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Art works at the Spencer | Bequests de-mythified | KU’s new choral director

For Friends of the University of K ansas • Spring 2009 •

The new researchers KU scientist-entrepreneurs learn how to bring their discoveries to market

VISIONS OF KU steve puppe

Beauty springs forth: The Chi Omega fountain’s eight central plaques depict scenes from the Greek myth of Persephone, which accounts for the coming of spring. The fountain was dedicated in 1955 as a memorial to the sorority’s alumnae.

KU GIVING KU Giving is published three times a year, in spring, fall and winter, 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. Contact the editor at or 800-444-4201.

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.



Science for life

An $8.1 million grant from the Kauffman Foundation will help bring new drugs and biomedical aids to patients who need them.

SPRING 2009 I volume 3 I number 1




PRESIDENT’S NOTE Up to the challenge


EVERY GIFT MATTERS VFW Ladies Auxiliary gives





By Lisa Scheller

At a laboratory on KU’s west campus, graduate fellows seek treatments for cancer, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.

18 The work of art

KU’s Spencer Museum explores ideas that take down the walls between the arts, humanities and sciences. A new grant will help redouble the museum’s efforts to immerse its collection in teaching and research.


i am ku Choral director Paul Tucker


WAYS OF GIVING Bequests de-mythified


GREATER KU FUND Out of the classroom




KU Voices Chancellor Hemenway steps down

By Kirsten Bosnak and Charles Higginson


“A Greenland Glacier: The Scale of Climate Change” is one of several current Spencer exhibitions running through May 24.

ON THE WEB Photo gallery: Architecture students at KU’s Rockefeller Prairie Get the tax credit: Support KU deferred maintenance projects

PAST AND PRESENT A prairie view

page 27 Longtime fans show their spirit

COVER: Graduate fellow Joshua Sestak is part of a new generation of KU researchers who’ll seek life-saving treatments through the Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation. PHOTO BY brian goodman


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 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.

Fraser Hall

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 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


CHAIR, BOARD OF TRUSTEES Kurt D. Watson President Dale Seuferling Senior Vice President, Communications & Marketing Rosita Elizalde-McCoy Editor Kirsten Bosnak Contributing Editors Joel Francis Charles Higginson Lisa Scheller Art DIRECTOR Chris Millspaugh gr aphic designer Melissa Meyer Editorial ASSISTANT Sarah Aylward professional consultant Carol Holstead KU Associate Professor of Journalism

CONTACT US KU Endowment Communications & Marketing P.O. Box 928 Lawrence, KS 66044-0928 785-832-7400 or toll-free 800-444-4201 Email: POSTMASTER: Send address changes to KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence KS 66044-0928

- FOUNDED 1891 -


Winter 2009

Our previous issue featured stories on plans for a major expansion of the KU School of Pharmacy and on World War II’s 77th Evacuation Hospital, which was affiliated with the KU Medical Center. Find all issues of KU Giving online: Pharmacy expansion As a pharmacist, I had a special appreciation for your article’s overview of the challenges facing pharmacy and the need for more pharmacists in Kansas. The pictures, case studies and profiles made it personal. I know my former professor, Dr. Ronald Borne at the University of Mississippi, will enjoy it. He received his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry at KU and is still a Jayhawk at heart.

ANN TANNER Overland Park

We need to address the severe shortage of pharmacists in Kansas, and the School of Pharmacy has a great plan to help. I have practiced in a rural setting my entire career and believe all citizens in Kansas, rural and urban, should have convenient access to health professionals. This undertaking will be challenging given the economic environment, but we must continue our efforts and be willing to sacrifice to make it a reality. MAX M. HEIDRICK, S&S Drug Pharmacy ’71 Member, KU School of Pharmacy Advisory Council Beloit, Kan.

to keep in Kansas after graduation. I’m confident the expansion will help. MICHAEL LARKIN, MPA ’98 Executive Director Kansas Pharmacists Association Topeka

77th Evac Thank you for the article on the KU Hospitals’ relationship to the 77th Evacuation Hospital during WWII. My mom and dad, three aunts and two uncles all received medical training at the KU Hospitals around the time the 77th was created. The ladies all became RNs, while my father and uncles became MDs. By early 1943 all three men were serving in our military overseas as Jayhawk physicians. One uncle, Dr. Tom Duckett, MD ’34, was an original member of the 77th and was in the unit throughout its existence. After the war he practiced family medicine in Hiawatha, Kan., for nearly 40 years, finally passing away from us in 2000. Through your article and the KU Medical Center’s reprint of the 77th’s unit history, Medicine Under Canvas, we have these records of an important chapter in his life and in those of others in the KU family. I took Mom, who’s Tom’s sister and 92 now, to see the medical center’s documentary about the 77th at the Kansas Union last fall. We are privileged to remember these people, who served their country well.

It is heartening to know that the leadership at KU has taken the initiative to remedy this potentially dire situation. I am also inspired by the foresight of the leadership in Kansas government. Their support for the expansion of the SCOTT W. CAMPBELL, Associate Director school at the Lawrence and Wichita KU Field Station and Ecological Reserves Biology ’80, master’s in aquatic biology ’82 campuses speaks to their understanding Lawrence of the pharmacist shortage and the ramifications to the Kansas economy. Distinguished professorships I am personally acquainted with many I enjoyed seeing the write-up in the current KU pharmacy students. They winter issue on the Roy A. Roberts are just the type of individual we want professorships. An unexpected

benefit of having my photo included was that I’ve heard from KU alumni who are interested in participating in our research on language and aging. Projects like mine depend on both financial support and the active participation of Jayhawks of all ages. SUSAN KEMPER Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Psychology Lawrence

KU memories The stories in KU Giving bring back fond memories. People today may be surprised to know there once was a dandelion-digging competition on campus. We worked in couples, and we each had a large gunnysack to put dandelions in. We weighed the sacks to see who had dug the most dandelions. Some of the boys put rocks in their sacks and were eliminated from the contest. I don’t think we did this exercise again. Most people may not know that during World War II, KU opened the campus to the military for officer and technical training programs. I had the privilege of holding a civil service job at the cafeteria in Lindley Hall, where we served meals to Navy personnel enrolled in the officer-training program. Later, all four of my children went to KU. I have been a lifelong Lawrence resident and am proud to be a Jayhawk. KU Giving is a great reminder of that! LAURAINE CLARK MULALLY Class of 1943 Lawrence

Write to us

KU Giving, KU Endowment P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044-0928 Email: 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 indicated otherwise.




Up to the challenge Lisa scheller

Distinguished Prof. Emerita Marilyn Stokstad made an extra gift this year  —  and kept on celebrating the Jayhawks.




laura wolfe

thought 2002 was a hard year. Little did I know: That recession seems like a small bump in the road compared to what we’re living through today. No doubt, these are interesting times. At KU Endowment, our rich history provides perspective as we navigate these stormy seas. Since our founding in 1891 (in the midst of a worldwide depression), we have weathered two world wars, the Great Depression and at least seven recessions. We launched our most recent campaign — KU First — three days before Sept. 11, 2001. Even with that inauspicious beginning, we surpassed our goal, raising more than $650 million for KU. In light of the current economic slump, we’re evaluating all our processes. What can we do better? What can we cut without compromising our mission? Today’s crisis can teach us new fiscal discipline and improved strategic thinking. But we will never sacrifice our core values: passion for KU, partnership with donors, perpetual support and a peoplecentered approach. You’re probably aware that our endowment has declined in value, like virtually every endowment in the nation. It’s important to note that we have a long-term perspective and a disciplined approach to investing. Careful planning, we believe, positions us to take advantage of coming investment opportunities.

