Start brainstorming: KU Alumni Association announces theme for Homecoming 2016; new book tells history of women of Watkins and Miller Halls
The Kansas University Alumni Association announced the theme for Homecoming 2016 on Friday, along with some other key information. Last year, with KU Homecoming on Halloween, the theme was a fitting “Ghosts of Jayhawks Past.” This year’s Oct. 22 homecoming has a more open-ended one: “Rock Chalk Super Hawk.”
Here’s some more Homecoming 2016 information to note, according to the Alumni Association:
Date: Oct. 22. The Saturday homecoming football game follows a week of homecoming festivities kicking off Oct. 16.
Opponent: KU will play the Oklahoma State University Cowboys at Memorial Stadium. Time TBA.
Parade: 6 p.m. Oct. 21 on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence, followed by a pep rally on Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets.
More information: As other events and information is determined, the Alumni Association will post it online at homecoming.ku.edu, on Twitter @KU_Homecoming and on Facebook at facebook.com/KUHomecoming.
People in charge: The KU Alumni Association and the student-led Homecoming Steering Committee are teaming up to plan festivities. Student director of Homecoming 2016 is Katie Gerard, a junior from Hanover.
• Watkins and Miller history, in print: A smaller niche of KU alumnae had a celebration last weekend, the women of “Kitchen 8.” Members of this group of Watkins and Miller scholarship halls alumnae gathered for a reception to launch “Watkins and Miller Halls,” a new KU History book published by Historic Mount Oread Friends. The book, compiled by Watkins Hall alumna Norma Decker Hoagland of Leavenworth, covers varying experiences and activities of the women who lived in the halls from 1926 until the present, Hoagland said.
The option these halls have provided so many women has been invaluable, said Hoagland, who lived in Watkins from 1969 to 1971. “I couldn’t afford to go to school if I hadn’t had my Watkins Hall scholarship.”
The book is available for purchase on the University Press of Kansas website, kuecprd.ku.edu. In case you were wondering about the group name, “Kitchen 8,” Hoagland explains: “Watkins and Miller Scholarship Halls each have seven kitchens, where we cook for each other in a family-type atmosphere. When you graduate or leave the halls, you become a member of Kitchen 8."
— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage at KUToday.com. Reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.
Times announced for Saturday’s KU basketball game, pep rally in Des Moines; KU band saves the day; How’d Baby Jay do that?
The Kansas University Jayhawks handily beat — or, as KUSports.com cleverly put it, “impeached” — the Governors of Austin Peay State University in Round 1 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Thursday in Des Moines.
With that, the Jayhawks are gearing up for another game, and the KU Alumni Association is gearing up for another party.
On Saturday, Indiana v. Kentucky tips off at 4:15 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Arena at the Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St. in Des Moines. KU v. UConn follows at approximately 6:45 p.m. (or 30 minutes after the first game ends, according to KUSports.com).
Saturday's KU Alumni Association pre-game party and pep rally will be in the same place it was Thursday, according to Jennifer Sanner, the Alumni Association’s senior vice president for communications. Doors for the party open at 1 p.m. and the rally starts at 3:30 p.m. in meeting rooms 313-318 of the Iowa Events Center. Members of the KU band and spirit squad will be there, and there will be a cash bar and light snacks.
About 750 alumni and fans attended Thursday's rally, and the Alumni Association is planning for more than 1,000 Saturday.
“We have talked with many alumni who plan to drive in for the Saturday afternoon rally and evening game, so we expect our attendance to grow," Heath Peterson, Alumni Association president, said in an email. "Des Moines is a great city, and it’s an easy trip for Jayhawks from Chicago, Omaha, Kansas City, Lawrence and other nearby cities. We will definitely have an even stronger KU contingent tomorrow.”
This story from Monday includes a few ideas for what to do in Des Moines if you’re staying for the weekend (their St. Patrick’s parade is today, for one).
Not in Des Moines? Find a list of other alumni watch sites around the country at kualumni.org.
I attended a watch party Thursday afternoon — in the Journal-World newsroom. Me, my computer, a couple editors, reporters and, for snacks, a stale doughnut with green shamrock sprinkles I found in the break room. Maybe I can do better Saturday night.
