Baby Jay unites generations of Jayhawks at wedding

Posted on Sep 29, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Andrew, b’14, and Erin Forbes, j’14, were married in Kansas City on June 3, 2017. The couple sent us some pictures of their wedding, which included a very recognizable special guest. We had to follow up to hear more of the story. Nothing brings people together like the University of Kansas (and Baby Jay)!

Maupin Forbes Jayhawk wedding with Baby Jay

How did you two meet?

Our sorority and fraternity (Tri Delta and Delta Chi) were partnered for Homecoming in 2011, our sophomore year at KU. It all started somewhere between a few Jayhawk Jingle practices and pomping our float for the parade!

What was your engagement story?

We’ve since moved to San Francisco after graduating from KU and Andrew proposed near Sutro Baths. It was a very foggy day and he took me to a restaurant that overlooks the ocean. As we wrapped up the meal the clouds began to clear up and we walked down to the water where he proposed.

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Who came up with the idea to take a photo with all of the KU grads?

Erin did! We had seen photos from other weddings with the alumni holding a statue of their mascot, we figured we could do one better and just invite Baby Jay to the reception. And I’m glad we did, it was great to capture so many Jayhawk grads of all ages in one place: from the 1960’s to 2016! Everyone loved taking photos with Baby Jay, whether they went to KU or not.

Share your Jayhawk wedding story

We love hearing about Jayhawk weddings like this one. If you have a wedding or engagement story with a special Lawrence flair, send it to us! Also, check out our collection of Jayhawk wedding photos on Facebook.

All photos courtesy of Complete Weddings and Events KC.

-Ryan Camenzind

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Future bride surprises Jayhawk fiancé | Brandon & Brittany

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 in Alumni News and 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

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 Alumni News and 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 |

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

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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A house divided, again

Posted on Mar 23, 2013 in Alumni News and News

The KU men’s basketball team survived a close one in their first game of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, hanging on to beat Western Kentucky 64-57. The victory set up the Jayhawks to meet a familiar foe– the North Carolina Tar Heels, coached by former Kansas head coach of 15 years, Roy Williams.

House divided KU North Carolina flag www.kualumni.orgKU fans around the world remember that in last year’s Elite Eight, the No. 2-seeded Jayhawks defeated the Tar Heels, a No. 1 seed, to advance to the Final Four.

And five years ago, another No. 1-seeded KU team beat a North Carolina squad that had earned the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament. The Jayhawks, of course, went on to win the National Championship that year.

Hilary and Jonathan Wingate, joint Path to Life Premium members of the KU Alumni Association, remember those games better than most.

Hilary, c’03, has always bled crimson and blue–much to the dismay of her husband, a former manager for the Tar Heels basketball team. The couple met when they both attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina.

They survived 2008’s historic Final Four matchup in San Antonio and married three months later in Lawrence. Their wedding day featured two shades of blue, representing both KU and Carolina; the same “house divided” flag they’d proudly waved in San Antonio; and the fight songs of both schools. The newly-married couple left their reception at the Adams Alumni Center through a crowd of family and friends waving crimson and blue and Carolina blue and white pom pons.

We’re sure the house divided flag is flying again at the Wingate home. Sorry, Jonathan, we’re rooting for the Jayhawks again!

House divided KU North Carolina wedding flag

House divided KU North Carolina wedding

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True love at a KU basketball watch party

Posted on Mar 22, 2013 in Alumni News and News

Matt Dandurand says it’s pretty much a miracle that he met his wife, Kristen, 1,500 miles away from their home state of Kansas in Los Angeles, a little city of 12 million people.

Thank goodness for Kansas basketball.

Kristen Bloom, c’01, PharmD’08, a self-professed KU basketball addict, grew up watching every game and driving back and forth from Wichita to Allen Fieldhouse. She even used to memorize the height, weight and numbers of all the players and collected their basketball cards and posters.

