Jayhawk car delights Omaha alumni

Posted on Mar 23, 2018 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

KU Alumni staff with the Crown Toyota of Lawrence Jayhawk car
Before our staff members hit the road to the Sweet 16 in style in the Jayhawk car—courtesy of our postseason partner, Crown Toyota of Lawrence—they posed for a picture with the iconic ride.

Omaha, the site of the KU basketball team’s matchup tonight with No. 5 Clemson, is Nebraska’s largest city and home to more than 2,000 Jayhawks. We knew alumni would be thrilled to see the Jayhawk car in their city.

Danny Lewis, director of donor relations and athletic programs, mapped out a plan to visit as many local Jayhawks as possible so they could snap a photo and share a little bit of their KU story with us.

Baird Holm, LLP

Baird Holm Jayhawks with the Crown Toyota of Lawrence Jayhawk car

Rick Putnam, former chair of the KU Alumni Association’s national board of directors, rounded up a flock of Jayhawks at his law firm. Putnam, c’77, l’80, is a managing partner of Baird Holm, LLP. He even persuaded the firm’s marketing department to create a special banner for the occasion.

Union Pacific Railroad

Sierra Poulson, c'09, with the Crown Toyota of Lawrence Jayhawk car

Next up on the tour of Omaha: a stop at Union Pacific Railroad, where Sierra Poulson, c’09, works as an attorney.

Poulson earned a degree in psychology with a minor in art history, and she lived in Templin Hall. After leaving the Hill, she earned her law degree at DePaul.

We asked her what she misses most about Lawrence, and she responded “’80s night at the Bottleneck and crunchy chicken cheddar wraps!”

As we were taking the photo, another Jayhawk walked by … Jayhawks are everywhere.

Susan Hunter with the Crown Toyota of Lawrence Jayhawk car
Susan Hunter works as a train dispatcher for Union Pacific. She earned a degree in business and accounting from KU in 1994.

She was a proud resident of Douthart Scholarship Hall, and her favorite memory of KU is Thursday night trips to Carlos O’Kelly’s and watching “Seinfeld” and “Friends.”

KU Office of Admissions

Angie Bass with the Crown Toyota of Lawrence Jayhawk car
No, KU’s Office of Admissions didn’t move to Omaha—but you may not know that it employs regional admissions representatives across the country, including Angie Bass, who received a degree in elementary education in 2016.

Her favorite memory of Lawrence is the atmosphere of the town when the Kansas City Royals won the World Series. She heard fireworks all over town and ran to Massachusetts Street to celebrate.

Here’s hoping for another Mass Street celebration soon…

Jet Linx

Jamie Walker and Heath Peterson at Jet Linx
We drove the car out to Jet Linx, a personal private jet company started in Omaha in 1999, to see Jamie Walker.

Walker, c’97, is the president and CEO of the company. He earned a degree in English from KU and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Some of Walker’s favorite college memories include nights at the Bull, just down the street from his fraternity house. What does he miss most about Lawrence? The whole town. It’s a pretty special place, after all.

We hope you enjoyed meeting some Omaha Jayhawks! Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more sights and sounds from the Midwest Regional. For more information about pregame events and watch parties during the NCAA Tournament, visit our ’Hawks ’n Hoops postseason hub.

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Friendly foes follow in footsteps of American power families

Posted on Sep 21, 2015 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Flying Jayhawks passengers in Maine
In late August a group of 20 Jayhawks; six Rebels from Ole Miss; two Michigan State Spartans; and a lone Wisconsin Badger embarked on a trip through coastal Maine and New Brunswick, retracing the steps of some of the wealthiest families in United States history—the Astors, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Morgans, to name a few.

The trip began in Bar Harbor, Maine—a lovely summer retreat for many and the hub of the state’s lobster industry. I highly recommend a ride on Lulu’s Lobster boat with Captain John. Bar Harbor is also home to Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard.

