KU connection brings confetti new life

Posted on Feb 11, 2020 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Super Bowl Confetti

The clock hit zero in Miami and red, yellow and white confetti rained down, some featuring tweets from Kansas City Chiefs fans and players. While every Chiefs fan would love to get their hands on a piece as a souvenir, a KU connection landed a full bag in the hands of a local artist with big plans.

Allison Smith, d’05, n’07, g’08, had a previous connection with Ryan Toma, a groundskeeper for the Chiefs and was keeping up with his experience in Miami through Instagram. She saw him post about the tweet confetti and loved it.

Fast forward to the next day, and Kansas City-based artist Megh Knappenberger, f’04, above, asked on Instagram how she could get her hands on some confetti for a project.

“I was on my way to the KU hoops game and happened to see Megh’s Instagram story asking if anyone had a ‘hookup’ or ‘connection’ for the confetti,” Smith says. “So, I messaged Ryan to see if he could spare some. They messaged each other and met up in person on Tuesday afternoon!”

As for the end result … we’ll see! That’s a lot of confetti to clean and dry.

Here’s hoping that this isn’t the last celebration for local teams this year. “Fingers crossed for another championship for KU in April 2020,” Smith says. “I’ve got a good feeling!”

—Ryan Camenzind

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Elizabeth Broun’s career in art to be honored at Commencement

Posted on May 16, 2019 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Elizabeth Broun to be honored at Commencement

In recognition of her outstanding career at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Elizabeth Broun will receive an honorary degree from the University of Kansas at the 147th Commencement.

Broun, c’68, g’69, PhD’76, served as curator and subsequently interim director of KU’s Spencer Museum of Art. During that time, she oversaw a dramatic expansion of its collections.

In 1983, she began her tenure at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, beginning as chief curator and assistant director and assuming the position of director in 1989. As director, she led the Smithsonian American Art Museum to become the premier center for research in the field of American visual history under her direction and vision. She retired in 2016.

For more on Broun’s career, read our feature from issue No. 4, 1999 of Kansas Alumni magazine.

To learn more about Commencement, including the history of class banners, honorary degrees, and the special experience for Big and Baby Jays, read our full feature, The Walk.

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Spencer’s lively exhibition of alumni art explores ‘The Power of Place’

Posted on Mar 22, 2019 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Kansas Alumni, issue No. 2, 2019 | The Power of PlaceSpencer Museum of Art’s featured spring exhibition, which runs through June 30, radiates throughout the sparkling central court and first-floor galleries, offering visitors an eclectic array of styles, techniques and ideas, all exploring the topic of place.

As is to be expected with the Spencer’s original exhibitions, “The Power of Place” is both challenging and rewarding, yet also offers plenty of opportunity to pause and ponder the people and places that shape us as Jayhawks and Kansans.

Read more on the alumni artists behind “The Power of Place” exhibition.

Watch the video below to hear the artists discuss the inspirations for their work featured in the Spencer Museum of Art. Read additional coverage in issue No. 2, 2019, of Kansas Alumni magazine.

 

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Film & Media Studies professor takes Oscar for co-writing ‘BlacKkKlansman’

Posted on Feb 25, 2019 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Kevin Willmott (image courtesy of KU)

After months of Oscar buzz, Kevin Willmott’s work on “BlacKkKlansman” was lauded with an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay Feb. 24.

Willmott, a University of Kansas film & media studies professor, co-wrote the screenplay for the 2018 film about Ron Stallworth, the first black police officer in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Stallworth wrote a 2014 memoir about how he infiltrated a cell of the virulently white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.

Willmott collaborated on the screenplay with Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz. The film has been gathering accolades, from the Grand Prix prize at the Cannes Film Festival to a BAFTA award for best adapted screenplay.

Read more on Kevin Willmott’s accomplishment at today.ku.edu.

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KC artist has a banner year with holiday plaza decor

Posted on Dec 14, 2017 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

John Keeling holiday art | watercolor depiction of the KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony in Kansas City

The streets of Kansas City’s most popular shopping district, the Country Club Plaza, are buzzing with holiday cheer.

The city commissioned local artist and University of Kansas alumnus John Keeling, f’83, to create artwork depicting a winter night at the Plaza. Keeling’s watercolor banners now line the streets in front of the storefronts. His work also appeared on a billboard to promote the KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony, a Kansas City tradition with 88 years of history that seems to grow in spectacle each year.

“(I wanted to invoke) the feelings of joy and wonder that the Plaza Lights experience gives Kansas City and its visitors each year,” Keeling said. “As a watercolorist, I wanted to bring something more emotional to the banner artwork. Of course it has to be about the lights first, but my depiction of them in watercolor hopefully captures the feeling more than a graphic design would.”