Kristen was completing her final month of rotations for KU School of Pharmacy in 2008, and she was in Los Angeles for four weeks for an externship. She contacted the Los Angeles alumni chapter’s president, Maria Skeels, c’97, g’01, to find out where she could watch KU’s Final Four game with fellow Jayhawks.

The watch site for Jayhawks was El Guapo (now called The Parlor). The place was packed because UCLA played Memphis before the KU vs. North Carolina game. Kristen asked a group if she could share their table, and she ended up sitting next to Matt.

Matt actually didn’t attend KU. In fact, he says he’s the black sheep of his family because of it. His father and younger brother both hold pharmacy degrees from KU; his sister and brother-in-law both earned law degrees from KU; and his mother attended classes for a few years.

Matt moved to L.A. with a friend who graduated from KU and has met many other Jayhawks while attending watch parties at El Guapo and The Parlor. “I more or less feel like an honorary alumnus because it’s in my blood and half my friends out here went to KU,” he says.

Fate intervenes
Bloom-Dandurand wedding photoKristen struck up a conversation with Matt and quickly discovered a connection: she had grown up visiting Dandurand Drug Store in Wichita, which is owned by Matt’s father.

They didn’t talk much during the game, but after it was over and everyone was celebrating, he asked for her phone number. Later, he called to ask if he could take her to the watch party for the championship game against Memphis. “I had a great time and figured he was some sort of good luck charm,” Kristen says.

Kristen and Matt spent time together through the end of April. On the last day of her externship, Kristen was offered a job at the hospital in L.A. She had already accepted another position back home in Wichita, and although she likes to say she didn’t make the decision to move to L.A. based on Matt, she now realizes that he probably tipped the scales in favor of L.A.

After two months of discussing her options with friends and family, Kristen took the job in Los Angeles.

Kristen and Matt have been married for 18 months, and they have a baby Jayhawk on the way. They still attend as many alumni gatherings as possible and can’t wait to attend a game in Allen Fieldhouse together.

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Jayhawk wedding album on Facebook

Posted on Feb 14, 2013 in Alumni News and News

If you’re on Facebook, check out our latest project: a Jayhawk wedding album!

All KU alumni, fans and friends are invited to share their wedding photos with us, and we’ll add them to the photo album on the KU Alumni Association Facebook page.

Here’s what you need to do to be included:

  • Find your favorite wedding photo. Bonus points if it was taken on campus or incorporates a Jayhawk, but it doesn’t have to. Also, be sure you own the copyright or have the rights to use it.
  • Email it to us at
  • Include the names of the couple, KU graduation information (if applicable) and a brief story about how you met.

We’ll add the photos to our album on Facebook. You can tag yourself in the photo if you’d like.

Extra credit: if you had a wedding reception at the Adams Alumni Center, we’re always on the lookout for great event photos taken in our building that we can use on our website.

We can’t wait to see all of your amazing photos! Click here to see the album and photos that have already been submitted.

Hat tip to Corryn Flahaven, j’94, who sent us a message on Facebook last summer and suggested a project like this after seeing her graduate school alma mater’s alumni association do the same.

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Jayhawk wedding inspires a popular wedding site

Posted on Feb 11, 2013 in Alumni News and News

Remember a few weeks ago when KU superfan Jason Sudeikis popped the question to his girlfriend, Olivia Wilde? Anja Winikka, c’09, j’09, a writer for the popular wedding website The Knot, wrote a blog post featuring five KU-themed wedding ideas for the couple.

Turns out, several of the ideas and photos were from the Oct. 2010 wedding of alumni Thi Thieu, c’04, j’04, and Cory Miller, c’05. We followed up with Thi to find out more about her Jayhawk love story and wedding.

How did you and Cory meet?

We met in 2004 during our senior year at KU. We both worked at Quinton’s, and when you work there it becomes your home away from home. Although we worked there at different times, we met through mutual friends and started dating just before we both left Kansas.

Tell us your engagement story:

We are both loyal KU fans and have fond memories of Kansas. Every Thanksgiving, we drive from Chicago to Wichita, and a pit stop in Lawrence is our one opportunity to visit campus each year.

