KU News Release

May 18, 2010
Contact: Mike Krings, University Relations, (785) 864-8860

Education, history, natural beauty focus of fifth day of Wheat State Whirlwind Tour

More Information

LAWRENCE — The final day of the 2010 Wheat State Whirlwind Tour will focus on education, history and the beauty of Kansas prairie.

The tour takes about 40 University of Kansas faculty and staff, many new to Kansas, on a five-day, 1,000-mile journey to shed light on the state’s unique history, culture, economy and landscape.

The final day of the tour, May 21, will begin with a visit to Independence Community College. Tour participants will meet with administrators and faculty to learn about the challenges, successes and unique aspects of community college education in Kansas. The group will also tour the school’s William Inge collection. Inge, a Pulitzer Prize- and Academy Award-winning playwright, was born in Independence and graduated from KU.

The next stop will be the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute, in Neosho County. The museum tells the story and maintains the collections of Martin and Osa Johnson, Kansas natives who spent a good part of the early 20th century exploring the wilds of Africa, the South Pacific and British North Borneo. They documented their findings with photographs, films and books about some of the most remote regions of the world.

After the museum tour, the bus will travel on to the ranch of Scott and Carol Ritchie in Lyon County. Both KU alumni, the Ritchies will host the group for lunch at their home in the rolling prairie of the Flint Hills. Scott Ritchie will speak to the group about his years of ranching and lead the group on a nature walk through the property, located about 20 miles south of Cottonwood Falls.

The final stop of the tour will be at the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve. The preserve protects some of the last remnants of prairie that once covered more than 140 million acres of North America. The bus will then return to Lawrence, concluding the 2010 tour.

This year, tour participants will share highlights of the trip on Twitter. Visit twitter.com/kuwheatstate from May 17 to 21 for daily updates, impressions from participants and more. To view daily itineraries, maps of this year’s route and photos of previous tours, visit www.wheatstate.ku.edu.

Itinerary for Friday, May 21

7:45 a.m. – Depart hotel
8 a.m. – Independence Community College
9 a.m. – Depart Independence
9:45 a.m. – Arrive at Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum, Chanute
11:45 a.m. – Arrive at Ritchie Ranch
2 p.m. – Depart Ritchie Ranch
2:30 p.m. – Chase County Courthouse, Cottonwood Falls
2:45 p.m. – Tall Grass Prairie Preserve
3:15 p.m. – Depart for Lawrence
5 p.m. – Arrive in Lawrence

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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