Flying Jayhawks journey through waterways of Holland and Belgium

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 in Alumni News and News


The Flying Jayhawks trip to Belgium and Holland began with a wonderful tour of Brussels. Although it was rainy, we were able to see the beauty of a city that had been through so much in the weeks leading up to our arrival. After a few hours in Brussels, we boarded the bus to Antwerp where we settled on the ship. The ship cruised from Antwerp to Middleburg/Bruges where we had three options for tours: Belgian beer, Belgian chocolate or a cultural tour of Bruges. A handful of our passengers took the Belgian Beer tour, where we learned that no other country on earth produces more beers than Belgium: around seven hundred and counting! There are strong, dark brews from a handful of Trappist monasteries, light wheat beers perfect for a hot summer’s day, fruit beers bottled and corked like champagne, and unusual concoctions that date back to medieval times. Every good Belgian bar has a beer menu, some with several hundred beers and the glasses specific to each one!

Next, we traveled along the Zeeland coast to the artificial island of Neeltje Jans and its Delta Expo. We learned about the Delta Works, a series of massive dams and storm surge barriers, conceived after the 1953 North Seal flood and built over a period of 30 years. The 65 enormous gates can be slammed shut on the North Sea when power storms strike—an engineering masterpiece that now protects the third of the landmass of the Netherlands that sits below sea level. We were able to explore the Expo, which illustrates the delicate balance of the Netherland’s relationship with the ever-encroaching sea.


Over the next few days, our Flying Jayhawks explored Delft, known for hand painted porcelain, and The Hague, considered the most worldly and elegant town in the Netherlands. While in The Hague, passengers visited the Mauritshuis, a recently renovated storied museum that is home to Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. The tour also included a stop at the Peace Palace. Kampen was a beautiful village laced with footpaths and narrow canals traversed by wooden and arched bridges. The whimsical car-free village of Giethoorn seems to have materialized out of a fairy tale. We toured the four miles of picturesque canals by boat in the town that has been nicknamed “Venice of the North.”  Cars have never been allowed in the town itself, so everything is very pristine and clean. The only way you can get around the town is by canal boat or bike.


Everyone boarded the ship and we made our way to Amsterdam. We docked late at night, so many passengers were up early to start exploring! We boarded an open-air canal boat and toured the canals of Amsterdam. Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is the center of the country’s culture and commerce. Named after the city’s origin as a dam in the river Amstel, today Amsterdam is known the world over for its more than 60 miles of tree-lined canals and waterways that make this romantic city truly unforgettable. The three main canals were dug during the Golden Age of the 17th century, and that central area is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. While on the canal tour, we learned that during morning rush hour, there are more bikes then cars on the road (1.75 million) and 84% of the population own one or more bikes! Around 2,000 of those bikes somehow end up in the canals each year. Passengers had the rest of the day at leisure and many took the time to go inside the Rijksmuseum, one of Holland’s most famous museums and home to Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” and other treasures. Passengers also visited the Anne Frank Museum as well as her childhood home.

On our last day, we journeyed through Dutch flower fields to the renowned Keukenhof Gardens, an 80-acre paradise of tulips, hyacinths and other beautiful flowers. Keukenhof is webbed with more than nine miles of foothpaths, and the grounds also feature Europe’s largest fountain, a vast sculpture garden and a 700-tree labyrinth. We were able to walk the grounds with an expert guide and learn the story of these magnificent gardens. The gardens are open for only eight weeks out of the year and over 1.1 million people visit within that time.


We ended the trip with a graduation ceremony and farewell reception and dinner. It was a truly unforgettable trip!


—Kelsey Hill, assistant director of Kansas City and Wichita programs, hosted the Flying Jayhawks trip “Waterways and Canals of Holland and Belgium” from April 28-May 6. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the 2017 schedule, visit

Watch our slideshow below to see more pictures from this trip, or view them on Flickr.

Flying Jayhawks 2016: Holland and Belgium

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Traveling Tegs | Great Journey lives up to its name

Posted on Aug 26, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Flying Jayhawks, Great Journey through Europe
The Flying Jayhawks trip “Great Journey Through Europe” was truly a great journey. We had a wonderful group of passengers that enjoyed the ten-day tour of Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Not to mention it was my first international trip!

The Swiss Alps are absolutely stunning, and pictures do not do them justice. We enjoyed taking our “flat Jayhawk” with us wherever we went and made sure to post pictures on social media, so everyone back home could see where we were. While the castles of Germany were breathtaking, the true highlight of the trip for me was Mt. Pilatus, where you feel as if you are on top of the world!

We took a gondola ride up to the top (and I only turned ghostly white once from my fear of heights) and rode the Cog Train down the mountain back to Lucerne, Switzerland, which sits at the base of the mountain. Both the trip up and down provided different, yet gorgeous views. This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I am so thankful I was able to experience it with fellow Jayhawks!

See more pictures from this trip on Flickr.

—Kelsey Hill, coordinator of alumni programs, co-hosted the Flying Jayhawks trip “Great Journey through Europe” with Tegan Thornberry, assistant director of membership, in July. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the 2016 schedule, visit

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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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Golfing in the mountains

Posted on Jun 10, 2013 in Alumni News and News

More than fifty Jayhawks enjoyed the annual Front Range Golf Tournament in Colorado last Friday. The tournament is held at a different golf course each year, and this year the tournament was in Colorado Springs at the Garden of the Gods Club.

Staff members Mike Davis, Teri Harris, Kelsey Hill and Dan Storey traveled west to welcome the golfers. Thanks to all the Jayhawks who joined us this year!

Click here to see our photos from the event, or watch the slideshow below.

Photos by Dan Storey

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Game day crew

Posted on Mar 29, 2013 in Alumni News and News

Can you tell the KU Alumni Association is overjoyed to be in Arlington for the Sweet 16?!

KU Alumni staff |

Staff members Danny Lewis, Caitlin Wise, Jacey Krehbiel, Kelsey Hill and Brad Eland worked hard to set up for today’s pregame party and pep rally at the Arlington Convention Center, and photographer Dan Storey was there to capture their excitement when the hard part was over.

Yesterday, Caitlin, Jacey and Kelsey talked to fans during the KU basketball team’s open practice to find out why they love being a Jayhawk. Watch our short video below!

What makes being a Jayhawk special for you? Email your stories and pictures to!

Photo and video by Dan Storey

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