As a lifelong Kansan and three-time University of Kansas graduate, I have been part of the KU community as long as I can remember. I was not sure I could become more of a Jayhawk, but spending time on our campuses and working to benefit KU has deepened my connection to the university and to fellow Jayhawks who share a love for this place.
Spending time in our command center during the sixth One Day. One KU. and watching the number of gifts and dollars climb was so much fun! The icy conditions in Kansas did not have a chance to chill spirits as Jayhawks around the world united to support KU and The University of Kansas Health System. The day was full of energy as people shared stories and joined in activities online and on KU campuses.
One Day. One KU. celebrates the power of ONE, and this year was no exception. One person can make a difference. One gift can change a Jayhawk’s life. The collective impact of people coming together one by one is transformative. In just 24 hours, Jayhawks raised more than $3.2 million from 4,740 gifts — all to benefit programs, people and initiatives at KU.
Another recent inspiring occasion was the opportunity to experience the opening of the Jayhawk Welcome Center with alumni and friends. The Welcome Center — your new Home on the Hill — immerses visitors in the incomparable KU experience and expresses what it means to be a Jayhawk through innovative storytelling and state-of-the-art technology.
Seeing the reaction on people’s faces the first time they entered the building was a true joy, seconded only by taking a moment to appreciate the collaboration that made it possible. From students, faculty, campus leaders and partners to alumni, friends and donors, a lot of talented people worked together to realize this vision. I am proud to share that the $29.4 million project was funded entirely through private gifts to KU Endowment — it is a place for Jayhawks built by Jayhawks.
The Welcome Center connects past, present and future Jayhawks and creates a campus visit that few, if any, universities can match. It is one of a kind and can only be fully appreciated in person. If you have not been back to campus in a while, now is a great time to plan a visit.