Win big with Membership Mania!

Posted on Nov 1, 2016 in Alumni News and News

Membership Mania Sweepstakes

Membership Mania is here!

From now through Dec. 30, Jayhawks everywhere have the opportunity to win big during our first-ever Membership Mania Sweepstakes.

The grand prize is a set of four half-court, chair-back seats to the Feb. 13, 2017, KU men’s basketball game against West Virginia, plus a basketball autographed by the 2016-17 team and a $1,000 Visa® gift card.

Four additional prizes are available, including a Yeti® Jayhawk® cooler and tumblers, a Bose® wireless speaker, a 60″ Samsung® flat-screen television, and a $100 Visa® gift card.

How can you win?

It’s easy: everyone who joins, renews or upgrades a current membership, buys a gift membership for someone else, or makes a contribution of any amount to the KU Alumni Association by Dec. 30 is entered to win. If you buy a gift membership, both you AND the gift recipient are entered!

We’re making holiday gift-giving easy this year. Membership is the perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for Jayhawk on your list, and we have options available for all ages.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

Click here to read the official rules, or call 800.584.2957 to request a copy of the official rules.


Proud Member: David O’Brien

Posted on Jul 25, 2016 in Alumni News and News

David O’Brien, j’86, has been the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Braves beat writer since 2002—but he’s been a Jayhawk since his arrival on the Hill in 1982. David joined the KU Alumni Association as an annual member immediately following his 1986 graduation, and after faithfully renewing for nearly 30 consecutive years, he recently demonstrated his unwavering loyalty by becoming a Proud Life Member. He always enjoys talking baseball, music, motorcycles, cool new restaurants he finds on his travels and, most especially, all things crimson and blue.


Tags: , , , , , ,

New for members: National discount program

Posted on Feb 10, 2016 in Alumni News and News

Alumni Access National Discount Program
Recently, we launched a new benefit for KU Alumni Association members, providing member-only discounts nationwide at restaurants, retailers, theme parks, travel vendors, etc. The discounts include web-based printable coupons, mobile coupons you can show on your phone, and a travel engine with savings on hotels and car rentals.

Tons of discounts. Just for members.

If this all sounds too good to be true, you’re not alone. This was my reaction:

“You’re telling me, for the price of price of an annual membership ($25 for a recent grad), a young professional could practically pay for his or her membership simply by dining out on pizza a few times?”

We wanted to put it to test.

So Stefanie Shackelford, vice president for alumni and membership records, offered to be our guinea pig, and she shared her recent experience searching for travel discounts:

“My family and I are going to Oklahoma City this weekend to visit my oldest son, who is based at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. He gets a three-day weekend so we decided to meet in Oklahoma City to enjoy a long weekend together. I wanted to rent a car, so I decided to see what the Alumni Association member discount program had to offer. As an annual joint member I was able to use a “free day over the weekend” coupon, and rented a car for four days for the price of three—I ended up paying $65 total for the car rental.”

Not bad! Have a safe trip, Stefanie! The program includes plenty of local-to-Lawrence deals for Jayhawks who still live close to the Hill, and many national brands and retailers also offer discounts and coupons, making the service valuable to all alumni, whether you’re in Wichita Falls, Texas; Wichita, Kansas or Walla Walla, Washington.

If you’re a current member, we invite you to try it out and send us your feedback. Not a member? Well, consider this another reason to join. Visit to learn more or to register!

–David Johnston

Tags: , , , , ,

Access to library resources allows alumnus to continue life’s work

Posted on Jan 27, 2016 in Alumni News and News


Membership in the KU Alumni Association includes a number of perks and benefits, such as discounts on merchandise, access to special events and the ever-popular Kansas Alumni magazine. A relatively new and perhaps not-as-famous benefit is access to scholarly resources.

Thanks to a partnership with KU Libraries, members can access more than 50,000 magazines, journals and index records—invaluable library resources for alumni and friends who want to continue their professional and personal development.

One alumnus let us know just how valuable this benefit is to him:

My wife and I recently renewed our membership in the KU Alumni Association. As she read the reminder letter, Joanna called my attention to a new membership benefit: access to KU Libraries databases of academic and business journals and periodicals. I am writing to express my profound thanks for this access, since it is absolutely crucial to work I am doing. Let me explain.

I began my career in academe, and taught at the Wharton School and elsewhere. Some years later I joined the business world, where I helped senior executives understand and apply quantitative methods to improve their business decisions. A persistent goal of my work was bridging the gap between what is known in principle (e.g., somewhere in academe) and what is applied in practice (e.g., in business firms). In pursuing that goal I published some twenty-five technical articles (six of which won awards for excellence) addressed to academics and quantitative professionals (e.g., actuaries, investment quants). I also published some fifty more in which I attempted to explain technical issues and their implications to a predominantly nontechnical audience of senior executives.

