Jayhawks in the News | April 7

Posted on Apr 7, 2017 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

Find 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 share@kualumni.org.

 

Gary Woodland in Masters field for fifth time | LJWorld.com

Two-time PGA tour winner Gary Woodland, who ranks 10th on this season’s money list with four top 10 finishes in 11 events, is playing in his fifth Masters and first since 2015. He did not qualify for the tournament last year.
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Kala Stroup blazed a trail for women in higher education | University Daily Kansan

As a graduate of the University and the last dean of women, Kala Stroup, c’59 g’64 PhD’74, has held many positions in higher education and still works with students to make the University an inclusive place.
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Once A Jayhawk, Always a Jayhawk: Linda Ellis-Sims | Kansas Athletics

Linda Ellis-Sims spent her childhood in Independence, Missouri. Though her parents did not attend college themselves, they always placed a priority on education. Ellis-Sims gained an appreciation for math and science while achieving academic success in high school. An athlete in high school, Ellis-Sims also developed a strong passion for sports. Both of her interests factored into her decision to attend the University of Kansas.
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Susan Tabor inextricably connected to Audio-Reader, a program helping visually impaired people | University Daily Kansan

Susan Tabor, who was born blind, works for a service that provides both readings and information to those who are blind, visually impaired or print-disabled. After high school graduation, Tabor went on to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degree in social welfare at the University of Kansas.
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Law school to honor four with Distinguished Alumni Award | KU School of Law

A veteran, a state government leader, a CEO and a managing partner will be recognized with the University of Kansas School of Law’s highest honor. The awards will be presented at a private dinner April 8 in Lawrence.
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To KU data guru Deb Teeter, it’s all about the people | University Daily Kansan

Teeter, b’71 g’75, has been working in analytics at KU for 45 years. Not only has she changed the way the University handles the data, but she has forever impacted the lives of those that work with her.
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Washburn hires Brett Ballard as head men’s basketball coach | Topeka Capital-Journal

Washburn University has hired former University of Kansas player and Wake Forest assistant Brett Ballard, d’04, to succeed Bob Chipman as head men’s basketball coach, the school announced Thursday.
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UNCW names C.B. McGrath Head Coach of Men’s Basketball | University of North Carolina Wilmington

C.B. McGrath has been named UNCW’s 11th head coach of men’s basketball, the university announced today. His appointment is effective Tuesday, April 4. McGrath earned a B.A. in human biology and a master’s degree in education from KU.
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Brandee Caswell named 2017 ‘Top Litigator’ by Law Week Colorado | Faegre Baker Daniels

Faegre Baker Daniels partner Brandee Caswell, l’98, has been selected for the 2017 “Top Litigator” award by Law Week Colorado. The award is given to lawyers who excel inside and outside of the courtroom in plaintiff and defense work, and in trials and appeals.
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Cyclist Steve Tilford dies in crash involving three vehicles | LJWorld.com

Topeka native and University of Kansas graduate Steve Tilford, a popular figure at cycling events in Lawrence because of his outgoing personality and area roots, died early Wednesday morning on Interstate 70 near the Utah-Colorado border, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
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Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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Run, jump, kick, spike, shoot, swim, pass, score, win: What a week to be a Jayhawk

Posted on Nov 21, 2016 in Alumni News and News

KU volleyball team clinches Big 12 Championship
“What a great day to be a Jayhawk!” coach David Beaty shouted, his raspy voice barely audible amid the chaos that swarmed across Memorial Stadium’s field after KU upset Texas, 24-21, in an overtime thriller that gave Beaty his first Big 12 victory and the Jayhawks’ first in the conference since 2014.

Beaty of course was spot-on with the sentiment, but the time element was off. While football’s first victory over Texas since 1938 scored the national headlines, it was more than a great day to be a Jayhawk: From Sunday to Sunday, it was a week for the athletics ages.

Soccer sets the tone

Soccer set the tone on Sunday, Nov. 13, at Rock Chalk Park, when junior Lois Heuchan scored 40 seconds into double overtime to give the Jayhawks a 1-0 victory over Missouri in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (The Jayhawks’ second-round loss, 2-0 Nov. 18 at North Carolina, was only their third loss since mid-September.)

Men’s basketball

Men’s basketball was up next, as the Jayhawks avoided their first 0-2 start since 1972 by beating top-ranked Duke, 77-75, Tuesday in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Frank Mason’s game-winning field goal with 1.8 seconds remaining was one of KU’s most thrilling shots since Mario Chalmers nailed a three-pointer to send the 2008 national championship game into overtime.

“That was quite a play we called: ‘Just get out of his way,’” coach Bill Self said afterward. “He’s a stud.”

Recruit chooses Kansas

Billy Preston, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Los Angeles kept the buzz going Friday afternoon when he released a video  announcing his college selection. Dressed in uniforms from his four finalists—KU, Indiana, USC and Syracuse—Preston played a magic-of-film one-on-one game against himself, at the end of which he turns to the camera and announces, “Rock Chalk, Jayhawks.”

Just a few hours later, Preston’s future team beat Siena, 86-65, running Self’s home record to 207-9 and passing Ted Owens on the list of all-time victories in Allen Field House.

