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University Relations

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September 30, 2005
Contact: Lynn Bretz, University Relations, (785) 864-8866.

New KU TV ad, 'A Great Place to Be,' produced by KU alumni, staff, students

LAWRENCE -- A new television commercial promoting the University of Kansas debuted this month and will be seen at selected football and basketball games and during selected broadcasts of KU football and basketball games.

Called "A Great Place to Be," the 30-second film features dozens of KU students and four faculty members and was produced by KU alumni, staff and students. Longer versions will be produced for the KU Web site and other venues.

The spot, which focuses on KU's acclaimed faculty and tradition of success, can be viewed online.

" Art directing this spot was a joy," said Beth Keefe, electronic media designer at University Relations and a 2004 KU graduate in graphic design who served as editor and creative director for the project. "We did a good deal of research and conceptualization in order to tell the KU story in a unique and memorable way.

" People from my hometown in New York say some crazy things to me when I tell them that I went to school in Kansas," Keefe said. "It was a personally rewarding experience for me to show a national audience what KU and Kansas are really like and to do it in a way that highlighted the skills and experiences I have gained while studying here. KU truly is a great place to be."

Frank Barthell, electronic media coordinator for KU, produced the spot along with Ed Leydecker from Wide Awake Films, a 1979 KU graduate in personnel administration and speech and drama. Shane Seley, also with Wide Awake Films and a 1991 KU graduate in journalism, was director of photography. Brett Turner Francis of Kansas City, Mo., composed the music with consultation from Bryan "Kip" Haaheim, KU professor of music and dance.

Jenna Bleecker, a KU sophomore from Mankato, said she had lots of fun working on the spot. "I really learned a lot about the shooting process. I didn't realize it took so much time to make a short piece. Film is something I am aspiring to be a part of, so this experience really got my feet wet!"

KU professors in the film included Orley "Chip" Taylor, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; John Staniunas, associate professor of theatre and film; Susan Pingleton, Peter T. Bohan Professor and chair of internal medicine; and Stan Lombardo, classics professor.

Students in the video are listed below by county, state or country, with hometown, level in school, majors or degrees and, when available, parent names and high schools attended.

From Great Bend
Abigail L. Boone, junior in pre-pharmacy, daughter of Dan and Linda Boone; Great Bend High School.

From Lawrence
Mildred Boone-Salazar, senior in history and international studies, daughter of Townsend Peterson; Argo Community High School, Summit, Ill.

From Grantville
Jessica Hildreth, junior in pre-sport science and community health, daughter of Randy Hildreth and Deana Merryman; Perry-Lecompton High School, Perry.

From Mankato
Jenna Marie Bleecker, sophomore in theatre and film, daughter of John Bleecker; Mankato High School.

From Lenexa
James P. Griffin, junior in communication studies and sociology, son of Frank and Christine Griffin; Rockhurst High School, Kansas City, Mo.
Andrew Warner Gunnison, senior in English and history of art, son of Mark and Teri Gunnison; St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Overland Park.
From Olathe
Kevin Brian Kritzer, senior in chemistry and Germanic languages and literatures, son of Patricia Kritzer; Olathe North High School.
From Overland Park
Erica Catherine Neumann, junior in pre-journalism and pre-elementary education, daughter of Cathy Lawrenz; Shawnee Mission East High School.
Rachel Elizabeth Peart, junior in design, daughter of Teresa Booker; Shawnee Mission South High School.
John Tran, senior in philosophy and political science, son of Doan and Nhuong Tran; Shawnee Mission South High School.

From Oswego
Timothy J. Fuller, August 2005 graduate with a bachelor's degree in art (painting concentration), son of Tim and Tracy Fuller, Oswego High School.

From Emporia
Courtney Clark, senior in design, daughter of Roger and Linda Clark; Emporia Senior High School.

From Lindsborg
Benjamin Arnold Pera, master's degree student in mathematics, son of Stephen and Ruth Pera; Beatrice Senior High School, Beatrice, Neb.
From McPherson
Emily L. Black, senior in history of art with a minor in women's studies, daughter of John and Yolanda Black; McPherson High School.
Max D. Wick, senior in history of art and psychology, son of Robert and Connie Wick; McPherson High School.

From Elkhart
James F. Horton, May 2005 graduate with a bachelor's degree in theatre and film, son of Kenneth and Margaret Horton; Elkhart High School.

From Hutchinson
Catherine Marie Shafer, senior in history and Spanish, daughter of Lawrence and Maria Shafer; Nickerson High School.
Abigayle Lynne Woody, freshman in English and history, daughter of Joe and Geni Woody; Hutchinson Senior High School.

From Salina
Adam Charles Engel, doctoral student in pharmacy, son of Curtis and Cynthia Engel; Salina South High School.

From Wichita
Whitney Frances Lahey, sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, daughter of Tim and Laurette Lahey; Kapaun Mount Carmel High School.
Tyrone Francis Marin, senior in business administration and finance, son of Aucadio and Annie Marin; Kapaun Mount Carmel High School.

From Topeka
Eric Franklin Avery, senior in theatre and film, son of Mary Avery; Highland Park High School.
Krysdanell L. Cole, nondegree-seeking student and August 2005 graduate with a bachelor's degree in Spanish, daughter of Sarah Guesby and Mack Cole; Shawnee Heights High School, Tecumseh.

From Maple Hill
Preston Dean Hoobler, sophomore in communication studies, son of Sidney Hoobler; Rossville High School.

From Bonner Springs
Michael Anthony Lopez, senior in pre-business administration and sociology, son of Rachael Haas; Bonner Springs High School.

From Long Grove
Matthew Scott Daimlich, sophomore in pre-business administration, son of David and Linda Damlich; Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Ill.
From Naperville
Sarah Diane McCallum, junior in communication studies, daughter of Carol McCallum; Naperville Central High School.
From Wheaton
Garret Ryan Neader, sophomore in pre-journalism, son of Karen Neader; Wheaton North High School.

From Lee's Summit
Candice E. Bondank, junior in theatre and voice, daughter of Thomas Bondank; Shawnee Mission South High School, Overland Park, Kan.

From Bloomfield
Kimberly Lynn Marcum, senior in sport science, daughter of Gloria Hare; Golden Senior High School, Golden, Colo.

From Missouri City
Carly M. Fox, senior in dance, daughter of David Fox; home school.

From L'Aigle
Lutina Chimene Nsambu, junior in communication studies.

From St. Catherine
Carleen Annette Roberts, master's degree student in social work.

From Kodaira City, Tokyo
Hanano Shimamoto, sophomore in communication studies, daughter of Kazumichi Shimamoto.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045