KU pep band saves the day ... for Drake
The basketball team wasn’t the only KU club that impressed on Thursday. The KU pep band snared some fans of its own after doing this:
The Des Moines Register reported: “After noting the women's team wouldn't have a pep band earlier this week, Sandy Hatfield Clubb, Drake's athletic director, began to reach out to the band leaders of the teams in town for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Late Wednesday, the University of Kansas pep band said they would lend a hand ... or a trumpet.”
Drake women’s coach Jennie Baranczyk told espn.com the KU band even learned the Bulldogs’ fight song. “I'll be cheering for Kansas men to win,” she said.
Baby Jay's double life?
With opening day of the NCAA tournament in Des Moines and the Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day parade both Thursday afternoon, what’s a Jayhawk mascot to do?
While Big Jay stayed in Lawrence for the parade, Baby Jay managed to make both events. Exactly how Baby Jay pulled this off is a little mysterious. But associate athletics director Jim Marchiony said never underestimate Jayhawks’ “amazing powers.”
“Even mythical birds can fly…and they fly fast!” he assures me.
That said we’re sure Big Jay could’ve made it to Des Moines, too, if he wanted to. But NCAA allows only one mascot at the tournament, Marchiony said, and Baby Jay is on duty this weekend.
— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at email@example.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.
Time flies. It’s hard to believe but fall finals are wrapping up, Christmas is almost here and in less than two weeks I’ll be swapping out my 2015 wall calendar for a 2016 one. Like many other KU Alumni Association members, no doubt, the one hanging in my cubicle has for years been the KU Alumni Association calendar (they send them out free with the Kansas Alumni magazine, and the photos of campus are always really beautiful).
The 2016 calendar is different; it’s full of vintage campus photos, in celebration of the KU Sesquicentennial.
On the cover is Old North College, KU’s first and only building when the university opened 150 years ago. Inside the calendar, each month features a collage of old photos.
Some are silly, like the January image of 11 students squeezed onto what appears to be some kind of giant sled contraption on a snowy day in 1928. Some are serious, like February’s shot of a large group of black students on the Strong Hall steps holding signs protesting racial discrimination.
My personal favorites are June and July. June’s lead photo is of two men carving the original Dyche Hall “grotesques” more than a century ago — in my opinion the most fascinating and mysterious sculptures on campus. July’s lead photo, from 1925, shows bathing suit-clad people swimming, diving and canoeing in Potter Lake. They’re not even drunk or carrying a goal post. How times change.
In other KU alumni news:
• E-mail service ending: Also starting with the new year, on Jan. 1, the Alumni Association will end its email forwarding service that for 15 years has enabled alumni to have an email address ending in @kualumni.org. In an email to alumni, and on the alumni website, the association said problems with email forwarding services were mounting and, as such, KU’s had become unreliable.
“Few universities or alumni associations are still offering forwarding services, and we’ve seen a sharp decrease in new accounts created since 2011. As a result, the KU alumni email forwarding service that began in 2000 has run its course.”
• Mark your (2016) calendars: The 2016 KU Homecoming date has been set. Homecoming week will be Oct. 16 through Oct. 22, culminating with the football game against Oklahoma State University Oct. 22 in Memorial Stadium. The theme will be chosen later.
I have no doubt that our regular Heard on the Hill readers with significant others have their stuff together enough that by today, Feb. 13, they've got Valentine's gift plans ready.
But just in case you're a new reader (Welcome!), or you want something else to pile on top of your gift stack, here's something you can put together as long as you've got a printer and your Valentine enjoys KU paraphernalia.
The KU Alumni Association offers you six downloadable and foldable KU-themed Valentine's cards right here. Each of them contains a lovely romantic message, and two of them contain adorable mini-mascot Baby Jay. All the instructions you need are on that page.
As much as you might be tempted to send a Valentine's card our way, that's really not necessary. Instead, send your KU news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A tip of the hat to the KU Alumni Association Twitter account for this one: As you may have seen, famous KU fan Jason Sudeikis, fresh off a visit to Allen Fieldhouse last month, is engaged to actress Olivia Wilde. A KU fan who writes for the wedding website The Knot reacted to this news by posting a list of KU-themed wedding tips for the couple.
The suggestions, which could be applicable to any KU alumni planning to get hitched, range from the realistic to the ridiculous. None is as ridiculous as Sudeikis' performances as the dancing track-suit guy in the "Saturday Night Live" "What's Up with That?" sketches, though.
Please remember to send all your KU news tips, ridiculous or otherwise, to email@example.com.