown that spans from Lindell Boulevard to Market Street, both East and West of Grand Boulevard. There are a number of great places to visit around there as well.
1. For the best barbecue available in St. Louis, you have to go to Pappy’s Smokehouse (3106 Olive St.). They just do everything right. It’s amazing.
2. Vito’s (3515 Lindell Blvd.) is famous for their award-winning Sicilian-style pizzas, but they also have a full menu of fantastic Italian dishes to go along with it. Or so they tell me. I ALWAYS get a pizza. You won’t be disappointed either way.
3. The Field House (510 N. Theresa Ave.) is a great little sports bar just north of the SLU campus where you can watch all the games. Just make sure SLU isn’t scheduled to play before you go, or you may find the place overrun with Billikens. SLU students and fans are generally easy-going and friendly, though.
4. Another great local microbrewery has set up shop not far from the SLU campus. Urban Chestnut (3229 Washington Ave.) makes some of the best beers available in St. Louis. I highly recommend the Zwickel and the Schnickelfritz, but there are several others. We recently hosted a KU Alumni Association happy hour there, and it was a huge success. The large patio is nice – when the weather is – but they have plenty of cozy space inside when the weather isn’t cooperating.
Downtown South – Soulard, Lafayette Square:
Just south of downtown are the historic districts of Soulard and Lafayette Square. Soulard is known for its Farmer’s Market and an abundance of unique bars, while Lafayette Square tends toward the culinary. Here are a few of my favorites in that area:
1. 4 Hands Brewery (1220 S. 8th St.) makes some of the finest barrel-aged craft beer in St. Louis, and their tasting room does an awesome job of pairing it with unique, flavorful dishes for a modest price (most dishes are under $10). This place is a must-visit for any beer enthusiast.
2. If finer dining and even better cocktails are more your thing, I recommend the Planter’s House (1000 Mississippi). They have a small menu, but everything on it is superb. They make a poutine that would make French Canadians cry, and their Spaetzle is something I will probably tell my grandchildren about. But they can be a bit spendy, depending on your tastes and appetite. Their bartenders are full-fledged mixologists. It’s probably not the most appropriate place for children, but adults should have a great time.
3. If you have the time, consider an Anheuser-Busch Brewery (1200 Lynch St.) tour. They are free, last a little over an hour and feature free samples at the end. The kids probably won’t enjoy the samples as much as you do, but they might get a kick out of seeing the Clydesdale horses. The scale of the operation is impressive, and they include a lot of history about beer, Prohibition, and globalization in their tour.
City of St. Louis, photo credit kla4067 via Flickr
Areas to visit outside of Downtown
1. The Hill is St. Louis’ version of Little Italy, which runs along I-44 from Kingshighway to Hampton, and it has a vast array of neighborhood markets and restaurants. Some of my favorite restaurants there are Cunetto (5453 Magnolia Ave.) and Anthoninos’s Taverna (2225 Macklind Ave.) but there are many, many more. John Volpi’s Market, at 5258 Daggett, made a lot of the Italian-style cold cut meats for the East Coast deli’s during World War II, when imports from Italy were prohibited.
3. The Delmar Loop in University City is a lot like Mass Street in Lawrence – walkable streets with unique shops, restaurants, and bars. The Loop is just to the northwest of Forest Park. It’s also an easy MetroLink ride from downtown, if you like.
4. Another great little district to visit, the Central West End, is just to the east of Forest Park and is also located adjacent to a Metro stop. There are a lot of great restaurants, shops, clubs and pubs in this vibrant neighborhood.
5. A visit to the Missouri Botanical Gardens costs $8 for adults, but is free for children age 12 and under. As the former estate of Henry Shaw, it features an incredible multitude of flowering plants on display in a meticulously manicured walking garden. But that’s not their primary mission: the Garden sponsors research in the plant sciences and harbors several rare plant species which are nearing extinction, with the goal of maintaining biodiversity among our plants in a sustainable way.
Many thanks to Paul for sharing a great list of tips for visitors to St. Louis! What would you add to the list? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a guest post from Rebecca Smith, executive director for the KU Libraries Office of Communications & Advancement. The KU Alumni Association has been thrilled to partner with KU Libraries to present outstanding events to alumni in a number of cities around the country.
But it wasn’t all about the game for Naismith; during his 39-year career at KU, he lived by the credo “a sound mind is a sound body.” Naismith always felt it was his mission to help students develop as athletes and as people. His attention to the student experience and their intellectual and social growth is something that KU Libraries are proud to carry forward. KU librarians work directly with student-athletes–and all students, for that matter–to ensure their success at KU and beyond.
