Sunny skies and soaring temps made for a near-perfect day as about 300 graduating students dropped by the Adams Alumni Center May 5 for Grad Grill. The annual event was presented by the Alumni Association and HERE Kansas, a new apartment community on the Lawrence campus.
Students mingled with friends throughout the evening and enjoyed free food and fresh brews, courtesy of Hy-Vee and Free State Brewing Company. The KU Bookstore and Kansas Athletics were also on hand with coupons, gift-card giveaways, and free posters, koozies, license-plate frames and sunglasses. Local DJ Scott Simpson kept things lively with the latest pop tunes and students took turns capturing not-so-candid moments in the photo booth.
Scott Bagley, a senior from Overland Park, stopped by to grab some food and socialize before diving into finals preparation. “A few good friends from high school are going to be here,” he said. “I’m hoping to see them.”
Yee Ming Khaw and Puteri Ahmad, seniors from Malaysia, and Katie Morales, a senior from Emporia, hit Grad Grill before going out for more Stop Day celebrations. “It’s Friday night,” said Ahmad. “It’s one of the last Friday nights before Commencement.”
Lawrence KU alumni and friends gathered at the Adams Alumni Center recently for a scientific lecture on microbiology and chemistry, including an opportunity to experiment with different variables and test outcomes.
Okay, it was a beer tasting.
But Association members and guests were treated to a fascinating interactive talk that touched on the history of brewing and the science behind the various flavors and varieties of brews we’ve come to enjoy. Lawrence Network leaders Brandon Petz, b’06 g’07, Kyle Eichelberger, p’12 and Tyler Rockers, d’13, coordinator of alumni programs, organized the event for the Lawrence Alumni Network.
Free State Brewery’s head of brewing and bottling, Steve Bradt, c’88, entertained the audience by bringing tasting samples of Free State beer along with small containers of the various hops, malts and yeast that combine to create some of the most popular brews at Kansas’s first brewery. From John Brown Ale to Bora Bora IPA, guests could sample some of the different beer varieties while learning about the science–and the ingredients–behind each brew.
Friends from the KU Biodiversity Institute were also on hand to address the crowd and share their display on microbes, the single-cell organisms that are part of our everyday lives.
The KU Natural History Museum, recently ranked number one among public university natural history museums, is currently featuring an exhibit on the microbial world called “Exploring the Microbiome.” You might be surprised to learn how many microbes and bacteria surround us.
Fortunately, as Bradt informed the audience during his lecture, hops contain a natural antimicrobial property.
“No known pathogens can live in beer,” Bradt reassured the audience. “So it’s a relatively safe drink.”
That’s a relief. In fact, I think I’ll drink to that.