Lewis D. Gregory, Kansas ’75, Phillip A. Miller, Kansas ’73, President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, Kansas ’73, Jeffrey T. Joyce, MD, Kansas ’73, Brian Bracco, Kansas ’73. Photo courtesy of Kelsey Kimberlin/KU Marketing Communications.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Visits Delta Upsilon Chapter at the University of Kansas By John Esau, Kansas ’78 and Lewis Gregory, Kansas ’75 On September 24, the small municipal airport on the outskirts of Lawrence, Kansas became Lawrence International Airport, as Juan Manuel Santos, a member of the Kansas Chapter, Class of 1973, and currently president of the Republic of Colombia, arrived from Bogota aboard his 737 jet accompanied by his wife, entourage, and security detail. He was en route to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, but paused in Lawrence at the invitation of KU Chancellor Bernadette GrayLittle. Brother Santos was honored with the presentation of the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences during a ceremony at the Dole Institute of Politics on the KU Campus. President Santos enrolled at KU in the early 1970s and initially lived in McCollum Hall. He was invited to become a member of Delta Upsilon Fraternity and he lived in the chapter house two years, then in an apartment off campus for his final year. Phil Miller, Jeff Joyce, Brian Bracco, Lewis Gregory, John Dobbins, Tom Krebs, John Hays, John Esau and other DU alumni, plus a contingent of undergraduate brothers were present at his speech and Q & A session, which was open to the public. He mentioned DU many times in his remarks, joking that he “honed his poker skills” at the Fraternity. He said he “learned to appreciate and admire the American way of life, your commitment to democratic values, to principles you
have always defended”. In a humorous anecdote, Santos said he used his winnings playing poker with his fraternity brothers to purchase stock in fast-growing Pizza Hut, which later allowed him to buy his first car! Several of Santos’ close DU contemporaries were able to spend time with him between a morning event with KU honor students, a press conference, lunch and prior to the award ceremony and were given exclusive access and reserved seating with other dignitaries. The Columbian President also showed up unannounced at the DU House early in the morning of his KU visit with just his security guards! He wanted to look around, so several undergraduate brothers gave him a tour of the first floor of the house. Although offers were extended for a more formal visit to the Chapter, security arrangements and a tight timetable made it impossible for DU to host our esteemed Brother from Colombia. The first meeting of President Santos was with KU honor role students that included Danny Anderson, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences who interviewed him. His remarks reminded the “four friends of the President” as they were called by the Colombian entourage, how global his remarks were. He mentioned that he believed in diversity and enjoyed the many students he met at KU, from different backgrounds and culture. His discussion about the war in Colombia was