Because of the decline, we’ve had to inform donors who created endowed funds in recent years that their funds are now “underwater,” meaning that the current market value is below the original value. We can’t make payments to KU from some of these funds without significantly eroding the long-term value. We’re working individually with these donors to make sure we can fulfill their wishes. One such donor is KU Distinguished Professor Emerita of Art History Marilyn Stokstad. When Prof. Stokstad learned that a fund she created was underwater, she decided she couldn’t live with that. Her reaction was touching: She added to the fund, restoring it to its original market value. Her generosity ensures that future generations of students can count on steady support from her Spencer Museum of Art student award fund. In this issue, you will find stories of donors who, like Prof. Stokstad, continue to invest in KU. Perhaps you are one of them, and if so, please accept my heartfelt gratitude. I realize this economy has impacted many of you, and I assure you that your gifts truly make a difference. If you’re unable to make a gift today, I invite you to keep KU in your plans. I have no doubt that the University of Kansas will play a major role in the economic recovery of our state and region. Here, our state’s brightest minds toil to innovate and discover. The seeds of a better tomorrow are right here at KU — all they need is our nurture and support.

Dale Seuferling, President


Where pink is serious business: Auxiliary members gather for a meeting and fundraiser at the Lenexa, Kan., VFW Post 7397. From left are Olathe Auxiliary 2994 members Mary Pilcher and Department of Kansas Cancer Chairman Karen Rockers, and Past Department President Mary Whipple, a member of Overland Park Auxiliary 846.

Twenty years and counting For these women, support for breast cancer prevention has become a tradition. A lone table holding a single quilt was all that marked their first fundraising effort 20 years ago. Today, women all across the state are selling homemade quilts for the cause. They also sell gift baskets, hold craft fairs and “bakeless bake sales,” and more — all to benefit the KU Breast Cancer Prevention Center. They are the women of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Kansas. “We do anything to raise money,” said the auxiliary’s past historian, Sheila Lewis, of Kansas City, Kan. “We get out and hustle.” The Breast Cancer Prevention Center never would have been able to go past year one if not for gifts like these, said Jennifer Klemp, assistant professor at the center. Klemp said this year marks two 20th anniversaries: The same year the Ladies Auxiliary made its first gift, Dr. Carol Fabian, medical director of the Breast Cancer Prevention Center, developed a minimally invasive procedure — random periareolar fine

needle aspiration — used to better assess short-term risk for breast cancer. The funds created through the auxiliary’s efforts contribute in many ways. For example, they help support pilot research projects, which enable research clinicians to leverage larger grants, thereby increasing the number of patients involved. This, in turn, provides more detailed data — an advantage when applying for new grants.

“We do anything to raise money. We get out and hustle.”

— Sheila Lewis, past historian, Kansas VFW Ladies Auxiliary

The support makes it possible to purchase equipment, too. Klemp said the center recently purchased a machine that enables staff to assess certain factors associated with breast cancer risk. “Without discretionary funds to purchase equipment, we couldn’t do vital breast cancer prevention research,” she said. The center’s relationship with the Ladies Auxiliary also helps doctors connect with patients across the state. In the days before the Midwest Cancer Alliance — which now links

The University of Kansas Cancer Center with the region’s hospitals, clinics and oncologists — KU’s mobile mammography unit was a common sight at auxiliary events, making it possible to reach new populations of women. The relationship continues to flourish. “They have access to people we don’t,” Klemp said. “They continue to pull in new members from rural areas, which gives us a broader reach.” Linda Marshall, of Hays, Kan., was the auxiliary’s state chair for cancer fundraising in 2006 and 2007. She was touched by the number of older members in rural chapters who, after many years, still meet their fundraising goal. “At my first statewide department convention, we had more gift baskets than table space,” Marshall said. “I was so overwhelmed I wanted to cry. We raised $1,400 that weekend.”

— Joel Francis


Make a gift in the spirit of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary by giving online to the KU Breast Cancer Prevention Center at KUENDOWMENT.ORG |




A bittersweet milestone Starting in mid-December 2008, we offered on the KU Endowment website to match the 5,000th gift received online. It arrived Jan. 16, a $250 donation to the Jay Turnbull Fellowship at the Beach Center on Disability. It came jointly from Eva Horn, professor of special education, and her husband, Steve Warren, vice provost for research and graduate studies. H.R. “Rud” and Ann Turnbull are co-directors of the Beach Center, and each holds a Marianna and Ross Beach Distinguished Professorship in the School of Education. They established the fellowship last year to honor their son, who was challenged by intellectual disabilities and autism. He nonetheless achieved considerable autonomy, living independently with family support from age 22, and he worked at KU for 20 years, most recently as an office assistant at the Beach Center.

Jay Turnbull died unexpectedly of natural causes on Jan. 7. He was 41. We offer condolences to his family and all who knew him. Warren formerly directed the Life Span Institute, where the Beach Center is located. He knew Jay Turnbull for many years. He said Jay was a pioneer who symbolized what was possible for people with severe cognitive disabilities and inspired people around the world. “Perhaps most important, if you knew him, you quickly found out he was a ‘real’ person just like the rest of us, with a mix of strengths, weaknesses, possibilities and contradictions,” he said. “We will miss that person, that Jay, more than anything else.” The first online gift to KU, made in January 2001, was $50 for the School of Law. In the 2008 fiscal year, online donors sent more than $400,000 to KU. — Charles Higginson

Help for students

Double the pleasure Just sent in your tax forms and wondered how you might have made your money go a little further? Through 2012, you can make a contribution for KU’s deferred maintenance projects — and qualify for a Kansas tax credit for 45 percent of the amount of the gift. A tax credit is more valuable than a tax deduction. The deduction reduces only your taxable income, while the credit reduces the amount of tax you owe.

Jay Turnbull sang with music therapy student Sarah Niileksela at his 40th birthday party at Abe & Jake’s Landing in Lawrence.

For 2008, 16 donors took advantage of this special tax benefit, created through a new Kansas law passed in 2007. These donors have given more than $70,000 toward new air handling systems and other projects that improve KU’s learning environment. To find out more, visit, or contact Kevin Kelly, 785-832-7408 or — Kirsten Bosnak


• More than 6,500 students will have received an estimated $29.6 million in student aid, a $1.9 million increase over last year. • Recipients come from 103 of the 105 Kansas counties, 45 other states and Puerto Rico, and 45 other countries.

lisa scheller

• Virtually all KU scholarships, fellowships and awards come from private contributions to KU Endowment. • Donors created 43 new endowed scholarships in fiscal 2008 with gifts totaling $12.3 million.

Alumni David and Carol Kyner, Lawrence, made a gift for deferred maintenance and got the tax credit.



• In the past five years, KU Endowment has provided more than $118 million in student aid. —Lisa Scheller


Karen Severud Cook, special collections librarian, displays the Spencer Research Library’s first edition of Darwin’s most famous work.

Bio-centennial This spring, as the world marked the 200th birthday of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin, KU Libraries highlighted its extensive collections in the field of natural history. In addition to a rare first edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, the Spencer Research Library holds the country’s most extensive collection of works by and about 18th century taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus and the world’s most important collection of drawings and paintings by 19th century ornithological illustrator John Gould. The library supports scholarship on campus and around the world through its Ellis Ornithology Collection and Fitzpatrick Botany Collection. Together, they include more than 23,000 volumes of drawings, manuscripts and other works by early researchers — as well as letters and personal papers. The majority of these holdings came to KU as gifts-in-kind or through private funding. The library is open to the public Monday–Saturday. — Kirsten Bosnak

Driven to Cure marks first year “There’s no question people notice the license plates. I know I do,” he said. “Health advocates, patients and educators look at it as a way to promote awareness and support a cause.” Some of the initiatives launched by the MCA in the past year include outreach, education and screening programs, as well as the Breast Cancer Survivorship Energy Balance Program, which helps cancer survivors stay healthy and lose weight — an important factor in preventing cancer recurrence. Doolittle said that many advances in cancer treatment come through clinical trials and that being able to offer clinical trials to patients regionally is a big step forward. “Ms. Gowing is close to Lawrence, where they have excellent medical care,” Doolittle said. “The goal is to

see every Kansan have care just as good, as close to home as possible.” For details on how to purchase your Driven to Cure license plate, visit — Joel Francis

brian goodman

Last summer, Donna Gowing was heading out of the grocery store in Lecompton, Kan., when something caught her eye: a license plate with a pink ribbon, a sunflower and the words “Driven To Cure.” “I wanted to go back inside and find out who it belonged to,” said Gowing, a breast cancer survivor. In the past year, more than 1,400 Kansas drivers have purchased the new $50 Driven to Cure license plates. Funds from the program support the Midwest Cancer Alliance’s efforts to ensure that patients in communities across Kansas have access to the latest information on cancer prevention, early detection and treatment. Dr. Gary Doolittle, MCA medical director, says he’s not surprised Gowing felt such a connection to the plate.

