KU to honor Rob Riggle with Distinguished Alumni award

Posted on Oct 9, 2018 in Alumni News and News

Rob Riggle Distinguished Alumni Award
Rob Riggle, one of the most recognizable Jayhawk alumni, will be honored this year with the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas. He will visit Lawrence in November to accept the award.

Two distinct careers

Riggle has forged two distinct and notable careers since graduating from KU in 1992 with a B.A. in theatre and film. Following a career with the United States Marine Corps during which he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Riggle has become well-known in comedic films and television. He is also known for his philanthropic efforts and as an enthusiastic fan of KU.

“Rob Riggle’s accomplished and varied career exemplifies the many paths open to graduates with a well-rounded education in the liberal arts and sciences,” said Clarence Lang, interim dean of the College. “We are pleased to recognize him and welcome him back to campus.”

“An Evening with Rob Riggle”

The College will host “An Evening with Rob Riggle” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, at the Burge Union. Tickets are required and free. They are available at the Kansas Union. More details on tickets and the event are available here.

In a Q&A with the College, Riggle shared how his KU education has been of value in his career.

“My theatre and film degree helped me tremendously in pursuing my dreams,” he said. “Unless you’re going to specialize in a certain field, like medicine or accounting, I think you should seek an education that is well rounded. You should seek social and emotional intelligence as well as academic intelligence.”

Comedic turns

Riggle is familiar to filmgoers and TV fans alike for comedic roles in films such as “The Hangover” and “Step Brothers,” as well as his stints on “Saturday Night Live” and as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” His most recent film appearance is in “Night School” with Kevin Hart, which debuted at the top of the box office this fall. On the small screen, Riggle has most recently appeared in “Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy,” available on Sony Crackle. For his voice-over talents, he earned a 2012 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for Disney’s “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice.”

Rob Riggle at a KU basketball game | Rob Riggle Distinguished Alumni Award

He is one of KU’s most well-known fans, appearing regularly at football and basketball games. During KU’s appearance last spring in the NCAA Final Four against Villanova, Riggle was the sideline reporter on the Kansas TeamCast broadcast on TNT. He hosted KU’s Late Night in the Phog in 2013 and served as the grand marshal of the KU Homecoming Parade in 2014. Sports fans may also know Riggle from the “Riggle’s Picks” skits during NFL coverage on FOX, or his podcast of the same name.

Philanthropic endeavors

In addition to maintaining close connections to KU, Riggle has kept close ties in the Kansas City area. He is a founder of the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend in Kansas City, an annual fundraising event that benefits Children’s Mercy. He and other celebrity hosts, several with ties to Kansas City, have raised more than $6 million since the initial event in 2010. Riggle grew up in Overland Park, Kansas and attended Shawnee Mission South High School.

As he broke into comedy, Riggle was still on active duty with the United States Marine Corps, which he initially joined at the age of 19. Riggle served in various countries including Albania, Kosovo, Liberia and Afghanistan. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve, having served 23 years total (9 years active duty, 14 years in the reserves) and earned more than 22 medals and ribbons. This fall, he will also be recognized by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) with the 2018 IAVA Veteran Leadership Award.

About the College

As the largest academic unit with the most alumni, students and faculty, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is the heart of KU. The College has recognized more than 50 liberal arts and sciences graduates with its Distinguished Alumni Award since 1996. Alumni have been honored for accomplishments across a span of career paths, including public and military service, business, arts, medicine, entertainment and publishing, and research. The full list can be viewed here.

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Trio of famous Jayhawks to call Final Four action

Posted on Mar 29, 2018 in Alumni News and News

Rob Riggle unveiling Charlie Hustle shirt | Kansas Teamcast announcers

Jayhawks, your wishes have been granted: You can watch the the Final Four with announcers who love the Jayhawks as much as you do.

When KU plays Villanova in the Final Four Saturday night, tune in to TNT to watch the Kansas TeamCast. It will feature familiar faces Dave Armstrong, Scot Pollard and Rob Riggle breaking down the action.

TeamCast presentations are telecasts tailored to the schools participating in the Final Four national semifinals. The concept brings local flavor to the game with additional cameras and team-centric replays, custom halftimes, comprehensive team and player storylines and more.

Armstrong, ’83, will serve as the play-by-play announcer, which he’s done for the Jayhawks since 1993. He’s also served in the same role for multiple professional sports teams.

Pollard, d’97, partners with Armstrong as the color analyst. He’ll provide a unique perspective after a four-year career as a member of the Kansas men’s basketball team. Pollard finished his career in KU’s top 5 in rebounds and blocked shots and spent 12 years in the NBA.

