KU Giving Issue 11

Page 1

Faculty fans | Modern metalcasting | Longtime donors

For Friends of the University of K ansas • WINTER 2011 • kuendowment.org

Returning to hallowed grounds KU Med takes health care to Nicodemus

VISIONS OF KU Chuck France / KU University Relations

Eighty-six winters have passed since this statue was dedicated. It depicts James Woods Green (right), first dean of the School of Law, and a typical student. Designed by Daniel Chester French, it stands in front of the previous home of the School of Law.

building a greater university

KU Endowment’s mission is to solicit, receive and administer gifts and bequests for the support and advancement of the University of Kansas. www.facebook.com/kuendowment




Returning to hallowed grounds KU Med takes health care to Nicodemus By Lisa Scheller

KU medical and nursing students, faculty, staff, and partner organizations create a clinic over a weekend in western Kansas.


Rock chalkboard, Jayhawks!




PRESIDENT’S NOTE Changing course


EVERY GIFT MATTERS Bike club joins many to honor Bob Frederick






I am KU “Awesome and amazing”


GREATER KU FUND Meet the 2010 Chancellors Club Scholars


The Faithful Decades of dedication


KU Voices Stories reveal the variety of humanity




PAST AND PRESENT An enduring surprise

Faculty and staff reveal their motivations for supporting KU. By Jessica Sain-Baird

The message can be erased, but not the generosity.


WINTER 2011 I volume 4 I number 2

Imagination, full circle

Metalsmithing students combine ancient and contemporary techniques. By Charles Higginson

27 Marta Caminero-Santangelo sees the power of literature to open minds and hearts to others’ experience. COVER: Colleen Smith’s life changed at KU Medical Center’s annual health clinic in Nicodemus, Kan. See story page 12 Donors provided equipment that gives students more finesse and control over molten metal.

photo BY earl richardson

Doug Koch / KU University Relations

Our core values Passion for KU The generosity of alumni and friends influences the very fabric of KU, helping the university advance the frontiers of knowledge. We are dedicated to serving the university and helping it achieve its aspirations.

Partnership with donors Our donors empower us to accomplish our mission. We pledge to faithfully administer their gifts, adhere to their philanthropic intentions and respect their requests for privacy.

Perpetual support The long-term vitality of KU represents our ultimate, unwavering goal. We strive to wisely invest funds and steward property, with the goal of achieving the greatest possible assurance of long-term financial support for the university.

People-centered approach

“Water Carrier,” donated by Clarence and Hazel Beck for the 100th birthday of Spooner Hall.

Our team of employees, trustees and volunteers guides our present and shapes our future. We seek to attract and develop the best talent, value each individual’s unique contributions and celebrate diversity as a strength.

ways to support ku 100% of your gift benefits the area of your choice at the University of Kansas. Online Giving — You may make a gift securely online using your debit or credit card. Visit kuendowment.org/givenow. Gifts of Stock — By donating appreciated securities or mutual fund shares, you can provide a lasting contribution while receiving tax benefits, such as capital gains tax savings. Real Estate — Your gift provides a convenient way for you to enjoy a charitable deduction based on the current fair market value of your property, and it can reduce the size and complexity of your estate.

Give by mail — Gifts made by check should be payable to KU Endowment and mailed to: KU Endowment P.O. Box 928 Lawrence, KS 66044-0928 Estate Planning  — To remember KU in your will or estate plan, be sure to name The Kansas University Endowment Association (our legal name) as beneficiary. Our federal tax i.d. number is 48-0547734. If you already have named KU Endowment in your estate plan, please contact us so we can welcome you to the Elizabeth M. Watkins Society. We also offer life-income gifts that provide income and immediate tax benefits. Call our director of gift planning at 800444-4201 during business hours, or visit kuendowment.org/giftplanning.

WINTER 2011 I VOLUME 4 I NUMBER 2 KUENDOWMENT.ORG CHAIR, BOARD OF TRUSTEES A. Drue Jennings President Dale Seuferling Senior Vice President, Communications & Marketing Rosita Elizalde-McCoy Editor Charles Higginson Contributing Editors Lisa Scheller Katie Coffman Jessica Sain-Baird Jess Skinner Art DIRECTOR Chris Millspaugh gr aphic designer Melissa Meyer

CONTACT US KU Endowment Communications & Marketing P.O. Box 928 Lawrence, KS 66044-0928 785-832-7400 or toll-free 800-444-4201 Email: kugiving@kuendowment.org kuendowment.org POSTMASTER: Send address changes to KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence KS 66044-0928 KU Giving is published three times a year by KU Endowment, the private fundraising foundation for the University of Kansas. You are receiving this magazine because you support KU. We welcome your comments, suggestions and questions.

- FOUNDED 1891 -


Summer 2010 Our story about a couple who met in 1974 while playing horn in the Marching Jayhawks prompted some considerably older memories; and a former student recalls an influential professor. Find all issues of KU Giving online: kuendowment.org/publications

Band together I just received my copy of the summer issue of KU Giving. On looking through the magazine, the article about the Bradt family immediately grabbed my attention on a very personal level. Like Dee White-Bradt and Chris Bradt, I played horn in the KU Band, from 1946 to 1950, under Russell Wiley. I was also a horn student of Gerald Carney. At that time, the KU Band was THE KU Band; it had not expanded into the several different organizations that it is now. Every member did all of the different band activities. As I was an electrical engineering student and did not live in a dorm or fraternity, the band was pretty much my whole social life. It was just like a big family to me. David A. Seamans

Pullman, Wash.

A mentor remembered Several former students of Grant K. Goodman, emeritus professor of history, contributed their reminiscences during a recent KU Endowment event. An example: I first met Prof. Grant Goodman in the fall of 1987, when I enrolled in his course called “Recent Japanese History, 1945 to the Present: from Devastation to Superstate.” I found his lectures extremely interesting because he was a

language officer under General Douglas MacArthur during the occupation of Japan following WW II. I was one of the students who trooped down to his office after class to ask more questions and clarify things. Through this experience I discovered how important it was to have personal contact with my professors. I think he could see my interest and curiosity, and that may have led him to take an interest in me. This motivated me to try harder, not just in his class, but in all my classes. My academic performance jumped significantly from that point on. That success fed my confidence to aim higher, and led me to enroll in graduate school and begin learning Japanese. In 1989, I was awarded a fellowship to study at Sophia University in Tokyo. At the same time, Prof. Goodman, following his retirement at KU, was in Kyoto as a visiting professor. He invited me to several lectures and introduced me to a number of people who lived in Tokyo. From these introductions, relationships sprouted, and my time in Japan blossomed, as did my self-confidence. I experienced more in Japan than I would have as a result of his thoughtfulness. Prof. Goodman’s mentoring, whether he realizes it or not, has had a profound effect on my life that continues to this day. I consider myself fortunate that I was able to maintain my relationship with him for the past 23 years.

For all these reasons and more, I will always have a deep sense of gratitude for Prof. Grant Goodman and the University of Kansas. Michael Priddy

Millburn, N.J.

