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.”
KU’s 102nd Homecoming celebration is taking place this week, and it’s not just fun and games— there’s a charitable aspect as well. United Across Borders is the recipient of one of this year’s philanthropic projects. Alumni, students and community members are encouraged to donate T-shirts, jackets and blankets at the Adams Alumni Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today, Thursday and Friday. For a full list of activities and other information about Homecoming, visit www.homecoming.ku.edu.
This year has been an incredible year for United Across Borders. The organization has grown from an idea two young law students had to a corporation with volunteers across multiple states and countries who help the less fortunate. Our journey was not an easy one, but because of the hard work and generosity of many people we have been able to give clothes to some of the less fortunate people in Bangladesh.
The KU Bookstore has been instrumental in creating our “buy one, give one” brand, which we hope will have a sustainable impact on the world. This summer we donated 3,500 articles of used clothing in Bangladesh and in Kansas City-area homeless shelters. In addition, United Across Borders was able to create T-shirts from its buy one, give one program and hand out new T-shirts to people in Bangladesh.
Seeing the joy on the faces of kids who received the T-shirts and dresses we handed out has made all of our efforts worth it! One of our objectives is to help create Jayhawk fans around the world. It has been an amazing experience handing out clothes with the Jayhawk logo on it and seeing the kids excited about their new Jayhawk shirt. We’ve taught kids to say “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!” and hearing that chant makes me hope that some day a few of these kids might be able to get the education that they need— and attend the University of Kansas—to get out of poverty.
Our goal is to unite people, and because of the amazing support of Jayhawk nation we have been able to start seeing the impact. The people who we have given clothes to may only own one set of tattered and torn clothes. The donated clothes make a huge impact in their lives not only now, but in the cold winter months around the corner. Thank you to everyone who has donated and supported us so far. Rock Chalk!
—Madeline Heeren, chief executive officer, United Across Borders
Two KU School of Law students founded a nonprofit organization after traveling to Bangladesh and learning more about the safety regulations of the country’s $24 billion garment industry.
While in Bangladesh, Madeline Heeren and Aqmar Rahman gave away several Jayhawk shirts to needy children, and the joy the shirts brought to the children, along with their own delight in sharing KU spirit, inspired them to create United Across Borders. The nonprofit is dedicated to providing clothing to international communities in need.
We’ve partnered with United Across Borders and the KU Bookstore to kick off the organization’s first clothing drive this month.
Jayhawks are invited to donate clean and gently worn clothing to donation boxes at KU Bookstore locations, and in exchange for the donation, you’ll receive a coupon for 30% off one purchase of KU merchandise.
United Across Borders and the KU Bookstore also collaborated on a “Buy a Shirt, Give a Shirt” campaign. Profits from the sale of special co-branded Jayhawk Nation T-shirts will be used to manufacture T-shirts and blankets in factories in Bangladesh, and the items will be donated to the poor.
Here’s a tip: donate some old KU shirts, get your 30% off coupon and then use it to buy a new Jayhawk Nation T-shirt.
Donation boxes will be available at the KU Bookstore locations in the Kansas Union, Burge Union, KU Medical Center, Jayhawk Central at the KU Edwards Campus and the 1865 shop inside the Oread Hotel. Click here for location details and hours.
A new book by Kenn Johnson, g’70, highlights some of the greatest figures ever associated with Kansas Basketball. In Kansas University Basketball Legends, Johnson writes about notables from James Naismith to Andrea Hudy, providing a 160-page primer for KU hoops enthusiasts. In conjunction with KU Alumni Association’s Lawrence Chapter, Johnson presented a lecture on the KU basketball legends in November, attend by Max Falkenstein, who is also featured in the book, and Lawrence Journal-World sportswriter Bill Mayer, who provided the forward. The following excerpt was provided exclusively for KU alumni.
