Matt Baysinger and Ryan Henrich met at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park. Both ran track for the Jaguars and both, in Baysinger’s words, “were a couple of real ding-dongs.”
“Our idea of fun was not what the typical high school kid is into,” says Baysinger, now 33 and CEO of Swell Spark, the Kansas City-based company that launched two of the most unique and popular entertainment options to hit Mass Street in years: Breakout Lawrence and Blade & Timber.
Shared experiences are the heart of Matt Baysinger, c’09, g’11 and Ryan Henrich’s, ’09 epic adventures. After testing out escape rooms in Nashville, the pair of Jayhawks are bringing new ways to have fun in Lawrence. Read additional coverage in issue No. 3, 2019, of Kansas Alumni magazine.
A finger-snap ago, Central District was nothing more robust than an artist’s rendering, a wish list, part of a master plan for what our beloved campus could one day be, how it should live and breathe and teach and embrace, for the next half-century or more.
Less than two years later—“We tried to build it as fast as we could,” said one project architect—and this thing is done.
Or, if not done, close to it, at least for now, and all those fears we might have silently nursed about too much, too soon? Park them. The newly christened Central District—40-plus acres of mostly empty or under-utilized space bordered by Allen Field House, Oliver Hall, 19th Street, Daisy Hill and Irving Hill Road—is suddenly a vibrant center of student life, faculty research and science education.
Read more in the cover feature of issue No. 4, 2018, of Kansas Alumni magazine.
University architect Jim Modig, a,’73, and former University architect, Warren Corman, e’50, guide a tour of KU’s Central District. The Integrated Science Building is the focal point, but it’s joined by new student housing, parking, a new Burge Union, and a utility plant.
Watch a two-minute timelapse video of the Central District under construction.
Watch the videos below to learn more about the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC). Read additional coverage in issue No. 3, 2018, ofKansas Alumni magazine.
The Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Hutchinson, a division of KU Professional & Continuing Education, trains the majority of municipal, county and state law enforcement officers—more than 400 in basic training or related programs and nearly 10,000 in continuing education annually. Watch as Gary Warner, a 28-year law enforcement veteran and KLETC instructor, explains the weeklong firearms training course and how the center takes a building-blocks approach to ensure all officers learn proper gun handling and safety skills.
Ed Pavey retires
Plus, hear from longtime director Ed Pavey, who retired in June after leading the center for nearly 25 years, and Darin Beck, who succeeds Pavey as KLETC’s new executive director.
Librarians Beth Whittaker and Becky Schulte lead KU Alumni Association videographer Dan Storey on a tour of Kenneth Spencer Research Library’s renovated North Gallery. As also featured in Kansas Alumni magazine’s “View to a Thrill,” the new North Gallery now includes an array of interactive displays that introduce visitors to the research library’s fascinating collections, as well as a newly framed Campanile vista that is perhaps unrivaled on Mount Oread.
Whittaker and her colleagues encourage alumni to drop by on their next campus visit and see for themselves.
“We love books,” Whittaker says, “but it’s not just books.”
Driven by their love for the game, a group of dedicated sports club athletes is leading a hockey resurgence at KU.
Yo juego hockey.
When his Spanish teacher asked students to introduce themselves to a classmate, Andy McConnell turned to an unknown guy seated nearby and said, en español, “I play hockey.”
When he arrived at KU, McConnell immediately sought out the men’s ice hockey club team. What he found here was not good. There were no prospects for the sport’s return, until McConnell heard his classmate’s reply:
Yo juego hockey.
McConnell closed out his playing career two years ago and has since volunteered his time as the club’s head coach.
Find out how KU’s ice hockey club team was reborn in Chris Lazzarino’s cover story for issue no. 1, 2018, of Kansas Alumni magazine.
For more information about the award-winning Kansas Alumni magazine, click here.
A Tylosaurus proriger specimen, essentially a sea monster with giant teeth, was installed. It preyed on sea turtles, so staff members came up with the idea of using a fossil sea turtle that was also quarried from Kansas by a former KU student.
Visitors driving or walking past the building on Naismith Drive can see the Tylosaurus through the large glass window.
About the Earth, Energy & Environment Center
The Earth, Energy & Environment Center (EEEC) sits next to Lindley Hall and will open for classes in spring 2018. The two buildings of the EEEC—Ritchie Hall and Slawson Hall— will feature bridges to Lindley Hall and Learned Hall.
The multidisciplinary center is a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering. It will bring together faculty, students and researchers from geology and engineering to tackle energy and environmental research.
Read more about the December installation and see pictures.
When designing the 2006 expansion of the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center south of Hutchinson, architects left a mound of dirt with a cement platform in the courtyard between the campus cafeteria and auditorium. The embankment would become the ideal location to honor the men and women sworn to protect and serve.
The knoll sat dormant until 2015, when Bob Senecal and his wife, Evelyn, visited the campus and told Director Ed Pavey of their desire to commission a monument for KLETC, which since 1968 has provided vital basic training for all law enforcement officers in Kansas. The KLETC is a division of KU Professional & Continuing Education, which Bob Senecal led for 21 years as dean during his KU career of more than 30 years.
The Senecals collaborated with Austin Weishel, a nationally recognized sculptor from Loveland, Colorado, and the KLETC staff to create a vision for “The Protector,” a bronze sculpture unveiled July 27 at a celebration that included Chancellor Douglas Girod and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, j’90, SJD’16.
“The work that our law enforcement provide across the state and region is absolutely critical in today’s society and certainly very challenging,” Girod said. “The preparation they get through this center is so important. Ultimately, it’s about a sworn duty to protect, which is why I think the name of this statue is so fitting.”
“While the training and the science of law enforcement is so critical, … it really is the art of law enforcement that makes a good cop,” Schmidt said, “so I think it’s really important that we’re here today celebrating the addition of a central piece of art to the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.”
While the new statue is sure to catch the eye of those working and training at the KLETC, the campus also welcomes visitors. To schedule a tour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, contact Lisa Webster, assistant to the director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Left to right: Chancellor Girod; David Cook, vice chancellor of the KU Edwards Campus; Ed Pavey, KLETC director; Evelyn and Bob Senecal; Attorney General Derek Schmidt; and Sharon Graham, assistant vice chancellor of KU Professional & Continuing Education
If Michael Wilson has his way, Kansas City will become known for luxury watches as well as tasty barbecue. Wilson, b’05, has dedicated his hometown company, Niall, to manufacturing luxury watches with meticulous craftsmanship. Niall was the presenting sponsor for the April 29 Rock Chalk Ball, hosted by the Alumni Association’s Greater Kansas City Network. Watch our video to hear more about Wilson’s business philosophy and Niall’s creative and intricate tribute to KU’s distinctive basketball tradition.
Five distinguished Jayhawks working in the world of engineering in Kansas City recently discussed the many challenges and questions facing the metro area now and in the very near future.
The event was hosted by Black & Veatch and held Tuesday, April 11. Clint Robinson, e’85, g’91, associate vice president of Black & Veatch, served as moderator.
The panelists included Kevin McGinnis, c’93, vice president at Pinsight Media; Angie Grant, e’04, vice president at Henderson Engineers, Inc.; Stephen Hardy, c’00, chief executive officer at mySidewalk; Herb Sih, ’89, managing partner at Think Big Partners; and Scott Stallard, e’81, b’81, vice president at Black & Veatch.
The Kansas City Network’s career networking committee helped organize the Smart Cities panel. The committee plans to host quarterly industry-specific events for KU students and alumni.