Archive for Friday, May 27, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Alumni Association has an inventive solution for ‘EMAW’ billboard; Twain scholar whose book removed ‘n-word’ from Twain works pens response; Monarch Watch plants given to city

May 27, 2011


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

• Heath Peterson, assistant vice president of alumni and student programs at the KU Alumni Association and a Heard on the Hill fan, passed on a whole bunch of tidbits relating to their summer activities.

Here’s my favorite one, and it relates to a rather infamous KU billboard near Paxico that kept getting vandalized with purple paint and “EMAW” letters.

That’s “Every Man a Wildcat,” in support of Kansas State University.

So the alumni association gave the space up to the university for a KU Cancer Center billboard.

“I’m not sure they will want to deface a billboard promoting the cancer center,” Peterson said. “So far, so good.”

I hope he’s right.

Summer is a busy time for the Alumni Association — they’ve got 120 events scheduled across the state and beyond in a 90-day period.

The association has also opened new offices in Kansas City and Wichita, and has been working to “plaster the state of Kansas” with KU billboards.

In the past three years, 18 new billboards advertising KU alumni chapters have gone up, and the hope is that they reach 50.

UPDATE: A KU spokesman told me that while the university pays for the "skin" of the billboard near Paxico, the Topeka Jayhawk Club rents the billboard itself, so just wanted to make that clear.

• Alan Gribben, the Mark Twain scholar and KU graduate who released a controversial edition of "Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn" with the “n-word” replaced by the word “slave,” has written a reaction to the entire episode, which includes a link to a “60 Minutes” segment about the book that aired in March.

It’s an interesting read — he was an interesting fellow to talk to back in February for the article I wrote — and it touches on a number of different aspects of the whole ordeal.

For example, he argues against those who say he practiced censorship.

“I would answer that exactly the opposite is the case. I have devised a means by which these novels can return to public school classrooms from which they are currently barred,” he wrote.

He also points out that he “urges” readers to consult the original unedited versions, too.

He certainly sparked a lot of debate — and many disagree with his actions — but I found it to be an interesting read from someone who’s been dragged through the fire like he has.

• Chip Taylor, the director of KU’s Monarch Watch program, told me the program has donated the leftover plants from its spring fundraiser to the Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners’ display garden at the fairgrounds in appreciation for their assistance.

The city of Lawrence also received about 300 plants, which will be planted at DeVictor Park, Prairie Park Nature Center, South Park and the Rotary Arboretum during the month of June.

Taylor said the plants would be incorporated into several butterfly gardens at those sites.

• Peterson told me he’d been waiting for me to call out his name in this space to submit a tip, as I do from time to time with random selections from the KU directory. No need to wait for that, as he found out. All you have to do is send in tips to


Catalano 6 years, 11 months ago

KUAA is scary. They are the only ones who have tracked me from the time I graduated (IN 1978!) to my last move six months ago. And I am NOT a KUAA member. Who needs Big Brother when you've got KUAA?

JustNoticed 6 years, 11 months ago

KUAA is like the Mafia. "Someday I may need a favor, and that day may never come..." But get out of the family? No way. Arrogant birds!

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