Errata On page 6 of our summer issue, we incorrectly identified students working with a medical mannequin as students of the KU School of Medicine; they are in fact students of the School of Nursing. On page 25, we said graduating students had walked through the Campanile since 1950. A member of the class of 1950 let us know that, because construction of the Campanile was not completed, his class walked around it rather than through. We regret the errors, but we cherish the attention of our readers.

Write to us

KU Giving, KU Endowment P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044-0928 Email: kugiving@kuendowment.org Fax: 785-832-7493 We welcome your comments on our magazine and invite you to share your KU experiences with our readers. Please include your name, address, email and daytime phone. Letters may be edited for length and clarity; we assume letters are intended for publication unless the writer indicates otherwise.




Changing courses



Ben Pirotte / The University Daily Kansan


id you change your major while you were in college? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us started majoring in one subject, only to change course in midstream. Sometimes, all it takes is one outstanding faculty member. Most of us can name that one teacher, the one who challenged us but also believed in us. The professor who was passionate, fair, welcomed questions and loved learning. The one whose classes we looked forward to, even on a glorious spring afternoon on Mount Oread. I believe great teaching requires joy. Only through genuine joy can we motivate young people — who are often vulnerable, distracted and insecure — to care about a scholarly subject. In this issue of KU Giving, we recognize several faculty and administrators who, in addition to their loyal service, are generous donors to KU. A notable example is the late Jack Brehm, professor emeritus of psychology, who gave more than $2.2 million to the psychology department during his lifetime and through his estate. Brehm was one of those professors who treated everyone with respect, giving others his undivided attention. Another is Chancellor Emeritus Gene Budig, who with his wife, Gretchen, recently donated $100,000 for a teaching professorship. It’s fitting that the first recipient of this professorship is Scott Harris, KU’s wildly successful debate coach. A letter appears in this issue about Grant Goodman, professor emeritus of history. Goodman has been a generous donor to KU’s Center for East Asian Studies and English Alternative Theater. He recently helped endow a playwriting award in honor of Paul Lim, who retired this year as an English professor.

The HOPE Award is KU’s only honor given exclusively by students for teaching excellence. A fellow nominee congratulates 2010 winner Denise Linville, lecturer in journalism.

Ronald McGregor worked for 71 years (that’s not a typo) for KU’s herbarium. He also taught botany and served in various other academic roles. McGregor and his wife, Dorothy, have donated to KU every year since 1956. You can read more about their inspiring lives on page 26. Many faculty and staff members give every year. Their relationship with the university transcends their employment. We salute a few of them on pages 18 and 19. Exceptional faculty members inspire, mentor and cajole us to care about something beyond our immediate circumstances. And when you combine their love for a subject with their joy in teaching, they can change the course of our lives.

Dale Seuferling, President


For Dr. Bob Through the efforts of many, a memorial scholarship established to honor the late Bob Frederick recently reached the minimum amount to be considered an endowed fund. Frederick served as the university’s 12th athletics director from June 1987 until July 2001, longer than any other except the legendary Forrest “Phog” Allen. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at KU. He played basketball at KU in the early 1960s and later worked stints as assistant basketball coach and assistant athletics director. Frederick died in June 2009 of injuries suffered in a bicycle accident. He was 69 and was an assistant professor in the Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Science. The scholarship fund was set up shortly after his death. In December of that year, a Sport Facilities and Event Management class organized a three-on-three basketball tournament with all proceeds donated to the Dr. Bob scholarship. About 25 sponsored teams entered, and local businesses donated items that were auctioned on site and on eBay. The first Dr. Bob Run took place in early May 2010. This 5K run attracted about 115 runners. One of Frederick’s four sons finished second. Phil Vardiman, assistant professor of HSES, organized the run and said the community’s response was gratifying. “We did very well with sponsorships,” he said. “We thought it was a success

considering it was a first-time event.” A second Dr. Bob Run is scheduled for May 7, 2011. In late May, the Kaw Valley Bicycle Club ran its annual Cottonwood 200, a roundtrip ride from Topeka to Cottonwood Falls, Kan., and back. The club dedicated the race to Frederick and donated a portion of the proceeds to the Dr. Bob Scholarship. Mark Kossler has helped organize the ride since 1994. He said Frederick, an avid cyclist, was a part of the Cottonwood community. “This was just a way for us to honor a friend and fellow cyclist who had made a big impression on a lot of people,” Kossler said. Along with contributions from a group called “Friends of Bob Frederick” and many individuals, the gifts from the basketball tournament, the 5K run and the bicycle ride helped push the fund over $30,000. That is the minimum amount required to endow a scholarship, and as a fully endowed fund, it will support sports management graduate students for generations to come. After Frederick’s death, his family said that he always wanted to live a life that mattered. If the scores of people who have given to the fund since then are any indication, he did. — Katie Coffman

courtesy of University Relations

Dozens pitch in to endow Bob Frederick scholarship

During Bob Frederick’s service as KU athletics director, KU teams won 32 conference championships and a national title in men’s basketball in 1988 and produced 41 Academic All-Americans. Frederick was chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee in 1995 and 1996. He oversaw more than $50 million in facilities upgrades, including renovation of Memorial Stadium and Allen Fieldhouse.

join the crowd

You can honor Dr. Bob, too. Give online at kuendowment.org/drbob, or contact Tylerr Ropp, tropp@kuendowment.org or 785-832-7464.




Alumni take reins of next campaign “We’re fortunate to have campaign leaders who are dynamic and visionary,” said Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment. “As KU alumni, all of them have climbed Mount Oread and graduated to excel in their lives and careers.” KU Chancellor Bernadette GrayLittle expressed confidence in the campaign’s leaders.

“With this capable leadership, I’m sure this campaign will succeed in creating a bright future for KU,” Gray-Little said. “Our success will have a ripple effect on the economic vitality of our state, driven by this university’s spirit of leadership and innovation.” — Lisa Scheller

Jaclyn Lippelmann

Three alumni couples will lead the steering committee for KU Endowment’s next comprehensive fundraising campaign for the University of Kansas. Kurt and Sue Watson, of Andover, Kan., will serve as overall campaign chairs. Co-chairs will be Tom and Jill Docking, of Wichita; and Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson and his wife, Stacy, of Topeka. These leaders were recruited by a campaign organizing committee that met three times in 2010. All have deep ties to KU. As the public faces of the campaign, they will recruit the next level of steering committee members, rally support for campaign priorities and provide guidance throughout the public phase of the campaign.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little welcomes Kurt and Sue Watson, Andover, Kan., as leaders of the comprehensive campaign.

