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University Relations

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May 5, 2008
Contact: Margey Frederick, Special Events and Visitor Services, (785) 864-7103.

Wheat State Whirlwind Tour to cover more than 1,000 miles in five days

LAWRENCE — For the 11th year, the University of Kansas will sponsor a whirlwind tour of Kansas for more than 40 faculty and staff members, many of whom are new to the state.

The Wheat State Whirlwind Tour will hit the road May 19-23, visiting more than 20 communities and passing through 30 counties while covering in excess of 1,000 miles of roadway. Stops include Topeka, Barnes, Marysville, Concordia, Lucas, Palco, Goodland, Oakley, Ness City, Hudson, Dodge City, Spearville, Hutchinson, Inman, Yoder and Cottonwood Falls.

Participants on this year’s tour are professors, deans and staff members from the Lawrence campus; KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.; KU School of Medicine-Wichita; and the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, a division of KU Continuing Education.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway, who started the Wheat State Whirlwind Tour, said the annual trip is an invaluable experience for the participants.

“Year after year, the tour has proven to be an outstanding way for KU faculty and staff to get out and learn firsthand what makes this great state tick,” Hemenway said. “They not only learn about its history, landscape and economy, they get a better understanding of where KU’s students come from and meet some great people along the way.”

Hemenway will travel with the tour Monday, May 19. He will join the group in Marysville and depart from Concordia.

Highlights of this year’s tour include the Brown v. Board of Education Historical Site in Topeka, Landoll Corp. in Marysville, Lake Wilson, the historic African-American pioneer community Nicodemus, a ride with buffalo in Scott County, Fort Larned, the Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson and the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center near Yoder.

New stops on this year’s tour include an overnight stay in Goodland, a tour of the Ness City bank known as the “Skyscraper of the Plains,” the Spearville Wind Farm and lunch at the Wheatland Café in Hudson. A dinner with alumni in northeast Kansas will be held Tuesday, May 20, at the Prairie Castle/Kuhrt Ranch in Edson. Three of the “Eight Wonders of Kansas” are on the itinerary: Monument Rocks in Gove County, the Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson and the Flint Hills.

Margey Frederick, director of special events and visitor services, said the tour is an opportunity for KU employees to discover Kansas’ hidden treasures and enhance their knowledge while having fun.

“Anyone who has gotten off the beaten path and really explored Kansas can tell you there is enough beauty and history in this state to supply a lifetime of traveling,” she said. “On this week-long tour, our participants get a taste of what Kansas has to offer and at the same time learn new ways they can give back to the state that gives so much to KU.”

Tour stops:

Monday, May 19: Topeka, Manhattan, Barnes, Marysville, Concordia
Tuesday, May 20: Lucas, Palco, Nicodemus, Edson, Goodland
Wednesday, May 21: Oakley, Duff Ranch pasture – Logan County, Ness City, Dodge City
Thursday, May 22: Spearville, Fort Larned, Hudson, Hutchinson, Inman
Friday, May 23: Yoder, Ritchie Ranch – Lyon County, Cottonwood Falls

To view daily itineraries, maps of this year’s route and photos of previous tours, visit During the tour, visit for a blog detailing the experiences of this year’s tour participants, photos from stops and updates on the tour.


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