Archive for Monday, April 18, 2011

Heard on the Hill: KU Marching Jayhawks director David Clemmer to leave KU; KU students place second in ‘college Pulitzers’; students cast amusing write-in votes

April 18, 2011


Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• I’ve heard from a number of different sources and tipsters now about the impending departure of David Clemmer, director of the Marching Jayhawks.

Clemmer will resign his post at KU to pursue a doctorate — the key to securing a position as director of bands at a major college institution.

He has helped to rejuvenate the marching band, which was among the smallest in the Big 12 Conference when he arrived and has since grown significantly.

Clemmer has been at KU since 2006, when he became assistant director of bands after leaving a similar post at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

Look for a larger story on Clemmer’s departure soon.

• Some Heard on the Hill kudos are due to the awesome student journalists at KU, who placed second in the Hearst Intercollegiate Writing awards, known as the College Pulitzers.

I always encourage folks to actually go read these stories — they’re the best of the best of the next young crop of journalists.

The award-winners:

• Brenna Daldorph, a spring 2010 graduate from Lawrence, won first place in the in-depth category for “Living in Limbo,” which covered the plight of undocumented immigrants raised in the U.S.

• William Jayson Jenks, a junior from Lenexa, won first place in sports writing for “The Great Divide,” which told about the two very different lives of two black KU students in the 1950s — Wilt Chamberlain and Leonard Monroe.

• Elliot Kort, a spring 2010 graduate from Overland Park, won ninth place in the personality/profile writing category for “A matter of interpretation,” which profiled Kim Bates, a sign language interpreter at KU.

• Stephen Montemayor, a fall 2010 graduate from Shawnee (and current reporter for our sister paper, the Shawnee Dispatch), won 10th place in sports writing for “Between the ears: Colleges tackle concussions in football.”

• Aly Van Dyke, a spring 2010 graduate from Topeka, won third place in the feature writing category for “Unexpectedly Expecting,” which told how four women dealt with unplanned pregnancies.

• Adam C. Samson, a spring 2010 graduate from Omaha, Neb., won 10th place in the personality/profile writing category for “Abnormal arms, but ample ability,” a profile of Andreas Brandenberger, a KU student born with a rare disorder that left him with no thumbs, wrists or forearms and two partial hands with only two digits on each.

Congrats again to the winners. Oh, and, by the way, Missouri finished seventh…

• Though colleague Chad Lawhorn can come up with some fun people who earned write-in votes during the city’s election in his always-awesome Town Talk, I must say no one can write in wackier votes than students voting for KU student senators.

(Hat tip also to Jonathan Shorman of the University Daily Kansan, whom I met at the Yacht Club last week as we were waiting to interview the new student body president. He beat me to the punch here a little).

But, anyway, the basketball team got lots of love, but here are some of my favorite real write-in votes for people who KU students want to serve in some leadership capacity:

Football coaches Mike McCarthy and Dom Capers for president and vice president (McCarthy, who coaches the Green Bay Packers, has a daughter who attends KU), one write-in for “No vote,” Jack Sparrow, the Black Smoke from “Lost,” Ernest Hemingway, Civil War general Ambrose Burnside, awful songstress Rebecca Black, “Zombie Nixon,” actor and former KU student Paul Rudd, Vladimir Putin, The Doctor, John Lennon, John Hancock, Barack Obama, Roy Williams, “Roman from Mr. Sunshine,” Cookie Monster and last — but certainly not least — Chuck Norris.

• Chuck Norris doesn’t have to submit tips for Heard on the Hill. He just blinks and all the information you need arrives directly in your brain. But for everyone else, you’ll have to keep sending tips to


Kevin Randell 7 years ago

I do not wish Clemmer any ill will. I wish the best. I do however, hope that the new director will bring more power to the sound of the band. It gets old on game days being out played by a team's traveling squad. Also, I would love to hear some new songs. For was AWESOME when I heard the K-State band play the Family Guy song. Look, I am all for traditions but tweaking it a little can be a good thing to.

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