Our own Friendly Confines No longer will Jayhawk baseball players raise clouds of dust as they slide in safe. Hoglund Ballpark received a completely new AstroTurf playing surface over the summer. The project’s $1.2 million cost was paid entirely by donations to the baseball program, many of them from former players. The lead donor was the field’s namesake, Forrest Hoglund, a 1956 graduate in mechanical engineering who lettered in baseball. Hoglund served as chair of KU First, the most recent comprehensive campaign for KU. With his wife Sally, he has been a major benefactor to KU and the KU Medical Center. Some of his previous donations have provided



numerous improvements to the ballpark, including the press box, restrooms, and improved lighting and scoreboard. Kansas head baseball coach Ritch Price says the turf will enable his team to practice later into the fall and earlier in the spring. If it snows during spring practice, they can simply clear it off and play without waiting for the field to dry out. Starting in early June, workers stripped the field of sod, dug most of it out to a depth of several feet, and installed a drainage network. They backfilled with a deep layer of gravel, leveled it, and in August laid the surface directly on top, like a gigantic carpet. The last step was to flood the field

with a mixture of 70 percent sand and 30 percent fine-ground rubber from recycled tires. The new field is AstroTurf USA’s Gameday 3D playing surface, which is the official turf of Major League Baseball. KU is the fourth team in the Big 12 to install artificial turf, joining Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas State. Except for the pitcher’s mound, the entire field is artificial turf, including the basepaths and home plate area. In addition to providing a more even surface and eliminating dust, the artificial turf minimizes maintenance: Field markings are permanent, and it won’t need mowing. — Charles Higginson

Kurt Watson is president and chief operating officer of IMA Financial Group, Wichita. He is past chair of the KU Endowment Board of Trustees and a current member of its executive committee. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from KU in 1975. Sue Watson earned a bachelor’s degree in education from KU in 1975. She is a past chair and current member of the executive committee of the Board of Directors of the KU Alumni Association. Tom Docking, a partner in the Wichita law firm of Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock and Kennedy, earned three degrees at KU, a bachelor’s in economics and political science in 1976 and a law degree and a master’s of business administration in 1980. He served as Kansas lieutenant governor from 1983 to 1987. Jill Docking received a bachelor’s degree in history at KU in 1978 and a master’s of business administration in 1984. She is a financial adviser and recently served as chair of the Kansas Board of Regents. She is a member of the KU Endowment Board of Trustees. Gov. Mark Parkinson earned a law degree from KU in 1984. In January, he will become the new president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living in Washington, D.C. Stacy Parkinson is an attorney who earned three degrees at KU — bachelor’s degrees in economics and psychology in 1981 and a law degree in 1984.

A history of success

The university’s first largescale attempt to raise funds was the Million Dollar Drive, which ran from 1920 to 1925. An effort to raise $1 million to build memorials to KU family members killed in World War I, it fell $35,000 short. Since then, KU Endowment has conducted three comprehensive campaigns, with much greater success.



original goal

final amount

Program for Progress

1966 – 1969

$18.6 million

$21 million

Campaign Kansas

1988 – 1992

$150 million

$265 million

KU First: Invest in Excellence 1998 – 2004

$500 million

$653 million

steve puppe

steve puppe

Most work at the ballpark took place below the surface, but the surface provides greater inspiration.




J.A. Tiberti Sr., ca. 1965

Samantha Green and Bill Nigro

Gretchen and Gene


For exceptional teaching Donor: Chancellor Emeritus Gene Budig and his wife, Gretchen, Isle of Palms, S.C. Gift: $100,000 donated for this professorship; more than $1 million in total donations Purpose: To establish the Budig Teaching Professorship in Social and Behavioral Sciences, which will be awarded annually to an outstanding educator who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in teaching. The first recipient of the professorship is Scott Harris, Ph.D., coach of KU’s highly successful debate team. Why We Give: “What is more important than good teaching at the university? The answer is, nothing. There certainly is nothing more important in our society than education. Likewise, quality education is dependent upon exceptional teaching. KU is blessed with an unusual number of able and dedicated teachers, and that has been the case for many generations. “Giving to the University of Kansas is a joy. It is something that my wife and I hope many more KU alumni and friends will do in the years ahead. We have attempted to identify a number of areas to support at KU. We also have given for the purpose of student scholarships and deserving projects. We intend to continue that practice.” — Gene Budig



Crawlin’ for a cure

Expertise for Engineering

Donors: Bill Nigro and Samantha Green, Kansas City, Mo.

Donors: Jelindo Angelo Tiberti II and John Tito Tiberti, Las Vegas, Nev.

Gift: $10,000

Gift: $100,000

Although Kansas City entrepreneur Bill Nigro isn’t a University of Kansas alumnus, he is a passionate KU fan. His favorite team? The staff at the KU Medical Center. “Man, you guys at the Med Center rock,” Nigro said gratefully when recounting his family’s experiences there, which span more than five decades. His mother, Marian Nigro, received treatment and underwent several surgeries to deal with five types of cancer over the course of 55 years. Finally, in May of 2009, cancer took her life. Because of his mother’s years of living with cancer, as well as his 33 years of working in Kansas City’s Westport district, Nigro participates in the Crawl for Cancer. This biannual pub crawl event in Westport draws a total of about 10,000 people each year. Nigro’s friend and organizer of the crawl, Samantha Green, became involved in Crawl for Cancer in 2002, when she lost her sister to the disease. This year, the two decided to give some event proceeds in memory of Marian Nigro to support the effort by the KU Cancer Center to achieve designation by the National Cancer Institute.

Purpose: To create the J.A. Tiberti Family Lecture Series, in honor of their father, Jelindo Angelo Tiberti Sr., who died in 2006. The lecture series will bring accomplished professionals and educators to KU’s School of Engineering to address students on ethics, entrepreneurship and other topics. Angelo Tiberti III, son of J.A. Tiberti II, graduated in May 2010 with degrees in civil engineering and finance, the first in his family to graduate from KU. He’s still enrolled here, in a new one-year graduate design program in civil engineering.

Why We Give: “Throughout mom’s ordeal, everybody was great. They couldn’t have been nicer. So we wanted this donation to support all the Medical Center does for families like ours.” — Bill Nigro

Why We Give: “Education was always a huge part of my parents’ lives. Tito and I thought it would be a good tribute to spread the wealth and give to KU. My wife, Sandee, and I believe KU has been a tremendous influence on our son’s life in a positive way. We are very pleased with the whole experience there.” — Jelindo Angelo Tiberti II “For 60 years at J.A. Tiberti Construction Company, we developed our core culture around a civil engineering thought process. When our father passed away, we felt a lecture series at KU would present a format to lecture students on some of his lifelong beliefs regarding civil engineering, ethics in business and how to contribute to society in a profound way.” — John Tito Tiberti

Dennis and Ann Ross

Samuel, Lelia Ima and

4-Wichita Donor: Dennis Ross, M.D., and Ann Ross, Wichita Gift: $100,000 Purpose: To support expansion of the program offered at the KU School of Medicine-Wichita from two years to four. Plans call for enrollment of medical students essentially to double by 2014 to a total of about 250. In addition to the gift, the Rosses serve as members of 4-Wichita, a group of business executives, legislative leaders, university officials and medical professionals. 4-Wichita works to increase community knowledge about the school and to help raise money for the expansion. Why We Give: “Although my husband and I both graduated from the University of Nebraska, we have lived in Wichita since 1978. My husband was one of the first graduates of the new branch of the KU School of Medicine-Wichita in 1973, when he completed his internal medicine residency. We have come to appreciate that students and residents who serve rotations in Wichita have the opportunity to rotate with physicians who were trained in many different schools. They can learn from the variety of patients treated by these physicians, who also are dedicated teachers. “Graduates of our programs tend to stay in Kansas to serve Kansans. We want to improve health care throughout the state of Kansas, and we feel that expansion of the school locally will accomplish this.” — Ann Ross