Reinventing himself

After a 25-year career with Hallmark, Keeling is now self-employed and offers commissioned works from his website. Transitioning to being his own boss has allowed Keeling to learn more about the Kansas City art culture— and himself.

“I’ve been reinventing myself as a painter for the past four years,” Keeling said. “As an art director and creative director at Hallmark, I wasn’t painting for work. I also didn’t get to know the art community outside of the workplace. There are multiple arts organizations, including ArtsKC and the InterUrban ArtHouse, that I’m now involved with and meeting more and more of the community.”

As Kansas City shoppers hurry to buy their last-minute gifts, the lights will shine on the Plaza and Keeling’s artwork until January 14.

-Ryan Camenzind

John Keeling holiday art | watercolor depiction of the plaza lights in Kansas City

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Jayhawks in the News | Nov. 3

Posted on Nov 3, 2017 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org
Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

KU alumna’s new documentary explores what it’s like to be gay in Kansas | University Daily Kansan

After graduating in May of 2017, University alumna Savannah Rodgers became a producer on the project, “Out Here in Kansas.” The documentary revolves around the LGBTQ community and how it intersects with Christianity in Kansas.
Read full article.

 

2018 Board of Directors | University of Kansas Sport Management Program

The University of Kansas Sport Management Program is thrilled to announce the inaugural Board of Directors. These eleven KU alumni will provide invaluable insight to the faculty and students as the program continually grows and adapts in a ever-changing sporting landscape.
Read full article.

 

Alumni Spotlight | Center for Undergraduate Research

Marah Schlingensiepen-Malleck is a 2016 Public Affairs and Administration grad who is now a PhD Student at University of Florida. Following her time at KU, she is able to reflect on what she learned through her research and give advice of her own.
Read full article.

 

A look behind the curtain of KU’s 2008 national title win from 5 players who were there | KUsports.com

By now, almost 10 full years after Mario’s Miracle and the Kansas men’s basketball team’s run to the 2008 national championship, many of the stories about that team, its tournament run and the title game against Memphis have been told.
Read full article.

 

2017 Alumni Award recipients announced at Fort Hays State | Hays Post

Doug Richmond, who earned a Juris Doctor from the KU School of Law in 1989, received the Alumni Achievement Award from Fort Hays State University during its Homecoming celebration. The award is the Alumni Association’s highest honor.
Read full article.

 

KSU Receives $500K For At-Risk Youth | KSAL.com

Low-income, at-risk students will have a greater opportunity to graduate college in four years without crushing debt because of a new partnership between Kansas State University and the Peter and Veronica Mallouk Give Back Program. Peter Mallouk is president and chief investment officer of Creative Planning Inc., one of the largest independent wealth management firms in the country. A graduate of the University of Kansas and its Graduate School of Business, he and his wife, also a KU graduate, are co-founders of KC CAN!, an organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the quality of life of children in Kansas City.
Read full article.

 

Chiefs hire former Sprint, Sprint Center exec to new sales position | Kansas City Business Journal

The Kansas City Chiefs created the position to oversee new business, renewals, activation and service for corporate partnerships, suites and media rights revenue streams. Kimberly Hobbs was hired to the new role of vice president of corporate partnerships and premium sales. She’s a 20-year veteran of the sports marketing industry and is also a member of the Greater Kansas City Network of the KU Alumni Association’s board of directors.
Read full article.

 

County manager recognized with managerial excellence award | Johnson County Kansas

Johnson County manager Hannes Zacharias on Sunday, Oct. 22, was recognized with the Edwin O. Stene Award for Managerial Excellence. The honor was given at the KUCIMAT banquet — a yearly KU alumni event hosted at the International City/County Management Association annual conference.
Read full article.

 

Allen Frame runs straight into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame | The Wichita Eagle

Allen Frame ran for simple reasons. “Because I won,” he said. “That’s the reason I enjoyed it.” Frame won plenty of races at East High and the University of Kansas during a golden era of track and field. He moved to Wichita from Iowa, following his father’s job at Beech, for his final three semesters and joined Fritz Snodgrass’ track team at East.
Read full article.

 

Wells Fargo Middle Market Banking Promotes Three Midwest Leaders | Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Middle Market Banking announced today that it has promoted three executives within its Illinois commercial lending operations. The company named 21-year banking veteran Chris Nay to lead six teams statewide as division manager, effective immediately. Nay earned a degree from the KU School of Business in 1993.
Read full article.

 

Former KU guard, who was booed at MU a lot, approves of Sunday’s exhibition game | The Kansas City Star

Former Kansas basketball guard Ryan Robertson, his wife Andrea — a former Missouri soccer player — and their three children are all Jayhawk fans. Robinson was unable to attend the charity exhibition game, but he shared his thoughts on the rivalry.
Read full article.

Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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Jayhawks in the News | June 30

Posted on Jun 30, 2017 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Rambunctious performances by a solid ensemble make ‘Garfield’ a rollicking good time | Kansas City Star

“Garfield: The Musical With Cattitude” opened Friday night and, even at the matinee show the following day, the actors, including alumna Brianna Woods, gave energized performances that would make you think it was opening night all over again.
Read full article.

Wendell Castle: Agent of Change | Surface Magazine

As one of the first American designers to challenge the boundary between utility and fine art, Wendell Castle creates an enticing breed of objects marked by superior craftsmanship and ingenuity in form, style, and technique. Castle, f’58, g’66, received an honorary degree from KU in 2013.
Read full article.

Eastern Panhandle judge dies from complications after heart surgery | Herald-Mail Media

Circuit Judge John Christian Yoder, whose work in law and politics spanned more than 40 years, including two terms in the West Virginia Senate, died Friday as a result of complications from heart surgery. He began a career in government service in his native state of Kansas and graduated from KU School of Law in 1975.
Read full article.

Meet KU grad Loral O’Hara, newly minted NASA astronaut candidate | Kansas City Star

NASA was slammed with a record number of astronaut applicants this year and out of more than 183,000 people, only 12 were given that proverbial golden ticket. The deserving dozen includes a Texan and University of Kansas graduate named Loral O’Hara.
Read full article.

A Kansas Investment Firm Spurring Change on Wall Street | New York Times

Peter Mallouk, c’93, b’93, l’97, g’97, an estate planning attorney, started his business with an eye toward servicing medical professionals in suburban Kansas City. Today the company, Creative Planning, is at the vanguard of a profound shift in finance.
Read full article.

Shapiro Bieging Barber Otteson Announces Bo Anderson as Partner | PR.com

Shapiro Bieging Barber Otteson llp (SBBO) announced the election of Bo Anderson to partner. Anderson, l’99, had previously been senior counsel at the Denver-based law firm.
Read full article.

Getting to Know: David Seely | Wichita Eagle

David Seely, l’82, was elected the new president of the Wichita Bar Association. He joined Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch in 1984 and focuses on civil litigation, especially cases involving oil and gas.
Read full article.

For philosophy majors, the question after graduation is: What next? | Washington Post

Philosophy majors spend their college years pondering deep questions, such as: What is the meaning of life? Do we have free will? And what job am I going to get with this degree after graduation? As chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Sheila Bair, c’75, l’78, leaned on her philosophy degree from the University of Kansas to make crucial decisions during the financial crisis.
Read full article.

In advance of her Free State Festival appearance, a Q&A with comedian and KU alumna Nikki Glaser | LJWorld.com

Nikki Glaser’s come a long way from her days as a reluctant college student at the University of Kansas. Eleven years after graduating with an English degree, Glaser’s back in Lawrence, this time as a headliner at the Free State Festival.
Read full article.

New father Gary Woodland feeling relieved and ready to get back to work soon | KUSports.com

The highlight of Gary Woodland’s golf season arrived Friday when Gabby gave birth to the couple’s first child, son Jaxon Lynn Woodland, at 11:56 p.m.
Read full article.

Awesome sauce: Olathe native is first to get married in new Taco Bell wedding chapel | Kansas City Star

The first couple to ever say “I do” in the new, upscale Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas, in a ceremony on Sunday, happened to be Olathe native Dan Ryckert and his beloved Bianca. Dan is a 2007 graduate of the University of Kansas.
Read full article.

2017 WW Georgia Teaching Fellows Named | The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation recognized the third class of Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellows, which includes KU graduate Justin Fairchild, g’13.
Read full article.

Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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Quiet, please!

Posted on Apr 25, 2017 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Joseph Ducreux’s painting “Le Discret,” one of the Spencer Museum’s iconic and most-popular paintings, will headline an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, beginning in May. This article was originally published in issue no. 2, 2017, of Kansas Alumni magazine.

Joseph Ducreux's painting "Le Discret," circa 1791, on display at the Spencer Museum of ArtIs he shushing noisy children, warning of dire political dangers, or something else? Even the title of Joseph Ducreaux’s “Le Discret” hints at ambiguity. Silence? Discretion? Shades of both?

Such range of content within an otherwise uncomplicated image helped establish “Le Discret,” which has been on near-continuous display at KU since it s951 acquisition, as an icon of the Spencer Museum of Art’s collection. Now it will take its charms to a larger audience as the headliner of “America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting,” an exhibition from May 21 to Aug. 20 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

“This work has a lot of personality,” says Susan Earle, the Spencer’s curator of European and American art. “It’s a great way to represent us, to share that Kansas is a place with a lot of interesting culture that people may not be aware of. That might just be a revelation to some people.”