In 2009, we stopped in Lawrence on our way from Wichita to Kansas City for the Border Showdown at Arrowhead Stadium. We wanted to take pictures at Potter Lake and the Campanile. After a few photos, Cory suggested that I hop on the bench by the Campanile to get a shot of Kivisto Field- and when I turned around, he was down on his knee.

How do you say no to a Jayhawk on one knee, on campus no less? You don’t.

How did you come up with the ideas for Jayhawk wedding details?

We wanted to incorporate Kansas in tasteful ways. We used Kansas glasses for flower vases; I love the “evolution of the Jayhawk,” so we used glasses featuring the vintage Jayhawks to hold the bridesmaids’ flowers before the wedding.

Cory and I both accessorized with Jayhawks. I used a Jayhawk pin to hold swatches of my mom’s and mother-in-law’s wedding dresses on the inside lining of my dress, and Cory wore Jayhawk cufflinks.

The reception tables were named after Lawrence landmarks, with a personalized description of what the spot meant to us. We sat at the Campanile table with our families, which represented our engagement location. The basketball fans were seated at Allen Fieldhouse; my sorority sisters sat at the Chi Omega fountain table; Cory’s roommates and friends sat at the Goldmaker’s table because he had lived in an apartment over the store.

A popular prop at our photo booth was the plush Jayhawk hat, and one of our friends brought Jayhawk stickers for all the alumni at the reception. Cory even had one on his suit when we were announced at the reception. My only regret is not flying Big Jay up for the wedding!

What was your favorite Jayhawk detail at the wedding?

One of our favorite memories is of the very last song. As our vendors were clearing tables and kicking us out of the venue, our DJ played the last request: the KU fight song! A group of Jayhawk friends circled the floor, dancing and clapping and cheering. Our big night ended with the Rock Chalk chant, and that’s how we celebrated one of the biggest wins of our lives.

Read more about Thi and Cory’s wedding on Thi’s blog.  All photos by Becky Hill Photography.

Jayhawk wedding details |


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The bride wore a KU shirt

Posted on Feb 8, 2013 in Alumni News and News

Alan Williams is a die-hard Jayhawk fan, and his new wife Brayla gave him the perfect wedding gift: a KU-themed wedding.

Alan and Brayla first met 13 years ago through mutual friends. Two years ago, the timing was finally right and they became a couple. Alan, a passionate KU fan since he was six years old, successfully converted their son, Braxyn, from a fan of our rival school to the west to a KU fan. He brought Braxyn a KU hat as a gift, and now the young boy makes sure he’s always wearing Jayhawk apparel on game day.

The couple’s wedding date was moved up when Alan took a promotion, and they needed to plan a wedding quickly so they could move to Texas as a family. Brayla suggested a small, simple ceremony at home with a KU theme. “Everyone in our family conveniently already happened to be KU fans, so it was perfect!” Brayla said. Alan loved the idea, which is all that mattered to her.

The only missing link was their pastor. He had already agreed to do the wedding, and Brayla suddenly feared that he would be the one person who wasn’t a fan. As luck would have it, he also loves the Jayhawks (of course he does!) and even offered to let them use his church for the ceremony.

Brayla’s favorite wedding details were the handmade accessories her mother, Kathy Davis, created, especially the crimson and blue bouquet she still raves about. We love that the pastor wore a blue “Game Day Shirt” for the wedding.

Everyone at the wedding wore jeans and KU shirts, including the bride. And the best part about the relaxed theme? “Every time I wear that KU shirt or hoodie, I remind Alan that I’m wearing my wedding dress and he needs to take me somewhere nice!”

Alan and Brayla’s Jayhawk family includes his brother Eric Williams, j’07, c’12, and sister-in-law Anne Williams, s’07; and her sister Brea Smith, c’02, and aunt Mylea Charvat, c’02.

Congratulations to Alan, Brayla and Braxyn!

Jayhawk wedding |

Photos submitted by Brayla Williams


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