Riggle, c’93, rounds out the team by reporting from the sideline on head coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks. (No word yet on how serious the KU actor and comedian will take his job.)

The regular telecast will be available on TBS, with Villanova’s TeamCast airing on truTV. Tip is expected to be 7:49 p.m. CDT Saturday night, or 40 minutes after the conclusion of the Michigan-Loyola Chicago game which begins at at 5:09 p.m.

If Scot Pollard’s enthusiasm in a video he posted to Facebook is a preview, the trio of Jayhawks are sure to have a fun night—as will we!

Visit the ’Hawks ’n Hoops postseason hub for more information, and don’t miss additional Final Four coverage from Lawrence, San Antonio, and alumni networks around the country.

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Jayhawks in the News | Sept. 8

Posted on Sep 8, 2017 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics | www.kualumni.org

Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.


Rob Riggle really is a diehard Kansas Jayhawks football fan | SBNation

Rob Riggle, the actor, comedian, Fox NFL Sunday contributor, and Dos Equis “Most Interesting Fan” spokesperson, is a Kansas Jayhawks football fan. He’s an alum of the school and passionate to the point that when he hosted the ESPYs a couple of years ago, he had the house band play the fight song and was flanked by KU cheerleaders for his entrance.
Read full article.

Radio is the ultimate connector | RadioInk.com

Those are the words of Sarah Frazier, CBS Radio Houston market manager, who has her team working frantically to keep the community informed during Hurricane Harvey. Frazier, j’94, told Radio Ink that Monday morning it was clear there was a need to offer local residents a constant stream of evacuation and shelter information.
Read full article.

Former KU guard Michael Lee to join Aaron Miles’ coaching staff in G-League | Kansas City Star

Former Kansas guard Michael Lee resigned his post as Portland (Ore.) Roosevelt High basketball coach in order to work on lifelong buddy/former KU guard Aaron Miles’ Santa Cruz Warriors NBA G-League staff. He and former KU point guard Miles are grads of Portland’s Jefferson High. They actually attended middle school, high school and college together — true definition of best friends.
Read full article.

Hawks to Watch: Stephanie Downes | KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

When you think biology degree, you may picture someone sitting in a lab or collecting specimens outside. For Stephanie Downes, a biology degree led to a different path, where skills in analyzing and experimenting help her engage audiences with digital media.
Read full article.

Prosecuting Attorney Debra McLaughlin takes place of late Judge Yoder | LocalDVM.com

Prosecuting Attorney Debra Mclaughlin was named as the judge for the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court in the Eastern Panhandle. McLaughlin, l’93, came to West Virginia in the late 1990s, and since 2002, has been a Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney.
Read full article.

Best Lawrence in America 2018 honors three from Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered | Monnat & Spurrier

The 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America® has honored two Jayhawk attorneys from Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered. Sal Intagliata was honored for his work in the sectors of general practice and white collar criminal defense, and Trevor Riddle was honored in the criminal defense general practice sector. Both earned juris doctor degrees from the KU School of Law.
Read full article.

Former Kansas lieutenant governor Tom Docking dies at 63 | KMUW.org

Former Kansas Lt. Gov. Tom Docking died Thursday night at age 63. Docking served with Democratic Gov. John Carlin from 1983 to 1987. He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1986 but lost to Republican Mike Hayden.
Read full article.

Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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Rock Chalk, Royals!

Posted on Nov 5, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Rock Chalk Kansas City
Congratulations, Kansas City!

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, the Kansas City Royals stormed their way to a World Series championship, winning the hearts of America and earning the respect of fans who appreciate baseball the way it’s supposed to be played. With the enthusiasm of kids playing sandlot ball, Kansas City beat the New York Mets in five games to #TaketheCrown and their first World Series championship in 30 years.

As exciting as their performance was in Kansas City’s second consecutive World Series appearance, the celebration that followed was perhaps even more impressive. Fans flooded Mass Street in Lawrence immediately after the win, and approximately 800,000 area fans attended Kansas City’s parade and rally on Monday, with barely any incidents reported by police. We couldn’t be more proud.

Kansas City is home to almost 100,000 KU alumni and friends, making it one of the strongest Jayhawk networks in the country. And the entire Jayhawk network, made up of fans and former students with ties to this area, salutes Kansas City. Enjoy this royal roundup of tributes from KU alumni and friends.

Rock Chalk, Kansas City Royals!