“He’s a special coach and this is a special place,” sophomore forward Carlton Bragg Jr. said afterward. “You put those two things together and special things happen.”

Volleyball clinches championship

About 13 hours later, at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, volleyball began its final regular-season home match. Although they played without junior All-American Kelsie Payne, who injured an ankle in KU’s five-set victory Nov. 16 at West Virginia, the Jayhawks fought through another tough five-setter to defeat Iowa State and clinch at least a share of their first Big 12 championship.

“It could have been a disaster, or it could have been the best day ever, and they decided to make it the best day ever,” said coach Ray Bechard. “Our seniors weren’t going to let us lose.”

Swimmer hits career-best mark

Saturday’s action was not limited to Lawrence: freshman Jenny Nusbaum won the 200-yard freestyle at the Kansas Classic swim meet in Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium with a career-best mark of 1 minute, 48.97 seconds, and she helped her team to a 7.34-second victory in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

Cross-country makes history

On a wintry morning in Terre Haute, Indiana, sophomore Sharon Lokedi ran fifth at the NCAA cross-country championships, the best NCAA finish in the history of KU women’s cross-country and the best by any Jayhawk since John Lawson won the men’s meet in 1965.

“When it’s cold and windy like it was today, you never know what might happen in a race like this,” Lokedi said. “So my plan was just to stay up at the front, stay with the leaders and be ready for anything.”

Football upsets Texas

On a chilly afternoon and evening in Memorial Stadium, the football ’Hawks offered the first hint of a possible upset by taking a 10-7 lead into halftime against Texas. But, KU came out flat in the third quarter, and when D’Onta Foreman scored his second touchdown of the second half with 13:34 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Longhorns a 21-10 lead.

The game looked hopelessly out of reach to fans and commentators, but players never saw it that way.

“They are some resilient tough dudes,” Beaty said. “They kept believing. They kept working.”

With 10 minutes remaining in regulation, redshirt freshman quarterback Carter Stanley jolted the KU offense to life with a 20-yard run, which was immediately followed by a 15-yard run by freshman running back Khalil Herbert that set the Jayhawks up at the Texas 45 yard line. Herbert scored seven plays later on a 1-yard run, and sophomore receiver Steven Sims Jr. converted a two-point conversion to push KU to within three, 21-18, with 7:48 remaining.

Freshman safety Mike Lee halted a Texas scoring threat on the ensuing drive when he forced Foreman to fumble at the KU 13-yard-line. Senior defensive end Cameron Rosser pounced on the loose ball, the Longhorns’ fifth turnover of the game. KU then gave the ball back on downs, but when Texas tried to close the game out by converting on fourth and 5 from the KU 32, sophomore linebacker Keith Loneker Jr. scored the biggest of his game-high 16 tackles by stopping Foreman 2 yards short.

The Jayhawks took over on their own 29 with 58 seconds remaining. Three receptions by senior running back Ke’aun Kinner  and a 15-yard penalty against Texas set KU up at the Longhorns’ 19, where, with seven seconds left in regulation, senior Matthew Wyman tied the game with a 36-yard field goal.

On the second play of overtime Lee again stepped up big, intercepting a Texas pass. Needing only a field goal to win, KU pushed forward behind five Kinner rushes, allowing Wyman to win the game with a 25-yard field goal.

 

The season finale awaits Saturday at Kansas State, but that rivalry’s renewal was on nobody’s mind as the Jayhawks celebrated madly.

Well, almost nobody’s.

“We have a huge, huge mountain to climb to get ready to play those guys,” Beaty said. “But it’s going to be a lot easier and a lot more fun preparing tomorrow with the result we got today.”

Women’s basketball team closes week with a win

And still more was yet to come: Women’s basketball closed out the remarkable week that was with a 68-58 victory at Memphis, the Jayhawks’ first win of the season and the first regular-season road victory for second-year coach Brandon Schneider.

What a great week to be a Jayhawk.

—Chris Lazzarino

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Former KU swimmer takes red-carpet lap alongside bestie Taylor Swift

Posted on Feb 9, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Abigail Anderson’s star continues to shine, thanks in no small part to her world-famous BFF, Taylor Swift. Anderson, ’12, accompanied her megastar pal to the Grammy Awards Sunday night, lighting up social media chatter, including a shout-out on Cosmopolitan magazine’s Twitter feed.

Anderson, a backstroke and butterfly specialist while a member of KU’s swimming and diving team, can claim bragging rights of her own: She posted the second-fastest times in KU swimming history in the 100 backstroke (53.48 seconds), 200 backstroke (1:57.26) and 100 butterfly (53.47), all at the 2011 Big 12 Championships, and as a freshman in 2009 she swam the butterfly leg on relay teams that set school records in the 200 (1:38.45) and 400 (3:38.85) medley relays at the Big 12 meet.

So perhaps Anderson’s pool prowess isn’t entirely responsible for luring 126,000 followers on Twitter (@abiander) and 166,000 on Instagram (@abigail_lauren), but at least she’s still making a splash.

To read more about Anderson’s Grammy gala, visit teenvogue.com/entertainment/2015-02/taylor-swift-grammy-date-abigail-anderson.

Chris Lazzarino
KU alumna Abigail Anderson with Taylor Swift at the 2015 Grammy Awards.

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