“I don’t have a lot of money to donate to cancer research,” says cancer survivor Donna Gowing, “but I like to do anything I can to help out.”






COU RTES Y/ma rian ne


hum burg

Marianne Humburg

John and Doris Fo wler Julie Gerson

Textile arts

Engineering scholarship

Donor: Marianne Humburg, fine arts ’08, a textile designer, Port Saint Lucie, Fla.

Donor: John Fowler II, civil engineering ’59, and his wife, Doris, Hume, Va.

Gift: $250, with $2,000 more given by anonymous donors

Gift: $164,000

Purpose: To provide airfare for KU students to attend the prestigious International Textile Market Association conference and tour in North Carolina. For the past several years, KU textile students and faculty have been invited to participate in the tour. Students meet with CEOs and designers, who review their portfolios and offer critiques. The textile market association sponsors the tour, and pays room and board and tour expenses. Students pay for their airfare. Humburg’s gift inspired two anonymous donors to contribute an additional $2,000 to provide airfare for eight more students. As a result, all nine students who wanted to attend this year’s tour were able to go. Why I Gave: “I had the opportunity to attend this conference during my senior year at KU, and it opened my eyes to the things I didn’t know were out there in the industry. The trip prepared me for graduation and beyond. Last year a couple of classmates wanted to go but couldn’t afford to. This was a small way I could give back to KU and help others.” — Marianne Humburg



Purpose: To create the John P. Fowler II Scholarship for junior and senior civil engineering majors from Kansas and Missouri. Fowler grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and put himself through KU. Sixty years ago, midway through his final semester, he was carrying 22 hours, had no time for a job and was out of money. He lost sleep wondering how he would pay the final installment of his tuition. He turned to KU Endowment and received a $200 loan that covered his tuition and got him through the semester. By graduation, he had several job offers. In 2000, he became CEO of the Dewberry Companies, a Virginia-based firm that owns five architecture and engineering companies, and he retired in 2006. Why I Gave: “I’m grateful to KU Endowment for loaning me the money, but also to the university and the civil engineering program for all it prepared me to be. There’s no way I could ever repay my debt. I just hope this scholarship support means half as much to students as that 200 bucks meant to me.” — John Fowler

Cancer patient care Donor: Gerson Companies, a familyowned design, import and distribution business based in Olathe, Kan. Gift: $25,000 Purpose: To honor breast cancer survivor Julie Gerson. This donation to the Breast Cancer Survivorship Fund provides cancer survivors and at-risk patients access to an individualized plan that is aimed at 1) reducing the risk of breast cancer and 2) managing the late effects associated with treatment and risk-reducing strategies that have negative, long-lasting effects. Why I Gave: “Floriene Lieberman [donor and advocate for The University of Kansas Cancer Center] has been a longtime family friend and a mentor to my mom, especially as she went through her battle with breast cancer. When Floriene shared with us the advances KU was making in fighting breast cancer, we felt it was our responsibility to support this great institution in our own backyard.” — Jim Gerson, president of Gerson Companies and son of Julie Gerson

Jerry and Lee Smith


Hall Center landscaping Donor: Jane Veatch Barber, college ’42, Lawrence

Public administration, architectural engineering

Gift: $40,000 in memory of her husband, Richard A. Barber, college ’32 and law ’34, who practiced law in Lawrence for more than 50 years and taught estate planning at the KU School of Law in the 1970s

Donor: Jerry Smith, architectural engineering ’54, master’s in public administration ’60, and his wife, Lee, Norman, Okla.

Purpose: To build a new, landscaped walkway on Mount Oread’s south slope. The walkway runs from behind the university powerhouse past the Hall Center for the Humanities to an adjacent parking lot and to Sunnyside Ave. When the Hall Center moved to its present location in 2005, an old walkway was removed and students wore a path through the grass. The new walkway follows that path.

Purpose: To create a $30,000 faculty fund and a $10,000 gift annuity for the Department of Public Administration, as well as a $10,000 gift annuity for faculty development in architectural engineering

steve puppe

Online Gifts


David Watson in 19 84


Why I Gave: “Dick Barber had a deep and enjoyable relationship with the Hall family in Kansas City, and naming this pathway in his honor is highly appropriate.” — Thomas V. Murray, classics ’69, son of Jane Veatch Barber and stepson of Dick Barber


veatch barber




in the 1960 Veatch Barber

Gift: $50,000

Why I Gave: “We established funds to benefit the faculty because of the positive experiences I had with so many professors. For instance, Ed Steen and Ethan Allen were the gurus of the city manager program. I was fortunate to be in school when they were there. There were so many great professors. “I had similar experience in the architectural engineering school. The professors involved me and guided me and nurtured me and took care of me. I wanted to do something to give back.” — Jerry Smith

November 2008–February 2009 Total giving: Average monthly giving: Average number of donors/month: Average gift amount: Largest gift:

$ 345,931 $ 86,483 226 $ 382 $ 20,000*

Rock Chalk Review Donor: David Watson, business ’84, Brookfield, Wis. Gift: $250 Purpose: To support the Ann Eversole Rock Chalk Revue Fund, which honors Eversole’s nearly 20 years of service as Revue adviser. Eversole, assistant vice provost for student success, plans to retire this year. Rock Chalk Revue marked its 60th year in March, as students put on five minimusicals at the Lied Center. Proceeds go to the United Way of Douglas County; Rock Chalk Revue is one of its largest contributors. Why I Gave: “My association with Rock Chalk and Ann Eversole started in 1981, and by my senior year, I was executive director. My donation expresses appreciation for the help and support of both Ann and our adviser, Pat Kehde. “I was involved in identifying United Way to receive Rock Chalk proceeds. This shifted them from the campus community to the broader community. The hundreds of students who participate make an amazing contribution. KU and the Lawrence community should be proud.” Why I Gave Online: “I like online; it’s just an easy way to do it.” ­— David Watson

*Deferred maintenance, Lawrence campus KUENDOWMENT.ORG |




For the next generations ku university relations

Engineering students will benefit from two new scholarships, one created by Gregs and Mettie Thomopulos, the other by Bill and Shirley Wall. Above, KU aerospace engineering professor Rick Hale and students work on the largest unmanned aerial vehicle ever built by students.

Scholarship will support engineering undergraduates Gregs G. Thomopulos came to KU in the 1960s as an international student on a scholarship. He went on to live the American dream. Now, he’s giving back. He and his wife, Mettie L. Thomopulos, are giving $300,000 to create a new scholarship for engineering undergraduates who show financial need. The fund will provide full tuition for two in-state students or one out-of-state student each year. Thomopulos, chairman and CEO of Stanley Consultants Inc., was born and raised in Nigeria. He came to KU through the African Scholarship Program of American Universities (ASPAU), which operated from 1961 through 1975. It provided scholarships for African

10 |


secondary school graduates to earn undergraduate degrees in the United States. The program was a cooperative effort among the U.S. Agency for International Development, African governments and U.S. universities. As African universities began to meet the need for undergraduate education, the program was discontinued. Thomopulos enrolled in KU’s civil engineering program in 1962 and formed a friendship with Irvin Youngberg, head of KU Endowment at the time. “He was a father figure to me, as my own father had passed away by then,” Thomopulos said. “My living stipend from the U.S. Department of State came through KU Endowment, and I got to know him. He took a personal interest in me. He wrote to my mother to tell her how I was doing in school. When she

got those letters, it made her day!” Youngberg also helped Thomopulos, who continued to take classes in the summer, to get a seasonal job through the KU buildings and grounds department. Thomopulos graduated in 1965 with highest honors and interned at Stanley Consultants in Muscatine, Iowa, before heading to graduate school at the University of California-Berkeley. After earning a master’s degree, he returned to Stanley Consultants. He spent the next 10 years on assignments in west and east Africa, and later became head of the company’s international division, traveling to 35 countries. In 1987, he became president of Stanley Consultants, and in 2000, CEO of the Stanley Group, the first nonStanley family member to hold the

lisa scheller

One of two scholarships created by Bill and Shirley Wall will assist students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, whose mortar boards carry white tassels.

position. He became chairman and CEO in 2007. The company provides engineering, environmental and construction services worldwide. Mettie Thomopulos earned a law degree from the University of Liberia and a master’s degree in hospital administration from the University of Iowa. She is an administrator at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The couple met while Gregs Thomopulos was manager of Stanley’s operations in Liberia. The KU School of Engineering honored Gregs Thomopulos in 2002 with its Distinguished Engineering Service Award.