Posted by KU Alumni Association on Sunday, November 1, 2015

Lawrence residents and KU students love to celebrate on Mass Street after championships. Congrats to the Kansas City Royals! #rockchalk

Posted by KU Alumni Association on Monday, November 2, 2015

Paul Rudd is a Kansas City native, a Jayhawk, and a huge Kansas City Royals fan. He was pretty excited after last night’…

Posted by KU Alumni Association on Monday, November 2, 2015

An estimated 800,000 fans enjoyed the Kansas City Royals World Series parade and rally on Tuesday. The Kansas City…

Posted by FOX 4 News Kansas City on Tuesday, November 3, 2015

–David Johnston

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That clown on Modern Family

Posted on Dec 4, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Eric Stonestreet via kualumni.org

Stonestreet as Fizbo the clown on ABC’s Modern Family

Eric Stonestreet, best known for his Emmy Award-winning role on Modern Family as Cam Tucker, loves to clown around with co-stars.

Growing up in Kansas, Stonestreet actually wanted to grow up to become a clown. He would go on to attend Kansas State University to learn his craft (no lie). As one of K-State’s most famous alumni, Stonestreet can’t help but barb his KU co-star any chance he gets.

Returning to the set this season is our favorite recurring character, Gil Thorpe, portrayed by Jayhawk Rob Riggle, c’93. Stonestreet couldn’t resist and carefully cropped an image of Riggle’s car (below) and tweeted it out to his fan base of followers. Fizbo would be proud.


The joke’s all in good fun, as Riggle’s car sports a KU Alumni Association “Proud Member” license plate frame. Both actors take pride in their Kansas roots and actively support their institutions. Riggle was this year’s Grand Marshal at Homecoming and supports the KU Alumni Association as a proud member.

– David Johnston

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Thank you, Veterans

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 in Alumni News and News


From all of us at the KU Alumni Association and the Veterans Alumni Chapter, we appreciate the service of our veterans.

Here’s a special thank-you: watch the video below for a greeting from Lt. Col U.S. Marines, famous funnyman, and diehard Jayhawk Rob Riggle, c’93.

Rock Chalk, and thank you for your service!

Veterans Alumni ChapterFor more information about the Veterans Alumni Network, visit www.kualumni.org/veterans. Read network newsletters, fill out a short form to report your military service or order a Veterans Alumni Network challenge coin. Links to campus resources for veterans are also provided on this page.

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A Royal roundup

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 in Alumni News and News

In case you haven’t heard, the Kansas City Royals baseball team is headed to the World Series after sweeping the American League Championship Series with four straight victories over the Baltimore Orioles.

KU fans love their Jayhawks, but they love the Royals, too.

Actors and Kansas City-area natives Rob Riggle and Paul Rudd, who both attended classes on the Hill, are well-known Royals fans. Riggle, c’93, recently served as grand marshal of KU’s Homecoming parade and posted this photo on his Instagram account showing his excitement after the Royals won the ALCS.

American League Champions @Royals!!! This is a wonderful, wonderful day!!!

Rudd, ’92, went one better: the die-hard fan jokingly invited fans to party at his mom’s house after the game and took selfies on the field with Royals players.

Paul Rudd interview with KMBC News

— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) October 15, 2014

Even Bill Self got in on the fun and enjoyed a fall night at the K with his son, Tyler, where they watched the Royals beat the Angels to win the ALDS.


— Bill Self (@CoachBillSelf) October 6, 2014

And one more tidbit, just for fun: Royals fans are probably familiar with SungWoo Lee, the die-hard Korean fan who adopted the team two decades ago and who made his first trip to Kauffman Stadium this past August. Filmmaker Josh Swade, the KU superfan who was instrumental in bringing the James Naismith’s Original Rules of Basket Ball to Lawrence and co-directed “There’s No Place Like Home,” the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about the quest, confirmed on his Twitter account that Lee will return to the K for the first game of the World Series on Tuesday.

Many of the KU Alumni Association’s alumni networks are busy organizing Royals watch parties in their cities. It’s another great way to enjoy camaraderie with fellow Jayhawks. Be sure to check out our list of alumni networks and their Facebook groups to find a watch party in your area. Rock Chalk Jayhawk, and go Royals!

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Throwback Thursday: Homecoming 2010

Posted on Sep 25, 2014 in Alumni News and News

KU’Homecoming 2014 logo | www.kualumni.org/homecomings 102nd Homecoming celebration is taking place this week. Learn about past Homecomings through our Throwback Thursday posts, and check out our social media hub to see what students, alumni and fans are posting about Homecoming on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #kuhomecoming. For a full list of activities and other information about Homecoming, visit www.homecoming.ku.edu.


