Move-in day at Downs welcomes Jayhawks to a new home

Posted on Aug 17, 2017 in Campus News and News

Check InAs KU’s construction of the new Central District continues, the anchor tenant is now ready for the public. On August 17, Cora Downs Residence Hall opened to welcome the newest generation of Jayhawks.

KU Student Housing’s biggest day of the year went off without a hitch, thanks to a small army of student volunteers helping direct traffic, unload cars, and move items up to new students’ rooms.

“I volunteered at Oliver Hall last year, nine floors with two elevators meant huge lines. Downs is a lot more efficient,” said junior Jayden Garetson. “We’re all here from various campus organizations to help out, and we even have some freshmen who moved in yesterday too.”Unloading

Volunteers appreciated the smooth-running system, and even the most move-in day experienced parents couldn’t help but be surprised. “We have moved six kids into college, and KU has the easiest, most efficient, and organized move-in we have ever done,” Sally Ahlgren said.

Big JayBeyond the move-in, The Ahlgrens knew they were leaving their daughter Maryclaire in good hands at Downs Hall. “We’ve certainly noticed the friendliness of the students here,” Bob Ahlgren said. “We’ve been to a lot of universities and can tell right away. This is a good group of people, we can feel that.”

Downs Hall is named for Dr. Cora Downs, c’15 g’20 PhD’24, a lifetime Jayhawk. Downs received her undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate degrees from KU, and served as an instructor and faculty member until her retirement in 1963. The only break in her service to the University was to serve the country, when Downs spent World War II leading 40 scientists on secret biological warfare research. Honors given to Downs include a Distinguished Service Citation in 1962, induction into the KU Women’s Hall of Fame in 1970, and being named a Pioneer Woman by the Emily Taylor Center in 2008.

Located at 19th and Naismith, Downs Hall holds 545 residents and is directly west of Oliver Hall, with the new South Dining Commons connecting the two residence halls. Four different floor plans are offered, which can be viewed below. Floor plans courtesy of

-Ryan Camenzind

4-p, 2-b, noliver4 p, 2 b, share bedroom noliver 4 p private bed, noliver 2 p private bedroom, shared bath

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KU Alumni Association student programs evolve to Student Alumni Network

Posted on Aug 15, 2017 in Campus News and News

Students with Baby Jay at Hawk Fest
In order to better serve the students of the University of Kansas, the KU Alumni Association’s student program is evolving from the Student Alumni Association to the Student Alumni Network.Student Alumni Network logo

Replacing the term “association” with “network” highlights a renewed focus on connecting KU students with the vast network of KU alumni around the world. In addition to the name change, Student Alumni Network memberships are now free for all KU degree-seeking students due to support from KU Endowment.

With the networks of over 28,000 students and 300,000 alumni around the world available, the Student Alumni Network will help students develop their own professional networks for career advice and opportunities long before they leave the Hill.

“As the largest student group and the premiere networking organization on the KU campus, the rebrand of the Student Alumni Association is a precursor to a much more robust plan to launch new programs to foster high-level career connections across industries,” Heath Peterson, KU Alumni Association President, said. “The effort will include a dynamic KU alumni mentoring platform, programs featuring industry leaders across the country, new internship pipelines and job connections, enhanced career data, and new partnerships across the KU enterprise.”

In addition to these new and upcoming initiatives, traditional Student Alumni Network events such as Home Football Fridays and Finals Dinners will be offered to all students, and the Student Alumni Leadership Board will continue to serve as the student representatives of the KU Alumni Association.

To activate a student membership, simply complete the online activation form, download the KU Alumni mobile app and register, or attend any of the numerous SAN events throughout the year.

To learn more about the Student Alumni Network, visit our website.

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All signs point to KU

Posted on May 16, 2017 in Campus News and News

Rock Chalk Ready yard sign

High school seniors planning to arrive on the Hill next fall have found unexpected surprises in their yards lately: yard signs declaring they are “Rock Chalk Ready.”

Volunteers delivered the signs, a joint effort between the KU Office of Admissions, the Provost’s office, and the KU Alumni Association, to incoming freshmen in Lawrence, Topeka, Wichita and the Kansas City metro area over the past few weeks.

“This was our first crack at welcoming the incoming freshman class with KU yardsigns, and we could not have pulled it off without the collective effort of our KU alumni and staff,” said Joy Maxwell, director of legacy relations. “It has been so fulfilling to watch KU alumni share their time and Jayhawk pride to blanket these major in-state markets with crimson and blue. We hope to expand the campaign statewide and nationally with more funding and volunteer help in years to come.”

