KU News Release

May 11, 2010
Contact: Mike Krings, University Relations, (785) 864-8860

KU faculty, staff to crisscross Kansas on 2010 Wheat State Whirlwind Tour

More Information

LAWRENCE — Nearly 40 University of Kansas faculty and staff members will hit the road this month, visiting more than 20 communities and covering more than 1,000 miles of the state on the 12th Wheat State Whirlwind Tour.

The tour takes off May 17 and concludes May 21 after five days of introducing faculty and staff, many of them new to Kansas, to the state’s history, geography, culture and landscape. Stops include Manhattan, Barnes, Marysville, Republic, Salina, Lucas, Palco, Damar, Nicodemus, WaKeeney, Quinter, Oakley, Ness City, Inman, Yoder, El Dorado, Independence and Chanute.

Participants in the tour include deans, faculty and staff members from the Lawrence campus, KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., and KU School of Medicine-Wichita. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will participate in the tour for the first time, traveling with the group May 17 and 18. She said the tour has proven to be a popular experience with participants and is a good way to connect with the state.

“In my first year as chancellor, I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting communities across Kansas and getting to know the outstanding people who make our state great,” Gray-Little said. “I look forward to learning even more about Kansas through the Wheat State Whirlwind Tour.”

Some of the highlights of this year’s tour include a visit to the future site of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, a tour of the Landoll Corp. in Marysville, Lake Wilson, the historic African-American settlement Nicodemus, a roam with the buffalo in Logan County, Kansas Oil Museum in El Dorado, “Skyscraper of the Plains” in Ness City, Kansas Sampler Center, Independence Community College and the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute.

New stops on this year’s tour include the Pawnee Indian Museum in Republic, Western Cooperative Electric Association in WaKeeney, Gove County Medical Center in Quinter and the Equus Beds Groundwater Recharge Demonstration Project near Wichita.

Don Steeples, the Dean A. McGee Distinguished Professor of Applied Geophysics and senior vice provost, said the tour is a way for faculty and staff to learn more about Kansas and how they can give back in a fun, informal setting.

“The tour is a good way to learn more about the hometowns of our KU students and find out just how much this state has to offer those who are willing to take the road less traveled,” said Steeples, who directs the tour.

This year, tour participants will share highlights of the trip on Twitter. Visit twitter.com/kuwheatstate May 17-21 for daily updates, impressions from participants and more.

Tour stops

May 17: Manhattan, Barnes, Marysville, Republic, Salina
May 18: Lucas, Palco, Damar, Nicodemus, WaKeeney
May 19: Oakley, Duff Ranch in Logan County, Ness City, Fort Larned, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Inman, Hutchinson
May 20: Yoder, Wichita, El Dorado, Independence
May 21: Chanute, Ritchie Ranch in Lyon County, Cottonwood Falls

To view daily itineraries, maps of this year’s route and photos of previous tours, visit wheatstate.ku.edu.

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.

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