The 2014 Homecoming Parade takes place at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26, in downtown Lawrence with a couple of familiar voices behind the microphone.  John Holt, j’81, l’84, current news anchor for Fox 4, and Curtis Marsh, j’92, director of KU Info, will reunited to serve as the parade’s emcees.

Fun fact: these two Jayhawks also served as co-emcees of the 2010 Homecoming parade. The Homecoming theme was “Rock Chalk Roadtrip” and the creative entries featured a variety of transportation-themed floats. Robert Eaton, e’63, was the parade’s grand marshal.

Curtis Marsh and John Holt emcee the 2010 KU Homecoming parade

Don’t miss this year’s parade! Rob Riggle, c’93, will serve as the grand marshal, and a pep rally will take place immediately after the parade on 8th Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The Marching Jayhawks and Spirit Squad will perform, and speakers at the rally will include Riggle, assistant football coaches John Reagan and Clint Bowen, and head men’s basketball coach Bill Self.

After the rally, stick around for dance music provided by a DJ until 9 p.m.

We’d love to see your Homecoming pictures and hear your stories. Submit them to us at share@kualumni.org, or tag your pictures with #kuhomecoming on Twitter or Instagram.

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Rob Riggle named Homecoming grand marshal

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Rob Riggle, Homecoming 2014

Exciting news, Jayhawks!

Actor and comedian Rob Riggle, c’93, will be grand marshal of the KU Homecoming Parade. This year’s parade takes place at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26, in downtown Lawrence. A pep rally on Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets will follow the parade.

John Holt, j’81, l’84, Fox 4 anchor, and Curtis Marsh, j’92, director of KU Info, will serve as the parade’s emcees.

Speakers at the pep rally will include Riggle; John Reagan, offensive coordinator for the KU football team; Clint Bowen, d’96, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach; and head men’s basketball coach Bill Self.

The parade is part of the weeklong Homecoming celebration that begins Sunday, Sept. 21, and includes daily activities leading up to the KU-Texas football game Saturday, Sept. 27, in Memorial Stadium. KU Alumni Association members have the opportunity to buy a 4-pack of tickets to the Homecoming football game for just $99—log in here to reveal the promo code and link to buy your tickets.

The theme for KU’s 102nd Homecoming is “Roll with the ’Hawks,” which was selected by this year’s Homecoming Steering Committee. Elle Rose, a junior from Hutchinson majoring in pharmacy, is the student director of Homecoming. Rose and the members of the steering committee work closely with Alumni Association staff members and advisers Paige Hofer, student programs coordinator, and Jacey Krehbiel, alumni programs coordinator.

The Homecoming Steering Committee will host two informational meetings for students and groups at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, and Wednesday, Sept. 10, in the Adams Alumni Center. Homecoming competition entry forms will be available Sept. 2 at www.homecoming.ku.edu.

Be sure to follow KU Homecoming on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates!

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#IceBucketChallenge reaches KU

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Updated 8/26/2014: The #IceBucketChallenge has been sweeping newsfeeds across the country, and members of the University of Kansas community have accepted the challenge—including men’s basketball coach Bill Self:

Not familiar with this bizarre-but-funny social media phenomenon? No, it’s not a way to keep cool during the warm summer months. The challenge began as a creative way to spread awareness of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and quickly went viral. Participants are doused, on video, with buckets of ice water and then post said video to their social networks while nominating their friends to take the challenge.

Those who choose not to take the challenge are encouraged to make a donation to an ALS charity, but it’s obvious that many of the people getting drenched are also making donations. The most popular beneficiary is the ALS Association at alsa.org. Those looking to support ALS research at KU can contribute at www.kuendowment.org/neurology.

According to the ALS Association, as of August 20, they’ve received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.8 million during the same time period last year (July 29-Aug. 18). The donations have come from both existing donors and more than 600,000 new donors.

Other notable members of the Jayhawk community who have taken the challenge:
Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the KU School of Business
Kevin Corbett, president of the KU Alumni Association
Stephen Mazza, dean of the KU School of Law
Ray Bechard, head coach of the KU volleyball team
KU Volleyball team, part one
KU Volleyball team, part two
Rob Riggle, c’93
KU Men’s Basketball team

We’ll add to the list as we find more!

Football season is right around the corner, so we’ll leave you with Coach Weis’ version of the #IceBucketChallenge.

What KU celebrity would YOU nominate for the #IceBucketChallenge?

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