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May 16, 2006
Contact: Margey Frederick, visitor services director, (785) 864-7103.

KU faculty head east from Dodge City to Inman on Day 5 of Wheat State tour

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas faculty on the 2006 Wheat State Whirlwind Tour of Kansas will travel from Dodge City to Inman on Thursday, May 25.

The day will include a visit with the president of Dodge City Community College, a tour of the Gypsum Hills along another Kansas scenic byway at Medicine Lodge and a visit to the Kansas Sampler Foundation at Inman. In Hutchinson, Paul Carttar, KU executive vice chancellor for external affairs, will join the nearly 50 faculty on the bus to meet with Hutchinson-area alumni for dinner at the 4-H Encampment Building on the Kansas State Fairgrounds.

Richard Burke, president of Dodge City Community College, will welcome the faculty at 7:30 a.m. to the campus known as the home of the Conquistadores. The community college’s mascot reflects the early history of Dodge City, which is near a natural crossing on the Arkansas River once used not only by buffalo and much later by cattle traders but also by Native Americans, Coronado in 1541 and later by Santa Fe Trail traders. Founded in 1935, the community college serves residents of Ford County and surrounding counties.

From Dodge City, the bus swings southeast to Mullinville for a brief stop to observe the kinetic roadside art of M.G. Liggett, a grassroots artist. At Greensburg, bus commentators will point out the world’s largest hand-dug well as the bus heads south to Coldwater en route to Medicine Lodge.

Bob Larson of the Gant-Larson Ranch in Medicine Lodge will board the bus at Medicine Lodge to give the faculty a driving tour through the rugged gypsum, or red hills region. Larson will provide the faculty with some area history including that the town’s name came from Native American legends about the power of the Medicine River to protect the area from prairie fires.

Medicine Lodge is preparing for the 2006 Peace Treaty pageant celebrated every three years in September. The event commemorates the 1867 Peace Council between U.S. government officials and the leaders of five Indian Nations — the Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche and Kiowa. Before departing, the faculty will visit a replica of an 1874 stockade in Medicine Lodge as well as the home of Carry Nation, known for wielding an ax in saloons to encourage temperance in 1901.

The bus turns north for a 1:15 p.m. lunch stop at Carolyn’s Essenhaus in Arlington. En route, faculty will see the Pratt Fish Hatcheries of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Management.

Before stopping in Hutchinson for the night, the faculty will visit Marci Penner and her father, Mil, at the Kansas Sampler Foundation in Inman. Marci is a KU 1979 alumna who with her father formed the foundation in 1993 to preserve and sustain rural culture in Kansas. The foundation’s projects include an annual festival held in a different community each year to promote Kansas products and cultures. Marci is author of 2005’s Kansas Guidebook for Explorers. The foundation and the latest guidebook evolved from three earlier books she and her father wrote about Kansas art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people.

In Hutchinson, Carttar and two KU Alumni Association officials, Mike Davis, senior vice president of alumni programs, and Heath Peterson, Kansas programs director, will join the KU faculty for dinner with alumni from Rice, McPherson, Marion, Reno, Harvey, Pratt, Kingman, Barber and Harper counties. The dinner will be in the 4-H Encampment Building on the Kansas State Fairgrounds.

The dinner meeting will give area alumni an opportunity not only to meet some of KU’s newer faculty but also three administrators on board this year: Richard Lariviere, KU’s incoming provost and executive vice chancellor; Gail Agrawal, incoming law dean, and Rick Ginsberg, education dean. Ginsberg joined KU’s faculty last July; Lariviere and Agrawal begin their official duties July 1.

On Friday, May 26, the faculty will visit KU’s Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center at Yoder and then focus on the Flint Hills region with stops at the Ritchie ranch in Lyon County; Cottonwood Falls; and Council Grove before returning to Lawrence.

Intinerary for Thursday, May 25

7:30 a.m. — Arrive Dodge City Community College. Meet with Richard Burke, president
8:30 a.m. — Depart Dodge City for Mullinville (35 miles). Point of interest: World’s largest hand-dug well in Greensburg
9:05 a.m. — Arrive Mullinville. Observe kinetic art display by M.T. Liggett
9:15 a.m. — Depart for Medicine Lodge (70 miles)
10:30 a.m. — Arrive Medicine Lodge. Tour Gypsum Hills with Bob Larson, commentator; and Stockade Museum, 201 W. Fowler (U.S. Hwy 160)
Noon — Depart for Arlington (66 miles). Point of interest: Pratt Fish Hatchery, Kansas Wildlife and Parks Management
1:15 p.m. — Arrive Arlington. Lunch at Carolyn’s Essenhaus, 104 W. Main St.
2:15 p.m. — Depart for Inman (35 miles)
3 p.m. — Arrive Inman. Tour Kansas Sampler Foundation/Penner Farm, 978 Arapaho Road, with Marci Penner
4 p.m. — Depart for Hutchinson (16 miles)
4:30 p.m. — Arrive Hutchinson. Check in to Holiday Inn Express, 1601 Super Plaza
6:30 p.m. — Dinner at the Kansas State Fairgrounds with area alumni
8:15 p.m. — Return to hotel

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