Why I Gave: “Through the generosity of an international scholarship program in the 1960s, I had free tuition. I felt that if I was ever in a position to offer the same for some needy student — somebody who had the competency to enter the engineering program but was constrained by tuition — my wife and I would repay.” — Gregs G. Thomopulos


Gift: $300,000

Because they wanted to experience the joy their gift would bring, the grateful parents of two KU graduates gave sooner rather than later, creating two new scholarships. Seattle attorney Bill Wall and his wife, Shirley, designated their gift to KU through a program funded by ConocoPhillips. As a former board member of Burlington Resources, later acquired by ConocoPhillips, Bill Wall had the privilege of designating $1 million to a higher education charity upon his death. But after consultations with his wife and KU Endowment, he chose to make an early distribution valued at $550,000 to create the scholarships while he was still living. Their sons, alumni Daniel and David Wall, set the criteria for the scholarship funds. By making the gift now, the Walls can enjoy the philanthropy with their sons and meet the students who receive the scholarships. “I was glad to be in on the transfer, I must say,” said Bill Wall, who is 80. KU held a ceremony last fall to thank ConocoPhillips and the Wall family. “It was a beautiful day on the Hill,” Wall said. “One of those golden days.” Wall, former president, CEO and chairman of the board of Kansas Power and Light, said he and his wife will always be grateful for their sons’ KU education and for his career opportunities at KP&L. After leaving Kansas, Wall served on the board of directors

of Burlington Resources, which ConocoPhillips acquired in 2006. Wyandotte County students will be eligible for the Daniel Wall Engineering Scholarship. Daniel Wall, who lives in Mission, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at KU in 1983. He works for the Environmental Protection Agency in Kansas City, Kan. A scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, named for David Wall, of Mount Vernon, Wash., is for graduates of Topeka High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in personnel administration at KU in 1983 and a law degree from Washburn University in Topeka.

Leig h Ann Hartma

courtesy/thom opulos

Gregs and Mettie Thomopulos

Scholarships will help students in engineering, liberal arts and sciences

KU honored Bill Wall, center, and sons Daniel, left , and David , at a gathering on Mount Oread last fall .

Gift: $550,000 Why I Gave: “I felt the bonds of our sons having graduated from and been enriched by the university, and our family owes a lot to the state of Kansas. We’d be strange people indeed if we didn’t recognize a debt.” — Bill Wall KUENDOWMENT.ORG |





An $8.1 million grant from the Kauffman Foundation will help bring new drugs and biomedical aids to patients who need them. By Lisa Scheller

In search of new cures: Sitta Sittampalam, left, director of drug discovery for the Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation, meets with laboratory director Rathnam Chaguturu. They oversee researchers who measure the effects of new synthetic and natural compounds on living cells — and seek treatments for cancer and many other life-threatening diseases.

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KU Endowment seeks to raise an additional $8.1 million to match the Kauffman Foundation grant.This will complete an endowed fund supporting the new Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation. New graduate fellowships will play an integral role in the institute’s work.

steve puppe


magine the thrill of watching cancer cells die.

Inside a pharmaceutical laboratory in a new wing of KU’s Structural Biology Center, a highly automated and powerful microscope dispenses cancer-fighting compounds onto individual cancer cells. Often, it’s only a matter of hours before the cancer cells visibly begin to die, said Sitta Sittampalam, director of drug discovery for KU’s newly established Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation (IAMI). “Not only can we see if it’s killing the cancer cells,” Sittampalam said, “but also how it’s killing the cancer cells.” While chemotherapeutics have existed for decades, researchers want to create drugs that attack cancer cells without causing side effects such as nausea, hair loss and immunosuppression. An $8.1 million grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation established IAMI. The institute is directed by Scott Weir, director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s Office of Therapeutics, Discovery and Development. IAMI is not a building. It’s an umbrella that encourages collaborative research among scientists and bioengineers on KU’s Lawrence campus and at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. Weir described IAMI as a national model for translational research — taking ideas from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside — and for the development of tomorrow’s medical innovators. KUENDOWMENT.ORG |


Funding for fellowships In order to accomplish IAMI’s goals, it’s necessary to provide fellowship support to bring outstanding students to KU. Eventually, the institute will support fellowships for 10 graduate and four postdoctoral students. The first Kauffman fellowships will be awarded to at least seven researchers for the 2009-2010 academic year. Because none of the fellowships exist yet, here’s a look at some KU graduate students who are conducting research similar to what might occur through the institute. It’s 7 o’clock in the evening when Joshua Sestak returns to a laboratory in KU’s west campus Multidisciplinary Research Building. Sestak, a KU graduate student in pharmaceutical chemistry, is investigating therapeutics to treat multiple sclerosis. He plans to stay about 30 minutes, but one thing leads to another, and it’s

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“The Kauffman Foundation is investing in us,” he said. “ They’re confident that we’re going to deliver and that we’re going to establish an institute unlike any other in the U.S.” Sittampalam, who holds faculty appointments on both campuses, serves as deputy director of the KU Cancer Center’s drug development program. He said IAMI’s primary goal is to develop pharmaceuticals and biomedical devices to treat cancer, as well as neurological and metabolic diseases. Research conducted through the institute will run from initial idea through pre-clinical proofof-concept stage, when treatments are tested on laboratory animals. To train researchers who will be prepared to move their products to the marketplace, the institute will include a focus on business entrepreneurship through KU’s School of Business. “The Kauffman grant not only will bring drugs to proof-ofconcept, but also will train scientific researchers and bioengineers how to be entrepreneurs and bring their ideas into commercial ventures,” Sittampalam said. “That’s the gist of it.”

how to kill a cancer cell Normally, cells in our bodies have a finite lifespan. Cancer cells, however, do not. They continue to divide and create new cells, causing tumors or overproduction of certain cells. When cancer cells are healthy (left), the nucleus (stained blue) is round and smooth. Several hours after chemotherapeutics are applied (right), the cell becomes large and swollen, and the nucleus begins to break apart. Once the nucleus disintegrates, the cell dies. Because research has shown that cancer cells lose their ability to recover only if the nucleus is destroyed, pharmaceutical researchers are developing new chemotherapy drugs that target the cell nucleus. midnight when he leaves, tired but invigorated. “I do science,” Sestak said. “This is what I love to do.” If his research passes the proof-ofconcept stage, there’s a good chance it could advance to the marketplace. Aware of strong connections among autoimmune diseases, Sestak envisions carrying his research further. “If we find our therapeutic is successful in

certain types of cancer,” Sestak said. “Our hope is that we can use the same research we’re conducting to treat autoimmune diseases and, with some minor changes, we could also target specific cancers.” Across campus, bioengineering graduate student John Domann is working on a device that could

“The Kauffman grant not only will bring drugs to proof-of-concept, but also will train scientific researchers and bioengineers how to be entrepreneurs.”