PAUL ENDACOTT (Player: 1921-23)
Named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in April, 1972, legendary coach Phog Allen often called Endacott “the greatest player I have ever coached,” and was fond of telling about Endacott’s heroics during KU’s game at Missouri on Jan. 16, 1923, which the Jayhawks won 21-19. Endacott grabbed 16 straight jump balls in the closing minutes to preserve the win and later collapsed in the locker room from exhaustion.
Endacott was born July 3, 1902 and after learning basketball from Dr. James Naismith at the Lawrence YMCA, he graduated from Lawrence High School in 1919 and attended Kansas as a walk-on to play for coach Allen. He earned All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in his sophomore year. A 5’10 guard, he then led KU to two national championships in 1922 and 1923, and was named All-MVC and All-American both years, along with being named Helms Athletic Foundation Player of the Year in 1923. He was KU’s first Honor man, an annual award given to the student displaying leadership, scholastic achievement and greatest overall contribution to the student body and University.
After graduating with a degree in civil engineering, Endacott went to work for the Phillips Petroleum Company and played on their company AAU team for five seasons. He worked in the oilfields as an engineer, caught top management’s eye by persuading Chrysler Corporation to be the first to convert a big plant’s heating system to butane. He rapidly climbed the corporate ladder, rising to head of sales research in 1934, vice president in 1943, and eventually becoming the company’s president, before retiring in 1967.
While President of Phillips, his staff ironed out kinks in its innovative plastic production process and his sales force lined up new markets for the plastics, one of which was Wham-O, which sold more than 100 million Hula Hoops in the first six months on the market. Delighted Endacott kept a Hula Hoop in his office for impromptu demonstrations of the miracle plastic in action.
Endacott sat on the board of the KU Alumni Association from 1927-40 and served as its Chairman 1939-40. In 1977, he received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion for his service to KU. He championed the idea of a club for retired KU faculty and staff, donating funds to provide meeting space for the club, now known as the Endacott Society.
In 1969, he received the Sportsman’s World Award in the category of basketball, an honor given to athletes whose championship performances have stood the test of time and whose exemplary conduct have made them outstanding inspirations for the youth of today to emulate. In 1972, he was inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Endacott’s jersey was retired in a ceremony at halftime of the KU-Nebraska game on January 25, 1992. He died January 8, 1997, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and was posthumously inducted in the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame on October 4, 2009.
Johnson’s book Kansas University Basketball Legends is available through the KU Bookstore.
Former men’s basketball coach Ted Owens, who led two teams to the Final Four and won a record 206 games in Allen Field House, has chronicled his life and career in At The Hang-Up: Seeking Your Purpose, Running Your Race, Finishing Strong. Written by Owens, Jim Krause and Jesse Tuel, the book takes its title from Owen’s childhood on a cotton farm in Hollis, Okla. He explains that “the hang-up” was a scale on which he and his brothers would weigh bags of cotton at the end of each day in the fields. Often the boys competed against their father. One day, as Ted was ahead of his father pulling cotton, his father shared a life lesson: “It’s not what you have now that’s important. It’s what you have at the hang-up.”
Owens will appear at a book signing with former player Bud Stallworth, s’78, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, in the KU Bookstore in the Kansas Union. The book can also be purchased online through the KU Bookstore. The following excerpt, including comment from Dave Robisch, d’71, concludes his chapter on his first Final Four team, which lost to UCLA in the semifinals in Houston:
I went back to the Astroworld Hotel, trudging down the hallway with profound sadness. Our quest for a national championship had vanished, our 21-game winning streak broken. When I entered my room, daughters Nancy and Kelly, then 11 and 8, met me at the door. “Too bad about the game, Dad,” Kelly said. “Do you want to play some cards?” It was a great lesson in sports and in life: When faced with disappointment, pick yourself up and forge ahead with new goals and plans for the future. Sometimes those lessons come from unexpected sources. …
The 1970-71 season was incredible, with the first Final Four for members of the team and the coaches, an undefeated conference season, and a winning streak of 21 games. As I look back, though, the team’s most remarkable achievement was unifying a campus and city in a common cause. Our players demonstrated that people from divergent backgrounds and ethnic groups can set aside their differences and, by loving and respecting one another, can exceed expectations. Today, the team group continues their special bond and they held a touching reunion in 2011.
