Remembering Hal Sandy

Posted on Dec 13, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Harold “Hal” Sandy died December 9, 2017. Sandy created the “Happy Jayhawk” design while a student at the University of Kansas.

Sandy’s Jayhawk was in response to the end of World War II. The 1941 Jayhawk previously used by the university was depicted as aggressive in nature by Sandy’s friend Yogi Williams. Discussions with Williams and the head of KU public relations about the change in the country’s post-war attitude led to Sandy creating the “Happy Jayhawk.”

Shortly thereafter, he sold the design and an inventory of decals to the KU Bookstore for $250. The licensing royalty income for the University now exceeds $2 million per year.

The Jayhawk is the only cartoon that Sandy, a 1947 KU graduate and retired marketing consultant, ever drew.

Watch a video interview with Sandy:


More coverage about Sandy and the Happy Jayhawk


My meeting with Hal Sandy (2017)

David Johnston, KU Alumni Association vice president for marketing and digital media, met with Sandy while leading the KU visual identity project in 2005 as KU director of marketing. He reflects on meeting Sandy for the first time in this personal tribute to a KU icon.

KU reveals new visual identity signature, ‘completed’ Jayhawk with new logo (2005)

Six decades ago when University of Kansas advertising student Hal Sandy drew the famous happy Jayhawk mascot still in use today, he wanted to place the official “KU” lettering on its chest. But there was no official KU lettering then. That changed during the summer of 2005.


“Happy Birthday, Jay!” from Kansas Alumni magazine (Issue No. 6, 1996)


“Hail to the ‘Hawks” from Kansas Alumni magazine (Issue No. 2, 2016)


“Jayhawk Jubilee” from KU History

Jayhawk Jubilee

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