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The University of Kansas


As our graduates marched through the Memorial Campanile, down the Hill, and into Memorial Stadium, they joined 150 years of Jayhawk tradition, history, and accomplishments ... and took the first steps into their future.

As Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the Commencement crowd: "To leave here with a degree makes you an alum, but to leave here with a desire to improve the world around you — that’s what makes you a Jayhawk."

We are so proud of our Jayhawk Class of 2016!

Want more Commencement?
Check out our photo album:
Read about the day’s events:
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There were no trees. Only one building stood tall on the hill called Mount Oread. And not a single one of the roughly 50 students who showed up for the first day of class in 1866 was prepared for college courses. These tidbits of history — in photographs, newspaper clippings, and other records — were part of the exhibit “Achievement of a Dream: The Birth of the University of Kansas” at the Spencer Research Library as part of KU’s 150th anniversary celebration.

See the full length Inside KU here:

See more about #KU150 years at
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#KUgrads, relive the happy tears, joyous cheers & everything in-between from Commencement. Click through our album to relive the celebration on the Hill:
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Commencement is just around the corner and we are excited. We wanted to be helpful, so we put together a list of the most frequently asked questions:

• Do you know which side of the Hill your KU grad will be walking down? Check out the map above and make sure to ask your student before you split up for the day's events. Given the number of people, cell service may be slow.

• Parking is plentiful and complimentary all weekend long.

• Do you need accessible seating? Please view this site ( for locations and assistance.

• If severe weather is expected the day of Commencement, a decision to postpone will be made by 9 a.m. We will update here and on Twitter.

• Not sure how to get to Memorial Stadium? Get personalized directions here:

• Unable to attend Commencement? Watch via our online webcast.

Have a question that isn't answered here? We have a site for that: If you're still not getting a specific question answered, just send us a direct message and we'll help. #KUgrads  
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Get the Jayhawk experience - in Kansas City. The faculty is top-level. The programs are top-rated. The resources are top-quality. The experience? Unparalleled.

Since 1993, when the University of Kansas expanded its tradition of academic excellence to Overland Park, Greater Kansas City residents have been coming together as Jayhawks. Each student has an important story, and the Edwards Campus is there to continue it with education and success. Are you ready to pursue your anything?

#exploreKU's Edwards Campus further:
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Once Mount Oread becomes spotted with reds, yellows, oranges, and pinks, Jayhawks are cued to embrace the outdoors. Classes meet outside, students seek optimal hammocking locations, and there is a lively sensation on campus as Jayhawks follow their varied paths toward the end of the semester.

Spring on the Hill: a seasonal reminder that there is no place like KU. Scroll through our spring color album to experience the season of vibrance, growth, and exploration. Check out our photo album here ( and remember to #exploreKU on a daily basis.
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Throwback Thursday at KU: Did you know that Wescoe Hall was first envisioned as a majestic 25-story skyscraper? Original 1967 plans called for it to be the tallest building in Kansas and third-tallest educational building in the U.S.

The first architectural drawings included a tower, two five-story wings, 149 classrooms, 487 faculty offices, a 300-seat auditorium, and 150 parking spaces.

However, the bids for the project came in at $7 million, far above the $5.8 million budget. By 1968, the architects had pared Wescoe to 15 stories, but rapidly rising costs led KU to start over from scratch. In 1969, a Topeka architecture firm came up with a scaled-down, four-story concrete building that cost $8 million.

Construction began in May 1971 and the building was dedicated on April 20, 1974. It included 300 faculty and departmental offices in 12 humanities departments, 60 classrooms, two language labs, two auditoriums, and a cafeteria.

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Throwback Thursday at KU: Can you guess the first song played on the carillon in KU’s Memorial Campanile? Erected 65 years ago, the limestone bell tower was a tribute to the 277 KU men and women who had given their lives in World War II.

The concept of the Campanile for a war memorial won out over more practical projects including an outdoor swimming pool, an outdoor theater, a new field house, new residence halls, a radio center, and even additional tennis courts. The war memorial committee decided to go with a non-utilitarian project — a prominent tower with a 53-bell carillon played by keyboard-operated hammers. As the bells chimed, the peals would be a reminder of KU’s honored dead.

After a five-year fund-raising drive, construction on the 120-foot limestone tower began in 1950. That first song? “America,” also known as “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” was played at the dedication in May 1951.

Learn more on KU History:
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"Remember your nest; return to it often. And never forget this unique bird that has set you free.” – David Ambler, KU Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Emeritus

Rock Chalk, #KUgrads Class of 2016!
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#KUtbt: Did you know KU’s first graduate and valedictorian was a woman? On June 11, 1873, Flora Richardson was the first of the four members of KU’s initial graduating class to receive a diploma.

This Commencement ceremony was seven years in the making because the first students needed several years of preparatory classes before beginning college-level study.

Before an audience of about 1,000 in University Hall — later known as Fraser Hall — Richardson presented an “oration,” an essay written in flowery Victorian-style prose, titled “Uses of Superstition.” Superstition, she said, helped to further intellectual inquiry by inspiring reverent curiosity about the world.

Richardson went on to receive a master’s degree from KU and taught in Lawrence-area schools. She married, had a family, and is still connected to KU through her descendants.

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Scholar. Leader. Humanitarian. To be described in any of these ways is commendable, but to be all three? That’s Gates Cambridge worthy.

Alex Kong, a senior in pharmaceutical studies, is the second Jayhawk to receive the prestigious scholarship in two years.

The Gates Cambridge program, established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will fund Kong’s postgraduate studies at Cambridge University as he continues to research infectious diseases that plague developing countries.

Kong is used to thinking big-picture about global health, but he hasn’t overlooked the immediate needs of his local community. After years of volunteering, Kong launched a health education program at the Lawrence Community Shelter. The program includes monthly health presentations, an after-school program, and a “Humans of New York” style photography series to get the word out about public health in Lawrence.

In addition to his research and volunteer work, Kong is working on a minor in creative writing and sings with an a cappella group — and he believes these opportunities are what molded him into a strong candidate for the Gates Cambridge.

“I’ve been able to pursue all kinds of different interests without being told they would distract or detract from my studies,” says Kong. “KU has given me a very holistic, transformative education and — more than anything else —the ability to forge my own way.” #BestofKU  
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Six fossil species are 'snapshot' of primates stressed by ancient climate:

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(785) 864-2700
The University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas 66045
Lifting students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.
The University of Kansas currently enrolls just under 29,000 students from all over Kansas, the United States and the world.

KU has 50 ranked academic programs, offers more than 130 study abroad programs, and provides more than $72 million in scholarships and grants to students each year. 

KU students have won more Rhodes Scholarships, and more federally sponsored research is conducted at KU, than at all other Kansas universities combined.