The theme of this year's Rock Chalk Ball was "Building Tradition - Hawk by Hawk." The ball was held Feb. 2 at Kansas City Marriott Downtown.
More than 1,000 people attended the black-tie event, sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Kansas University Alumni Association.
Rock Chalk Ball celebrates KU traditions and benefits the recruitment and retention of National Merit Scholars at KU.
The ball featured silent and live auctions, a full-course dinner and dancing. Max Falkenstien, longtime Kansas Jayhawks broadcaster, served as master of ceremonies.
Clay and Janet Blair, Leawood, were honorary chairs of the ball. The Blairs are founders and owners of the First Watch restaurant chain. Clay Blair is chair of the Kansas Board of Regents and earned degrees from KU in 1965 and 1969. He also donated land in southern Johnson County for the construction of the KU Edwards Campus.
Bob and Susan Holcomb and Jay and Becky Meschke, all KU alumni of Overland Park, served as co-chairs of the ball.
Since the first ball in 1996, nearly $600,000 has been raised to fund an endowment for the recruitment and retention of National Merit scholars at KU.
As a result, 23 scholars at KU now have Rock Chalk scholarships.
In 2000, a record 116 National Merit scholars enrolled at KU, which ranks among the top 10 public universities in attracting Merit scholars.