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Archive for Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Heard on the Hill: Alumnus originally pushed for KU license plate in Missouri; law school turns to basketball broadcaster to read graduates names; check out our Instagram commencement photos

May 15, 2012

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• It’s been pretty fun following this license plate story as the KU Alumni Association tries to get a Jayhawk on a license plate in Missouri.

Here’s a little bit of the back story on how this whole thing took off recently. Apparently, the KU Alumni Association had been in the process of trying to get a plate in Missouri for a while and just needed a legislative sponsor.

That sponsor, Rep. Charlie Denison, came courtesy of Todd Laster, a Springfield, Mo., resident who lives down the street from Denison.

He spotted a University of Arkansas license plate for the state of Missouri, and he decided to take action.

“Well," Laster said. “I’m going to get the Jayhawk on there.”

So he called the Alumni Association, learned that they needed a legislative sponsor, and he corralled Denison (who actually is prohibited from running again because of term limits). Then the whole thing just kind of took off from there. Heck, it even caught the attention of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

I talked with Laster on Monday evening, and he didn't seem too pleased that some legislators might be trying to hold up the show.

But it doesn’t look too good, at least for now. But it does prove that the fire that fueled the KU-MU rivalry for years won’t extinguish too easily.

• I heard that graduates at the KU School of Law’s annual graduation ceremony got a bit of a surprise when they learned that they would have a guest reader of names at the ceremony.

Apparently, KU Law Dean Stephen Mazza thought it would be a cool experience for the graduates to have former longtime KU football and basketball announcer Max Falkenstien read the names of the graduates at the ceremony. They asked, Max said yes, and that was that.

You can catch some audio of the whole thing here. The crowd of students seemed to be rather appreciative.

• And just one more commencement-related item for you. I joined a few folks who snapped a bunch of Instagram photos on graduation day.

Instagram is an iPhone app that allows you to apply all kinds of visual effects to photos. My favorites tend to make the photos look more old-timey. It’s rather neat, especially at an event like KU Commencement, which lends itself extremely well to photos.

Here’s our photo album, “Instagrad.” Thanks to those who submitted stuff, too.

• No one will be able to extinguish the Heard on the Hill fire as long as you keep fueling it with those awesome tips you send me at ahyland@ljworld.com.

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