Joyce Davis Pulley earns Wintermote Award

Posted on Jul 10, 2018 in Alumni News and News

Joyce Davis Pulley faced a big challenge when she joined the Sacramento Jayhawks: a small group of alumni far away from Lawrence.

Her hard work connecting KU graduates and fans in the area paid off. As a result, the KU Alumni Association is proud to present her with the 2018 Dick Wintermote Volunteer of the Year Award.

Pulley, c’77, moved to Sacramento in 1997 and has organized watch parties and other alumni events for Jayhawks since 1999.

Nick Kallail, assistant vice president of alumni and network programs, is impressed with Pulley’s efforts.

“Sacramento checks in with just under 600 alumni within 25 miles, but always compares favorably in event attendance and network Facebook activity with much larger groups,” said Kallail.

“The great connections within this network and love for KU was shared with Jayhawk Nation at the KU/Stanford Basketball game played in Sacramento this past December and is a testimony to the great volunteer work Joyce has done for the KU Alumni Association.”

Kallail will present the award to Pulley at a summer happy hour July 11.

About the award

The award is named for Dick Wintermote, c’51, who served as the executive director of the Association from 1963 to 1983. His legacy represents the importance of building a strong volunteer network, the need for a dues-paying membership program and establishing the KU Alumni Association as one of the premier associations of graduates in the country.

—Ryan Camenzind

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Wichita Jayhawks celebrate HAWK Mentor Program

Posted on May 7, 2018 in Alumni News and News

HAWK Mentor ProgramKU alumni and Wichita high school students gathered at the Wichita KU School of Medicine for an end-of-year banquet to celebrate the HAWK Mentor Program.

The HAWK (Helpful Alumni Working for KU) Mentor Program connects Wichita-area high school students with local KU alumni to help underrepresented and minority students transition from high school to college.

Sasha Kuchinski, j’09, c’09, coordinates the Hawk Mentor program and serves as a KU admissions representative for Wichita. “At the banquet we had each mentor and mentee share their favorite moments from the past year and it was pretty incredible to hear all the things they’ve done together, but mostly how close some of these mentees and mentors have become,” said Kuchinski.

Azhai Williams, a senior from Wichita West High School, shared advice on succeeding in high school. Williams is headed to KU in the fall and spoke about her college search process.

HAWK Mentor Program

Mentors and mentees left with KU mugs and glasses filled with candy and Jayhawk pennants.

The HAWK Mentor Program scheduled events for mentors and mentees throughout the school year. Events included KU campus visits, game watch parties and volunteer opportunities. Mentees also shadowed mentors at their jobs to learn more about professional workplaces.

-Ryan Camenzind

To learn more about becoming a mentor, or other ways you can help recruit future Jayhawks, visit the KU Admissions website.

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Burtnett family to receive Millie Award

Posted on Apr 10, 2018 in Alumni News and News

In recognition of their service to Wichita-area alumni, Jerry and Lucy Burtnett will be presented with the Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award, affectionately known as the “Millie” award, at Jayhawk Roundup on April 13.

Roundup reliable

Jerry and Lucy Burtnett, Millie Award recipientsJerry, p’69, and Lucy have helped organize the Jayhawk Roundup since 2006, and they hosted the event in 2011 and 2012. KU Alumni Association president Heath Peterson thanked the Burtnetts for giving “a tremendous amount of sweat equity to Jayhawk Roundup, both serving on the volunteer committee and later as chairs of the event.”

Danielle Hoover, director of donor relations and Wichita programs, echoed Peterson’s praise, stating the Burtnetts “are some of the hardest working volunteers I have ever worked with. They’ve spent many, many hours helping set up, decorate and clean up the Murfin Stables for Jayhawk Roundup.”

Jerry and Lucy also served on the Wichita Network‘s board from 2011 to 2015 and contribute their time for Jayhawks for Higher Education.

“We got involved because of our local KU contacts and wanted to help,” said Jerry. “Working with our KU friends was very enjoyable and we continue to help with Roundup.”

The Burtnetts, who are Life Members of the KU Alumni Association, now split their time between Wichita and Florida.

Jerry and Lucy Burtnett as event chairs at the 2011 Halloween-themed Jayhawk Roundup

The Burtnetts as “event chairs” at the 2011 Halloween-themed Jayhawk Roundup

About the award

The Mildred Clodfelter Alumni Award was created in 1987 to thank alumni and friends for sustained volunteer service to the University at the local level. The award honors Mildred Clodfelter, b’41, who worked for the University for 47 years, including 42 at the Alumni Association.

