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Jayhawk Welcome Center

About the

Welcome to your new Home on the Hill. 

As a home for the KU community, the Jayhawk Welcome Center powerfully tells our story, illustrating the incomparable KU experience and what it truly means to be a Jayhawk.

About the

Welcome to your new Home on the Hill. 

As a home for the KU community, the Jayhawk Welcome Center powerfully tells our story, illustrating the incomparable KU experience and what it truly means to be a Jayhawk.

About the

Welcome to your new Home on the Hill. 

As a home for the KU community, the Jayhawk Welcome Center powerfully tells our story, illustrating the incomparable KU experience and what it truly means to be a Jayhawk.

Interested in event space?

Whether your occasion is a banquet dinner, happy-hour reception, small meeting or corporate event, the Jayhawk Welcome Center offers top-notch venues and amenities to fit your needs. Visit our venues page to learn more.

The Jayhawk Welcome

The Jayhawk Welcome

As visitors enter the lobby, they are greeted by a two-story LED display with a personalized welcome message for each Jayhawk. Expansive videos and images capture iconic KU settings and traditions.

The Jayhawk Experience

The Jayhawk Experience

View 360-degree videos that transport visitors to classrooms, libraries, labs and other campus facilities. Explore beyond campus to learn more about the adventures that await in Lawrence and the region.

The Jayhawk Network

The Jayhawk Network

Guests can select from a variety of alumni success stories that speak to the KU spirit, career pathways and connections that link past and present Jayhawks. Also explore the vast Jayhawk Network on an interactive map to see where Jayhawks flock.

Leadership & Legacy

Leadership & Legacy

Learn about notable Jayhawks and their achievements—and the ways in which KU shaped their lives and successes.

Origins & Traditions

Origins & Traditions

Learn about KU's origins, rich history and traditions through artifacts and digital touch screens that tell our spirited story. Here we celebrate what it means to be a Jayhawk.

Research & Innovation

Research & Innovation

Large vertical touch screens allow visitors to learn about KU discoveries, research excellence and innovations that drive economic growth, health and prosperity in Kansas and beyond.

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What’s your Jayhawk Story?

Our exhibits showcase the KU experience and what it means to be a Jayhawk. We’d love to hear and potentially feature alumni or students like you!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Jayhawk Welcome Center?

The Jayhawk Welcome Center is a 30,000-square-foot facility open for campus tours by prospective students and their families — as well as events and programs for current students and the KU and Lawrence communities. Our door is also open for Jayhawks of all ages as a place to call home. 

The building contains six unique and interactive exhibits that visitors can enjoy and use to learn about the Legacy, Achievements, Origins, Networks, and Traditions of what it means to be a Jayhawk.

The Jayhawk Welcome Center houses the front office of the KU Admissions Department and sees close to 1500 students and families weekly for campus visits. The building connects to the Adams Alumni Center, headquarters of the KU Alumni Association, giving Jayhawks the full picture of what being a Jayhawk at the University of Kansas means.

The Jayhawk Welcome Center is open to all! Prospective students, current students, alumni and Jayhawk fans and supporters of all ages are welcome in our building.

Come experience the life of a Jayhawk and interact with our unique exhibits! Get your feet wet in Potter Lake, see the inside of the Campanile, and stand in between Big Jay & Little Jay at our Photobooth or snap a selfie at our ROCK CHALK wall.

We welcome walk-ins! All we ask is that you check-in at the front desk. If you’d like a tour, the Student Ambassadors are some of the best and will be happy to show you around the Welcome Center.

If you are a prospective student planning on visiting KU, we recommend finding a visit day through KU Admissions to ensure you get the full Rock Chalk experience. 

The Jayhawk Welcome Center captures the spirit, legacy, and traditions of what being a Jayhawk is all about. The Alumni Center worked with national board members, Alumni Association members, donors and over 100 students to fund and ultimately determine that there was no better home for the Welcome Center than atop Mt. Oread and at the entrance to the historic corridor of campus.

The Jayhawk Welcome Center is connected to the Adams Alumni Center as a way to showcase what the life cycle of a Jayhawk entails. The intention was to create a complex that is aesthetically appealing to future generations of Jayhawks while preserving the rich history of the Alumni Center.

After input from KU architecture students, the modern design incorporates the brick of the Alumni Center and the same limestone found in Snow, Budig Hall and Watson Library, with an emphasis on storytelling and large spaces for collaboration through modern technology.

With some of the best views of campus, our venues offer a wide range of possibilities to create your ideal event or meeting. Visit our Venues page to learn more.

