Shanghai Jayhawks enjoy KU camaraderie

Posted on Jun 20, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Jayhawks are everywhere!

A group of seven alumni and incoming KU students gathered earlier this month in Shanghai, China, to share some Jayhawk spirit. Alan Li, c’13, coordinated the event, and another alumni reception for Jayhawks in Beijing is in the works for July.

Are you looking to connect with other Chinese Jayhawks—whether you’re from China, currently living there or have plans to visit?Join the China Jayhawks Alumni Chapter group on LinkedIn, managed by Shenji Pan, c’13, the leader of the China Alumni Chapter.

In an effort to update alumni records and expand our international network, we’re also asking Jayhawks from China to complete a short form on our website. Making sure we have your correct email address is the first step to staying informed about alumni events in China!

Jayhawks in Shanghai, China

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‘Hawks, Helmets and Handlebars

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 in Alumni News and News

'Hawks, Helmets and Handlebars event in KC

Our popular summer event in Kansas City, ’Hawks, Helmets and Handlebars, was held last weekend at the KU Cancer Center’s Westwood Campus.

Despite having to be rescheduled—it was originally planned for the first weekend in June, but early-morning rains caused a change to the calendar—the event was a great success.

Children picked up complimentary bike helmets and had the opportunity to ride their bikes through a bicycle safety obstacle course, meet and take pictures with Big Jay, and even climb on a fire truck! Many thanks to the Johnson County Consolidated Fire Department #2 for providing a fire truck at the event.

“The weather was just gorgeous and we could not have asked for a better morning!” said Betsy Winetroub, director of Kansas City programs. “It was a rare opportunity for the Greater Kansas City Alumni Chapter to reach a wider audience.”

Prior to the event, the alumni chapter partnered with the Healthy Hawks program at the KU Medical center to host two bicycle donation drives. As a result, 95 bikes were distributed to needy children and their families. Healthy Hawks was founded in 2004 to help children and their families overcome weight-related issues.

“We hope that we were able to leave a positive KU impression on the Healthy Hawks families, and maybe—someday—those kids will attend KU!”

Check out a compilation of tweets and Instagram posts from the event. Thanks to chapter volunteers John Holt, j’81, l’84, and Jessica Nelson, j’11, for sharing the event through social media.

Volunteering at the #KUAlumni Hawks, Helmets and Handlebars event with Healthy Hawks. #KC #instakc #KU

A post shared by Jessica Nelson Palm (@jessicaleepalm) on

Had such a great morning with #KUAlumni for Hawks, Helmets & Handlebars! We provided 85+ bikes and helmets to future Jayhawks through the Healthy Hawks program. #KU #KC #instakc #rockchalk #jayhawks #futurejayhawks

A post shared by Jessica Nelson Palm (@jessicaleepalm) on

Future Jayhawks | www.kualumni.orgGot a future Jayhawk in your house? Sign them up for Future Jayhawks and they’ll receive an exclusive, KU-themed gift with each annual membership renewal, along with a special birthday card from Baby Jay and other goodies throughout the year. Email a photo of your Jayhawk to, and we’ll add it to our Future Jayhawks Facebook album!

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Brews and baseball on the east coast

Posted on Jun 12, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Kelsey Hill, coordinator of chapters for the Alumni Association, spent last weekend on the east coast hosting events for Jayhawks in Hartford, Connecticut; Philadelphia and Boston.

A small but mighty group of Jayhawks from the Hartford Chapter gathered at the Thomas Hooker Brewing Company on Thursday, June 5, for a guided tour of the brewery and a full tasting of its brews.

The following evening, 15 alumni, fans and friends of the Philadelphia Chapter met at Frankford Hall, a beer garden specializing in German food, to hear news and updates from the Hill.

And on Sunday, Jayhawk spirit was prevalent at America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. Members of the Boston Chapter joined Kelsey for a behind-the-scenes private tour of Fenway Park—the place where dreams are made, traditions are celebrated and baseball is forever.

Thanks to all the Jayhawks who joined us for these events!

Watch the slideshow below to see pictures from the Boston Chapter event, or click here to view the photos on Flickr.