From Bar Harbor, we traveled north to Campobello Island, where the Roosevelt family spent most of their summers. We were lucky enough to stay in the cottages at Campobello International Park, or, as our travelers referred to it, “adult summer camp”. We spent the next few days exploring the island and learning about the Roosevelt family’s time here. The highlight of the trip was a whale watching excursion.

When our time at Campobello Island ended, we drove back into Maine to go to mainland New Brunswick. Our last stop St. Andrews by-the-Sea, the seaside town begun by British Loyalists after the Revolutionary War. It is the quintessential summer getaway town—a slow pace of life, water front views, a great downtown on the water, plenty to eat and great watering holes.

After the trip our group understood why all the power families of the past loved this area. We also enjoyed our fair share of anything with fresh blueberries, and developed new understanding of the sayings “you can’t get there from here;” “heading down east;” and “as a crow flies”.

See more pictures from the Coastal Maine and New Brunswick trip on Flickr

—Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs, hosted the Coastal Maine and New Brunswick trip in early September, 2015. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the 2016 schedule, visit www.kualumni.org/flyingjayhawks.

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Jayhawks cruise the Mediterranean in style

Posted on Jul 15, 2015 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Flying Jayhawks, Pearls of the Mediterranean | www.kualumni.orgMany times in my travels I have been asked “When are you going to make it to the Mediterranean?” I thought eventually we’d take a cruise in the Mediterranean and see what all the fuss is about. In June we were given the opportunity to host the Flying Jayhawks ‘Pearls of the Mediterranean’ cruise. Upon arriving in Rome, we boarded our transfer for the hour-long ride to our ship, The Riviera, part of the Oceania family. Talk about cruising in style; I don’t know too many ships that also serve as an art gallery. They have two Picassos—that’s right, two!

Of the 1,100 passengers on board the ship, 600 were traveling with different alumni organizations from around the United States and Canada, and twenty were Jayhawks. As we cruised along we stopped in Positano/Amalfi, Sardinia, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Marseille/Provence, Antibes/Nice & Monte Carlo. We spent our days on one of the many excursions offered at each port, and the evenings were spent with our fellow Jayhawks and even a few Red Raiders. Over the seven-day trip, the friendships made amongst the group will lead to many more KU memories for our travelers.

After experiencing the beauty of the Mediterranean and the grandeur of The Riviera we found ourselves asking “what took us so long to experience this part of the world?”

See more pictures from this trip on Flickr.

—Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs,  hosted the Flying Jayhawks “Pearls of the Mediterranean” cruise from June 15-23, 2015. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the 2016 schedule, visit www.kualumni.org/flyingjayhawks.

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Employees recognized for years of service

Posted on May 5, 2015 in Alumni News, News, and Sports


KU’s annual event honoring faculty and staff for their years of service to the University will be held on Wednesday, May 6, at 1:30 p.m. in the Kansas Union Ballroom.

Service pins are given to 5, 10, and 15-year honorees, and service pins and gifts are given to employees with 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 45, and 50 years of service.

Attendees are invited to celebrate at a reception immediately following the ceremony.

We’re thrilled that eleven KU Alumni Association staff members will be honored at tomorrow’s ceremony, including Tim Brandt, who was director of the Adams Alumni Center for ten years before retiring two weeks ago.

Honorees include:

Stefanie Shackelford, vice president for alumni and membership records, 25 years
Marcia Wilson, office assistant, 25 years
Susan Younger, creative director, 20 years
Chris Lazzarino, associate editor, Kansas Alumni magazine, 20 years
Mike Wick, webmaster, 15 years
David Johnston, vice president of marketing and internet services, 15 years
Steven Hill, associate editor, Kansas Alumni magazine, 15 years
Mike Davis, senior vice president for donor relations, 15 years
Tim Brandt, recently retired director of the Adams Alumni Center, 10 years
Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs, 10 years
Tegan Thornberry, assistant director of membership, 10 years

Congratulations to our staff members and thank you for your dedication! We’ll honor their service again at our own employee recognition festivities next week, where each one—along with five-year student employee A.J. Templin— will be treated to the traditional poetic tributes our staff has come to know and love. You can find short biographies of our staff members on the staff directory page.