Questions? Email us at jwcevents@kualumni.org and we’ll be in touch!

There is no dedicated parking available at the Jayhawk Welcome Center. We recommend parking at the Mississippi St. Garage. Visit parking.ku.edu for more information.

Our hours of operations are 8-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Building hours can vary based on hosted events.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Jayhawk Welcome Center?

The University of Kansas and the KU Alumni Association have ushered in a new era of student recruitment with the construction of a Jayhawk Welcome Center at the entrance to the historic Jayhawk Boulevard corridor of the Lawrence campus.

Funded entirely through private gifts, the $21 million, 30,000-square-foot structure connects to the Adams Alumni Center, headquarters of the KU Alumni Association, at 1266 Oread Ave. As the new starting point for all campus visits by prospective students and their families, the Jayhawk Welcome Center houses approximately 20 members of the KU Admissions staff. The project also includes the renovation of the Adams Center, which opened in 1983.

“The Jayhawk Welcome Center is a real game-changer for our university,” Chancellor Douglas Girod said. “It is a meeting place for every member of our community, including alumni, current students and, most importantly, prospective students who are visiting our campus and deciding whether to attend the University of Kansas.

“This new facility is crucial to our university given the headwinds we’re facing in higher education. Across the nation, we are seeing fewer high school graduates, and that trend will continue for the next decade. That puts a lot of pressure on enrollment, which is why the Jayhawk Welcome Center is so important to our university and our mission.”

The project emerged in discussions among University leaders about the daunting enrollment challenges that confront KU and all of higher education. A shrinking population of high school graduates and the increasing cost burden on families already have affected enrollments nationally, and the pandemic only worsened the impact of these ongoing trends. KU must do all that it can to recruit top students in an increasingly competitive arena.

For many students, the campus visit is a critical factor in choosing a college, and it is one element of the admissions process that KU can control. In 2019 and 2020, students who visited campus enrolled at KU at twice the rate of those who do not visit.

There are rationale drivers of college choice (quality and affordability) and emotional drivers of college choice (fit and feel). The campus visit provides the best opportunity to address fit/feel issues. It’s a test drive. When students are asked why they selected a school, the most common replies address fit and feel: “It felt right.” “I could see myself going to school here.” “I was comfortable.”

The current KU Visitor Center no longer provides the ideal location or recruitment experience required in this new era of competition for students.

The location of the Adams Alumni Center—atop Mount Oread at the entrance to historic Jayhawk Boulevard—provides the perfect starting point for campus tours.

Since the Alumni Center opened in 1983, KU’s alumni population has grown from less than 200,000 to more than 350,000. In addition, the Alumni Association has transformed in the past 40 years to serve more students than ever before, through both the Student Alumni Network (now nearly 6,000 students, the largest in the Big 12, and KU’s largest campus student group) and the Jayhawk Career Network. Our annual giving program, the Presidents Club, includes nearly 600 alumni.

Fundraising for the project began more than six years ago, as KU leaders began to prepare for looming enrollment challenges.

The population of U.S. high school seniors will sharply decline in 2026, resulting from the steep reduction in births amid the Great Recession of 2008.

After the leadership gift of $14 million was secured in 2019, other donors enthusiastically stepped up to meet this pressing need.

We engaged 27 national board members, multiple KU partners, more than 100 students, and many of the donors who provided funds to make this project possible. Ultimately, we reached the consensus that the Welcome Center must capture the view from David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium to Fraser Hall, so the expansive glass front highlights the view—one of the best assets we have, particularly in our location at the entrance to the historic corridor of campus.

The building must appeal to future generations of Jayhawks. KU architecture students strongly advocated for a sleek, modern design and open spaces that could make full use of the latest digital technology to highlight KU stories and the Jayhawk experience.

The challenge with this project is preserving what Jayhawks love about the existing Alumni Center, while creating something attractive to the next generation of Jayhawks. The modern design incorporates the brick of the Center and the same limestone found on Snow, Budig Hall and Watson Library.

Essentially, we needed a design relevant for visitors from ages 18 to 80—a tall order. We hope that the experience inside the Welcome Center, emphasizing storytelling and large spaces for collaboration and celebration, will captivate future Jayhawks and alumni of all ages.

For media inquires contact:

Jennifer Jackson Sanner
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs
KU Alumni Association
Email: jjsanner@kualumni.org

Questions?

Questions about the Jayhawk Welcome Center? Email us at jwcevents@kualumni.org.

Welcome to the University of Kansas Alumni Association

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