Letter from KU Endowment: J-School embodies the Jayhawk community


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In my many travels to meet with fantastic J-School Jayhawks around the country, I regularly reference the Jayhawk community. While numerous institutions of higher learning talk about and sell their “networks,” which are certainly robust and highly acclaimed, I’ve noticed the Jayhawk “network” is more than that; we truly are a community. The Jayhawk community, taken in whole, rivals any “network” accomplishments (and exceeds them in many cases). From new grads to executives, across industries and eras, all of us are there, pulling for one another nearly all the time.

Networks are great and necessary, but our community comes with some big bonuses. We value old-fashioned Midwestern hospitality. We say please. And thank you. And you’re welcome. A lot. We let people into traffic. We hold doors for others, and we hustle when someone holds a door for us. We are, generally speaking, nice people. So are people from other universities, but being “Midwestern, state U” comes with a sense of belonging and pride because of the people and our connections to one another.

We know and do what’s right. We still believe in the smell test. We fess up to our mistakes but try to hide our shortcomings. We trust people until they give us reason not to do so. We eat a healthy amount of comfort food -- for all three meals most days.

These qualities and many more are what have come to define our community over time and in 2017, these qualities rang truer than ever.

The recent commitment of a donor family to establish the Ed and Zora Belle Hundley Scholarship in the J-School embodies that sense of community perfectly. The Hundley Scholarship is for an undergraduate senior and/or graduate student with academic merit. This is typical of a scholarship at KU. What is special about the Hundley Scholarship is that it expresses that “preference shall be given to students who have helped a community see itself as it is, and as it aspires to be, through journalism or exemplary community service.”

As we wrap up what has been a challenging year in a multitude of ways for many people and myriad communities, I can think of no better sentiment to keep the Jayhawk community moving forward into 2018.

Warmest winter wishes for you and your family, and may the Jayhawk community prosper and serve all of us well.

Rock Chalkin’ into 2018,
Patrick Allen

P.S. If you want to support the J-School Jayhawk community or just say “Rock Chalk!” you may do so here or contact me at 785-832-7352 or pallen@kuendowment.org. Thank you!