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Lawrence Network leader earns Wintermote award

Posted on Sep 28, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Brandon Petz, b'06, g'07, Lawrence Network Leader and Wintermote Award recipient

With volunteers all across America, it takes a lot for one in KU’s backyard to stand out. Brandon Petz does that and more for local alumni as the Lawrence Network leader. The KU Alumni Association is proud to name Petz, b’06 g’07, a Dick Wintermote Network Volunteer of the Year Award recipient. The annual award recognizes volunteers who brought extraordinary leadership to their network.

“I am so honored to be named a Wintermote Award recipient. All the years volunteering for various networks has been so much fun and I cherish being a part of the KU Alumni Association and all it stands for,” Petz said.

Uniting local alumni

Petz’s work to bring together a group of alumni that already feels connected to the University due to their proximity to campus has impressed many inside the Alumni Association.

“Brandon Petz has gone above and beyond to revamp the Lawrence Network in the shape of the new alumni network strategy,” said Nick Kallail, assistant vice president of alumni and network programs. “He has recruited a team that have provided diverse events and continues to move forward engaging alums to make KU better. This is no easy task in Lawrence, where opportunities to connect with KU are so plentiful.”

Fellow Lawrence network volunteer Tom Larkin, a’09, echoed Kallail’s comments, noting Petz’s enthusiasm for KU “that clearly started before he became president of our Lawrence network. He’s extremely organized and focused, and has a knack for getting everybody energized about the current mission or task at hand. His leadership and positive disposition makes him a joy the be around and a true asset to the Association.”

Petz, a Cimarron, Kansas, native, lives in Lawrence with his wife, Bonnie, and his daughter, Eleanor. Petz is chief financial officer of Grandstand Glassware and Apparel, a local custom screenprinting company that specializes in glassware and apparel.

About the award

The award is named for Dick Wintermote, c’51, who served as the executive director of the Association from 1963 to 1983. His legacy represents the importance of building a strong volunteer network, the need for a dues-paying membership program and establishing the KU Alumni Association as one of the premier associations of graduates in the country.

—Ryan Camenzind

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Dallas Jayhawk named Wintermote Award Recipient

Posted on Jul 21, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Kate Feller McSwain, b'12, 2017 recipient of the Dick Wintermote Award | Dallas Jayhawk
Kate Feller McSwain faced a big challenge taking over as network leader for one of the largest University of Kansas alumni groups. Her hard work bringing Dallas Jayhawks together will be honored with the Dick Wintermote Network Volunteer of the Year Award, to be presented at a wine-tasting event July 26. The annual award recognizes volunteers who provided extraordinary leadership to their network.

McSwain, b’12, a fourth-generation Jayhawk, has four years experience volunteering with the Alumni Association, including serving as network leader for the past year. Fellow Dallas Network volunteer John Jacobs praised her leadership, saying she “consistently looks to empower members to lead their projects but is willing to help out herself where and when she can.”

McSwain’s work in establishing more frequent network gatherings year-round, such as the Jayhawks & Java breakfast, has impressed Nick Kallail, assistant vice president of alumni & career programs.

“The Dallas Jayhawks Network has led the way on providing compelling and diverse events that connect Jayhawks from all walks of life,” Kallail says. “Kate has been a huge part of our network growth in Dallas and was able to amplify programming even more in her first year as Network Leader. We are fortunate to have many great Jayhawk volunteers across the nation, but Kate is truly a star of stars.”

McSwain works at Match Group, a Dallas-based company that owns several online dating websites and apps including Match.com, OkCupid, and Tinder.

The award is named for Dick Wintermote, c’51, who served as the executive director of the Association from 1963 to 1983. His legacy represents the importance of building a strong volunteer network, the need for a dues-paying membership program and establishing the KU Alumni Association as one of the premier associations of graduates in the country.

—Ryan Camenzind

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The Big Event is coming to KU

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 in Alumni News and News

Big-Event-button-logo-2013What’s The Big Event? Glad you asked.

This student-led effort involves one big day of community service connecting the KU campus with the Lawrence community. Thousands of student, faculty, staff and alumni volunteers will contribute a day of service on hundreds of local projects on April 13. Community service has been a tradition among KU alumni and students for generations, however this year’s edition of The Big Event may very well be one of the largest coordinated volunteer efforts in KU history.

2013 will mark the third annual event for KU, following two successful editions in 2011 and 2012. And The Big Event just keeps getting bigger. Alumni can learn more and get involved at thebigeventku.com. Meantime, watch this video to see how these volunteers are making a difference in the community.

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