Rosa Gipson

To support scholars Young-Chull Ki

m, Chancellor


Pay it forward Donor: Young-Chull Kim, mathematics ’64, Seoul, Korea Gift: $100,000 Purpose: To support several special projects at the University of Kansas, including landscaping at the KU Korean War Memorial; scholarships both for Korean students studying at KU and for American students from KU who wish to study in Korea; transportation for the KU Applied English Center; and acquisition funds for the Spencer Museum of Art to purchase Korean objects for the permanent collection. Why I Give: “The gift was not just for KU but for the surrounding KU community. People went out of their way to help me while I was a student, and I have nothing but fond memories of my time on the KU campus. “I consider Lawrence to be my second home. It’s where I got married, and my two children also were born in Lawrence. This was a small gift to pay back a part of what I received while I was attending KU and living there with my family.” — Young-Chull Kim

Donor: Nelson Gipson, business ’50, Pleasant Hill, Mo. Gift: $800,000 Purpose: To create unrestricted scholarships in memory of his mother, Lelia Ima Gipson, and his grandparents, Samuel and Rosa Gipson. He also directed part of his estate to St. Bridget Catholic Church in Pleasant Hill, where he volunteered as an organist for more than 50 years. Gipson studied economics and business at KU and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1950. He retired from the Social Security Administration in the early 1980s and lived a simple life until his death at age 83. He contacted KU Endowment as early as 1976 to obtain information about estate planning, but he did not formalize his plans until he was on his deathbed. Marcia McConville, a lifelong friend of Gipson’s, was with him at the end of his life when he made the plan to create the scholarship. Why He Gave: “His greatest goal in life was to give to KU and to the church; that’s what he wanted to do. The glory, he never wanted for himself. He never forgot why he was where he was, and he attributed that to his mother and grandparents. He was a good man to the core. Those of us who knew him were better for having known him.” — Marcia McConville




Music carries across the state Passion and personal connection University of Kansas alumnus James Zakoura has a passion for music. Music, he says, has the power to bring people together. To support this passion, Zakoura has provided more than $400,000 to KU Endowment for the School of Music. Zakoura, of Overland Park, Kan., earned two degrees at KU, a bachelor’s in language arts in 1970 and a law degree in 1972. His gifts for the School of Music represent his wide range of interests.

They support the Midwestern Music Academy, a summer program for youths; a music professorship; scholarships for music students; and a program that takes free-of-charge musical performances throughout Kansas. Zakoura said everyone shares a personal connection to music. “It is a common bond among all of us,” he said. “Music is a wonderful vehicle that bridges any perceived differences among people. Music — in particular, music outreach — bridges the sometimes perceived differences that can act as

barriers between urban and rural, young and old, and people of differing ethnic and cultural backgrounds.” KU graduate student Crystal Alexander received scholarship support from the Zakoura Outreach Fund. Through this program, she and three others in the Saxophone Outreach Quartet visited schools and performed in towns throughout Kansas. She is as grateful for the opportunities to perform in public and hone her skills as a saxophonist as she is for the financial support.

courtesy of school of music/wheat photography

The Saxophone Outreach Quartet toured Kansas in 2010, supported by donations to the School of Music from James Zakoura. Vince Gnojek (without horn), professor of saxophone, coached the ensemble. Quartet members were Mary Huntimer, Bryan Cremer, Crystal Alexander and Joel Wagoner.

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“I am an educator, and to have an opportunity to go out and play at schools and to work with the kids makes me a better teacher as well,” Alexander said. “This program has enriched my learning experience at the University of Kansas in terms of opportunities that you don’t necessarily get in the classroom.” Zakoura is a partner in Smithyman & Zakoura Chartered, Overland Park, and his principal area of practice is energy law. Zakoura has established two nonprofit foundations, Reach Out Kansas and the Zakoura Family Foundation.

Gift: $400,000 Why I Give: “The reason I’ve chosen to support the School of Music is that through statewide performances and outreach programs, the School of Music becomes the face of the University of Kansas; it has both a personal and human presence in the lives of the people of the state of Kansas and brings them great joy.” — James Zakoura James Zakoura

Psychological support The estate of Jack Brehm Jack Brehm strongly supported basic research during his career at KU as a professor of social psychology. His bequest to KU Endowment for the Department of Psychology will continue that support far into the future. Brehm taught psychology full time at KU from 1975 to 1997 and continued as professor emeritus until he died last year. His $2.2 million gift is the largest ever made to the department. The gift establishes the Jack W. Brehm Social Psychology Enrichment Fund, which primarily will support graduate and faculty research. “Jack loved KU,” said Dr. Sharon Stephens Brehm, executor of Jack Brehm’s estate and his former wife. “He was very comfortable at KU, and he fit right in. He was fortunate to work with wonderful colleagues in the psychology department, particularly in the social psychology program.” His colleagues remember him in much the same way. “Jack was one of the anchors of our program for years,” said Chris Crandall, professor of social psychology. “He was a very

loyal person — loyal to his friends, loyal to KU. We loved having Jack as our colleague.” One of Brehm’s major contributions to the field was development of the theory of psychological reactance. Often summarized as “reverse psychology,” the theory explains the psychological process that drives people to resist limits on their choices or threats to their freedom. — Jessica Sain-Baird

Jack Brehm



Jean Winfield has volunteered at the Nicodemus clinic since its second year. It’s important to her, she said, not only because it offers healthcare services to the underserved and uninsured, but also because Nicodemus represents her general heritage and the impact of freed slaves having their own place and time. She is president of the Greater Kansas City Black Nurses Association and a two-time KU alumna.

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Returning tohallowed grounds KU Med takes health care to Nicodemus By Lisa Scheller Photographs by Earl Richardson


t’s going to be a sizzler in Nicodemus, Kan. By early morning, the end-of-July temperature stretches toward 99 degrees. In the city park, festival volunteers dip cut-up chicken in egg and flour, preparing to fry up a crowd-sized batch. They work to the tune of laughter, chatter and an occasional breakout of Gospel music as singers rehearse for the evening’s performance. Throughout Nicodemus, excitement builds for the town’s annual Homecoming Emancipation Celebration. A welcome summer breeze crosses miles of rolling farm ground, whispers through eastern red cedars and Chinese elms, and ruffles the flaps of a nearby white canvas tent about half the size of a tennis court. The tent is home to the KU Medical Center’s Nicodemus Adult Health Screening Summer Program. In the tent, medical students, faculty and staff from KU check celebration participants’ blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels and more. They will present several health education sessions during the day-long clinic. A parked bus quietly hums next to the tent, its air-conditioned rooms offering private spaces for procedures such as cervical and prostate examinations. The services are free, and the flow of visitors keeps the volunteers busy. Some who come to Nicodemus see a doctor just once a year — here.



