Archive for Monday, May 6, 2013

Retired KU professor’s annual Stop Day tour scheduled for Friday

Kansas University Professor Emeritus Ted Johnson prepares to lead his Stop Day walking tour of the KU campus in May 2012.

Kansas University Professor Emeritus Ted Johnson prepares to lead his Stop Day walking tour of the KU campus in May 2012.

May 6, 2013


Stop Day tour itinerary

KU Professor Emeritus Ted Johnson provides an hour-by-hour schedule for his Stop Day tour, in case visitors would like to drop in partway through. The tour runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. The itinerary:

9 a.m.: KU Natural History Museum (portico of Lippincott Hall in case of bad weather)

10 a.m.: Lippincott Hall

11 a.m.: Twente Hall

Noon: Watson Library

1 p.m.: Lunch at the Burge Union

2 p.m.: Green Hall (School of Law)

3 p.m.: Chi Omega fountain

4 p.m.: World War II Memorial Campanile

5 p.m.: Arthur D. Weaver Court, adjacent to Spooner Hall

More details on the tour stops are available at

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Continuing a tradition now 20 years old, Kansas University Professor Emeritus Ted Johnson will again give his annual spring Stop Day tour of the KU campus Friday. It’s open to anyone who’d like to come along.

Johnson, who retired in 2001 after 33 years as a professor of French, began giving the tour each May on Stop Day, when classes halt for a day before finals begin, in 1993. He’s continued the custom since he stopped teaching classes after 2010.

The tour visits a number of iconic buildings and landmarks on campus, but visitors can expect more than just bits of trivia and history. Johnson, and whoever’s along for the ride, will explore connections between architecture and ancient mythology, meditations on life and death and whatever other ideas might come up.

“It’s a time to sort of stop, look and listen,” Johnson said.

That’s why he picked Stop Day for the annual tour, he said: It’s the perfect time to break from frantic campus life for a bit of conversation and reflection. The word “school,” after all, comes from a Greek root meaning “leisure,” he said.

And he welcomes input from people who join him.

“Nobody can talk for nine hours,” Johnson said. “My gosh.”

The tour runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but Johnson sticks to an hour-by-hour itinerary so that visitors can drop in and out as it progresses. It starts in front of the KU Natural History Museum on Jayhawk Boulevard (or in the portico of nearby Lippincott Hall, in case of bad weather). Other sites include Watson Library, the Chi Omega Fountain and the World War II Memorial Campanile.

Johnson also provides an early-morning campus tour coinciding with the Autumnal Equinox each year, and he offers tours by appointment for people who can't make the scheduled outings.

As a scholar, Johnson’s interest was in the interrelations between different arts, and that’s what visitors can expect to learn about from his tour, he said.

“A university has to do with everything in the universe,” Johnson said, “and if we exclude something from that, then we’re not a university anymore.”


Frederic Gutknecht IV 4 years, 7 months ago

If you can stop in, even for a moment, a kettle of hawks might grace your presence in a halo of migratory flight. A sun dog may wink at you from the heavens. A worm may teach you that looking up is fine enough to bring your gaze down. Follow the sun. Follow the road. Follow a whim to learn on, and with, your own.

nativeson67 4 years, 7 months ago

Professor Ted Johnson is a wonderful man. He was an excellent mentor and observes the world through a Proustian lens, which he applies to subjects like this tour. I heartily recommend you consider attending.

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