Archive for Friday, March 11, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Mini College registration is open; Summerfield scholarships have rich history; New federal judgeship nominee Steve Six has extensive KU connections

March 11, 2011


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

• KU is accepting registrations for its Mini College, a popular week-long College of Liberal Arts and Sciences program that is now in its third year.

The idea is to make “students” out of adults, and they get lectures from faculty members, and participate in a few social events, too. No one has to worry about tests or grades, either.

A few even stay in student housing.

The whole thing runs from June 6-9. Here’s a list of scheduled courses and other events.

Its participants typically enjoy the experience, as I discovered last year.

Registration is $225, and sign-up is available online.

• David Katzman, a retired KU professor of history and American studies, reached out to me yesterday and offered a few tidbits on the Summerfield scholarships that I thought I’d pass along in this space.

Katzman has been doing some research into Jewish communities in Lawrence before World War II.

The Summerfield scholarships, established by alumnus Solon E. Summerfield in the 1920s, are available to men at KU, and are available based on merit.

Katzman said they were among the first merit-based scholarships awarded in the country, and the idea quickly expanded to other universities.

“Summerfield held two degrees from KU, and went on to build and run the Gotham Hosiery Co., and establish the Solon E. Summerfield Foundation,” Katzman wrote in an e-mail to me. “The Foundation was established in honor of his father, Marcus Summerfield, a professor of law at KU in the 19th century (and the first Jewish faculty member at KU).”

• Steve Six, who recently received a presidential nomination to the federal appeals court, has a number of strong ties to KU.

The former Kansas attorney general graduated from the KU School of Law in 1993, second in his class (I wonder who was first?).

He’s also a former member of the KU Law Board of Governors. His wife, Betsy Brand Six, is a lawyering skills professor and director of academic resources for the school. And he is the son of retired Kansas Supreme Court Justice Fred Six, a KU law graduate of 1956, and Lilian Six, who served as admissions director and placement director for the school.

Though I knew he was an alumnus, I learned the rest of this tucked away in a KU news release on his nomiiation.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he would replace Judge Deanell Tacha, who has a number of strong ties to KU in her own right.

• It’s been awhile since I’ve called anyone out specifically to give me some tips, so it’s back to the KU phone directory for me, where I’ll randomly point at an open page... Let’s see what you’ve got, Michael Johnson, assistant professor of chemistry. Tell me something I didn’t already know. All you (and everyone else) have to do is send an e-mail to


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