Westward bound Each summer since 1997, about two dozen KU Medical Center staff, students and other volunteers have journeyed to Nicodemus to staff the health clinic, said Patricia Thomas, M.D., associate dean for cultural enhancement and diversity and professor of pathology at KU Medical Center. Informally, it’s known as the Nicodemus Project. Private gifts to KU Endowment have helped each year to support the project, which has enhanced ties between KU Medical Center and the historic Kansas town. “We’ve developed close friendships and partnerships with the community of Nicodemus, as well as partnerships with organizations in Kansas City and across KU’s campuses,” Thomas said. “Many entities and individuals donate their resources and time to make this a successful event year after year.” The idea arose from a stage play. In 1996, professor emerita Norge W. Jerome was serving as Interim Associate Dean of Minority Affairs at the School of Medicine. She attended a performance of “Flying West,” by Pearl Cleage, at Kansas City’s Unicorn Theatre. The play’s characters are connected to Nicodemus, which inspired Jerome to establish the clinic. She started it in 1997 and continued it through her tenure, which ended in 1998. One remarkable aspect of this clinic, Thomas said, is that it is the only annual primary care experience for some of the people in the community and surrounding area. “For us to be able to provide that for them is really touching,” Thomas said. “We’re much more than a health fair — we’re a clinic. We do screenings and diagnostic testing. We take the specimens back to KU Medical Center, where the pathology department donates time and resources in evaluating them.” Work continues weeks after the clinic ends. Thomas personally corresponds with the patients and/or their physicians.

The Nicodemus Project Founded: 1997 Clients served in 2010: 27 men, 46 women Clients served since founding: about 1,400 Screenings and services offered: blood pressure checks, body mass indexing, blood oxygen saturation measurement, cervical examinations, Pap examinations, glucose and cholesterol screens, prostate screens including PSA, fine needle aspiration for biopsy, and health education sessions. Organizations involved: Greater Kansas City Black Nurses Association (staff) Swope Community Health Center (medical bus) From KU Medical Center: Office of Cultural Enhancement and Diversity (sponsor, direction) Department of Family Medicine (faculty; medical equipment) School of Medicine (student staff) Nursing Clinical Skills Laboratory (medical equipment) Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine (medical supplies, specialized testing supplies; diagnostic testing after event; management)

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When abnormalities appear, she calls patients to discuss their options or to refer them to a primary care physician. “Over the years we’ve had repeat customers and developed unique relationships with them,” said Thomas. “I believe that the health care of the community, while already strong, has been improved by our presence.”

Just what the doctor ordered Zoë Baldwin, assistant director of pathology education at KU Medical Center, organizes the Nicodemus clinic. She said it seems to be a tradition that each year at least one patient shows up in need of urgent care. This year, an out-of-state grandfather visiting Nicodemus came to the KU clinic tent feeling lightheaded. A student staffer found his blood pressure was dangerously high. A faculty member paged a physician in nearby Hill City, who called in a prescription to the local hospital. Baldwin drove the patient to the hospital, where a nurse gave the initial dose of medication. “After he returned to his hometown, he let us know that he filled his prescription and was taking his meds,” Baldwin said. “That’s what you call a happy ending.” More photos, with audio: kuendowment.org/nicodemus

Changing lives This year, Colleen Smith was one of the first to greet KU students and staff. Last July, Smith, homeless at the time, hitchhiked from Denver to attend the Nicodemus celebration. She told volunteers at the health clinic she had been on drugs and thought she might be pregnant. The clinic hadn’t brought a pregnancy test kit, so a volunteer drove to the next town to buy one. When the test proved positive, the staff counseled Smith on managing her health and diet during pregnancy. “They made me feel like someone cared,” Smith said. She stopped using drugs, and her daughter was born healthy the following December. In the past year, she moved into an apartment in Nicodemus. She has enrolled in online college courses and serves as the township clerk. Smith credits the KU health clinic with beginning the turnaround in her life. “Who knows who will come to that clinic tent,” Smith said. “It could be someone with an illness they don’t even know they have. Or it could be someone like me.”

Colleen Smith keeps her daughter snug.

The medical tent welcomes Nicodemus residents and visitors alike. Left, top: KU medical students Mallory Martinez and Steve Daniel get set for a long day. Left, bottom: Second-year medical student Neil Bryan checks blood pressure as he works with Kathie James, Peculiar, Mo. KUENDOWMENT.ORG |


Denver resident Daniel Cason attends the Nicodemus homecoming every year. He appreciates the medical examination and also understands it gives the students an opportunity to work with patients. “The patients quickly learn that the medical students really do know what they’re doing,” he said. Right, lower pair: Theodore Bates, Hill City, Kan., and Sylvia Kelley, Newton, Kan., came to the medical tent for screenings and information.

Deep roots in Nicodemus African-American settlers from central Kentucky founded Nicodemus, Kan., in 1877. A land dealer had promised the former slaves a land of milk and honey and an established town. Instead, they found windblown prairie stretching as far as the eye could see. They survived the first winter only by cutting dugouts into the knolls and accepting food from Native Americans. When spring came, some moved on, but many stayed. More settlers arrived, broke sod and planted seed, and new lives took root. Today, Nicodemus is the only remaining all-AfricanAmerican town west of the Mississippi River. It was designated a National Historic Site in the National Park Service in 1997. Population once neared 600 but ultimately declined as in so many small Kansas towns. Today the town claims fewer than 25 residents. However, the last weekend of July, the population swells to 500 or more for the Homecoming Emancipation Celebration. The event, 132 years old this year, is like a huge family reunion, since many who attend are descendants of

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the town’s African-American settlers. Residents chose the date to commemorate emancipation of slaves in the West Indies on Aug. 1, 1834. Nicodemus descendant Charles Bronson traveled this year from Atlanta, Ga. “When I come here, it’s not just to unite with my family members from all over the United States and Canada,” Bronson said. “It’s also to walk on these hallowed grounds where my ancestors founded this town. I just feel it when I’m here — this is home — this is our roots.”

Genuine homecoming Louis Switzer, of Houston, attends the Nicodemus homecoming each July. For him, it’s home. He was the last eighth-grader to graduate before the town’s oneroom grade school closed. As a senior in high school, he drove the 49-passenger school bus that took three kids, including himself, to school and home. Switzer has seen people in his old hometown scatter across the country. And he’s seen some stay put — for years and years. Locals who talk about the descendants’ longevity respectfully point to 97-yearold Lawrence Jones, who until last year danced all night at the homecoming dance. “Up here,” said Switzer, “if you die before 90, they think there’s something wrong with you.” Switzer has health insurance, but he visits the KU Medical Center’s health clinic every year, along with his mother. “It gives the medical students the opportunity to practice on patients,” he said. “And it provides healthcare options that those who attend might otherwise lack, or could not afford.”

Medical student Aniesa Slack checks Louis Switzer’s blood pressure.

Help raise the tent To learn more about the clinic or to contribute, contact Stephanie Grinage at 913-588-5552 or sgrinage@kuendowment.org, or give online at kuendowment.org/nicodemusproject.



Chalk it up to generosity: KU faculty and staff took to chalkboards and chalk at the University Family Donor Reception September 8 to express why they give to KU. In fiscal 2010, more than 1,700 faculty, staff and university affiliate donors provided KU with more than $1.75 million in support. They’re happy to tell you what prompts them to give. Faculty and staff members can donate to any cause at KU through (relatively) painless payroll deduction. For information, visit kuendowment.org/deduct.