Check out our collection of photos below to see the signs:

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Students celebrate last days on Hill at Grad Grill

Posted on May 9, 2017 in Campus News and News

Grad Grill 2017 |

Sunny skies and soaring temps made for a near-perfect day as about 300 graduating students dropped by the Adams Alumni Center May 5 for Grad Grill. The annual event was presented by the Alumni Association and HERE Kansas, a new apartment community on the Lawrence campus.

Students mingled with friends throughout the evening and enjoyed free food and fresh brews, courtesy of Hy-Vee and Free State Brewing Company. The KU Bookstore and Kansas Athletics were also on hand with coupons, gift-card giveaways, and free posters, koozies, license-plate frames and sunglasses. Local DJ Scott Simpson kept things lively with the latest pop tunes and students took turns capturing not-so-candid moments in the photo booth.

Scott Bagley, a senior from Overland Park, stopped by to grab some food and socialize before diving into finals preparation. “A few good friends from high school are going to be here,” he said. “I’m hoping to see them.”

Yee Ming Khaw and Puteri Ahmad, seniors from Malaysia, and Katie Morales, a senior from Emporia, hit Grad Grill before going out for more Stop Day celebrations. “It’s Friday night,” said Ahmad. “It’s one of the last Friday nights before Commencement.”

—Heather Biele

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Chancellor’s office issues information regarding executive order on immigration

Posted on Jan 30, 2017 in Campus News and News

The following message was emailed to all faculty, staff and students at the University of Kansas on Sunday, January 29. The message is also available on the KU website.

Last Friday’s executive order suspending immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has raised concerns for many members of the University of Kansas community. I share these concerns, and I want to assure you we are coordinating with our international programs staff, immigration experts and peer universities to fully understand the implications of the new federal policies. We have also directly contacted our international students at KU to offer guidance and resources.

Based on what we know today, we advise all nationals from the affected countries to avoid international travel until there is some clarification of the situation. This includes passport holders, citizens, nationals, and dual nationals from the impacted countries.

As a flagship research university, KU is committed to the open exchange of students, scholars and ideas from across the world. Moreover, we are deeply concerned about the well-being of KU students, faculty and staff who may be affected by the new federal restrictions on immigration. For these reasons, we will work with our colleagues throughout higher education to raise these concerns to policymakers. I encourage you to read recent statements from the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities on this topic.

This is a fluid situation, and we expect new developments over the coming days. We will keep you updated as we learn more, with a particular focus on our international scholars and their families who are most directly impacted by these new federal policies. In the meantime, we invite you to utilize the university’s support services, including International Programs, if you have questions about immigration or travel-related issues.

This state and nation were settled by immigrants, and immigrants continue to make immeasurable contributions to our society. Moreover, I want to reiterate that accessibility, diversity of thought, and the free and open exchange of ideas remain core values of the University of Kansas. That will never change, and we will continue our work to advance these values. And we will continue to let scholars around the world know this: No matter your country of origin, the color of your skin, your religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation or political leaning – you belong at the University of Kansas, and we value the contributions you make to our community.


Bernadette Gray-Little

University of Kansas

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Scholarship available for KU students

Posted on Jan 17, 2017 in Campus News and News

KU Student Alumni Association, Student Alumni Leadership Board members |
Now in its 10th year, the iModules Scholarship Program annually provides individual financial scholarships to eligible students enrolled in secondary or higher education institutions that are current iModules clients.

The KU Alumni Association is a partner of the Leawood-based company, so students who will attend the university during the 2017-18 school year are eligible to apply.

The company will award 17 scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Full-time student for the Fall 2017 semester
  • Attending or will be attending a school that is an iModules client for Fall 2017
  • A minimum “C” grade point average

How to apply:

  • Go to
  • Create an account
  • Fill out an application form
  • Submit an essay answering the two questions listed on the website

Applications and essays must be submitted by midnight (Central time) on April 1, 2017. Scholarship recipients will be announced by May 1, 2017.

Good luck!

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Three student leaders receive “Judy Rudy” awards

Posted on Jan 4, 2017 in Campus News and News

The KU Alumni Association offered three outstanding Student Alumni Leadership Board members with Judy L. Ruedlinger Awards of $500 each for spring 2017.

The recipients are Maren Hansen, a junior from McPherson, Kansas; Sarah Heitmeyer, a sophomore from Littleton, Massachusetts; and Emily Carmack, a junior from Lone Jack, Missouri.

The Judy L. Ruedlinger Award honors the first Student Alumni Leadership Board adviser, who was known by her students as “Judy Rudy.”