— Sitta Sittampalam, director of drug discovery, Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation

treating multiple sclerosis, ideally, we can make simple changes to apply it to other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.” Sestak is attending graduate school on a Self Fellowship, created by Madison and Lila Self to recruit exceptional Ph.D. students in the sciences, engineering, business and economics. Research like his may someday help fight cancer. “It’s hypothesized that some of the mechanisms involved in autoimmune diseases are similar to those in

revolutionize the way spinal implants are designed and inserted. At a laboratory in KU’s Learned Hall, Domann works with Associate Prof. Lisa Friis, who led development of a model of the lower spine that will go on the market this spring. The model enables surgeons to test spinal implants before they’re used in back surgeries. Domann is helping Friis create an advanced version of the spine model, one that will include sensors to indicate how much force will be borne by the facet joints in the lumbar portion of

brian goodman

In a pharmaceutical laboratory in KU’s Multidisciplinary Research Building, students Joshua Sestak, Sheng-Xue Xie and Magdalen Obiefule seek new ways to formulate and deliver existing drugs for a variety of diseases and conditions. steve puppe

A model of the lumbar spine, new on the market this spring, will allow surgeons to test spinal implants prior to back surgeries. Lisa Friis, right, KU associate professor of mechanical engineering, led the team that invented the model. John Domann, bioengineering graduate student, is helping her develop an updated version that includes electronic sensors.



Denease Anderson/NIST

KU graduate engineering student Mark Bailey studies new ways to use nanoparticles to detect even the smallest of tumors. Bailey is spending a two-year internship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

the spine after surgery. Facet joints allow for freedom of movement as a person bends backward and forward, and rotates. “With this model, we hope it will turn out that you’re no longer just fixing and stabilizing a

portion of the spine, but also creating devices that allow the patient the same level of motion as before the spinal injury,” Domann said. The next step is to take the product from the laboratory to the

One recent invention, the NTrainer, a device that helps premature infants learn to suck, shows how the Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation will help researchers take products from the bench to the bedside. After KU professor Steven Barlow created a prototype for the NTrainer, KU’s business entrepreneur students created its business plan. KU’s Center for Technology Transfer directed the patent, trademark and licensing processes, then leased the product to a local entrepreneur, KC BioMedix, Inc. The result: The NTrainer received FDA approval in February 2008 and went on the market this year.

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“IAMI is all about harnessing research to save lives,” said Wally Meyer, director of KU’s School of Business entrepreneurship program. “The winners are numerous. KU gets a royalty, the faculty inventors get money that they spend back into their labs to develop more products, students get wonderful educational and employment opportunities, and — babies live, where before they were at risk.” Principal funding for the NTrainer’s development came from the National Institutes of Health, with additional support provided by Todd Sutherland, of Lawrence, and his mother, Norma Sutherland, of Fairway, Kan.

In a laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., KU graduate student intern Mark Bailey researches a nanoparticle-based design to create a new contrast agent for use in magnetic resonance imaging. The theory is that the nanoparticle formulation will greatly enhance the ability to view tumors in their earliest stages, or to view other areas inside the body. Bailey chose KU in part because of its entrepreneurial environment. He described KU as following a new paradigm that combines sciences with entrepreneurial training: “So you get idea generation and product development. But you also get the technology transfer element — there’s a good chance that whatever you develop will actually hit the market and make an impact on people’s lives.” Like Sestak, Bailey attends KU on a Self Fellowship. “It gives you the freedom to be innovative,” Bailey said, “because you’re not tied down to any other sort of funding obligation.” Bailey’s KU faculty adviser, Cory Berkland, said faculty members often obtain support for graduate students

Courtesy KC BioMedix Inc. 2009

Success story

marketplace. “You can develop a great bit of technology,” Domann said. “But if you don’t understand how to turn it into a successful product, your technology could just sit on the shelf and go to waste, losing its chance to benefit society.”

by applying for grants from national foundations. These grants tend to be tailored more to advancing science than to developing new products. “The Kauffman fellowships will allow students to figure out what they like and then work with their adviser to define a project,” Berkland said. “These fellowships open up space for their creativity and their independence.” Improving lives Berkland, a KU professor in chemical and petroleum engineering and pharmaceutical chemistry, said the beauty of IAMI is that it unites disciplines across KU’s campuses. He already knows firsthand that collaboration and discoveries can lead to startup companies. Berkland has helped start two companies,

Spencer said. “They ask, ‘How can I make a difference in the lives of those individuals who aren’t receiving the required treatment, and how do we make sure they get that treatment before it’s too late?’” Looking forward The institute is all about providing future researchers with the necessary tools: support, faculty mentoring, collaborative networks and stateof-the-art laboratory equipment. Equally important, they’ll be trained to take their skills out into the world so their discoveries will reach the people who need them. Meanwhile, at a laboratory in KU’s Structural Biology Center, research associate Peter McDonald locks the door of the lab as he leaves for the

“This is a powerful way to enable research that’s going to make a difference.”

— Cory Berkland, KU professor of chemical and petroleum engineering and pharmaceutical chemistry

night. Behind the door is an automated microscope and analysis system, which will automatically measure and analyze cancer cells that night after they’re treated with compounds to identify new chemotherapeutic drugs. By morning, when he returns, another ray of light will be shed on a disease that strikes nearly 1.4 million Americans each year. Like other researchers, McDonald knows someday there will be a cure for cancer. It’s just a matter of time.

• The institute’s goal is to foster innovative collaboration among researchers and bioengineers on KU’s Lawrence campus and at the KU Medical Center to hasten discovery and development of new drugs and medical devices. • Beckloff Associates, an Overland Park, Kan., pharmaceutical and biomedical consulting firm, will guide all IAMI projects through the regulatory approval process. • The institute includes funding for up to 24 pre-clinical proof-of-concept projects to advance innovation each year. • The institute’s fellowship curriculum will include training in business entrepreneurship. The fellowships will support 10 graduate students and four post-doctoral students.

Key players in IAMI Kauffman Foundation The University of Kansas Cancer Center KU School of Medicine KU School of Engineering KU School of Pharmacy KU School of Business KU Center for Research KU Office of Therapeutics, Discovery and Development Institute for Pediatric Innovation Children’s Mercy Hospital Beckloff Associates Other universities and hospitals steve puppe

one of which is housed in a business incubator at the KU Medical Center. “IAMI is funded by the Kauffman Foundation to pursue proof-of-concept studies to prove or disprove innovative ideas. In my opinion, that’s a powerful way to enable research that’s going to make a difference,” Berkland said. “It’s research that’s going to produce intellectual property and patents, research that’s going to end up as real products that will affect people’s lives.” Paulette Spencer, University Distinguished Professor and director of KU’s Bioengineering Research Center, said that whatever her students’ interests are, one constant holds true: “They care.” Bioengineering research runs the gamut from developing imaging devices for detecting cancer at its earliest stages, to creating a bioscaffold material, which helps cells rebuild damaged tissue after a massive injury. “What they look to first is, ‘How can I change the life of a patient?’”

Fast facts about IAMI


Your contributions to KU Endowment for the Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation can support graduate fellowships and other priorities. To help, please contact Stephanie Grinage at KU Endowment’s office at the KU Medical Center,, 913-588-5552 or 888-588-5249, or visit

Scott Weir directs the Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation. He is also director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s Office of Therapeutics, Discovery and Development.



The Work of Art

KU’s Spencer Museum explores ideas that take down the walls between the arts, humanities and sciences. A new grant will help redouble the museum’s efforts to immerse its collection in teaching and research. By Kirsten Bosnak and Charles Higginson Photos by Robert Hickerson

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T KU Endowment must raise $1 million to complete an endowed fund supporting a new director of academic programs at the Spencer.

he images — all ice, sun and water — can cause the viewer to lose any sense of scale. In one photograph, taken from a small aircraft, Greenland’s glacial cliffs rise above the sea, but are they 30 feet tall, or 300? Other images, shot on the ground, showcase more subtle beauty: delicate ferns and lichens. Chicago photographer Terry Evans’ images, part of the Spencer Museum of Art exhibition “Climate Change at the Poles,” explore this land of extremes. They also raise questions: How have people survived here? As the earth warms and ice diminishes at both poles, what will be the effect on those of us living thousands of miles away? The exhibition delves into past perceptions of the poles, too — through maps, the oldest drawn in 1570, from KU’s Spencer Research Library archives. It also showcases artifacts collected by Lewis Lindsay Dyche, KU natural history professor and explorer, on an 1895 trip to Greenland. The largest, an 18-foot sealskin kayak driven by Inuit hunters through the open ocean, would have given the seafarer an intimacy with water unmatched by today’s kayaks. For years, the Spencer has brought together scholars from fields as diverse as economics and physics to help create fresh exhibitions and programs. These interdisciplinary efforts are based on the belief that, especially in an academic museum, art and artifacts shouldn’t sit cloistered in boxes on shelves or hang on a wall mute and disconnected from the present. “A museum is a place to explore ideas and raise questions. It’s not just a storehouse,” said Spencer Director Saralyn Reece Hardy. “How do we treat our collections responsibly and make them relevant by relating them to current issues? That’s the big question for us now.”