Throughout my career an indispensable resource has been access to relevant business and scholarly journals, typically at the New York Public Library. Now that I’m retired and no longer work in New York, that resource is no longer available to me. I continue to write and publish work intended to bridge the gap between what is known and what is applied. But without access to essential library resources that has become considerably more difficult.

So imagine my absolute delight in learning of this new KU Alumni Association benefit, and subsequently discovering that KU’s libraries have resources that match or exceed those of the New York Public Library! I am incredibly grateful for this new benefit, and wanted to both thank you and explain that it has made a huge difference in my ability to continue pursuing the overarching goal of my life’s work.


William H. Panning, c’65

Association members can access three databases within KU Libraries. These resources include the latest scholarly information in many areas of academic study, full-text business magazines and journals, and comprehensive, yet concise summaries of the best business books available.

Click here to learn more about the resources available for members and to register or log in to access them. We welcome your feedback on this new benefit, or any other membership benefits!

Tags: , , ,

Alumni take advantage of online networking

Posted on Jan 19, 2016 in Alumni News and News

Last year, we announced a brand-new benefit for members: a series of online networking events that allows Jayhawks around the world to connect and chat through an online platform. Members can log in from their computer, tablet or phone, no matter where they are—the office, the couch or the coffee shop—and meet fellow alumni in a speed-networking-style chat room.

Since the first event on Jan. 29, (Kansas Day!) which was a resounding success with more than 90 attendees, we’ve held 17 additional events: chats open to all members on the third Thursday of every month, as well as several smaller events tailored to specific degrees and industries, such as communications, business or healthcare. We even hosted an event designed for student members, which paired them with alumni during the chat.

We’re exploring even more ways to make this service valuable for our members, but in the meantime, take a look at the results of our efforts last year. If you’ve participated in an online networking event, your suggestions and feedback are valuable as we plan future chats. And if you haven’t participated, what are you waiting for? The next event takes place on Thursday, Feb. 18, at noon (CST), and registration is now open.

Email David Johnston, vice president of marketing and internet services, at or Brad Eland, vice president of alumni programs, at if you have questions or comments about the online networking program. Additional career resources can be found at


Tags: , , , , ,

Historic campus scenes decorate Sesquicentennial calendar

Posted on Oct 28, 2015 in Alumni News and News

2016 KU Sesquicentennial Calendar

Happy 150th birthday, KU!

To celebrate the University’s momentous birthday, the Alumni Association has created a special edition of the annual color calendar. As the months of 2016 unfold, we will highlight iconic images from KU’s past, including favorite landmarks, watershed moments and beloved traditions. We’ll also share fun and fascinating facts about our noble alma mater.

If you’re already a member of the Association, you’ll receive the calendar with the November/December issue of Kansas Alumni magazine—look for it in your mailbox in November.

Not a member? Join the Association by November 8 to add the 2016 calendar to your KU keepsakes. Copies are also available for sale at the KU Bookstore.

KU Sesquicentennial calendar back

Tags: , , ,

Future Jayhawks show off reading skills

Posted on Sep 14, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Future Jayhawks
While school might be far from the minds of most children during summer, the youngest members of the KU Alumni Association—our Future Jayhawks—didn’t mind cracking the books and participating in the Association’s Summer Reading Challenge.

The program, in its third year, encourages students of all ages to spend a few minutes each day reading. Participants are encouraged to read either 31 books or 31 hours throughout the month of July. Even babies can get in on the action—we’ll count books that are read to them.

Last year’s efforts topped the inaugural year of the program, and this year’s numbers tallied even higher:

  • 198 Future Jayhawks completed the Summer Reading Challenge
  • Future Jayhawks read a total of 4,960 books in July
  • Older children ages 8-18 read 1,178 hours in July

We’re thrilled to hear that Future Jayhawks spent some quality time with books during their summer vacation! Those who completed the challenge received a special gift in the mail.

Future Jayhawks | www.kualumni.orgIf your Future Jayhawk completed the summer reading challenge, don’t forget to send in their sheet! To sign up your kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews for the program so they can participate in future activities like this, visit

Tags: ,

April Fool’s Day 2015: Mascot Mayhem

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Yesterday, Association members found a special edition of their monthly Member eNews in their email inboxes. The questionable content, however, might have led some to wonder—was this a joke? A quick check of the calendar confirmed it for those not willing to read to the end. Happy April Fool’s Day!