“I am most proud of running the table in the Big Eight my senior year. Not many teams in the league did that. We were 17-0, but I still feel like we missed our chance to be remembered as one of the greatest Jayhawk teams of all time.”
Houston is home to more than 3,500 Jayhawks and one of the most active alumni chapters in the country.
The chapter hosts monthly networking breakfasts at a local restaurant– Michael Branicky, the new dean of the KU School of Engineering, surprised the group with a visit in July– and members also attended an educational event this summer presented by KU Libraries.
The Houston chapter is also the source of one of our favorite ‘Hawk Days of Summer anecdotes, shared by an alumnus:
“This afternoon when I was walking out of Kroger, I caught eyes with a guy who was giving me a less-than-friendly look. I noticed that not only was he wearing a Mizzou hat, but he also had Mizzou reusable grocery bags. Then I remembered I was wearing my ‘Kansas: keeping America safe from Missouri since 1854’ shirt.
It may have been my favorite moment in Houston.”
If you’re in the Houston area, consider getting involved with this great group of Jayhawks! Visit the Houston chapter website to learn more. You can even show your pride with a Houston Jayhawks T-shirt–click here to purchase one from the KU Bookstore.
KU’s 141st Commencement ceremony is now less than a week away. Still looking for a gift idea for your son, daughter, niece, nephew or neighbor down the street? We’ve got some ideas for you.
Perhaps a traditional graduation gift, but one that’s appreciated nonetheless. After all, when spending four or more years working on a degree, it deserves to be displayed in style! We’ve got several options available, including frames specially made to accommodate Law, Medical and PhD diplomas, as well as frames that hold two diplomas.
A panoramic image of the beautiful KU campus accompanies the frame, so your graduate can reminisce about the Hill every time they look at their hard-earned diploma. Click here to see more frames.
KU Class Ring
Your graduate can wear their pride with a beautiful KU ring that features symbols of KU. Rings are available in 10K or 14K yellow or white gold and can be engraved with initials, degree and class year.
Imagine seeing a KU ring on the hand of a stranger in the city you’ve just moved to after graduation, and instantly there’s a connection and a reason to start a conversation. You never know where that conversation might lead!
KU Spirit Kits
If you’re looking for something a little more light-hearted, or perhaps you need decorations for the graduation celebration, check out our KU spirit kits. The kits include stand-up Jayhawks, temporary tattoos, balloons, stickers, coasters and pom-pons. Click here to check out the kits.
New graduates who are moving into a new apartment or a new city will appreciate a little piece of the Hill to adorn their walls. Choose from giclee prints of campus, a canvas of Jayhawk Boulevard or an iconic print of Allen Fieldhouse. Click here to visit the art store.
KU Alumni Association membership
Membership in the Alumni Association comes with a lot of benefits: invitations to events, discounts on merchandise and event registrations, six issues of the award-winning Kansas Alumni magazine and access to the vast Jayhawk alumni network around the world.
All members of the Class of 2013 receive a one-year gift membership, compliments of KU Endowment, but the Alumni Association also offers special membership rates for the first five years after graduation. For those who bleed crimson and blue, why not just buy a Life Membership and not have to worry about renewing each year? It’s half-price for recent grads, and there’s even an installment plan available. Click here for more info.
Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?
Our friends at the KU Bookstore have a whole section of their website dedicated to gifts for grads. You’ll find leather wallets and bags, jewelry, glassware, stationery and desktop accessories, apparel and basically, if you can put a Jayhawk on it, they’ve got it.
Don’t forget: if you’re a KU Alumni Association member, you get a discount on KU merchandise at the bookstore! Life and Path to Life Premium members save 20%, while annual members receive a 10% discount. Show your card at the store, or input your membership information during the online checkout process. If you’re not a member, click here to join.