“A museum is a place to explore ideas and raise questions. It’s not just a storehouse.”

— Spencer Director Saralyn Reece Hardy

Visit, and you’ll find information and images on past, current and upcoming exhibitions. What’s posted there gives of a hint of how big the job of developing and overseeing related programs has become. For years, Hardy and the museum’s curators and staff handled this interdisciplinary programming project by project. They saw the potential for how much could be accomplished with a full-time staff member dedicated to the job. So last year, the Spencer submitted a proposal to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for $1.2 million to support a new position: director of academic programs. And they got it. The first $200,000 covers the new staff member’s salary, benefits, travel funds and program support for two years. The remaining $1 million must be matched by other gifts. The result will be a $2 million endowment that permanently supports the position, which the museum hopes to fill by the end of 2009. The Mellon Foundation, New York, is a key supporter of the arts in academia. Its College and University Art Museums program is aimed at sustaining collaborations between museums and academic departments — and strengthening art’s educational use. The new grant is the Spencer’s fourth from Mellon. The examples on the following pages offer a glance at recent and ongoing Spencer exhibitions and projects, along with programming that reaches well beyond the museum.

Art meets climate change: At left, a visitor takes in Terry Evans’ photographs of Greenland’s coast and ice sheets. The Spencer commissioned Evans to travel with KU scientists and gather the images in conjunction with a larger exhibition, “Climate Change at the Poles.” KUENDOWMENT.ORG |


Top left: When this map was drawn in Belgium in 1570, Europeans had no direct knowledge of Antarctica — only a conviction that it must exist to balance the Arctic regions. This vastly oversized rendition was entirely imaginary. Top right: This blanket was made from the skins of more than 100 eiders, large sea ducks that are well insulated for deep dives. The birds’ natural markings create the blanket’s pattern. Left: Angela Watts, assistant collection manager, holds a small kayak, probably made by an Inuit father to introduce his child to kayakbuilding. The life-size version is mounted on the wall next to her.

Climate Change at the Poles This exhibition showcases changes in lifeways, technology, knowledge and society at the North and South Poles. Photographs, cultural artifacts, clothing, tools and maps are among items that reveal shifts both fast and slow. Items related to the North Pole are in the museum’s north upper gallery; items related to the South Pole are in the south upper gallery. The exhibition coincides with the fourth International Polar Year. Visit Exhibition highlights: • The fur suit Lewis Lindsey Dyche commissioned from an Inuit woman upon his arrival in Greenland in 1895 • Three original Inuit kayaks: a two-inch ivory miniature, a twofoot toy and an 18-foot sealskin vessel, with harpoons and spears • Images of ice cores and ice-penetrating radar scans from Antarctica • A series of maps illustrating increasingly accurate knowledge of the South Polar area over centuries, starting with a 16th-century map showing a vastly oversized Antarctica

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Related events: • “A Greenland Glacier: The Scale of Climate Change,” exhibition of a collection of photographs by Chicago-based artist Terry Evans, commissioned by the Spencer, in the Spencer’s Asian Gallery II, through May 24 • Performance of “The Ice Wolf,” a play based on an Inuit story, at the Lawrence Arts Center • Series of polar-themed talks, films and book discussions at the Spencer, co-sponsored by the Lawrence Public Library • Musical performances at the Lied Center • Children’s art appreciation classes at the Spencer Participants: • The National Science Foundation’s KU-headquartered Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) • Academic departments across campus • KU Anschutz Science Library • KU Spencer Research Library • Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence

20/21 Gallery This gallery, on the museum’s fourth floor, re-opened in 2007 after extensive redesign and redefinition. It focuses on works of the 20th and 21st centuries (hence the name). A “collection” area covers three walls, with works arranged chronologically. This is a relatively stable exhibition, though items such as quilts and prints are rotated in and out to preserve them. A “conversation” area occupies the fourth wall and extends into the room. It displays works on a common theme, such as “language” or “construction/destruction”; the displays change several times a year. Visit Exhibition highlights: • “The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley,” a 1934 painting by Thomas Hart Benton depicting a murder described in an old folk song • A quilt made in 1932 to mark George Washington’s 200th birthday • “Untitled #751” (Craig’s Piece), a wax and wire sculpture by Petah Coyne • A flat-file cabinet containing photographs, prints, jewelry, fabric items and more, protecting them from light exposure while providing access to a variety of items in a small space. The objects change regularly, offering visitors the chance to view seldom-seen works in the collection. • An interactive musical sculpture of 180 steel rods mounted vertically on a square base, intended to be lightly strummed by the visitor Participants in redesign: • Faculty from the departments of American studies, art, art history, economics, English, geography, history and physics; the School of Architecture; and the KU Honors Program

Above: The Spencer’s 20/21 Gallery displays works from the current and previous centuries. Below: Thomas Hart Benton’s “The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley.”

• Students in an architecture studio class, who proposed design solutions, including models • Students in an environmental studies and cultural geography class, who proposed ways to enrich the gallery as a cultural landscape • Students in a print connoisseurship seminar, who suggested groupings of paintings, sculptures and works on paper • Spencer staff members



Above, left and right: These two images came together in an exhibition of works related to 20th-century revolution. In the Spencer’s Teaching Gallery, classes from three KU departments viewed the exhibition, including “Body and Soul: Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes” (detail), photographed by Dan Wynn circa 1970, and “Zapata” (detail), a 1932 lithograph by Diego Rivera. Left: Museum staff members prepare materials in the Spencer’s print room. Visitors can walk in here most Fridays and ask to see items in the museum’s print collection.

Teaching out To embed the permanent collection into research and teaching at KU, museum staff members put together short-term topical collections for specific classes. The two-room Teaching Gallery is set aside for these displays. For a similar experience, guests can walk into the thirdfloor Print Room and request to see selections from the Spencer’s 15,000 prints, photographs and drawings (open most Fridays, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.). And for a truly worldwide reach, the museum has made virtually its entire collection available online at Activity summary: • More than 100 KU classes from across the university toured the museum during the fall 2008 semester. • More than 30 departments used works from the museum in their teaching and research during the 2007–2008 academic year.

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• Nearby institutions that use the museum’s collections include Haskell Indian Nations University, Washburn University, Emporia State University, Johnson County Community College, Neosho County Community College and the Kansas City Art Institute. Recent highlights: • An intermediate Spanish class viewed Latin American and Spanish art with themes of social and political dissent, including works by Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso and Diego Rivera. • Classes from the departments of Slavic Languages and Literatures and East Asian Languages and Cultures, as well as the Latin American Area Studies Program, viewed 20th-century art related to the idea of revolution.

Trees & Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature & Culture Imagine every metaphor related to the ideas “tree” and “branch”: flowchart, family tree, biological taxonomy, part vs. whole, river and stream, organizational chart, wood. This exhibition explores trees as metaphor, inspiration and resource in nature and in human cultures. It’s based on a varied collection of tree-centered images from the Spencer’s collection and then it, well, branches out. It’s on display through May 24, in the Spencer’s Central Court and The Commons at Spooner Hall. Visit Exhibition highlights: • “Structure of Thought 15,” a large recent work by Mike and Doug Starn combining an image of a tree with a microphotograph of neurons • A bower: an elaborate courtship structure built of twigs by a bowerbird and brought from New Guinea by a KU graduate student • Maps illustrating research predicting future geographic distribution, under different climate change scenarios, of tree species shown in some exhibited works Related events: • During the first three weeks of May, world-renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty, Chapel Hill, N.C., will craft a unique sculpture from locally harvested saplings on Jayhawk Boulevard in front of Spooner Hall

Above: Steve Goddard, senior curator of prints and drawings, organized “Trees & Other Ramifications.” Behind him, “Structure of Thought 15,” by Mike and Doug Starn, combines a microphotograph of neurons with a photograph of the famed Camperdown Elm in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, N.Y. Above, left: Among other images in the exhibition are, top, “Programmable Do-Gooders” (detail), etching, by Valerie Lueth, and “Tree Farm, Zibao,” (detail), photograph, by Pok-Chi Lau, KU professor of design.