The award was established to maintain commitment and involvement of past, present and future members of the Student Alumni Leadership Board at KU. The award is granted to those who convey pride in membership, public awareness of the Student Alumni Leadership Board and a sense of permanence, strength and integrity in the organization. Ideally, it also is meant to encourage Student Alumni Leadership Board members to join the KU Alumni Association after graduation and continue contact with the university.

The Judy L. Ruedlinger Award Fund is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management foundation for KU.

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Food, fur and comfort

Posted on Dec 13, 2016 in Campus News and News

SAA Finals Dinner fall 2016
Delicious Italian food, neck massages, cuddly pups and holiday movies are sure-fire ways to reduce stress!

Finals Dinner is the Student Alumni Association’s most popular tradition, and nearly 500 students attended the event on Monday, December 12. Always held on the first night of finals, the event is designed to give students a break from the stress of studying and upcoming exams. All members of SAA are invited to attend, and each can bring a friend.

Students enjoyed the all-you-can-eat pasta buffet and holiday movies in the dining area. Neck and shoulder massages are always very popular, with six professionals from Medissage set up and ready to deliver hands-on therapeutic relief. Many students look forward to this service each semester, and the therapists say they’ve come to know those who return from year to year.

Jerome, Jackson, Curtis and Harley Jane also played their part, though they might have been oblivious to the fact that they were working. To this foursome of therapy dogs, the night involved friendly hugs and belly rubs. Students find that a squiggly, delighted dog is an excellent antidote to stress.

The event is a benefit of membership in the Student Alumni Association, and has been a tradition of more than two decades.

Rock Chalk, and good luck on finals!

—Susan Younger

SAA Finals Dinner fall 2016

Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, all freshman students are provided with a complimentary four-year membership in the Student Alumni Association. Memberships make great gifts for upperclassmen! Visit the Student Alumni Association page on our website for more information.

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KU student earns Rhodes Scholarship

Posted on Nov 21, 2016 in Campus News and News

University of Kansas senior Shegufta Huma is one of 32 American students to win a Rhodes Scholarship, one of the most prestigious recognitions of scholarly excellence.

Shegufta HumaHuma, from Bel Aire, is majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish. She is fluent or proficient in six languages. She emigrated from Bangladesh as a child before becoming a U.S. citizen and is particularly interested in working toward justice for Muslim immigrants. Huma is KU’s 27th Rhodes Scholar.

“We are very proud of Shegufta’s election as a Rhodes Scholar,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “Besides being an outstanding scholar, she is a powerful spokesperson for the marginalized and most vulnerable members of our society, and her voice will now have the opportunity to resonate on an international level.”

Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

Huma said she was grateful to receive the opportunity and that she was ready to get to work.

“This has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who shares my joy during triumphs like this but, more importantly, those who help me power through the struggles that have led me here,” Huma said. “I’m overjoyed to have this opportunity to further my commitment to social justice through my studies at Oxford.”

KU has produced more Rhodes Scholarships than all other colleges in Kansas combined.

Read the full news release on KU’s website.

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Annual run honors veterans, raises scholarship funds

Posted on Nov 15, 2016 in Campus News and News

Veterans Day Run 2016
More than 300 participants ran, walked and jogged the annual Veterans Day Run, hosted by the Veterans Alumni Network and KU’s Student Veterans of America.

KU ROTC juniors Tristan Hayes and Hannah Jerome enjoyed the run for multiple reasons. “We’re out to show support for the veterans and I love running. The combination of both makes for an awesome day,” Hayes said. Jerome, a junior from Des Moines, was competing in her first 5K. “I think I overcompensated on those hills, but it was really fun,” she said, adding that KU was the perfect fit for her many interests. “It was never a question of if I was going to serve, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and KU offered me an opportunity to go to school and serve at the same time.”

The course took runners past campus memorials, including Memorial Stadium, the Campanile and the Korean and Vietnam tributes.

The 2016 run was dedicated to honoring Vietnam veterans. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the dedication of KU’s Vietnam War memorial, the first on-campus commemoration in the nation. It honors 57 students and alumni who died or were declared missing.

The Veterans Day Run honors all those who have served or are currently serving in our military and to raise awareness of the role veterans play at the University. All proceeds support KU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund and Student Veterans of America.

—Dan Storey

For more information about the Veterans Alumni Network or to provide information about your military service, visit the network’s website. Race results are available here.

Watch the slideshow below for pictures from the Veteran’s Day Run, or click here to view the pictures on Flickr. Participants are welcome to download photos for personal use.

Veterans Day Run 2016

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