We appreciated the opportunity to share insight about Naismith–and the role of libraries and librarians–with KU alumni in St. Louis. We look forward to bringing this exhibit to Omaha, Chicago and perhaps a few more cities in the coming months. In the meantime, you can learn more about KU Libraries at www.lib.ku.edu/giving.
Check out our online calendar for more events around the country. as the ‘Hawk Days of Summer continues.
Are you a die-hard, true-blue Jayhawk looking for a way to serve your alma mater? Do you love to spread the Rock Chalk love near and far? If so, we’ve got the perfect opportunity for you.
The KU Office of Admissions is expanding its recruiting efforts and adding three new Regional Admissions Representative positions in St. Louis, the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis/St. Paul, and the Mid-Atlantic region.
St. Louis and Minneapolis/St. Paul are critical markets to the University, drawing hundreds of undergraduate students each year. The Mid-Atlantic region is a growing market where the University is seeking to increase the number of students who attend KU.
The positions are 10-month contracts and are based in home offices in the St. Louis metro area, the Twin Cities metro area and either the Washington, D.C., metro area or in northern New Jersey. In other words, you must live in the metro areas indicated–or be willing to move to the area.
Extensive travel as well as evening and weekend work is required in these positions. Personal KU experience and general knowledge of the University is also required.
Required qualifications include a bachelor’s degree, graduate of the University of Kansas, at least one year of professional experience and strong written communication skills and public speaking experience.
If you love to travel, meet new people and share your love of KU with prospective students, or if you know someone who would be a great fit for this position, click here for more information about the position and application information.
The online job posting will close on July 8, so don’t wait to apply!
Questions? Contact Elisa Krapcha, assistant director of freshmen recruitment, at email@example.com or 785.864.5415.
We’re excited to partner with the University of Kansas Libraries this summer to present a number of events. More than 80 Jayhawks in Denver turned out for An Evening with Naismith: Artifacts of a KU Legend, and that event will be held next week in both Houston and Dallas.
The second event we’re co-hosting with the Libraries this summer is Rhythm and Meaning: Jazz at KU. Join us in Chicago, Omaha and St. Louis to see a selection of the Libraries’ rich jazz collection, including one of the largest sound archives west of the Mississippi.
The cost for each event is $15 and includes hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. We encourage you to sponsor a Jayhawk and bring along a prospective student! Current and incoming KU students can attend the events at no cost.
Staff from the KU Alumni Association and KU Libraries will attend each event to share updates from the Hill.
We hope you’ll be able to join us at one of these events to learn a little more about KU’s unique history and enjoy an evening of KU camaraderie! If you’re a member of the KU Alumni Association, be sure to bring your membership card and receive a free gift.
Kansas Athletics and the KU Alumni Association have partnered to bring KU football to Jayhawks across the midwest this spring! If you’re a football fan, don’t miss this opportunity to meet Coach Weis.
You might remember that last spring we hosted several events around the state of Kansas that featured the newly-hired head coach. This year, we’re expanding the events to include a number of cities outside of Kansas.
All Jayhawk alumni, fans and friends are invited to attend the events, which include free receptions, luncheons and happy hours in several cities. Sheahon Zenger, director of athletics, will also be in attendance, along with Kansas Athletics and KU Alumni Association staff members.
Here’s a list of the events, with a link to purchase tickets if there’s a cost involved:
Denver: Thurs., May 2, at Stoney’s Full Steam Tavern (free)
Topeka: Wed., May 22, at Ramada Inn Downtown Convention Center (free)
Commemorative KU football items will be available, and you’ll also have the chance to win autographed merchandise and football tickets. And, if you’re a KU Alumni Association member, be sure to show your membership card to receive a free members-only gift!
Don’t have your membership card handy? We’ve made it easy for you– our emails now include your membership status printed at the bottom, so you can show a recent email to our staff to get your gift. Not a member? Click here to join.
Click here to read about the KU football team’s spring game, held on Saturday, Apr. 13.
Yes, there was a mix of Royals and Cardinals fans among the KU alumni and friends who attended last Saturday’s game between the two MLB teams at Busch Stadium. But no fisticuffs.
“We skewed pretty heavily toward Cardinals fans, but there were a few Royals fans among us,” says Paul Brickler, a’02, St. Louis Chapter leader. “There was a small amount of ribbing, but not a lot, and it was all in fun. This isn’t exactly Kansas-Mizzou. There were a few couples that were split between the teams, where it had the potential to get more serious.”
Aside from the heat, Brickler says the 30 people who attended the game and a pregame gathering had a good time. The Cardinals won 10-7.
“It was fun to get out and see folks we hadn’t seen since basketball season, last baseball season or in some cases new folks,” Brickler says.
(View photos above or click here to see them on Flickr).