Joe and Susan Morris of Leawood to receive Homecoming Spirit of 1912 Award

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 in News

Susan and Joe Morris
The University of Kansas Alumni Association and the student-led Homecoming Steering Committee have named Joe and Susan Morris of Leawood as the winners of this year’s Rich and Judy Billings Spirit of 1912 Award. The annual award recognizes special contributions to Homecoming and other KU traditions.

The Morrises are scheduled to receive their award during the Homecoming reception at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union. The reception also honors the 10 finalists for the Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (Ex.C.E.L.) Awards. Two Ex.C.E.L. winners will be named at halftime of the KU vs. Oklahoma football game, which kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Memorial Stadium.

Joe Morris graduated from the KU School of Business in 1961 and for decades has assisted KU as a volunteer. He served on the business school’s Board of Advisors and on the national Board of Directors for the Alumni Association from 2002 to 2009, leading the organization as chair from 2007 to 2008. He is a longtime member of Jayhawks for Higher Education. He and Susan are life members of the Alumni Association and contributors to its Presidents Club. He also volunteered for the KU Medical Center as a member of the Heart Advisory Board. The Morrises have participated in numerous KU events nationwide, and they co-chaired the 2010 Rock Chalk Ball in Kansas City. Joe received the Alumni Association’s Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 2006 for his extraordinary volunteer service to KU. In 2009, the School of Business honored him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The Spirit of 1912 Award commemorates the first year of KU’s Homecoming and honors Rich and Judy Billings of Lakewood, Colo., who in 2011 created an endowment to fund future editions of Homecoming. The Billings, both 1957 KU graduates, will attend their 56th KU Homecoming celebration this year.

The theme for KU’s 103rd Homecoming is “Ghosts of Jayhawks Past.” The Homecoming parade begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, rain or shine, on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. This year’s grand marshal is Catherine Carmichael, the reigning Miss Kansas World and a 2014 University of Kansas graduate. A pep rally featuring KU football coach David Beaty on Eighth Street follows the parade.

A complete Homecoming week schedule is available at Jayhawks also can follow KU Homecoming on Facebook (/KUHomecoming), Twitter (@KU_homecoming) and Instagram (@ku_homecoming).

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Reigning Miss Kansas World to lead Homecoming parade

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 in News

Homecoming 2015
Catherine Carmichael, the reigning Miss Kansas World and a 2014 University of Kansas graduate, will be grand marshal of the KU Homecoming Parade at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. A pep rally on Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets will follow the parade.

Catherine Carmichael, Miss Kansas World (submitted photo)Carmichael, who grew up in Manhattan, Kansas, played volleyball for KU while completing her degree in African and African-American Studies with a minor in communication studies. She is now assistant director of football recruiting for Kansas Athletics.

The parade is part of a weeklong celebration that begins Sunday, Oct. 25, and includes daily activities leading up to the KU-Oklahoma football game Saturday, Oct. 31, in Memorial Stadium. The theme for KU’s 103rd Homecoming is  “Ghosts of Jayhawks Past.” A complete Homecoming week schedule is available at, along with an informational packet for organizations participating in the various Homecoming competitions.

In conjunction with the parade, the KU Alumni Association and student-led Homecoming Steering Committee have produced special buttons for the celebration. A variety of downtown merchants will offer one-time discounts during Homecoming Week to customers who present the buttons. Buttons and fliers describing the discounts will be available during Homecoming week at the Adams Alumni Center, 1266 Oread Ave., and at the following Lawrence campus locations:

Monday, Oct. 26: the front lawn of Watson Library
Tuesday, Oct. 27-Thursday, Oct. 29, in front of Wescoe Hall

The student director of KU’s 103rd Homecoming is Caleb Johnson, a Basehor senior in civil engineering. He works with Alumni Association advisers Paige Hofer, student programs coordinator, and Jacey Krehbiel, assistant director of alumni programs. The Association will continue to post details at Jayhawks also can follow KU Homecoming on Facebook, Twitter (@KU_homecoming) and Instagram (@ku_homecoming).

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