Click to enlarge

Still, our good-natured gag, in which we announced a new logo featuring the old 1941 Fighting Jayhawk, managed to fool more than a few loyal alumni, some of whom took time to write concerned replies. Many voiced strong support for our existing KU Alumni Association logo, which we greatly appreciated! Others praised the faux change, voicing equally strong support for the historic ‘hawk. Even more alumni conceded our playful prank had gotten them good.

Thanks for playing along and sharing your feelings with the KU Alumni Association about our beloved bird!

Enjoy a few of our favorite responses

One of the very best April Fools jokes I’ve ever seen. You had me until the last paragraph. But even then, I had to think about it. Well done!
– Steve S.

You actually had me going. Pondering throwing my sweatshirts and t-shirts in favor of the new/old Jayhawk.
–Ray S.

I wish it weren’t a joke.  The Fighting Jayhawk would be an awesome mascot.
–Doug P.

You got me! I was not a very happy camper until I got to the end of the article.
–Drew C.

Still trying to get the taste of the bait out of my mouth. I swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
–Tom B.

April Fool’s or not, I DO like the Fighting Jayhawk!
–Richard S.

What fun! Thanks for the google maps and the game. I was concerned about the “fighting” Jayhawk.
–Judi Y.

My own university punked me! I was ready to restock my Jayhawk gear with the fighting Jayhawk, it’s too hard to find.
–Steven T.

I can only hope this “News” about changing the Jayhawk image is an April Fools joke! …
I’m a proud alumna who even found a man to make me, “Mrs. J. Hawks”, that’s how loyal I am!
–Jane H.

Ooh, that was mean—and you got me! I hope you both spend all day on the phone responding to angry and confused alumni!
–Loren T.

Yes, Loren, we did spend a LOT of time correcting confused alumni, and if our good-humored joke caused any genuine concern among our members, we apologize. We appreciate the passion, pride and spirit our loyal alumni show us every day. Thanks for being such good sports! Rock Chalk!

–David Johnston

Tags: , , , ,

Behind the scenes with Coach Bill Self

Posted on Mar 12, 2015 in Alumni News and News

When Tegan Thornberry joined the staff at the KU Alumni Association, we knew we had managed to lure a valued team member away from our friends over at Kansas Athletics. Tegan, d’05, g’10, who coordinates the Flying Jayhawks travel program and Future Jayhawks membership program for the Association, is not only great at her job and just plain awesome—she also bakes. Our confectionery gain was Athletics’ loss, until we needed a meeting with Coach Self. Getting time on Coach’s calendar is tough enough, and even harder during a tight conference race.

That is, unless you come with a plate of Tegan’s baked goodness: “Coach Self will see you now.”

In all seriousness, Tegan’s arranged reunion was also an opportunity for Coach Self to help out his buddy Kevin Corbett after offering to help sing the Association’s praises. True to his word, Coach has supported the Association—Bill and Cindy Self are Joint Life Members—by attending events like the Rock Chalk Ball, Jayhawk Roundup and Salina Steak Out through the years. His office frequently contributes auction items in support of alumni programs and scholarships. So he was all too happy to go on-camera with staff videographer Dan Storey to share why he’s a Proud Member. The cookies probably didn’t hurt either.

Watch Coach Self’s Proud Member video here.

Coach started his day with us, and he couldn’t have been more hospitable, proudly sharing some of the treasured items around his office, including those pictured below.

The Big 12 Digital Network also went behind the scenes with Coach Self for a tour of his office, which alumni can watch below. We’re thrilled to count Bill and Cindy Self among the thousands of alumni who are proud members of the KU Alumni Association.

Bill Self’s Coach’s Corner, Part 1:


Bill Self’s Coach’s Corner, Part 2:

– David Johnston

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

There’s strength in numbers

Posted on Mar 11, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Bill Self, Proud Member |

Everyone knows Bill Self, ’87, as the highly successful head coach of the KU men’s basketball team, the man who racks up wins and awards on what seems like a daily basis. The team just earned its eleventh straight Big 12 conference title, and this past Monday, Coach Self was selected as the Associated Press Big 12 coach of the year.

But Coach Self is also a proud Life Member of the KU Alumni Association, a parent of two Jayhawks and a great supporter of the University, even though he earned his own college degree from another institution.

“When I came here, I had the impression that we had a very, very strong alumni base that was active, and certainly since I’ve been here I’ve found that to be true,” Coach Self says. “We have something that stands out and makes us different that I think every alumni relates to.”

“In anything, there’s strength in numbers. And with numbers, comes energy.”

Watch our video below to learn more about what Coach Self believes sets KU apart from other schools and why he is a Proud Member.

Tags: , , , , , ,