See a full list of  honorees at the 2015 Employee Recognition Ceremony here.

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Danny and Kevin’s adventure in Asia

Posted on Jul 9, 2014 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

This summer’s ’Hawk Days tour includes international flair, with planned receptions in Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan.

President Kevin Corbett and Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs, left Kansas City last Sunday on a jet plane headed for Seoul. They hosted a reception last night for Jayhawks in South Korea.

Unfortunately, the typhoon that is currently unleashing heavy wind and rain on Japan has caused us to cancel Friday’s reception in Tokyo. Stay safe, Jayhawks!

In the meantime, Danny and Kevin have shared photos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to document their trip. Take a look at the Storify compilation below to see just how far the Jayhawk network reaches.
Seoul skyline

'Hawk Days | www.kualumni.orgThis event is part of the ‘Hawk Days of Summer, the KU Alumni Association’s annual summer sojourn across the country and around the world. The 90-day series of events resulted from a determination to make the most of the summer months. The 2014 tour kicked off on Saturday, May 17, and includes picnics, receptions, baseball games and more. Visit our online calendar to find upcoming events near you.

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Gearing up for game day

Posted on Nov 11, 2013 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

KU Basketball 'Hawks 'n Hoops | via www.kualumni.org

If the chatter online is any indication, Jayhawks around the world are thinking of one thing, and one thing only right now: Tuesday’s KU basketball matchup with Duke in the Champions Classic.

Don’t worry, we’ve got all the information you need– whether you’re attending the game or watching it at home.

Pregame party in Chicago

The KU Alumni Association is hosting a pregame party in Chicago at the West End, 1326 W. Madison St. Staff members from the Alumni Association will be in attendance, including Mike Davis, senior vice president for donor and membership programs; Heath Peterson, vice president for alumni programs; and Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs.

Of course, since our staff members bleed crimson and blue, a number of others will be there off the clock.

Michael Branicky, dean of the School of Engineering, and Stephen Mazza, dean of the School of Law, will also be in attendance to share news from the Hill with alumni.

Chicago watch parties


The Alumni Association has a strong chapter in Chicago, and there are three locations that will be hosting watch parties for those of you not lucky enough to snag tickets to the game.

Join fellow alumni and fans at the following Chicago watch sites to cheer for the ‘Hawks:

Lottie’s Pub, 1925 W. Cortland St.
The Crossing Tavern, 2548 N. Southport Ave.
Kincade’s Bar & Grill, 950 W. Armitage Ave.

Watch parties around the country

And for those of you who are staying home, many of our chapters are hosting watch parties at local establishments. We’ve even added several new areas to the list, including Iowa City and New Orleans.

Click here to see a full list of official alumni watch parties.

Don’t see one near you on the list? Click here for a list of alumni watch sites; many of these places aren’t hosting an official watch party, but Jayhawks may still gather to watch the game. For those “unofficial” watch parties, conversations often take place within chapter Facebook groups (you can find a list of those on our Facebook page).

Information about television programming and channel lineups for KU games can be found here on the Kansas Athletics’ website.

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West coast swing

Posted on Aug 8, 2013 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs, and Brad Eland, director of academic programs, are in the midst of a 11-day west coast swing visiting alumni and hosting events in California, Oregon and Washington.

Last weekend, they boarded a bus headed for the northern California wine country with 30 of their closest Jayhawk friends in San Francisco. It’s probably no surprise that this popular annual event sells out every year.

The day included stops at the Folie a Deux, V. Sattui, Sutter Home and Domaine Chandon wineries, where the KU group enjoyed tastings, tours and lunch before returning to the city.

Click here to see pictures from the event, or watch the slideshow below:

On Sunday, Danny and Brad hosted a reception for Los Angeles-area alumni, fans and friends at the King Harbor Yacht Club in Redondo Beach. Although the day was overcast, a great group of Jayhawks showed up to hear about happenings on the Hill.

