KU’s annual event honoring faculty and staff for their years of service to the University will be held on Wednesday, May 6, at 1:30 p.m. in the Kansas Union Ballroom.
Service pins are given to 5, 10, and 15-year honorees, and service pins and gifts are given to employees with 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 45, and 50 years of service.
Attendees are invited to celebrate at a reception immediately following the ceremony.
We’re thrilled that eleven KU Alumni Association staff members will be honored at tomorrow’s ceremony, including Tim Brandt, who was director of the Adams Alumni Center for ten years before retiring two weeks ago.
Stefanie Shackelford, vice president for alumni and membership records, 25 years
Marcia Wilson, office assistant, 25 years
Susan Younger, creative director, 20 years
Chris Lazzarino, associate editor, Kansas Alumni magazine, 20 years
Mike Wick, webmaster, 15 years
David Johnston, vice president of marketing and internet services, 15 years
Steven Hill, associate editor, Kansas Alumni magazine, 15 years
Mike Davis, senior vice president for donor relations, 15 years
Tim Brandt, recently retired director of the Adams Alumni Center, 10 years
Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs, 10 years
Tegan Thornberry, assistant director of membership, 10 years
Congratulations to our staff members and thank you for your dedication! We’ll honor their service again at our own employee recognition festivities next week, where each one—along with five-year student employee A.J. Templin— will be treated to the traditional poetic tributes our staff has come to know and love. You can find short biographies of our staff members on the staff directory page.
See a full list of honorees at the 2015 Employee Recognition Ceremony here.
Last February, our creative director Susan Younger wrote about pareidolia, the phenomenon of recognizing familiar shapes in clouds or objects, like the man in the moon. Tim Brandt, the director of our building, had spotted a Jayhawk likeness in a formation of rocks while visiting Arizona.
As soon as we shared the photo on our website and in the magazine, we knew that we’d receive more of them, and sure enough, we did.
“I was reading Kansas Alumni and saw the Jayhawk rock photographed in Scottsdale, Ariz. My immediate reaction was that I had taken the same photo a few years ago, but I knew mine was taken in California, in Joshua Tree National Park (near Palm Springs). Gotta be from the same family!”
We love to see Jayhawks in all forms, and we know you do too. A new photo album on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/kualumni, is dedicated to these sightings. Next time you see a Jayhawk in the clouds, in your coffee or in a pile of leaves, snap a picture and send it to us at email@example.com!
Have you ever heard of the term “Pareidolia?” Most people haven’t, but surely everyone has experienced it. Pareidolia (parr-i-DOH-lee-uh) is the phenomenon of recognizing familiar shapes in clouds or objects, the man in the moon, religious icons in toast … or Jayhawks in rocks.
Tim Brandt, b’74, director of the Adams Alumni Center, saw this rocky likeness of our beloved mascot while he was running around the Troon North Golf Course in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was struck by the shape of an outcropping of rock, and he sent us the photo. “All you need is a little paint, and it would look just like the Jayhawk,” he says.
Through the years, alumni have sent images of Jayhawks in clouds, piles of leaves and even puddles. The Adams Alumni Center is also home to a collection of figurines from alumni, including this cute little Jayhawk made from four garden rocks glued together and painted in bright hues. No one knows who sent it or when, but its silhouette does look quite a bit like the rock formation in Arizona.
Studies show that if a person sees images in objects and clouds, an activation in the brain has occurred. Alumni know that when we see Jayhawks everywhere, there’s been an activation in the heart. If you have images of your own “Hawk Pareidolia,” email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can post them.
We’ve enjoyed reading KU fans’ memories of the 1988 NCAA championship game. Many of our future staff members were at the game or the celebrations that took place afterward, and they shared their memories also.
Lynn Loveland, assistant director of Kansas programs:
I went to the games and had a great seat on the floor. Very exciting–after the games we went to the Plaza to celebrate. I thought Kemper Arena was a great place to hold the game. Though the revenue wouldn’t come close to what they make now, everyone could actually see the game from their seats with no big screen needed.
David Johnston, director of internet services and marketing:
We got tickets to the championship at Kemper from disgruntled Duke fans. My seat ended up being right next to the junior high basketball coach who cut me during tryouts the previous year, effectively ending my basketball career! He was incredibly knowledgeable about the game, and we had a great time. At halftime with the score tied 50-50, he turned to me and said “that was the greatest half of basketball I’ve ever seen in my life.” Unforgettable experience.
Susan Younger, creative director:
The night of the win, we headed to campus and were stuck in our car for hours on Oread Avenue. Our kids sat on the window sills of our car and slapped thousands of hands. Everyone had their hands out the window and a steady stream of students ran by slapping them. My palms hurt for a couple of days. For the parade on campus, I took my sons out of school. We were on the boulevard in front of Snow Hall. My 8-year old Garrett said, “I wish someone would throw ME in the air.” A guy next to me grabbed him and before we could do anything, he was being tossed in the air. He was small, so he was being thrown up high and made it all the way down the mob to the front of Strong Hall, then they started to throw him back my way. The boy who grabbed him in the first place grabbed him back and said to me, “I’m so sorry ma’am, I should have asked if that was okay.” My son was a little scared but also excited.
About four guys came down the road carrying a yellow VW beetle and put it in the garden in front of Hoch. Trees in front of Wescoe were so overloaded, you could hear the trunks splinter and see them cracking in half. We were drenched in beer showers. People were shaking cans and spraying beer over the crowd. It was amazing!
Marcia Wilson, office assistant:
I was at the game and then at the team’s hotel after the game for the celebration in the street. The Oklahoma fans were watching from their hotel across the street. It was awesome!
Julie Lowrance, records specialist and license plate administrator:
I was a junior in high school in 1988. I remember watching the championship game at home with my parents and was so excited when KU won. There was a parade on Massachusetts Street a few days later. They let us out of school for the afternoon and we got to go and see it. It was so awesome! A great memory to have from my youth! I also remember my parents buying me a “Danny and the Miracles” t-shirt after KU won. Wish I still had that shirt!
Michelle Lang, assistant director of Kansas programs:
I was nine years old at the time of the 1988 championship game but I have some pretty clear memories of the night. My family watched the game at my aunt and uncle’s house near downtown Lawrence and I remember right after KU won we went outside and could hear people shooting off fireworks. Then we hopped in the car and drove through campus…that was the thing to do then instead of going to Mass Street.
Tim Brandt, director of the Adams Alumni Center
I was alive and in my prime at 37. We were suited up in the bar in the Marriott, where the team was staying. We had just completed a full day of drinking beer at the opening day of Royals baseball and were settled in. Oklahoma, a one seed and KU a one seed — both big 8 schools — not sure the rest of the basketball world cared much. After the game there was a solid mob assembly inside and outside the hotel. The rest was just a blur — the next day was not quite so much fun as we had to drive back to Wichita.