Kansas University begins its homecoming celebration today; a parade and get-togethers mark the event.
The Class of 1959 hopes to expand upon its gift to Kansas University with a 10-year fund-raising effort that begins tonight.
The HOPE Award was created by the class of '59 and has been given to 40 faculty members, said Phil Friedeman, a class member and semi-retired pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church.
"At the time it was done in 1959, the only class gifts were all physical objects," Friedeman said. "This was something that single-handedly marked our class.
"We didn't fund it properly," he said. "We get to rectify it now."
The HOPE Award -- the name is an acronym for Honors Outstanding Progressive Educators -- goes to a teacher each year after a vote by the senior class. A $500 check comes with the honor.
Friedeman hopes the class will raise $500,000 by the time of its 50th reunion in 2009. After that, he hopes 300 educators will be honored by 2049. Friedeman said the money also may be used to endow a professorship at the university.
The Class of '59 has its reunion dinner today in the Adams Alumni Center beginning at 6:30.
This year's homecoming celebration begins today with a parade down Jayhawk Boulevard beginning at 2:20 p.m.
The parade begins at the Chi Omega Fountain and ends at the Adams Alumni Center. The Marching Jayhawks band, homecoming floats and a color guard are featured in the parade.
Jayhawk Boulevard will be closed from 2:20 p.m. to 3 p.m. Parade winners will be announced during Saturday's homecoming football game.
Other homecoming events include a reunion of former University Daily Kansan staff members. The paper's newsroom will be open Friday and Saturday, and a buffet is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday in the Adams Alumni Center.
The School of Education celebrates its 90th anniversary with a pre-game party at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the east parking lot of Joseph R. Pearson Hall. The event is open to all School of Education faculty, students and alumni.
Watson Library celebrates its 75th anniversary with an open house at 10 a.m. Saturday.
A 10:30 a.m. program on the library's main entrance steps will feature remarks by Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Keith Russell, dean of libraries, and a poetry reading by Victor Contoski, professor of English.
KU's homecoming football game matches the Jayhawks against Southern Methodist University at 1 p.m. Saturday.
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