Jayhawks celebrate #KU150 in Wichita

Posted on Oct 5, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Jayhawk Roundup 2015
It’s not every day you get to see Baby Jay jump out of a giant birthday gift box, start a conga line and dance with Chancellor Gray-Little and former KU basketball coach Ted Owens. But that’s exactly what awaited guests at the Jayhawk Roundup on Saturday.

The annual event, now in its 14th year, took place once again at Murfin Stables in Wichita. More than 400 Jayhawk alumni, fans and friends attended to help celebrate KU’s Sesquicentennial at the birthday-themed party.

Guests enjoyed a VIP reception where they mingled with special guests Bill Self and Ted Owens, followed by dinner and dancing to a live band. Live and silent auctions also gave Jayhawks a chance to bid on unique items, including a pair of tickets to the KU vs. Oregon State men’s basketball game at the Sprint Center, a football autographed by Steve Young and Jerry Rice, and a variety of KU-themed items.

This year’s centerpieces, custom-painted birthday boxes decked out in KU colors, were also available for purchase—just in time for holiday gift-giving!

The Jayhawk Roundup is the largest gathering of KU faithful in Wichita. Proceeds from the event help enhance alumni programs, including student recruitment, career networking and our alumni lobbying program, Jayhawks for Higher Education.

A special thank you to Jayhawk Roundup hosts Dave and Janet Murfin, event chairs Glenn and Camille Nyberg, decorations chair Chris Jeter, and our Jayhawk Benefactors: Kansas Athletics, A. Scott and Carol Ritchie, Linda and John T. Stewart III and Security 1st Title.

And to all the loyal volunteers who make this event happen every year: we couldn’t do it with you! Thank you for your dedication.

Baby Jay at Jayhawk Roundup 2015 | Photo by Dan Storey

Bill Self, Dave and Janet Murfin, and Chancellor Gray-Little at Jayhawk Roundup 2015 | Photo by Dan Storey
See more pictures from Jayhawk Roundup on Flickr

Watch Baby Jay’s arrival in this video posted to Facebook by Lucy Burtnett, Life Member of the Alumni Association.

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Jayhawks enjoy wine and KU spirit at East Kansas Wine Festival

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 in Alumni News and News

The East Kansas Chapter of the KU Alumni Association hosts a popular wine festival each year at Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery, located in the rolling hills of Miami County in eastern Kansas.

Guests had a special treat at this year’s event: former KU basketball coach Ted Owens, who led two teams to the Final Four and won a record 206 games in Allen Fieldhouse, shared stories from his time at KU and offered his thoughts on this year’s team.

The 90 Jayhawks who attended also enjoyed a tasting of Somerset Ridge wines while bidding on unique KU items in the silent auction.

Somerset Ridge is a family-owned vineyard operated by proud Jayhawks Cindy, j’82, and Dennis Reynolds, c’81, l’84. Thanks to chapter volunteer Steve Rottinghaus, j’90, for sharing his photos from the event with us—watch the slideshow below, or see them on Flickr.

East Kansas Wine Festival 2014

'Hawk Days | www.kualumni.orgThis event is part of the ‘Hawk Days of Summer, the KU Alumni Association’s annual summer sojourn across the country and around the world. The 90-day series of events resulted from a determination to make the most of the summer months. The 2014 tour kicked off on Saturday, May 17, and includes picnics, receptions, baseball games and more. Visit our online calendar to find upcoming events near you.

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Kicking off ’Hawk Days in the Smoky Hills

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 in Alumni News and News

The annual Smoky Hill Chapter golf tournament was held on May 16 at the Smoky Hill Country Club in Hays. John Jeter, a local chapter volunteer and member of the KU Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, shared his thoughts about this year’s event with us.

What a glorious day in Hays! We had a record crowd for the annual Smoky Hill Chapter golf tourney with more than 120 participants, and the Smoky Hill Country Club course was in beautiful shape. Registration started at 9:30 with tee-off at 11 a.m. We finished in an efficient five hours, with foursomes playing scramble, using their precious Mulligans and vying for team and individual honors.

The day was capped by a pig roast with meat generously provided by Butch Billips, assoc., of America’s Best Steaks. While we expected to hear from legendary former coach Ted Owens, we were also surprised to see none other than head football coach Charlie Weis show up to share his vision of the football program with a delighted audience. Both Coach Owens and Coach Weis were great, and we had plenty of time for questions and socializing with these two special guests.

Smoky Hill golf tournamentCoach Owens looks fantastic and remembers every play from every year! He was accompanied by his daughter and brought back so many memories for many in the crowd who attended or watched KU games during his tenure. By the way, he made it clear Jo Jo’s heel never touched the line! Coach Weis was his usual honest, up-front self who “tells it like it is” to the crowd. He enjoyed backing up Coach Owens and clearly felt good about being able to attend at the last minute. He commented that Butch’s pig was the best he’d ever had!

What do we do next year to top this event? We have the same date reserved, and we hope we can lure another big crowd and stellar speakers. As a life-long KU football fan, my vote is to bring Coach Weis back again to bask in the glory of the break-out season we all hope is just around the corner. Thanks to the Alumni Association staff who always do a great job. This was the kick-off for ’Hawk Days of Summer and what a way to kick it off!

—John Jeter, c’77, m’81

Watch the slideshow below to see pictures from the golf tournament, or click here to view the photos on Flickr.


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Posted on Jun 2, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Baby Jay on the slide at Hawkstock The ’Hawk Days of Summer rolled through southeast Kansas as more than 80 Jayhawks young and old enjoyed ’Hawkstock,  hosted at the KAMO Ranch in Mulberry.

Former KU basketball coach Ted Owens addressed the crowd, sharing some of his favorite memories. Along with Coach Owens, many former lettermen were in attendance including Bryan Sperry, d’50; George Nettles, e’50; Jeff Boschee, d’03; and Nick Reid.

Baby Jay visited with the families and also found time to join some of the kids bouncing in and on the inflatables.

Reed, d’01, and Jill Simpson Miller, d’01, and Jill’s family have hosted the annual gathering since 2011. Jill is a member of the Alumni Association’s national Board of Directors.

Watch the slideshow below for pictures from this year’s ’Hawkstock, or click here to view the photos on Flickr.

—Dan Storey

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An evening with basketball legends

Posted on Apr 24, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Basketball season is over, but that didn’t stop Jayhawks in the southern part of the state from enjoying an evening with basketball legends this week.

KU alumni, fans and friends gathered at the Winfield Country Club to hear from former men’s basketball coach Ted Owens and legendary basketball star Bud Stallworth. Coach Owens led two teams to the Final Four and won 206 games in Allen Fieldhouse. He recently published At the Hang-up: Seeking Your Purpose, Running Your Face, Finishing Strong, and attendees had the opportunity to buy copies of the book.

Staff from the KU Libraries also attended with their popular exhibit “An Evening with Naismith: Artifacts of a KU Legend.”

If you’re in the Winfield area, be sure to get involved with the South Chapter to learn about other upcoming events.

Ted Owens, David Andreas, John T. Stewart and Bob Bourdette.


Lynn Loveland and Ted Owens. Lynn’s grandfather, Dutch Lonborg, was director of athletics at KU and hired Coach Owens. 

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Longtime coach Ted Owens recalls life, career in new book

Posted on Nov 2, 2013 in Alumni News and News

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.”

–Dave Robisch, KU forward, 1968-71

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