’Hawk Days of Summer is 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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Paris trip brings Flying Jayhawks travelers together

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Lynn Loveland, ’76, assistant director of Kansas City programs, recently hosted a Flying Jayhawks trip to France. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks alumni travel program, visit

It was such a pleasure to participate in the Paris Immersion Flying Jayhawks trip. Though a very diverse passenger group, the common bond of the University of Kansas helped bridge any gaps and molded us into a group of friends as well as travelers. What fun it was to compare our KU experiences and laugh about our college days. We found out what a small world it really was with our stories intersecting many times.

Speaking of small worlds, I learned that our very able tour director from France was an exchange student in Kansas during a year of high school. And, what are the chances: she attended my high school and lived with a family a few blocks away from where I lived!

It was the consensus of our group that the educational sessions prior to our excursions were very beneficial. The Art History talks certainly enhanced our time at the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. The information we learned about the history and neighborhoods of Paris allowed us to understand how the country’s history helped shaped the city we see today. With the help of on-site guides, we discovered the charm of Dijon, capital of the Burgundy region; Rouen, the capital of Normandy; and the ancient city of Reims, in the heart of the Champagne region. These types of educational sessions truly set the Flying Jayhawks trips above the rest. I can’t think of a better way to travel than with the Flying Jayhawks!

See pictures from the Paris Immersion trip in the slideshow below, or click here to view the photos on Flickr. Pictures courtesy of Lynn Loveland.

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Kicking off ’Hawk Days in the Smoky Hills

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 in Alumni News and News

The annual Smoky Hill Chapter golf tournament was held on May 16 at the Smoky Hill Country Club in Hays. John Jeter, a local chapter volunteer and member of the KU Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, shared his thoughts about this year’s event with us.

What a glorious day in Hays! We had a record crowd for the annual Smoky Hill Chapter golf tourney with more than 120 participants, and the Smoky Hill Country Club course was in beautiful shape. Registration started at 9:30 with tee-off at 11 a.m. We finished in an efficient five hours, with foursomes playing scramble, using their precious Mulligans and vying for team and individual honors.

The day was capped by a pig roast with meat generously provided by Butch Billips, assoc., of America’s Best Steaks. While we expected to hear from legendary former coach Ted Owens, we were also surprised to see none other than head football coach Charlie Weis show up to share his vision of the football program with a delighted audience. Both Coach Owens and Coach Weis were great, and we had plenty of time for questions and socializing with these two special guests.

Smoky Hill golf tournamentCoach Owens looks fantastic and remembers every play from every year! He was accompanied by his daughter and brought back so many memories for many in the crowd who attended or watched KU games during his tenure. By the way, he made it clear Jo Jo’s heel never touched the line! Coach Weis was his usual honest, up-front self who “tells it like it is” to the crowd. He enjoyed backing up Coach Owens and clearly felt good about being able to attend at the last minute. He commented that Butch’s pig was the best he’d ever had!

What do we do next year to top this event? We have the same date reserved, and we hope we can lure another big crowd and stellar speakers. As a life-long KU football fan, my vote is to bring Coach Weis back again to bask in the glory of the break-out season we all hope is just around the corner. Thanks to the Alumni Association staff who always do a great job. This was the kick-off for ’Hawk Days of Summer and what a way to kick it off!

—John Jeter, c’77, m’81

Watch the slideshow below to see pictures from the golf tournament, or click here to view the photos on Flickr.


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Posted on Jun 2, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Baby Jay on the slide at Hawkstock The ’Hawk Days of Summer rolled through southeast Kansas as more than 80 Jayhawks young and old enjoyed ’Hawkstock,  hosted at the KAMO Ranch in Mulberry.

Former KU basketball coach Ted Owens addressed the crowd, sharing some of his favorite memories. Along with Coach Owens, many former lettermen were in attendance including Bryan Sperry, d’50; George Nettles, e’50; Jeff Boschee, d’03; and Nick Reid.

Baby Jay visited with the families and also found time to join some of the kids bouncing in and on the inflatables.

Reed, d’01, and Jill Simpson Miller, d’01, and Jill’s family have hosted the annual gathering since 2011. Jill is a member of the Alumni Association’s national Board of Directors.

