A love letter to KU

Posted on Feb 14, 2016 in News

Happy Valentine’s Day, Jayhawks!

We hope you enjoy this ode to KU by Matt Gowen, j’95, a team lead and writer for Hallmark. May your Valentine’s day be filled with crimson and blue hugs and kisses!

Valentine's Day Love Letter to KU | www.kualumni.org

Learn more about Matt, his role at Hallmark and how following in his siblings’ footsteps led to a life of laughter in our latest alumni profile.

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Picture-perfect family

Posted on Feb 12, 2016 in News

Hawkins family via kualumni.orgJayhawks looking for last minute Valentine’s Day cards might spot a familiar family.

Jeff and Heather Hawkins are featured in seasonal banners at Hallmark retail locations this year. We introduced alumni to Heather, j’06, g’12, who works for the Association as executive assistant to the president and coordinator of donor relations, and her husband, Jeff, c’06, a former KU basketball player, on our blog in 2014.

The Hawkins family’s modeling career all started with a KU connection. Shannon Presti, a former KU basketball manager and friend of Jeff’s, encouraged the couple to pursue modeling opportunities for their two future Jayhawks, Mavrick and Sienna. Presti, c’05, connected them with Rachel Imdieke, a photographer and fellow Jayhawk, who introduced them to Voices& Talent Agency in Kansas City. The agency signed the family, and the rest is history.

As Jeff tells tells it, “We really feel like the Jayhawk connections made this possible for our family. Without the guidance of Shannon and Rachel, we never would have landed with Voices& and then Hallmark.”

We asked Heather about their experience modeling as a picture-perfect family in this sweet Q&A just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Tell us how you were selected for the Hallmark ad/promotion.
We’ve had a handful of other modeling jobs since our family was signed. Our agent at Voices& submitted us for the Valentine’s Day promotion, and we were really blessed to be selected for the shoot. It was such a fun day, and we were thrilled when we found out they were using the picture of the three of us for the campaign. The people we worked with for Hallmark have been top notch! They were so kind to us and since we were newbies, they really helped us through the process.

Heather Hawkins and familySo what’s it really like being a model?
Oh my goodness, it’s fun! I am absolutely certain that when I hit the lotto someday I’m going to pay someone to do my hair and makeup. It’s been so eye-opening to see the creative process and how many people work so hard to make those shoots go. It’s such a team effort!

Have you had any “superstar” moments where people recognize you from the photos?
It’s been fun to get pictures from friends and family all over the Midwest standing by the banners. My aunt actually went into a store and asked the manager if she could have the banner when Valentine’s Day was over. She’s been collecting them up all over town.

What did Sienna think of the experience?
That girl was absolutely hooked from the moment we walked in. She’s absolutely a girlie-girl and loved having them put her in different outfits and play with her hair. Her favorite part was without a doubt jumping on the bed. She seems to think she now has the clearance to jump on any bed she wants, whenever she wants!

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Jayhawks, get your markers ready

Posted on Feb 11, 2016 in News

Adult Coloring Sheet Jayhawk | www.kualumni.org
Adult coloring books were one of the hottest trends of 2015 and a popular stocking stuffer during the holidays, and now you can color in Jayhawk style.

Susan Younger, creative director for the KU Alumni Association, whipped up this intricately designed Jayhawk (can you spot the hidden basketballs?!) to help you unleash your inner artist—and maybe relieve some stress, too.

Download and print your free coloring sheet, and take a few minutes to get in touch with your creative side. We’d love to see your masterpiece—email a picture to us at share@kualumni.org, or post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us.

And just in case you need something to entertain your future Jayhawks while you’re coloring the night away, remember that we also have more KU-themed printable coloring sheets and printable activity sheets to help keep them occupied.

—Debbi Johanning

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Jayhawks!

Posted on Feb 14, 2015 in News

 
All week, we’ve shared our favorite love stories—Jayhawk couples who met on the Hill, some who met after they left the Hill and still others who are converting their significant others into Jayhawks.

Some of the couples agreed to go on camera to share even more of their story. We hope you enjoy our Valentine’s Day feature!

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Twitter leads to offline connection | Phil & Bailey

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 in News

Whether it was in the midst of Budig 320 or over a crunchy chicken cheddar wrap at the Market, hanging out on Wescoe Beach or at a network watch party years later, countless Jayhawks owe their marriage to their time on the Hill. We’re sharing some of our favorite stories this week in anticipation of Valentine’s Day on Saturday, Feb. 14.

Bailey (Dereus) Mareu, c’08, j’08, and Phil (Martinez) Mareu, e’07

Many Jayhawk couples don’t actually meet during their time on the Hill, but instead find their way to each other later through mutual friends or other KU connections. Bailey shared the story of how social networking ultimately connected her with Phil.

“Phil and I both attended KU at the same time, from 2003-2007, but didn’t meet until almost two years after we both graduated. Engineering and journalism doesn’t mix, I guess!) A friend of mine who was still in college convinced me to go to one of the first Lawrence Tweetups in February, 2009. Phil was one of the organizers of the event designed for local Twitter users to meet and interact in person.