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steve puppe

steve puppe

Students refine jewelry designs as drawings on paper.

Donors Sandy and Chuck Garrett get a close look at their gift.

Imagination, full circle by Charles Higginson

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Melissa meyer

steve puppe

Sara Long, Lawrence senior, converts her drawing into a detailed computer-aided design.

The Gemvision milling machine goes to work.

steve puppe


he machine looks like it belongs in a CSI crime lab: It’s about four feet wide, three feet tall, two deep, and it’s covered with shiny metal attachments and protruding cords. In action, it sounds like a cross between a dentist’s drill and an old dot-matrix printer. Even its name, Gemvision Revo540C, is hardly inspiring. Its output, on the other hand, is pure beauty. It’s a very fine three-dimensional milling machine, and it enables KU students to create cast-metal pieces with unprecedented detail. The machine accepts computer-aided design files and “renders” the designs in three dimensions. Its pair of spindles rotates at high speed in four axes, carving the designs from blocks of wax. Students then use the wax models to cast pieces out of fine metal. The Gem program even calculates the proper amount of metal, saving precious material. Students and faculty met in April, along with the donors who had provided the machine, to formally dedicate it. In fact, by then 18 students already had been using the machine to create finished pieces, so donors Sandy and Chuck Garrett, Eudora, Kan., got a good look at the results of their gift. Sandy said, “Being here today, hearing what everyone is doing and seeing your examples, makes it more than worth all the effort. We couldn’t be happier.”

“You hit ‘start,’ and a needle comes down and goes ‘ZZZZHHHH’ ”

Lua Gitchell, Topeka junior, holds two parts of a complex piece and a wax mold she’ll use to cast additional parts.

Jon Havener, professor and coordinator of metalsmithing/ jewelry, said the machine represented a leap forward for students and the program, instantly bringing it into the 21st century. The program’s students previously had access to computeraided design software, but no way to move designs from the screen to physical reality. “We could design as a wireform and render it to look like a photograph, but nobody ever got the actual object in their hand,” said Phil Voetsch, lecturer in metalsmithing/jewelry. “This gives us that. It’s just stunning.” Students praised the system’s precision and ease of use. “This is exact,” said Lua Gitchell, Topeka junior. “You can get precise, crisp details you couldn’t do by hand.” Students have used the system to create rings, pendants and complex necklaces composed of numerous duplicate parts — very difficult using traditional processes. Gitchell described an interesting sonic side effect. “You hit ‘start,’ and a needle comes down and goes ‘ZZZZHHHH’ into the wax block,” she said. “If there’s a repetitive pattern in what you’re making, it makes a kind of musical sound.” Voetsch said, “Equipment is a big part of the learning process. This brings phenomenal accuracy and gives the students a whole new set of tools. The imagination just opens up.”



Melissa Meyer

Use it by losing it

Melissa Meyer

KU metalsmithing students design with state-of-the-art tools, but they use an ancient process to turn designs into finished pieces — the cire-perdue (lost-wax) method. The earliest known piece cast by this method was made in India about 3,500 B.C. The process basically creates a mold in which molten metal is cast. The artist first makes an actual-size model of the piece, using a specially formulated wax. The artist can carve or melt material away, or adhere wax components made separately. When the model is finished, the artist attaches rods of wax to it. These rods, called “sprues,” become part of the mold and create channels through which molten metal will enter the mold as air escapes. The finished, sprued model is placed in a vessel, which is filled with a liquid mold material similar to extremely finegrained plaster. When the mold material has set, the mold is heated in an oven, hardening it further and burning out the wax original — hence the term “lost wax.” The artist melts an appropriate amount of metal and pours it into the mold, where it fills the space created by the wax original. When the metal has cooled and hardened, the mold is washed away, leaving the unfinished metal piece. The first step of cleanup and finishing is to cut off the sprues. Variations on the lost-wax process allow for casting of large pieces and multiple identical pieces. Watch student Shannon Craft create a piece from start to finish: kuendowment.org/milling From top: Shannon Craft shows the Garretts a machined wax block with her model still embedded in it; she saws the model out of the wax block. Below: A finished model prepared for casting, and the finished ring, by Lua Gitchell.


Aaron paden

lua gitchell

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From top: Donors Chuck and Sandy Garrett admire Sara Long’s finished pendant; her necklace contains about 30 similar pieces, individually cast, finished and joined. steve puppe

To remember Smitty

Aaron paden

Sandra K. (Falwell) Garrett and Charles R. Garrett, Eudora, Kan., graduated from KU more than 50 years ago, but they still fondly recall one particular instructor. To honor him, they recently created the Carlyle H. Smith Memorial Fund to benefit the Metalsmithing/Jewelry Division in the Department of Visual Art in the School of the Arts. Smith, known to most as “Smitty,” was professor of jewelry and silversmithing at KU from 1947 to 1977. He established KU’s Metalsmithing/Jewelry program, the oldest of its kind at a state university in the United States. The jewelry studio at KU is named in his honor.

“We wanted to do something in Smitty’s memory,” Sandy said. “I’m not sure students today even know his name. And we wanted to do something practical that would give immediate results.”

Aaron paden

The fund provided a Gemvision Revo540C milling machine. The machine, which students have nicknamed “Smitty,” converts computer-aided design files into carved wax models, which students use to cast pieces in metal. The Garretts’ gift totaled $30,000 and covered purchase of the machine, 10 milling bits, training and technical support, and continuing maintenance. This gift builds on a previous gift from another donor, which provided 20 computer stations. These computers run the jewelry design software that students use. Sandy studied jewelry and silversmithing at KU, graduating in 1958 with a BFA. She worked 42 years as a designer for Hallmark Cards, Inc. Chuck — who took a jewelry class himself with Smitty — graduated in Business 1957. Now retired from a career in industrial management, he manages the family farm near Overbrook, Kan. Both volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Sandy said, “I still have a love for the metalsmithing field, and I’m glad to have this opportunity to reconnect with it.” KUENDOWMENT.ORG |


I am ku

Awesome and amazing In 2005, Delia Adams discovered a lump in her right breast. Her medical journey started roughly but eased when she came to the KU Medical Center for treatment. Carol Connor, M.D., associate professor of breast surgery, conducted her initial treatment; Priyanka Sharma, M.D., assistant professor of hematology/oncology, manages her continuing treatment.

How did you find your way to KU Med?

Tell us about your experience. Everyone — surgeon, nurses, radiologists, oncologists — gave me answers and made me feel I could trust them. It’s such a personal journey, everyone involved becomes a family member. You see them all the time, they have your best interests in mind. I’m terrified of needles. They say you should do what you’re afraid of. Not true. But my nurse, Mark, is the most calming, soothing, gentle person, my cheerleader.

What is the role of private philanthropy in medical advancement? Oh, my gosh, it’s huge. It’s our responsibility to help our brothers and sisters. I’ve been involved in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for about six years through my employer, Waddell & Reed. Can you imagine if everyone decided to get involved? The money for research would be incredible.

Can you offer any advice? I’ve learned that family, friends and peace are the most important things to get you through it. I consider KU Med my friend. Without them, knowing who I am, I wouldn’t have made it. And remember: El cancer no tiene barreras — Cancer knows no boundaries.

