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The ABCs of the University of Kansas

The ABCs of the University of Kansas

Considering I am a current student at the University of Kansas, it’s hard not to be biased when talking about the greatest school in America. However, I will try to keep my feelings in check as I discuss the 26 components that alphabetically represent KU. I hope you can enjoy this list I have created; it covers nearly every aspect of the university in terms of past, present and future. Rock Chalk.


Allen Fieldhouse

This historical building, named after the infamous “Phog” Allen himself, was dedicated in 1955. Since then, it has hosted numerous sports, teams and tournaments. Currently it is home to the women’s and nationally ranked KU men’s basketball team that 16,300 attendees can witness win every year.


Best Downtown

Even though it is technically off-campus, Mass Street is the soul of the city that houses the University of Kansas. The main-strip of downtown has the restaurants, bars, shops, and personality that best encompasses the overall spirit of the Jayhawk community.



Located on Mount Oread (the highest point in Lawrence, KS), KU’s campus spans over 1,000 acres covering many hills and lots of land. The red-roofed buildings are a key identifier when it comes to locating the campus from all around. Although, it isn’t hard to spot the most beautiful college campus in all of America.



Some may be inclined to think that this category is based around ethnicities and the diversity KU has. However, due to the fact that the university is 72% white, this category is geared toward the diversity of life. Being located in Kansas, there is a high chance to believe that the school is quite conservative….this is incorrect. The university is an incredibly diverse political outlet. As I like to put it, it is the “blue city in a sea of red”.




Exceptional LPD

Like in any college town, the police are always on high-alert. This is also true at KU, but how many college students can say that their police department did a Running Man Challenge and also keeps a great personality on social media outlets?

Follow @LawrenceKS_PD on Twitter


Football Tailgates

Okay…hear me out. Yes, the team might have had a 0-12 record in 2015 and is constantly compared to the football powerhouse of rival K-State (their record was also less than impressive at 6-7); the student tailgates never fail. While the actual attendance to the game has stopped, the tradition of filling the hill with tents and celebrating the school have not ceased!


Greek Life

Nearly 18% of the undergraduate population is involved in Greek life (admittedly, it feels higher when you’re actually on campus). There are many traditions that have sprouted since 1873 and with over 45 fraternities and sororities, it is hard not to realize that this life provides a huge amount of service and personality to Lawrence.

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Honestly, this deserves it’s own article…which I may write one day…but until then, it is unfair to highlight some of the history this university has seen. Just know that it is there and if you start reading about it, you will find yourself in a never-ending spiral of Jayhawk pride.



Incredible Freebies

Every day on Wescoe Beach there are tables from different organizations promoting their cause, asking for donations, feeding the breakfast-deprived students, or handing out t-shirts. It is incredible the KU garb you can get just by walking around campus.



Big Jay and Baby Jay are iconic mascots around the Lawrence community. They attend most athletic events, many school activities, multiple appearances and are even featured in some commercials. They’re unique personalities make them inseparable and also very fun to watch. You won’t find many (or any) other universities with two furry friends.


Kick-ass Connections

Alumni from KU are scattered not only across the nation, but also internationally. This is just one of the many ways students benefit from having the university name on their resume. No matter where you are in the world, there will always be someone from the Jayhawk family nearby.



This is everything; being less than an hour away from the fastest growing mid-western city, Kansas City (home to the 2015 World Series Champions…sko Royals), the literal center of the United States and in close to proximity to the other Big 12 schools, it is the perfect location to stay connected with friends and family, while still being in the heart of America.




Have you ever heard of “Mario’s Miracle”? Of course you have, but have you heard of the many medical and technological miracles that have been developed by KU students and implemented across the nation? Well, they are being used and working to save lives every day.


Notable Alumni

There have been many successful, and quite famous, students who have graduated from the University of Kansas. Some of these include, but are certainly not limited to, Paul Rudd, William Allen White, Rob Riggle, Clyde Tombaugh (he discovered Pluto, like wow), and Alan Mulally (president and CEO of Ford Motor Company).