• Exhibitions related to trees at five galleries in Lawrence and Kansas City, Mo., plus two student-organized shows on campus • Dance and musical performances based on the ideas of trees and ramifications Participants: • KU Natural History Museum & Biodiversity Research Center • KU Spencer Research Library • KU Department of Dance • KU Department of Design • KU School of Architecture and Urban Planning • Charlotte Street Foundation, Kansas City, Mo. • Emporia State University


To help match the Mellon Foundation grant supporting the new director of academic programs, contact Jim Mechler, or 785-832-7328, or give online at



Steve puppe

I am ku

Paul Tucker Director of Choral Activities

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Tucker teaches choral conducting and oversees KU’s 10 choirs, which perform throughout the year. He came to KU in 2004 and became director of choral activities last year. The choral program is a significant part of KU’s music program, ranked 12th in the nation among public universities by U.S. News & World Report. Tell us about your background in Jamaica. There were maybe a million people in Kingston, which sounds like a lot, but really it was a small environment; if you were in music, you knew everybody. When my twin brother, Stephen, and I went to the Jamaica School of Music, the guys who played with Bob Marley were there. We had great opportunities. Starting at 18, we were teaching music in private schools to the children of ambassadors. I think we need to find ways for kids to be in that kind of small environment, where people encourage them. I don’t believe competition makes you better, though you’d better be ready when competition comes. You’ve also been a professional pilot. Yes. After four years at the school of music, I went to Tulsa for aviation school. I found flying made my life complete. When I was flying, I was thinking about music, and when I was playing, I couldn’t wait to fly. Music is who I am, but the way I teach incorporates flying — as if it’s life or death. Your musical performance can make someone say, “I can go on.” And it’s about your students’ lives; they’re preparing to go out and teach. Every time I think about a performance, that idea is there.

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Tucker conducts two of KU’s ten choirs, including Chamber Choir, above. Under his direction, graduate conducting students lead the other eight choir groups.

Also in aviation, we deal with physics, and there are elements of physics in conducting. Everything conductors do imitates something from the physical world; the choir and the audience respond to our movement. Everybody has seen this reaction. So, when I say, for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction, students get it. Flying was never wasted for me. It’s still something I love. How does giving enrich KU’s choral program? Giving is a testimony. It says, “This means something to me.” I use Dr. Bob Daugherty, a donor, as my example. His story reminds me why I got involved in music. He jokes that nobody wants him in the choir, but years ago, Clayton Krehbiel, who was KU director of choral music from 1950 to 1966, went to Bob’s hometown of Meade, Kansas. He didn’t take a choir, but he spoke to the students and sang for them. Dr. Daugherty said that, as a boy, he cried when he heard Krehbiel sing because he didn’t know anything could sound so beautiful. Later, he came to KU and met his late wife, Sandra, who was in the choral program. He gives to the program to this day because he knows the influence music can have. He told me, “If you can touch one person out there the way Clayton touched me, that’s what I want.” Gifts help in many ways. They can help our choirs travel more and

reach out to people in those Kansas towns like Meade, and they help bring guests to work with our students. They also could provide scholarships for choral participants who are not music majors — outstanding students who work hard, who will be ambassadors for music later and will turn the light back on KU. What are some events concertgoers can look forward to in the coming year? For this year, we still have the May 3 concert at Bales Organ Recital Hall. We’ll perform Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem and a composition by the late John Pozdro, of our faculty, called “Spirit of Mount Oread.” Dr. Jared Grantham, a distinguished professor at the KU Medical Center, commissioned this piece, which is set to the words of the poem he wrote after his son and three other KU students died in an accident in 1987. All 10 choirs sing every semester. We tend to combine them, two in a concert. We’ll have our 2009-2010 calendar posted online fairly early this fall and in our fall newsletter for choral alumni. — Kirsten Bosnak


Support the choral programs by giving online at Or contact Teah Weiss at 785-832-7410 or Find out more about KU choral programs and events at


Bequests de-mythified illustration by chris millspaugh

A persistent set of myths surrounds estate planning. Let’s dispel a few of those myths specifically connected with bequests: My estate is too small to do any good. You don’t have to set up a milliondollar endowment to help a student, encourage a researcher or strengthen a program. Every penny of every gift to KU Endowment, no matter its size, goes to the purpose you choose. Besides, people of modest means often find, on examination, that their estates are larger than they thought. This isn’t the time to act. Recent economic conditions have chilled many of us. It’s tempting simply to close your eyes and wait for the thaw. Yet, careful estate planning may be more important now than ever. I already know what I’m doing. Unfortunately, some bequests are not stated as clearly as they should be. If you’re thinking of establishing a bequest, call us so we can help you word it in the clearest possible way. Our goal is to ensure that your wishes are carried out exactly as you intend, and we work regularly with financial advisers and attorneys to do just that. If you have questions about an existing bequest to KU Endowment, we’re here to help you. I’m too young for this. If you’re under 21, maybe so, but you probably wouldn’t have read this far. Otherwise, it’s never too early to establish a basic estate plan. The unexpected can happen. Having established a bequest, you retain control of your assets, and you can always revisit your plan if your circumstances change.

The Hyades, a cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus, are named for a group of sisters in Greek mythology. One of the sisters was Eudora, whose name means “good gift.”

Now, a dose of reality. A bequest to KU Endowment is the most reliable way to accomplish your desired result at KU. Simply include the following language in your will or trust: “I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to The Kansas University Endowment Association [specific amount, a percentage or residual of the estate, or description of specific property].” That’s all it takes, or add language defining your desired uses of the bequest, generally or specifically. All types of assets can pass through a bequest, including cash, securities, real estate and tangible personal property. Our gift planning staff is adept at helping you craft the most effective use of your estate to support KU. And you may find that the advice of your own legal and tax advisers also helps to dispel the myths. — Charles Higginson

Funds for a fellowship Gwen Jager, a lifelong Wichita resident, chose a bequest as her way to support advanced medical study at KU. Last October, Jager finalized plans to leave about $1 million to KU Endowment to establish an internal medicine fellowship on the KU School of Medicine campuses. Her late husband, Wichita physician Thor Jager, was renowned in the fields of pathology and internal medicine. The Dr. Thor and Gwendolyn Jager Fellowship will support physicians who have completed a residency and then undertake further clinical education and training in a sub-specialty. Most fellowships last one to three years, during which fellows care for patients under the supervision of physician faculty members. Jager’s planned bequest will fund at least one fellowship each year on the School of Medicine’s Wichita or Kansas City, Kan., campus.


For more information, call John Hillis at 785-832-7413 or visit If you have named KU Endowment in your estate plan, please let us know so we can welcome you to the Elizabeth M. Watkins Society. KUENDOWMENT.ORG |



Out of the classroom, into the world Ben busch

courtesy/sara shannon

Left: Political science major Sara Shannon’s internship with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led to an internship for the Obama campaign. Right: Ben Busch, an architecture major, took this shot of the roof of Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Milá, often called “La Pedrera,” in Barcelona.