YOU CAN HELP SURVIVORS To support the Breast Cancer Survivorship Center, part of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, visit kuendowment.org/survivor. mark mcdonald

When I found the lump, I was seeing an OB/GYN at another hospital, and she sent me to that hospital’s breast center. I had just lost a dear friend to breast cancer and another to melanoma within a year. I was truly, truly terrified. Then I received horrible service and a terrible bedside manner. I’d go in for one procedure, then come back two weeks later for the next. One doctor called me on a Saturday morning and left me a message, “We need to talk” — but you can’t call back on the weekend. A friend’s husband, who works at KU Med, said I should go there and see Carol Connor. He was right. She’s just an amazing person. Everything I tell you about KU Med is going to be positive.

asked if I should get a second opinion, and she said I could, but she and the KU Med team had decided on the best treatment for me. I said, “What? You have a team?” Turned out all these people had read my case and sat down and talked about me. I loved that. I underwent a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy. Now, I’m two years into a five-year preventive plan with Dr. Sharma. I get monthly treatments to suppress hormones that would encourage the cancer to recur. Every six months I get an infusion to keep my bones healthy and a followup mammogram. It’s pretty awesome to be a two-year survivor.

What was your diagnosis? They did a biopsy on that first lump and learned it was not cancer. But Dr. Connor followed up with me and did a mammogram every six months, and in 2008 she spotted a little speck on my left breast. That one was cancer, invasive ductile carcinoma. That’s the most common kind of breast cancer, so there are treatments for it. And she discovered it at an early stage. I’m so grateful for that.

How did you choose your treatment? Dr. Connor gave me the whole plan of attack. It was like, “We’re going to take care of you, we’re going to love you. We know what to do with this cancer.” I

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Delia Adams meets Mark Winkler, R.N., once a month at the The University of Kansas Cancer Center treatment area. She says she’s afraid of needles, but his soothing attitude helps: “If I have to have a shot, I want it from him.”

GREATER KU FUND Earl richardson

Ryan Smith

Nina Scheibe

Rebecca Mar tin

Tim Turkalo

Emma Halling

Jessica Ims

Samuel Lee

Patrick Ma gnus


Lianna Dang

John Camenzind

Andrea Brow n

Em ily Frese

Sam Walter

A lex Sto


Promise in common These 16 KU students have different backgrounds and interests, but they also have at least three things in common: They all started as freshmen this fall, they’re all National Merit Finalists, and they all received a Chancellors Club Scholarship. The four-year renewable scholarships are funded in part by your gifts to the Greater KU Fund. With the arrival of this group, 324 promising

KU students have received Chancellors Club Scholarships since the program began in 1979. Of all the many ways the Greater KU Fund makes life at KU better, this is one of our favorites.


Leslie Montes

David Catt

contact Judy Wright, 785-832-7330 or jwright@kuendowment.org, or visit kuendowment.org/chancellorsclub. KUENDOWMENT.ORG |


The faithful courtesy of University Relations

Dorothy and Ronald McGregor in 1989, when he retired after 35 years as director of the KU Herbarium. They have donated to KU every year since 1956.

A half-century of giving For examples of dedication to KU, look no farther than Ronald and Dorothy McGregor. Ron worked in various capacities at KU’s herbarium, which stores preserved plant specimens, for 71 years all told; it’s now named for him. She shared her love for reading through 44 years in public school teaching and 20 years as a volunteer reader for KU’s Audio Reader. And together, through 69 years of marriage, they have given at least one gift to KU Endowment every year since 1956. Ron’s interest in plants started early. He was born in Green, Kan., in Clay County. As a boy, he spent summers working with his grandfather on a 7.5-acre truck garden in south central Nebraska. “I learned all about planting crops,” Ron said, “but he encouraged me to be interested in more and got me into the actual study of botany.” His family moved to Lawrence in 1937, and he enrolled at KU as a botany major. It was a financial stretch during those

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hard times. He started working at KU’s herbarium in 1938 as an hourly student. He earned three botany degrees from KU: bachelor’s in 1941, master’s in 1947 and doctorate in 1954. Ron and Dorothy met in 1940 when he drove her and his mother to a church banquet. They married in 1942, when, as Ron said, “A lot of things were about to happen.” Pearl Harbor had been attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, Dorothy’s birthday. Ron spent four years in the Signal Corps in the South Pacific, then returned to graduate school. “The university was growing so fast, they were hard up for any kind of teachers,” he said. “They hired me as a teaching assistant.” When he received his doctorate in 1954, he was formally named director of the herbarium, a position he had filled informally for several years. During his 35 years as director, the herbarium grew from about 70,000 specimens to more than 300,000. After “retiring,” he continued

to work until April of 2009 — 71 years in all. Along the way, he also served 11 years as chair of the botany department, five years as chair of the Division of Biological Sciences and 10 years as chair of the Kansas Biological Survey.

The book is the thing Dorothy McGregor was born in Lawrence but raised primarily by her grandmother in Emporia, Kan. She earned a teaching degree from Kansas State Teacher’s College in Emporia and a master’s degree in education from KU in 1953. She always had a book in hand. “I’ll read anything, anytime,” she said. During four years in country schools and 20 years as a classroom teacher at Lawrence’s New York Elementary, she brought this love of reading into her classrooms. “I would read to the class,” she said. “It was always important; there were always books going.” She broadened her passion, working 20 years as a district-wide language-arts consultant in Lawrence. She was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame in 1989. After retiring, she continued reading during 20 years as a volunteer at Audio Reader, KU’s reading service for the blind and visually impaired. “I thought the time would come when my voice would sound old, or I might lose my breath, and I wanted to quit before that happened,” she said. “Some of the most interesting times were when I was reading for just one person. I helped one fellow get his Ph.D. Luckily I enjoyed reading his material.”

Herbarium help Much of the McGregors’ giving to KU Endowment has provided support for the herbarium, a related Great Plains grassland research project and Audio Reader. They established a charitable remainder trust in 1989 that will eventually benefit the herbarium, and they have included KU Endowment in their estate plans. “I worked in an area that was hard to fund,” Ron said. “We always needed money. I looked forward to being able to help out, and it’s been very satisfying to do that.” —  Charles Higginson


Tell a story, change a life Marta Caminero-Santangelo is professor and chair of English. She received a Kemper Fellowship and a Hall Center Research Fellowship in 2008, and last summer received a Smithsonian Institution Research Fellowship. Much of her work focuses on U.S. Latino/a literature.

compare the validity, the historical and also the emotional “truth,” of different stories. Literature invites us to leave our own skins for a while to try to inhabit and understand the stories of others. As it happens, that is also what it means to be human. — Marta Caminero-Santangelo

Write your story

To support the English department at KU, please contact Brandie McPherson at bmcpherson@kuendowment.org or 785-832-7465, or visit kuendowment. org/english. To support the Hall Center, please contact Jim Mechler at jmechler@kuendowment.org or 785-832-7328, or visit kuendowment.org/hallcenter.

