Del Shankel ended his term as KU chancellor with a fund-raising and student-recruiting tour of four Asian countries.
The reward for sending four Kansas University emissaries scurrying through Asia for 12 days won't be immediate.
However, former Kansas University Chancellor Del Shankel is convinced the payoff for touring South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan will be worth the effort.
"We met a lot of enthusiastic alumni. I think we've developed some really good (fund-raising) prospects," said Shankel, back in his tiny Strong Hall office.
The trip was organized by KU Endowment Association. One goal was to recruit members for the Chancellors Club, which requires a $1,000 minimum contribution to KUEA.
Shankel also met with a handful of influential KU graduates to set the groundwork for larger donations. He made pitches to the president of one of Japan's largest banks as well as executives at AT&T and Nissan.
"I think that will be productive in the end," he said. "The economies are booming -- especially Thailand and Taiwan."
The delegation -- Shankel; Fred Conboy, Chancellors Club director; George Woodyard, KU's dean of international studies; and Shankel's wife, Carol -- met with 16 KU students studying in Japan.
During a series of alumni gatherings, the delegation distributed KU admissions information. About 250 alumni attended functions in Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok and Taipei.
"We ran out of forms," Shankel said. "They were snapped up by people who want to send their kids to KU, who had fond memories of their time at the university."
During the spring 1995 semester, the four countries sent nearly 400 students to KU.
Preliminary discussions were held with educators in South Korea and Thailand about the establishment of student exchange programs, Shankel said.
Perhaps KU's new chancellor, Robert Hemenway, who took over the university on June 1 can retrace Shankel's footsteps in a couple years.
"My recommendation will be that either the chancellor or a top official of the university visit once every couple years to keep ties with alumni alive and well," Shankel said.