Jayhawks Flock Together

Virtual fundraiser nets $100,000 for student and alumni programs, Campus Cupboard

Always Jayhawks | Jayhawks Flock Together | Virtual Fundraiser

The Association hosted its first virtual fundraising event, Jayhawks Flock Together, Nov. 19 in support of student and alumni programs and KU’s Campus Cupboard, a food pantry for students, faculty, staff and affiliates. The event was presented in partnership with Dimensional Innovations, Helix Architecture + Design and McCownGordon Construction and supported by video production sponsor KJO Media.

The Association typically hosts two large fundraising events each year, the Rock Chalk Ball in Kansas City and the Jayhawk Roundup in Wichita. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Association reimagined both traditions as a virtual event, in which Jayhawks across the globe could participate.

Always Jayhawks | John Holt

The event included a pre-party, followed by a live broadcast, which was hosted by John Holt, j’81, l’84, co-anchor of Kansas City’s FOX 4 News. The program also featured Chancellor Doug Girod and Association President Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, along with an interactive fundraising segment and silent auction.

Nearly 750 Jayhawks worldwide participated in the event, which raised $80,000 from sponsorships and the silent auction to support the Association’s Jayhawk Career Network and the Student Alumni Network, and $20,000 from the Fund-the-Future portion of the live program to benefit the Campus Cupboard, which the chancellor selected to highlight the seriousness of food insecurity and its effect on Jayhawks.

According to KU, about one-third of students experience food insecurity, and those needs have only intensified amid the COVID-19 pandemic with the loss of jobs on campus and in the community.

“We deeply appreciate the generosity of KU alumni and friends who contributed financially to the KU Campus Cupboard,” says Jennifer Burlingham Wamelink, ’03, associate vice provost for Student Affairs and Food for Jayhawks committee member. “Your gifts help the pantry provide students with specific food items, hygiene products and school supplies that meet their unique needs and are particularly meaningful as we prepare for what looks to be another difficult semester for many.”

“We are especially proud to support the KU Campus Cupboard to help students who are struggling with food insecurity and hunger,” Peterson says. “In addition, these funds are critical to the Association’s efforts to expand industry and career connections between all Jayhawks and significantly enhance the student experience. We are grateful for all event sponsors and Jayhawks who came together during a very challenging time to positively impact thousands of students and alumni.”

Always Jayhawks | Campus Cupboard
The Campus Cupboard is located on the 4th level of the Kansas Union and provides food, personal care and kitchen items for students, faculty, staff and affiliates. Photograph by Steve Puppe