After 19 different events in 16 different cities, the first KU Cares Month of Service brought Jayhawks closer to the communities they call home.
The KU Alumni Association set out to have participants in the Month of Service share the spirit of Thanksgiving by giving back, both in their networks and in the KU community.
A portion of all membership dues collected during the month of November was earmarked for the Wounded Warrior scholarship fund. Thanks to the generosity of those who joined, renewed, or donated, more than $5,500 will be given to the scholarship fund that helps qualified veterans and their family pursue their education at KU.
Continuing on the theme of an earlier post, we wanted to highlight some of the events where Jayhawks made a difference.
Wichita: Ronald McDonald House
Members of the Wichita Jayhawk Network came together to help those staying in the Ronald McDonald house. Volunteers brought, prepared and served dinner to the families with children in nearby hospitals.
Milwaukee: Fill the Freezer
Local KU alumni joined forces with the United Way to fight hunger at the first annual “Fill the Freezer” event. Network leader Jay Craig, b’85 g’87, brought area Jayhawk volunteers together with local chefs to prepare frozen meals for those in transitional housing and family support programs.
Phoenix: St. Vincent De Paul’s Watkins Kitchen
More than 15 Jayhawks gave their Saturday morning to prepare meals for the homeless at St. Vincent De Paul’s Watkins Kitchen. Phoenix Network Leader Chris Colyer, b’04 l’09, thanked everyone for representing KU and showing compassion for their community.
San Antonio: Haven for Hope
Area alumni put on their Jayhawk gear, along with aprons and gloves, and served food to those in need in downtown San Antonio. Network leader Morgan Bertram, d’02, thanked those who helped feed 383 at Haven for Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless find a new beginning.
While the KU Cares Month of Service is over, Jayhawks can get together to give time and talents to their communities anytime! Visit the KU Cares page for more information, and reach out to your local network leaders. View our Flickr album of these events and more from the KU Cares Month of Service:
The pair of KU Alumni Association program staffers are looking at potential growth cities as part of their goal of unique and diverse programming across the nation. Their itinerary included visits to Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Phoenix, and New York City.
Kallail, d’04, l’07, and Woods, j’13, hosted a meeting at each stop to connect existing network leaders with new area volunteers. They introduced their plan for successful networks to the group, and then let the local alumni plan amongst themselves.
“We really want to empower all of the network leaders,” Woods said. “These leaders know their network way better than we ever could. We just want to give them the tools to build a successful network and let them run with it. This will ultimately help the network sustain and grow for years to come.”
One of the main goals of the network visits was to promote planning events in all of the five event buckets such as Rock Chalk Connect, which provides networking opportunities, and Rock Chalk Cultivate, which gives alumni the opportunity to learn a new skill—often from other Jayhawks.
“For our network moving forward, I would like to see the meeting’s enthusiasm to continue,” Brandon Snook, New York City network leader, said. “I want us to fully embrace the new event branding, which I love…especially KU Cares. It will be a great way for us to give back to the community, and strengthen our bonds in the process. I hope the new branding will be a springboard for our network board, and that everyone involved won’t be hesitant in popping out fresh new ideas for programming.”
Kallail and Woods also introduced a new structure for network leadership. Instead of traditional roles such as president, vice president, and treasurer, networks will have leaders who manage event buckets. “I like the concept of having a group with individuals focused on different areas of outreach for the Alumni Association,” Scott Lundgren, Portland network leader, said.
After the planning meeting, other local Jayhawks joined for a happy hour. Both Snook and fellow New York City network leader Kellie Johnson were pleased with their meeting. “We assembled a nice variety of people who seem enthusiastic to lead,” Snook said.
Wherever they went, Kallail and Woods were excited to see the networks’ turnout. Johnson has a theory why.
“I think KU alumni attend the events to keep that special connection alive. I’ve met several people from other schools who have noted that KU alumni are the most loyal they have ever met. One told me he doesn’t get involved with his alumni because he left nothing there – and when I asked him to clarify – he said it was clear all of us had left our hearts in Lawrence.”
On a very short block in Phoenix, Arizona, two Jayhawks live across the street from each other and proudly display KU banners every game day.
Harry and David— no, not THAT Harry and David— hang their matching banners early to show their support and make sure their neighbors know it’s time to root for KU.
Harry Collins, pictured at left, graduated from KU’s School of Engineering in 1967 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. David Bricker graduated from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1976 and earned his MBA in 1979 from the KU School of Business. Both men are avid basketball fans!
For our ongoing Proud Member Monday series, we are highlighting alumni volunteers who serve the University of Kansas across Kansas and around the world. Today we feature Scott Rehorn, c’86, a Life and Presidents Club Member who resides in Arizona. We asked Scott how his experience at KU has served him since leaving the Hill.
Tell us about your career path.