Grants help honors students develop their talents off-campus. Last fall, as people across the country tuned in to the presidential debates, KU senior Sara Shannon was hard at work with Obama for America as a deputy field organizer in the battleground state of Missouri. As a full-time employee for the Obama campaign, she recruited and organized volunteers. After the election, she was hired to work for President Barack Obama’s inaugural committee, organizing service activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Shannon, of Ottawa, Kan., was asked to join the campaign after completing an internship as a speechwriter’s assistant in the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Her internship with Reid  was supported in part by a development grant from the KU Honors Program, funded by KU Endowment’s Greater KU Fund. “The Senate internship made me realize how important it was

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to get hands-on experience in an important political year,” she said. “The grant helped with the high cost of living in Washington, D.C., and my transportation costs, not to mention business attire.” Honors students like Shannon are required to have at least one extended out-of-classroom learning experience. Sarah Crawford-Parker, associate director for the Honors Program, said such opportunities sometimes require extra funding. “We want these experiences to be rewarding, and the development grants can give students the chance for an extraordinary experience,” she said. Another grant recipient, KU senior Benjamin Busch, spent the summer of 2008 taking a crash course in the German language in Vienna. He spent the past two semesters at the University of Potsdam in Germany, studying the architecture of nearby Berlin. Busch, who is from Omaha, Neb., said that his goal is to “become a designer of spaces” and that living abroad has helped sharpen his skills.

“If more students have the means to study abroad, our society will be much more open-minded,” he said. — Sarah Aylward

Honors Program development grants Opportunities • Study abroad • Research/creative projects • Internships • Service Support in 2008-2009 • $28,000 total awarded • 41 recipients each received $500 to $1,500 • Source: Greater KU Fund


Through your gift of $1,000 or more to the Greater KU Fund, you will be recognized as a member of The Chancellors Club. Give online at

AMONG FRIENDS lisa scheller


Winter/spring 2009 events


Talk about loyal fans: These donors hardly miss a home football or men’s basketball game. Cheering on the Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse toward the end of regular-season play are (1) 1938 KU football team captain David Shirk, bachelor’s ’39 and master’s in education ’51, and his wife, Margaret, class of 1939, Lawrence; and (2) Dr. Earl Merkel, MD ’57, and his wife, Kathleen, Russell, Kan., who since 1986 have missed just two basketball games, one because of a blizzard and one to attend the 2008 Insight Bowl game. &


lisa scheller

lisa scheller



From left, alumnae Doris Owens, Jackie Shmalberg and Sallie Morrison visit after the Women Philanthropists for KU Advisory Board meeting, Jan. 9 at The Commons in Spooner Hall. Find more information and photos from this event at






Advancement Board Chair Cheryl Jernigan greets board member and former Kansas state senator Dick Bond, political science ’57 and juris doctorate ’60, at the group’s Jan. 20 holiday party. The Advancement Board, a group of business and civic leaders, works to develop philanthropic, community and political support for The University of Kansas Hospital, the KU Medical Center and Kansas University Physicians Inc.



Twelve-time Olympic swimming medalist Dara Torres (center) was the featured guest at “Girls’ Night In: An Evening Celebrating Women’s Heart Health” Feb. 11 at The University of Kansas Hospital. Cardiologist and guest speaker Dr. Marina Hannen (left) and Katie Van Luchene, event chair, took a moment for a photo with Torres.


On March 12, the KU Medical Center Department of Pediatrics announced its new fund at the KU Kids Fund Kickoff. Dr. Chet Johnson, department chair, and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Atkinson greeted guests. The KU Kids Fund helps support the department’s efforts to provide primary and specialty pediatric care to children at reduced rates. Give at KUENDOWMENT.ORG |



Students need you now more than ever

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KU enrollment reached an all-time high of 30,102 students during 2008-2009.

student aid won’t end. Likewise, we want to give graduate students the resources to put their best energy into study and research. Graduate fellowship holders work alongside top faculty researchers in making significant contributions to society. NCI designation — Achieving National Cancer Institute designation for the KU Cancer Center has been KU’s number-one goal since 2005. This designation would give us access to the leading clinical trials and special research funding available only to such centers; that translates into the best care in the region. The cancer center also is expected to generate more than 9,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in annual economic activity, so it’s in the best interest of the region to meet this goal. Deferred maintenance — KU has more than 50 priority deferred maintenance projects. The renovation of historic buildings is a visible part of this, but improvements you don’t see — such as up-to-date air handling systems and other upgrades that greatly affect the learning environment — are a primary component. During my 14 years as chancellor, I have had the chance to meet many of you at gatherings around the country.

I have always been impressed with and thankful for your consistent generosity and unwavering interest in KU. After I step down to return to teaching and research — the core of every great university — KU will keep in touch with you. I ask your support for the incoming chancellor, for whom a search is taking place now. Most importantly, I ask your continued support for our students, current and future, who dream a world that is healthy, green and peaceful. ku university relations

Scholarships and fellowships — Until every deserving student has access to a KU education, the need for

ku university relations


residing at commencement has been one of my most rewarding experiences as chancellor, and this year will be my last time. Many of you no doubt have heard of my intention to step down on June 30, 2009. On that day, my thoughts will be not only with this year’s graduates but also with those students who hope to begin their freshman year at KU this fall. Will those students have the financial resources they need, or will some of them have to put their educational plans on hold? When I came to KU in 1995, most of the students who will graduate this spring were in elementary school. KU enrolled 27,600 students. The national economy was strong. Microsoft had just introduced Windows 95, and the Internet stock market boom was just beginning. Today we face an economic crisis unlike anything most of us have ever seen. Yet, we cannot fail our students. This past academic year, for the first time, enrollment exceeded 30,000. Our incoming freshmen had the highest average ACT score ever. In fiscal 2008, you, our donors, created 86 new scholarship funds. Thanks to you and past contributors, we were able to provide a record amount of student aid: $29.6 million. The bottom line is that more students are coming to KU, and they have great potential. Many rely on your support. I know many of you have been affected by the economic downturn, but I ask that you continue to give, as generously as you can, to our urgent needs and to those areas of KU closest to your heart. I want to name three key areas in need of your support.

Robert E. Hemenway Chancellor, University of Kansas

SUPPORT STUDENTS NOW Those who would like to honor Chancellor Hemenway’s service may make a commemorative gift to the KU General Scholarships Fund at

brian goodman


High on a hill At a shallow limestone cliff eight miles northeast of Mount Oread, woodland meets prairie. To the south, the fertile flatlands of the Kansas River Valley roll out in a patchwork dotted with farmhouses. A gravel road winds to the west, then turns toward the north. There’s no hint of the bustle of Jayhawk Boulevard or the university’s busy urban campuses. But this, too, is KU. At his death in 1894, Charles Robinson, the state’s first governor, bequeathed land near this spot for KU’s future use. Later, other donors helped expand the area, and in 1947, it became an active research site. Today, its 1,600 contiguous acres are part of KU’s Field Station and Ecological Reserves, a group of native and managed habitats and

experimental research areas, with public shelters and interpretive nature trails. The newest tract, the Suzanne Ecke McColl Reserve, buffers the Rockefeller Prairie, a remnant of native prairie. The McColl will become an educational site to help visitors enjoy the prairie and learn why such areas should be preserved. KU third-year architecture students have gotten in on the project, making it easy to take in the view toward Mount Oread. With the help of Dick and Sue Himes of Lawrence, who gave funds for construction supplies, the students designed and built a 400-square-foot deck on the cliff at the prairie’s edge. The Westar Energy Green Team provided lumber cut

from recycled telephone poles for the structure’s floor and bench. “This is probably the first time, in their fledgling careers in architecture, that the students got to see the results of something they designed,” said their professor, Nils Gore. It’s one of the most recent learning experiences to take place at the ecological reserves, which are protected in perpetuity by KU Endowment. To learn more about the development of trails and other lowimpact educational features at the KU Field Station and Ecological Reserves, or to give, contact Jenna Goodman, 785-832-7417 or, or visit — Kirsten Bosnak

lisa scheller

KU third-year architecture students built the woodand-steel viewing platform at the Rockefeller Prairie.



Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Lawrence, Kansas Permit No. 72

P.O. Box 928 Lawrence, KS 66044-0928

it is no lesson — it lets down the bars to a good lesson, and that to another, and every one to another still.”

— Walt Whitman, “Who Learns My Lesson Complete?” Leaves of Grass

steve puppe

“Draw nigh and commence;

Profile for KU Endowment

KU Giving Issue 7  

KU Giving is published three times a year by KU Endowment, the private fundraising foundation for the University of Kansas. We welcome your...

KU Giving Issue 7  

KU Giving is published three times a year by KU Endowment, the private fundraising foundation for the University of Kansas. We welcome your...

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