We were friends for about a year and a half before we started dating in 2010. Soon after we started dating, we realized we had a mutual acquaintance: one of his friends from engineering dated a girl I knew from my freshman residence hall. We tried to figure out if we ever had any classes together, maybe even a general education class, but no luck. We probably were at Louise’s on the same night a time or two, but it’s all speculation at this point!

We both love KU basketball. I wasn’t a fan until my first year at KU—I grew up in Iowa— but Phil is a lifelong fan.

We were married on September 20, 2014, and nine of the 14 people in our wedding party are also KU alumni! And, another Jayhawk officiated the ceremony.”

Phil and Bailey Mareu's wedding party | www.kualumni.org

See more of our Jayhawk couples online and send us your photo! To have your photo included in our album, please email a JPG image to share@kualumni.org.

Please include:

  • Names of the couple
  • KU degree information if applicable
  • Wedding date
  • Brief story of how you met

By sending us your photo, you consent that the photo will be included in the Jayhawk Wedding Album on the KU Alumni Association Facebook page.

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Future bride surprises Jayhawk fiancé | Brandon & Brittany

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 in News

Whether it was in the midst of Budig 320 or over a crunchy chicken cheddar wrap at the Market, hanging out on Wescoe Beach or at a network watch party years later, countless Jayhawks owe their marriage to their time on the Hill. We’re sharing some of our favorite stories this week in anticipation of Valentine’s Day on Saturday, Feb. 14.

Brandon Tobias and Brittany Killian | photo by Leslie O Photo | www.kualumni.orgBrandon Tobias didn’t meet his fiancée, Brittany Killian, at KU–but in true Proud Member fashion, he’s converting her to a Jayhawk.

The couple met when Brandon, a’05, was deployed to Afghanistan as a civilian employee for the Army and his unit partnered with Brittany’s office in Philadelphia on a project. The pair worked together over the phone and finally met in-person—and hit it off— in New York City while he was on leave.

Nine months later, his tour ended and his budding romance took off.

The lovebirds made a special trip to Lawrence to take their engagement pictures, and Brittany surprised Brandon with a shirt she made online: the front says “I love my Jayhawk,” and the back features their wedding date.

We suspect plenty of fellow Jayhawks will fall in love with Brittany’s sweet surprise and create one of their own.

Congratulations to both of you, and welcome to the flock, Brittany.

Photos by Leslie O Photo.

See more of our Jayhawk couples online and send us your photo! To have your photo included in our album, please email a JPG image to share@kualumni.org.

Please include:

  • Names of the couple
  • KU degree information if applicable
  • Wedding date
  • Brief story of how you met

By sending us your photo, you consent that the photo will be included in the Jayhawk Wedding Album on the KU Alumni Association Facebook page.

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Campus provides perfect backdrop to love story | Logan & Kelly

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 in News

Whether it was in the midst of Budig 320 or over a crunchy chicken cheddar wrap at the Market, hanging out on Wescoe Beach or at a network watch party years later, countless Jayhawks owe their marriage to their time on the Hill. We’re sharing some of our favorite stories this week in anticipation of Valentine’s Day on Saturday, Feb. 14.

Kelly (Underwood) Blackburn, c’10, and Logan Blackburn, h’08, g’10

Kelly and Logan’s love story prominently features their beloved KU—they even tied the knot on campus. Kelly shared their story with us.

“My husband and I met in November 2009. I was a senior at KU on the Lawrence campus and he was in his last year of his Master’s program at KU Medical Center. Our first date included our favorite places in Lawrence, which meant we ended up walking down Jayhawk Boulevard and by the Campanile.”

“We both graduated in May 2010 and walked down the Hill together. After graduation we moved to Wichita and, over the next four and a half years, we bought a house, adopted a puppy and made our home. We were married on 12/13/14 on campus! Our ceremony was at Danforth Chapel and our reception was in the Kansas Ballroom at the Union. As always, the Hill provided the perfect backdrop to our love story.”

Logan and Kelly Blackburn | www.kualumni.org

See more of our Jayhawk couples online and send us your photo! To have your photo included in our album, please email a JPG image to share@kualumni.org.

Please include:

  • Names of the couple
  • KU degree information if applicable
  • Wedding date
  • Brief story of how you met

By sending us your photo, you consent that the photo will be included in the Jayhawk Wedding Album on the KU Alumni Association Facebook page.

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Rock Chalk Revue reunites rock climbers | Jamie and Mark

Posted on Feb 12, 2015 in News

Whether it was in the midst of Budig 320 or over a crunchy chicken cheddar wrap at the Market, hanging out on Wescoe Beach or at a network watch party years later, countless Jayhawks owe their marriage to their time on the Hill. We’re sharing some of our favorite stories this week in anticipation of Valentine’s Day on Saturday, Feb. 14.

Jamie Vanderhofe McGee, c’12, and Mark McGee, c’11

Jamie and Mark McGee | www.kualumni.orgRocks of all kind played a role in bringing the McGees together—from rock climbing to Rock Chalk Revue. Jamie explained how several chance meetings finally led to love.

