The University of Kansas will celebrate its 106thHomecoming Sept. 22-29 with the theme “Home on the Hill,” culminating in the KU football game against Oklahoma State University on Sept. 29 in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
The annual event is organized by the KU Alumni Association and features a weeklong series of student and alumni activities, including competitions, reunions, tailgates, the Homecoming Parade on Sept. 27 and the selection of 10 student finalists for the Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (Ex.C.E.L.) Awards. The winners will be announced during halftime of the football game. The event is sponsored by Crown Toyota, Volkswagen and Hy-Vee, with two locations in Lawrence, and is supported by Kansas Athletics.
The grand marshals for this year’s parade are Rich and Judy Howard Billings of Lakewood, Colorado. The Billings, both 1957 KU graduates, are Life Members of the Alumni Association and Presidents Club donors. They also are benefactors of the annual Spirit of 1912 Award, which commemorates the first year of KU’s Homecoming and recognizes Jayhawks who consistently display school spirit, pride and tradition. This is the 60th year the Billings will participate in the university’s Homecoming celebration.
The student-led Homecoming Steering Committee is chaired by Allyson Bellner, a sophomore from Marion, Iowa, majoring in biology and Ashley Dunn, a Lawrence junior majoring in communication studies. They work with Alumni Association staff members Ally Stanton, director of student programs, and Keon Stowers, assistant director of student programs.
The University of Kansas Alumni Association and the student-led Homecoming Steering Committee have named Linda Ellis Sims of Independence, Missouri, as the winner of this year’s Rich and Judy Billings Spirit of 1912 Award. The annual award recognizes Jayhawks who consistently display school spirit, pride and tradition throughout their lives.
Sims will receive her award during Homecoming Food Fest and Jayhawk Jingles at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Adams Alumni Center.
Sims graduated from the School of Engineering in 1979 and has served on the school’s advisory board since 1990, including a term as chair. She also served on the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering advisory board and the Diversity & Women’s Programs advisory board. In 2014, she was recognized as a Distinguished Engineering Alumna. She and her husband, Russ, are Life Members of the Alumni Association and contributors to its Presidents Club. She led a network of Jayhawks in Houston and served on the Association’s national Board of Directors from 1991 to 1993. In 2011, she received the Association’s Fred Ellsworth Medallion for her outstanding volunteer service to KU. She is a KU Endowment trustee and executive committee member, and she helped guide the recent Far Above campaign as a member of the steering committee. A former KU swimmer, she is a K-Club member and donor to the Williams Education Fund.
The Spirit of 1912 Award commemorates the first year of KU’s Homecoming and honors Rich and Judy Billings of Lakewood, Colorado, who in 2011 created an endowment to fund future editions of Homecoming. The Billings, both 1957 KU graduates, will attend their 57th KU Homecoming celebration this year.
The theme for KU’s 104th Homecoming is “Rock Chalk Super Hawk.” The Homecoming parade begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. This year’s grand marshals are Bob Davis, the former play-by-play voice of Kansas Jayhawk football and men’s basketball, and 2016 Olympic gold medalist and former KU track and field sprinter Kyle Clemons. A pep rally at Eighth and New Hampshire streets will follow the parade.
KU’s 104th Homecoming celebration, Rock Chalk Super Hawk, takes place Oct. 16-22. For a full list of activities and events during Homecoming week, fun facts and historical information, visit www.kualumni.org/homecoming. Share your photos with us by posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #kuhomecoming, and follow the hashtag to see more pictures of the celebration. Click here to read more stories about Homecoming.
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.