I interviewed at a KU career fair and was hired by a Kansas City real estate developer. I moved to Phoenix in 1988 because my wife and I wanted a change, and I got a job working as a leasing agent for a local real estate company. In 1994, I teamed up with my partner and started a new company, which also then evolved into partnering with Dan Lowe in Kansas City to create Red Development.
How did your KU experience help prepare you for your career?
When I attended KU, I had no money. I worked three jobs a day to put myself through school. I know that sounds like I walked barefoot in the snow, but I actually did! I worked at Saffee’s women’s clothing store, at the Chi Omega sorority as a waiter and as a bartender and bouncer at Bottoms Up and Gammon’s. I learned how to balance school, work and fun.
What is one fun fact about your company?
Though based in Phoenix, our company is led by Jayhawks and Cornhuskers.
What advice do you have for recent graduates in your industry?
Go back to school and get a law degree. Then, don’t become a lawyer. But a law degree is a great way to be prepared in whatever you decide to pursue.
Why should a prospective student consider becoming a Jayhawk?
There is no place like KU; it is just a special place. I can’t really define it, but if you’ve been there you know exactly what I’m saying.
Why are you a proud member of the KU Alumni Association?
KU is a great institution that I got to enjoy because someone else paid it forward. It’s our opportunity to do the same for the next generation. I’m also involved with the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, and it is equally impressive.
How do you stay connected to KU?
Through my friends and my connections with the medical center, and I try to stay updated through the newsletters that come to us.
Chris was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, in a family of Jayhawks: Jim Colyer, c’72; Toni Farha Colyer, d’72; James Colyer, ’00; Kelli Colyer Lieurance, c’02, l’05; and Kami Colyer, p’09. While attending KU, Chris was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity and a manager at the popular just-off-campus watering hole, The Wheel.
Chris graduated from KU with a degree in business administration, and following a brief stint as a financial analyst at Payless ShoeSource World Headquarters in Topeka, he returned to the KU School of Law and earned his Juris Doctor in 2009. He currently works as an environmental and real estate attorney at Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. in Phoenix.
The Dick Wintermote award annually recognizes up to five network volunteers who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership to their network and the KU Alumni Association during a one-year period (July 1-June 30). Dick Wintermote, c’51, served as the executive director of the Association from 1963 to 1983.
Ever been away from home during a KU basketball game and found yourself wondering where to watch it? Or better yet, where you could catch the game with fellow die-hards?
Sean and Sarah, two loyal Jayhawks from Arlington, Va., found themselves in that situation last Saturday when they visited Phoenix, but they knew exactly what to do: check the KU Alumni Association website.
We headed to Bungalow Bar & Grill a few hours before the game to claim a prime viewing spot. We weren’t sure how crowded it would be.
When you walk into the bar, the left side is seating for dinner and the right side is the bar with room for standing. The whole dining side was reserved and what looked like a projector screen was pulled down. Although we assumed this was for the KU game, there wasn’t a KU fan in sight so we sat at the bar. As game time came closer the fans began to arrive, crowding into the dining section. They ranged from fresh out of college to life long KU fans. And it was clear that many of these folks had been here before and they knew one another. This was a regular thing for many of them!
There’s a contact person and that person greets viewers and puts out table decorations! The regulars were happy to have us out-of-towners join their viewing party. We sat next to the nicest couple from Kansas City. They were shocked that Sean was from the Missouri side of KC yet still a KU fan.
We love to hear stories like this! Sarah and Sean have also consulted our list to find watch sites in San Diego and the Washington, D.C. area. It’s always more fun to watch KU basketball games with other rabid fans.
Many thanks to the friendly members of our Phoenix Chapter, led by chapter leader Chris Colyer, b’04, l’09, for welcoming new folks to their watch party.
Next time you’re away from home when there’s a basketball game, be sure to check our website to find out where you can watch with fellow with fellow ‘Hawks!
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.
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:
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.
A condensed version of Mini College–the popular, weeklong adult-education retreat held on campus shortly after the conclusion of spring semester–is hitting the road for sunny Arizona. “Winter Mini College,” co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the KU Alumni Association, is set for Feb. 1 and 2 at Scottsdale’s spectacular Camelback Inn Resort and Spa.
Registration is now open at minicollege.ku.edu/phoenix. The cost is $350 per person or $600 for a couple, which includes classes, special events, extracurricular activities and all meals. When booking accommodations at the Camelback, mention “University of Kansas Mini College” to receive a significant discount on room rates.
Alumni interested in attending are encouraged to bring spouses or friends, regardless of their KU affiliation; Winter Mini College is open to all adults with a thirst for learning and a desire to rediscover the student experience. The weekend schedule includes a range of topics such as art, environmental studies, and strategies for addressing cognitive decline and depression, with classes led by KU faculty and alumni who are experts in their fields. The weekend will also feature a men’s basketball TV watch party and a graduation lunch.