Watch the slideshow below for pictures from this year’s ’Hawkstock, or click here to view the photos on Flickr.

—Dan Storey

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Where in the world is your Jayhawk?

Posted on May 29, 2014 in Alumni News and News

The ’Hawk Days of Summer are here! We kicked off the fourth edition of our annual summer sojourn just before Commencement with events in Denver, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City and Paris. Yes, Paris—a group of sixteen Jayhawks are traveling in Europe right now on a Flying Jayhawks trip hosted by Lynn Loveland, assistant director of Kansas programs.

Flat Jayhawk | www.kualumni.orgSo, what exactly IS ’Hawk Days of Summer?

’Hawk Days events include lunches and dinners, receptions and happy hours, brewery tours and boat cruises, baseball games and trips to the zoo. Alumni Association staff members attend many of the events to make connections with local Jayhawks. And this year, we’re expanding our efforts to share the spirit online, too—so if you happen to live in an area we aren’t visiting this summer, you can still participate in the fun.

Adventures of a Jayhawk

Download our printable Jayhawk—our version of “Flat Stanley”—and take it along on your summer adventures. Whether you’re on vacation or enjoying a staycation, hiking in the mountains or relaxing on the beach, boating on the lake or taking in a baseball game, traveling abroad or just hanging out in your backyard, help us show how far the Jayhawk network reaches.

Snap a selfie with your Jayhawk and send it to us! You can tag us on Instagram or Twitter (@kualumni on both sites) or post your pictures on our Facebook page, Don’t forget to use the hashtags #proudmember and #kualumni so your pictures will show up in our social streams!

Or, you can email pictures to us at

We can’t wait to see pictures of proud Jayhawks around the world this summer!

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Jayhawks in Tar Heel country

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 in Alumni News and News

The Schooner Pride, a magnificent  84-foot tall ship, set sail from Charleston Harbor Aug. 25 with 20 Jayhawks aboard for a glorious two-hour afternoon cruise. The crew graciously allowed novices to hoist the sails, and as the excursion concluded, Russ Crane, c’63, who grew up sailing on Kansas lakes and now volunteers in a sailing program to help U.S. military veterans, helped steer the ship back to the harbor. The cruise began and ended with the Rock Chalk Chant, followed by a brief update on KU news from Jennifer Sanner and Dan Storey of the Alumni Association. Dan captured video of the event, which is sure to become a tradition for the Charleston Chapter, led by David Perrett, c’93.

The Association’s tour of the Carolinas began with the Charlotte Alumni Reception Aug. 23 at the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. Thirty Jayhawks, spanning the classes of 1949 through 2012, heard the latest from the Hill, including the women’s track and field national championship; the construction of Rock Chalk Park for track and field, soccer and softball; and the project to restore the canopy of trees that graced Jayhawk Boulevard in decades past. Alumni were especially pleased to hear about the University’s growing efforts in the recruitment of legacy students  nationwide and throughout Kansas, including the Jayhawk Generations Scholarship for academically qualifying out-of-state students from KU families. Jennifer Shoemaker, c’04, shared information about upcoming events in Charlotte, and Steve Ellsworth, b’49, son of the Alumni Association’s longtime executive director Fred Ellsworth, c’22, traveled with his wife, Bobbie, from their home in Rock Hill, S.C., for the event.

Forty Central North Carolina Jayhawks gathered at the serene wooded home of Randy Marcuson, c’74, and his wife, Linda, Aug. 24 for the chapter’s annual summer picnic, featuring barbecue and all the fixings; beverages, including home-brewed beer provided by David Danner, j’85; and Linda’s homemade brownies. Victoria Shropshire, c’96, invited her fellow Jayhawks to football watch parties in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, and other members planned to re-establish a watch site in Raleigh. Cooled by Carolina breezes and warmed by KU camaraderie, the crowd lingered well into the afternoon.

The weekend was a perfect finale to the 2013 ’Hawk Days of Summer!

–Jennifer Jackson Sanner

Pictures from each event are available on our Flickr site. Click here for pictures of the Charleston harbor tour, the Charlotte reception and the central North Carolina picnic.

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West coast swing

Posted on Aug 8, 2013 in Alumni News and News

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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