Recently, we launched a new benefit for KU Alumni Association members, providing member-only discounts nationwide at restaurants, retailers, theme parks, travel vendors, etc. The discounts include web-based printable coupons, mobile coupons you can show on your phone, and a travel engine with savings on hotels and car rentals.
Tons of discounts. Just for members.
If this all sounds too good to be true, you’re not alone. This was my reaction:
“You’re telling me, for the price of price of an annual membership ($25 for a recent grad), a young professional could practically pay for his or her membership simply by dining out on pizza a few times?”
We wanted to put it to test.
So Stefanie Shackelford, vice president for alumni and membership records, offered to be our guinea pig, and she shared her recent experience searching for travel discounts:
“My family and I are going to Oklahoma City this weekend to visit my oldest son, who is based at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. He gets a three-day weekend so we decided to meet in Oklahoma City to enjoy a long weekend together. I wanted to rent a car, so I decided to see what the Alumni Association member discount program had to offer. As an annual joint member I was able to use a “free day over the weekend” coupon, and rented a car for four days for the price of three—I ended up paying $65 total for the car rental.”
Not bad! Have a safe trip, Stefanie! The program includes plenty of local-to-Lawrence deals for Jayhawks who still live close to the Hill, and many national brands and retailers also offer discounts and coupons, making the service valuable to all alumni, whether you’re in Wichita Falls, Texas; Wichita, Kansas or Walla Walla, Washington.
I consider myself to be very lucky to have been able to spend an unbelievable week with some amazing KU Alumni—and some honorary Jayhawks— on the Flying Jayhawks Swiss Alps & Italian Lakes trip.
Our trip got off to a rocky start because of a severe thunderstorm in Chicago that delayed four of our travelers on two incoming flights. Then, to add to our excitement, our flight from Chicago to Zurich was delayed when our entire flight crew was in a fender bender on their way to the airport. Once they finally arrived, we boarded the plane and headed for Switzerland.
After we landed in Zurich, we met up with the rest of our group and took a beautiful scenic bus drive to St. Moritz, where we enjoyed an amazing welcome reception dinner and met our fellow travelers. The next day, we strolled through the streets of the quiet little town of Zuoz—a beautiful town with buildings built in the 13th century. From there, we were off to ride the gondola to the top of Diavolezza Mountain, where we enjoyed lunch and breathtaking views.
That evening, a local guide educated us on the culture and history of Switzerland as we enjoyed dinner and welcomed the four delayed travelers. On Monday, we boarded the Bernina Express train, which took us through the Alps to Tirano, Italy, for lucnh. The views of the Alps from the train were spectacular!
On Tuesday, a small group of Flying Jayhawks decided to be adventurous and take a carriage ride up the mountain to Roseg Glacier, where we ate lunch and hiked around the mountain. We said goodbye to Switzerland on Wednesday and headed for Stresa, Italy. On our way there, we cruised Lake Como and stopped at Bellagio for shopping and lunch.
A cruise awaited our group on Thursday. We cruised Lake Maggimore to the Borromean Islands of Isola Madre, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isola Bella, where we explored a beautiful 17th century baroque palace. The only day it rained on us was Friday—it poured all day in Stresa, but we were lucky enough to spend the day in Milan, where the weather was clear. We visited the Renaissance Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to see “The Last Supper,” which was an extraordinary experience.
After that, we were off to the stunning opera house of La Scala and the massive 14th century Duomo. We spent the afternoon strolling through Milan at our leisure.
Our final day was spent cruising the Lake of Orta, and we ended the tour with a visit to San Giulio, where we spend a stunning day walking around the town on a beautiful day. We enjoyed a farewell reception and dinner with our fellow travelers, and the Flying Jayhawks passengers all agreed that the trip created wonderful memories and friendships.
—Stefanie Shackelford, vice president for alumni and membership records, hosted the Flying Jayhawks excursion to to the Swiss Alps and Italian Lakes in May. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the 2016 schedule, visit www.kualumni.org/flyingjayhawks.
KU’s annual event honoring faculty and staff for their years of service to the University will be held on Wednesday, May 6, at 1:30 p.m. in the Kansas Union Ballroom.
Service pins are given to 5, 10, and 15-year honorees, and service pins and gifts are given to employees with 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 45, and 50 years of service.
Attendees are invited to celebrate at a reception immediately following the ceremony.
We’re thrilled that eleven KU Alumni Association staff members will be honored at tomorrow’s ceremony, including Tim Brandt, who was director of the Adams Alumni Center for ten years before retiring two weeks ago.
Stefanie Shackelford, vice president for alumni and membership records, 25 years
Marcia Wilson, office assistant, 25 years
Susan Younger, creative director, 20 years
Chris Lazzarino, associate editor, Kansas Alumni magazine, 20 years
Mike Wick, webmaster, 15 years
David Johnston, vice president of marketing and internet services, 15 years
Steven Hill, associate editor, Kansas Alumni magazine, 15 years
Mike Davis, senior vice president for donor relations, 15 years
Tim Brandt, recently retired director of the Adams Alumni Center, 10 years
Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs, 10 years
Tegan Thornberry, assistant director of membership, 10 years
Congratulations to our staff members and thank you for your dedication! We’ll honor their service again at our own employee recognition festivities next week, where each one—along with five-year student employee A.J. Templin— will be treated to the traditional poetic tributes our staff has come to know and love. You can find short biographies of our staff members on the staff directory page.
See a full list of honorees at the 2015 Employee Recognition Ceremony here.