It’s not all work and no play for our staff members though– chapter leader April Pitcairn, j’76, took Danny and Brad out on the water one day during their visit. (Click here for a picture.)

Photos from the Los Angeles reception are available here, or watch the slideshow below:

Other events on the west coast have included a reception in Phoenix and KU Night at Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, Calif. Tonight, Jayhawks in the Orange County area will gather for an event at Ocean Avenue Brewery, and the rest of the week’s activities include a wine tasting at Tagaris Winery in southeastern Washington, a reception in Portland and a picnic in Seattle at the home of Christine, d’96 and Tom Malchow.

If you live near any of these areas, please join us! And if you aren’t receiving our email invitations to events in your area, be sure to register on our website and make sure your alumni profile information is current.

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East coast Jayhawks celebrate ‘Hawk Days of Summer

Posted on Aug 5, 2013 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Summer might be winding down– fall classes start in three short weeks!– but the ‘Hawk Days of Summer tour is still going strong as August begins.

Recently, Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs spent several days on the east coast visiting Jayhawks in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland. KU’s vice chancellor for public affairs, Tim Caboni, also attended all three events to share news from the Hill with alumni, fans and friends.

'Hawk Days of Summer, Washington D.C. | www.kualumni.orgMore than 100 Jayhawks attended the events, which included brewery tours at Yard’s Brewing Company in Philadelphia– which recently made Men’s Fitness Magazine’s list of America’s top brewery tours—   and Port City Brewery in Alexandria, Va. (pictured at right), followed by the annual alumni gathering hosted by Chuck, c’63, l’66, and Pam Hewitt at their home in Severna Park, Md.

One of the highlights from the event at the Hewitts’ home was a cruise on the Severn River past the U.S. Naval Academy (click here to see the photo that Caboni posted on Twitter).

David Healy, j’73, posted photos from the afternoon, taken by Bill Dean, on his website. Click here if you want to be jealous of everyone who enjoyed the beautiful beach house, complete with a tiki bar and six-foot inflatable Jayhawk!

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Posted on Jun 21, 2013 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Yesterday marked an important anniversary at the Alumni Association: eight years of Danny Lewis, d’05, in the building.

As director of alumni programs, Danny oversees national and international alumni chapters and programs as well as athletic events. In other words, he travels around the country and the world planning events, meeting alumni and helping keep them connected to KU.

Fun fact: Danny attended KU on a football scholarship and played in the 2003 Tangerine Bowl.

Click here to see a few photos of Danny through the years, or watch the slideshow below:

And if you haven’t seen this video already (we shared it here), enjoy a little afternoon entertainment on us.

Congratulations, Danny! Time really does fly when you’re having fun.

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Alumni wine-tasting events

Posted on Apr 29, 2013 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

The KU Alumni Association plans over 500 events every year for chapters across the country, and wine tastings are a popular event for many groups.

The Colorado Springs Chapter held their third annual wine tasting on April 20 at the Patty Jewett Clubhouse. Jayhawks who attended enjoyed wine and appetizers, along with a silent auction of KU items. Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs, attended the event to share updates from the Hill.

Chapter leader Julie Andrews, d’81, provided photos for us:

The next day, April 21, Jayhawk alumni, fans and friends in the Manhattan area took over the upstairs room at Varney’s bookstore for the Flint Hills Chapter’s wine tasting.

Chad Lohman led a tasting of Italian wines from the Piedmont area, and the event also featured a silent auction and raffle with unique KU items. Dr. Larry Stoppel, c’73, a member of the Alumni Association’s national Board of Directors and frequent event photographer, provided the photos below:

Be sure to check out our list of chapters to find one near you! We’re busy planning the third edition of ‘Hawk Days of Summer, where staff members will travel the country to host events to bring Jayhawks together. A full schedule will be available soon.

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