Much like the history of KU, the opportunities that the university has for it’s students is vast and endless. There are chances for the students to study abroad, make technological advances, invent new medicine practices, create memories, enjoy life and be successful academically and personally.



It may not be as iconic as Chicago deep-dish, but the pizza that Lawrence has to offer never disappoints. The Wheel, located at 14th and Ohio, provides an excellent snack after a night out. One patron even went as far to say it is the, “Epitome of a college bar. In the best way possible.” If you’re looking for a cheaper option, Pizza Shuttle is a great option.



Quality Education

According to, KU is ranked #115 overall for national universities. However, if you ask any student who has attended, they will be quick to inform you that the education and classroom experience that is received from the university should it place it much higher on the list…closer to #1 perhaps.


Recreation Center

The student recreation center is a very popular getaway for students and professors who need to keep both their minds and bodies active. The large variety of machines, free weights, courts and rentable equipment make it the perfect spot to help the population stay fit and motivated.


Support System

Everyone at KU has each other in the best interest. While there may be some classroom competition, there is always someone there to help. Even if it is something as small as opening a door or as large as editing your papers, the community that KU has created makes everyone feel supported and comfortable.

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Natacha Namphengsone, a peer advisor for new KU students, says she and some fellow student advisors were starting their afternoon shifts when it hit them — they had never snapped a selfie with the Jayhawk. Namphengsone says, “It was the last day of the first Orientation week so we were ready to finish the day strong." Peer advisors help other students who have questions about academic advising, campus resources, and services. "What makes us different from the professional advising staff here is that we are all current KU students and so we are able to share our stories and similar experiences with them,” she says. “Our job is to make them feel comfortable and excited about their journey as a Jayhawk. There’s nothing better than making someone’s day.” Have you taken a photo with the Kansas Union Jayhawk? #exploreKU on #NationalSelfieDay!

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The Crimson and Blue doesn’t just stop at the face-value of their colors. The two are intertwined in nearly every flag, t-shirt, banner, magnet, song, classroom and pin on campus. The color combo is just the visible surface of the deeper rooted traditions held deep within the hearts of all past, present and future Jayhawks.


Unlimited Resources

From tutors to mock-interviews to paper revision centers and medical facilities for students, there is not a need that a student will have that goes unattended to. The only challenge with the vast number of resources, is knowing where to find them and which one is right for the need you are trying to resolve.



Yes, the university makes all visitors feel welcomed, but this particular section is in relation the famous visitors. The Univerisy of Kansas has hosted many large names from politics to reality T.V. Recent faces around campus have been Ellen DeGeneres, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Kimmel.


Waving the Wheat

Noted as one of the most iconic traditions, this simple actions is used at many athletic events and is modeled after the State itself. By simply raising your arms above your head and swaying them back and forth, you are partaking in a notorious KU tradition.




eXciting Weekends

(I know, I stretched this a bit, but X is very hard) The weekend life in Lawrence has many opportunities for students. Whether you’re heading down to the Granada for a concert or heading to Mass for some fresh beverages, there is always something to o to keep your weekend interesting.


Yearning to Walk the Hill

It’s in the back of every undergraduate’s mind as they pursue their education year-in and year-out. The tradition of walking through the Campanille, down the Hill, and into Memorial Stadium is something that every Jayhawk looks forward to.


Zillion times better than anywhere else…

The decision to go to KU and embrace the Jayhawk community is one that is rarely regretted. The university is an incredible academic choice as well as a great place to make memories with other college students. Rock Chalk.

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Exactly 100 years after her grandfather graduated from the University of Kansas, fourth generation Jayhawk Priscilla Pringle reflected on her upcoming graduation. “As a senior, one is often planning ahead for the future and thinking about the changes that will happen after graduation,” Pringle says. When she stopped to capture a picture of her 1-year-old Australian Shepherd, Bea, she realized it would be one of the last spring days as a student on campus. Pringle’s advice to her classmates? “Don’t forget to stop and smell the tulips because it all goes by in the blink of an eye.” We couldn’t have given better advice ourselves, Priscilla. Make sure to #exploreKU and smell those beautiful tulips, Jayhawks.

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Which of these ABC’s was your favorite? Comment below and share this article with friends!
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