As First Painter to Queen Marie Antoinette, Ducreux feared for his life during the French Revolution and fled for a time to London. Forced afterward to reinvent himself, Ducreux ventured beyond the norms of high-society portraiture by painting self-portraits that depicted expressions then rare in fine art: yawning, laughing, crying, mocking, shushing.

Earle describes the 1791 painting as a sort of 18th-century selfie, which helps explain Ducreux’s emergence as an internet superstar. The painter, who died in 1802, has two Twitter accounts and in 2013 won Reddit’s Tournament of Memes. “It hits that chord as a selfie in a way that others don’t,” Earle says. “This one somehow speaks to people.”

A long as they don’t speak back. Shush!

—Chris Lazzarino

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Artist reimagines 12th Street mural

Posted on Apr 13, 2017 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Ross Potter paints a mural at 12th and Indiana in Lawrence
The retaining-wall mural behind the big apartment house on the northeast corner of 12th and Louisiana Streets, for years a popular visual respite for hill hikers ascending from downtown, is finally getting fresh paint and a new look.

Artist Ross Potter, who lives in the neighboring apartment house and is paying his rent by painting for the landlord, on Wednesday spray-painted the wall in a fresh base of sky blue, over which he added a fanciful Jayhawk and an emerging array of sunflowers.

“I’ve been painting flowers,” says Potter, a Hutchinson native who hopes to study art at KU in the fall, “all over Kansas.”

According to his sketched plans, the flowers will gently nudge passersby with a tender touch of wisdom:
“Don’t worry about all the answers, all at once.”
“R U”
“grow”
“ing”
“beautifully?”

—Chris Lazzarino

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Jayhawks in the News | March 10

Posted on Mar 10, 2017 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.

 

Putting Kansas ‘on the map’: University alumna brings major film and TV projects to the Midwest | University Daily Kansan

Audiences all over the world saw the Kansas City skyline last year in “American Honey.” The film, which received six nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards — including Best Feature and Female Lead — stars actor Shia LaBeouf. Kansas City Film Commissioner Stephane Scupham, a 1999 graduate and University alumna, worked with the crew of “American Honey” for the duration of its stay in Kansas City.
Read full article.

The Most Important Coach You’ve Never Heard Of | FountainCityFrequency.com

A documentary came out last year celebrating the life of that coach. “Fast Break: The Legend of John McLendon” was directed by University of Kansas film Professor Kevin Willmott who says McLendon is an American hero. In 1936, McLendon was the first black man to graduate from KU with a Physical Education degree.
Read more and listen to podcast.

Law professor, practicing lawyer pens memoir on attaining third degree at age 72 | University of Kansas

Plenty of people go back to school at a nontraditional age. But most of them don’t take classes for a doctorate at a school in which they are also a professor. Or while they are practicing law full-time. Or at the age of 72. But that’s exactly what Bruce Hopkins did when he decided to get an SJD at the University of Kansas School of Law, where he also serves as a professor from practice.
Read full article.

Alumni Spotlight: Rebecca Linwood | KU Center for Undergraduate Research

The Center for Undergraduate Research highlights alumni accomplishments on their website. Rebecca Linwood, c’05, is featured this month. Linwood earned a degree in cell biology and is a senior scientist at Merck Animal Health.
Read full article.

Greenberg Traurig Adds Powerhouse Attorneys to White Collar Practice | PRNewswire.com

Nathan Muyskens, former Co-Chair of the White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Practice at Loeb & Loeb, joined the Washington, D.C. office of Greenberg Traurig. Muyskens earned a degree from the KU School of Law in 1995.
Read full article.

Catina Taylor wants to restore Kansas City’s hopes and dreams in education with new tiny school | The Lean Lab on Medium.com

Kayla Smalley sat down with Catina Taylor, co-founder of the V Form Alliance and founder of Dreams KC, to hear about her entrepreneurial journey in building a new tiny school in Kansas City. Taylor is a 1999 graduate of the KU School of Law.
Read full article.

Pelicans Sign D-League’s Wayne Selden Jr. | BlacktopTV

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed current D-League player and former Kansas star Wayne Selden Jr. The 6-5, 230-pound guard has averaged of 18.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.9 assists this season with the Iowa Energy.
Read full article.

Former Kansas men’s basketball great Bill Hougland passes | KUAthletics.com

William “Bill” Hougland, former Kansas men’s basketball player and the first player in Olympic basketball history to win two gold medals, died March 6 in Lawrence. He was 86. Hougland, b’52, was a former member of the KU Alumni Association’s national board of directors.
Read full article.

New KU building illustrates ‘transparency’ | 6 News Lawrence

KU’s new School of Business building opened its doors last May—and it’s already received several awards and national recognition. David Broz, a’97, an architect for Gensler says while conceptualizing the building back in 2009, the country was in a recession—and staff wanted to bring nobility back to business.
Read full article.

Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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