To the editor:
As a southwestern Kansas KU graduate, I returned to Liberal in 1977. The landscape was pretty bleak with regard to KU activities out here. Other institutions, including Kansas State, had a strong hold on this end of the state. At times it was discouraging, as an alumnus, to see the number of high school students wearing purple and just the few wearing crimson and blue. The Kansas Honors Program was about the only thing we could point to as a university Alumni Association event. In my opinion, the KHP may be the very best program the Alumni Association oversees, but we just needed other events to engage all southwestern Kansas KU alumni.
Flash forward to now, and what a huge change we have seen. The shoe is on the other foot, as other institutions are playing catch-up with the KU Alumni Association. The Kansas Honors Program is still the crown jewel of events but with new local alumni chapters formed, signs up all over this end of the state, game watch parties, student recruiting events, golf tournaments, and numerous other gatherings, it is good to be a “Hawk” in southwest Kansas. Under the direction of Kevin Corbett, Heath Peterson and others, never have alumni in southwest Kansas felt more connected to the university.
My congratulations and sincerest thank you to KU and the KU Alumni Association for re-engaging rural alumni in Kansas. We have always loved our institution. Now it is easier than ever to gather with “birds of a feather” and celebrate together the great things at KU.