The Alumni Association presented four outstanding Student Alumni Leadership Board members with Judy L. Ruedlinger Awards of $500 each for spring 2015.
The recipients are Elizabeth Rupp, a senior from Hays; Rachel Volk, a junior from Greeley; Austin Lear, a senior from Springfield, MO; and Jenni Corcoran, a senior from Evergreen Park, IL.
The Judy L. Ruedlinger Award honors the memory of Ruedlinger, who founded the Student Alumni Association (SAA) in 1987 and was known by her students as “Judy Rudy.” The award was established to maintain commitment and involvement of past, present and future SAA members. It recognizes student leaders who convey pride in membership, public awareness of SAA and a sense of permanence, strength and integrity in the organization. Ideally, it also is meant to encourage Student Alumni Leadership Board members to join the KU Alumni Association after graduation and continue contact with the university.
The Judy L. Ruedlinger Award Fund is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management foundation for KU.
The awards were presented Dec. 9th at the Adams Alumni Center.
Student award recipients are listed below by hometown, major, level in school, parents’ names and high school.
From Hays, Kansas: Elizabeth Rupp, senior in Health Information Management, daughter of Kathy and Andrew Rupp; Thomas Moore Prep-Marian High School
From Newton, Kansas: Rachel Volk, junior in Math Education, daughter of Marilyn and James Volk; Newton High School.
From Springfield, Missouri: Austin Lear, senior in Accounting & Information Systems, son of Danette and Andy Lear; Kickapoo High School.
From Evergreen Park, Illinois: Jenni Corcoran, senior in Spanish, daughter of Judy and Clarke Corcoran; Marist High School.
Student Alumni Leadership Board members had a blast working the 19th annual Rock Chalk Ball. This year’s theme was Jayhawks and Juleps, and seersucker suits, bright colors and derby hats were all on display. SALB members spent the night manning the auction tables and interacting with KU alumni.
“This year’s Rock Chalk Ball was so fun,” said Rachel Volk, SALB’s vice president for alumni relations. “I enjoyed being able to help organize this event for SALB members.”
Not only is Rock Chalk Ball a lot of fun, it’s a great opportunity for SALB members to see the strong community of KU alumni. With more than 900 Jayhawks in attendance, SALB members met all sorts of KU celebrities.
“I am a huge Celtics fan, so being able to meet Scot Pollard was the highlight of my night,” SALB member Madison Flint said.
Another KU celebrity students enjoyed talking with was Dean Neeli. She has so much enthusiasm and support for KU that being in her presence makes students feel empowered.
At the end of the night SALB members headed back to Lawrence and put another Rock Chalk Ball down in the books. It was a night to remember, and we can’t wait to see what next year’s event has in store.
–Autrin Naderi, vice president of communications, Student Alumni Leadership Board
Student Alumni Leadership Board (SALB) members serve as the official student representatives and volunteers of the KU Alumni Association. Members also facilitate spirit functions, serve as campus ambassadors and organize community service projects. SALB is governed by eight executive board members, who have the opportunity to interact with some of the best student leaders, campus officials and alumni. This week’s profile features Rachel Volk, a freshman from Newton who is undecided about her major. Rachel serves as the vice president of administration.
What’s your favorite KU tradition or KU memory?
My favorite KU memory is a tossup between going to Traditions Night at Memorial Stadium my first week of college and going to my first Late Night in the Phog. Traditions Night made me feel a part of KU even though I had only been on campus for about 48 hours, the thrill I got after completing the Jayhawk clap made me feel like a part of the big KU family. And Late Night in the Phog was amazing, it was the first time I was in Allen Fieldhouse and it will certainly not be the last.
What do you think is KU’s best kept secret?
I think that KU’s best kept secret is opportunities you can receive by going to school here. Of course you have to work for these opportunities but in the end it will all be worth it. I am proud of the support KU alumni have for the KU students and future students. Many scholarships are given out to students, and other alumni have connections that are given to students because the alumni see how important it is to give students experience in the field they would like to work in. And having alumni across the world lets our students be free while receiving an education!
What other groups are you involved with, and how did you become involved with SALB?
In addition to being on SALB, I live in Miller Scholarship Hall and next year I get the privilege of serving as the treasurer of Miller. I am also a new board member of the United Way Board, representing the students of the University of Kansas. I will soon be involved with the Boys and Girls Club, volunteering after school in order to receive experience in teaching, because I would like to teach math after I graduate.
What made you decide to attend KU?
The University of Kansas was really the only place in Kansas for me. I wanted to go to a big school to receive the atmosphere of community as a large university, also blue and red are my colors. There was no choice but when arriving on campus for my college visit I fell in love. It felt right, the campus was beautiful and if I would have known the opportunities and leadership roles I would have been given all I would need is a KU pen and a sign-up sheet. KU felt right and will continue to become a bigger part of my life every day.
Where’s your favorite place to hang out in Lawrence?
My favorite place to be in Lawrence is Massachusetts Street. I love to go down there with my favorite person and search for a new place to try. One thing KU has done is feed me the best I have ever been fed in my life. Mediterranean food has become a new favorite of mine, but if I could name anything it would be the Rose Lemonade at Aladdin’s or Wheatfield’s Bakery, anything from Wheatfield’s is great!
How many crunchy chicken cheddar wraps have you consumed since arriving on campus?
I actually have not eaten any crunchy chicken cheddar wraps! Since I live in a scholarship hall I almost always have a good home-cooked meal waiting for me. Though, to achieve the full KU experience I need to head on over to the Underground one day and chow down.
Check back for more profiles of the Student Alumni Leadership Board members!