“We met several times before we really hit it off. Mark says that he can remember going to the rock wall at the Ambler Student Recreation Center to climb, where I was a rock wall assistant and belayed him. (The belayer helps keep the climber safe by monitoring the slack in the rope.) We didn’t really meet then, but Mark claims it was ‘love at first sight.'”

“The next time we ran into each other was at the popular college student hangout The Wheel, where we were formally introduced for the first time by mutual friends. But when we really hit it off was during the fall semester of 2010 at a Rock Chalk Revue In-or-Out function at the Jayhawk Cafe (yes, the ‘Hawk). My sorority was paired with Mark’s fraternity for the fundraising event. I waved at Mark across the room, gestured for him to come over to talk and the rest was history!”

Jamie and Mark were married July 31, 2013. Mark currently serves as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, and Jamie works with preschool children diagnosed with Autism. They live in San Diego with one fur child, Myla, and Jamie says “Future Jayhawks may happen in the next five years!”

See more of our Jayhawk couples online and send us your photo! To have your photo included in our album, please email a JPG image to share@kualumni.org.

Please include:

  • Names of the couple
  • KU degree information if applicable
  • Wedding date
  • Brief story of how you met

By sending us your photo, you consent that the photo will be included in the Jayhawk Wedding Album on the KU Alumni Association Facebook page.

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Scholarship Hall Sweethearts | Nick & Susan

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 in News

Whether it was in the midst of Budig 320 or over a crunchy chicken cheddar wrap at the Market, hanging out on Wescoe Beach or at a network watch party years later, countless Jayhawks owe their marriage to their time on the Hill. We’re sharing some of our favorite stories this week in anticipation of Valentine’s Day on Saturday, Feb. 14.

img_blog_valentines_nick_susanSusan Melgren, j’10, and Nick Peterson, j’10, l’13

Susan and Nick were married August 4, 2012. Susan shared the story of how they met:

Nick and I met during Hawk Week of 2006. We lived in brother/sister scholarship halls (Grace Pearson and Douthart, respectively), and during the first couple days of Hawk Week our halls had a joint game night. I remember watching a group of freshmen boys walk into the room, led by a skinny, loud kid in plaid shorts. It wasn’t a great first impression.

We both enrolled in Journalism 101 that semester and ended up working on group projects together. After the semester was over, we continued to hang out under the guise of “Journalism Movie Nights.”

Campus was always the backdrop to our budding relationship. We sat together (and flirted) at sporting events, and often took romantic on-campus walks, ending at a bench overlooking Potter Lake. We were both four-year ‘schol-hallers’, and after we started dating, we even held the same executive positions in our halls two years in a row (social chair in ’07-’08 and president in ’08-’09)!

Photo by Jackie Cooper Photography

See more of our Jayhawk couples online and send us your own! To have your photo included in our Jayhawk wedding album, please email a JPG image to share @kualumni.org.

Please include:
•    Names of the couple
•    KU degree information if applicable
•    Wedding date
•    Brief story of how you met

By sending us your photo, you consent that the photo will be included in the Jayhawk Wedding Album on the KU Alumni Association Facebook page.

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Kansas Athletics plays Cupid | Justin & Ashley

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 in News

Whether it was in the midst of Budig 320 or over a crunchy chicken cheddar wrap at the Market, hanging out on Wescoe Beach or at a network watch party years later, countless Jayhawks owe their marriage to their time on the Hill. We’re sharing some of our favorite stories this week in anticipation of Valentine’s Day on Saturday, Feb. 14.

img_valentines_ashley_jtAshley (Schlotzhauer) Thornton, d’07, and Justin (JT) Thornton, c’10.

Ashley, advertising manager for Kansas Athletics and a former KU cheerleader, shared the story of how walking down the Hill led to walking down the aisle.

How did we meet? Well it’s true…we met at a bar, Johnny’s Tavern North. We even held our wedding rehearsal dinner upstairs!

When we first met, Justin (JT) was a red-shirt freshman on the Kansas football team. I was in my senior year and was a KU cheerleader—yes, everyone teases us about the football player/cheerleader combo! We dated for what seemed like forever since I was four years older and all my friends were either getting engaged or married. 

After five years of dating, JT proposed to me at his graduation party, shortly after walking down Campanile Hill. Both of our families were there and I was 100% shocked!

We were married on March 4, 2011, which is the late Dr. Bob Frederick’s birthday. He was a dear friend and my professor at KU while I studied Health and Sport Management. Dr. Frederick was a former athletic director at KU.

We’ve been married four years in March and have two little Future Jayhawks: Isaiah, who just turned 3, and Ellis, who is 16 months old. Justin is the general manager for Centerplate, a food and beverage service that is currently the concessionaire for Kansas Athletics, and I work for Kansas Athletics in the marketing department.

See more of our Jayhawk couples online and send us your photo! To have your photo included in our album, please email a JPG image to share@kualumni.org.

Please include:

  • Names of the couple
  • KU degree information if applicable
  • Wedding date
  • Brief story of how you met

By sending us your photo, you consent that the photo will be included in the Jayhawk Wedding Album on the KU Alumni Association Facebook page.

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