earl richardson

Some years ago, as I was beginning a new research project on U.S. Latino/a literature and recent waves of immigration, I read The Devil’s Highway, by MexicanAmerican writer Luis Alberto Urrea. I wasn’t prepared for the effect the book had on me. A piece of narrative journalism, it tells the true story of 14 men who died in the Arizona desert in 2001, while trying to cross the U.S. – Mexico border illegally. It was an incredible work of literature — but it wasn’t fiction. It had actually happened. Urrea describes, in great detail, the desperation of the men as they realized they were lost, as they ran out of water, as they began to hallucinate. I read the book before going to sleep, and for three nights I dreamed I was dying in the desert. My parents came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1960, one year after Castro’s revolution. As they always take great pride in telling me, they came legally. Not until I was in graduate school did I understand that, in 1960, just about any Cuban who wanted to enter the U.S. could come legally; that was U.S. immigration law at the time. I wondered how my parents would have felt if, wanting to escape Castro and communism, they’d had no opportunity. What if, wanting a better life for themselves and their children, they’d been told they couldn’t come? I tried to imagine it. In 2008, hoping to understand better the stories of those who can’t come legally to the U.S., I went to the Arizona – New Mexico border. I volunteered for one week with a humanitarian group called No More Deaths / No Más Muertes. As we hiked trails where migrants had passed, we found children’s clothes, women’s underwear, baby shoes. Signs of desperation. Many

die each year. What, I wondered — I still wonder — are their stories? What makes people so desperate that they put themselves and their children at risk, attempting to save themselves? The power of literature is that it helps us to imagine the stories of others — stories perhaps so far from our own experience that they seem to us incomprehensible, truly foreign. Literature can create intimacy, empathy, in our increasingly global world. For me, this is also the core of the humanities. The humanities ground us in a complex understanding of what it means to be human: of how we understand our collective histories, of how we create art and tell stories that reflect a sense of who we think we are and who we aspire to be. Sometimes there is more than one story; sometimes stories conflict. National literatures have traditionally been part of the process of shaping a story of the nation. But of course, not all stories fit neatly and tidily within the prevailing national story. Private funding from the Hall Center and the Kemper fellowship has allowed me to develop ways to bring diverse stories to both the classroom and the larger scholarly community. The Hall Center Fellowship allowed me to spend time at the border, learning about political issues and human stories there. I try in turn to plug students into the world beyond the university, with its diversity of stories. And I encourage students to seek study abroad opportunities, Alternative Winter and Spring Breaks, and other learning options that expose them to new experiences and different horizons. One role of the humanities in a major university like KU is to open our minds to the immense variety of stories out there — to the alternative perspectives they present, different ways of understanding the world, different ways of conceiving of “the American people.” We cannot be a major university if we teach only certain stories or histories, ignoring others. Critical thinking involves learning to weigh and

Marta Caminero-Santangelo, professor and chair of English, holds a book that haunted her.



among friends lisa scheller


Fall 2010 events


The dinner crowd at this year’s Chancellors Club Gala on Oct. 22 stands to raise the alma mater. Arms linked and swaying are Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment president; Kurt Watson, outgoing chair of the KU Endowment Board of Trustees, and his wife, Sue; Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and her husband, Shade Little; and Bob and Connie Eaton.

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susan stevens

lisa scheller


The Chancellors Club Gala kicked off in the central gallery of the Spencer Museum of Art. Kurt and Sue Watson caught up with Ed and Helen Healey amid the cartoon-like drawings by Dan Perjovschi that covered the walls.


Melinda and Glenn Adams joined other Chancellors Club members Oct. 23 for a picnic on a terrace of the new Oread Hotel. The gathering preceded the homecoming game against Texas A&M.


lisa scheller

lisa scheller



Joyce and Malcolm Gibson made a new friend at a thank-you reception for university family donors. Active and retired KU staff and faculty gathered Sept. 8 in the Commons at Spooner Hall.


Sandra Gautt and Janet Riley were among the members of Women Philanthropists for KU who met Sept. 24 at Adams Alumni Center for a fall luncheon. Carol Weisman, author of Raising Charitable Children, was the guest speaker.

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mark mcdonald




Joe and Jean Brandmeyer served as honorary chairs of this year’s Treads and Threads, The University of Kansas Hospital’s gala to improve the lives of cancer patients throughout the region. Rain cut the event short, but it grossed nearly $1.1 million nonetheless.

PAST AND PRESENT University of Kansas Archives, courtesy Lawrence Journal-World

Stanley Learned and his wife, Mary, in front of Learned Hall, home of the School of Engineering, ca. 1965.

An enduring surprise On June 5, 1960, Albert P. Learned attended the 50th reunion of the class of 1910. As chair of the reunion committee, he had helped to plan the occasion, but others had made plans he didn’t know about. Chancellor Franklin Murphy presented a gold 50-year pin to Learned, then turned and announced the creation of the Albert P. Learned Distinguished Professorship in the School of Engineering. The announcement was a complete surprise to the man it honored. His brother, Stanley D. Learned, and Stanley’s wife, Mary, had quietly established the professorship with donations totaling $100,000. Since then, that surprise gift has generated more than $600,000 in support for the professorship, while increasing in value to almost $700,000. It now helps to support research with potential to make bridges safer and save millions of dollars. Albert and Stanley Learned had followed somewhat parallel paths. Both earned bachelor’s and graduate degrees in civil engineering at KU. Albert worked

for Black and Veatch and its predecessor companies, retiring in 1962. Stanley worked for Phillips Petroleum, becoming vice president in 1949, president in 1962 and CEO in 1964; he retired in 1967. Albert died in 1968, Stanley in 1995. Stanley Learned left an indelible mark on his alma mater. Learned Hall, home of KU’s School of Engineering, is named for him. The KU Alumni Association gave him its Distinguished Service Citation in 1959. He served as a KU Endowment Trustee, as national chair of the Program for Progress, a fundraising campaign in the late ’60s, and as honorary national chair of Campaign Kansas 20 years later. Just two faculty members have held the Learned Professorship. The first was John S. McNown, then dean of engineering. The current Learned Professor, Stanley Rolfe, was working for U.S. Steel’s research laboratory when he was recruited to KU, and the offer of a professorship was significant. “Without that salary increment, it would have been difficult to leave U.S.

Steel’s research laboratory,” he said. “The distinguished professorship program was a big factor in my coming to the University of Kansas.” Rolfe’s research concentrates primarily on maintenance and repair of bridges. Fatigue cracking affects thousands of highway bridges across the country. Rolfe and his team have developed repair and retrofit techniques that extend the lives of these bridges for decades, at a fraction of replacement cost. Rolfe began phased retirement last year. “It’s been a fantastic 41 years,” he said. “I really enjoy what I’m doing. But age is a factor, and you can stay too long.” Irvin Youngberg, who served as KU Endowment executive secretary at the time, may have had people like Rolfe in mind when he wrote to Stanley Learned in 1964: “I still feel that it is funds like these that will enable us to get and hold good people in the years to come through supplementing the salaries that the state can pay.” — Charles Higginson KUENDOWMENT.ORG |


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See giving opportunities at KU Endowment: www.kuendowment.org/allopps Robin Loomas Kern / KU University Relations