KU News Release


May 21, 2010
Contact: Rebecca Smith, KU Libraries, (785) 864-8858

History of the Jayhawk presentation comes to Topeka

More Information

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Libraries is hosting a special event in Topeka to celebrate the storied history of the Jayhawk and to share some little-known facts about the mythical bird.

“The History of the Jayhawk” will be presented Thursday, May 27, at the Kansas Museum of History, 6425 SW Sixth Street in Topeka. A cocktail reception will be at 7 p.m. followed by the presentation at 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

University Archivist Becky Schulte will discuss the origins of KU’s beloved mascot and explain the Libraries’ role in preserving KU history, showing Jayhawk images gathered from more than a century of KU yearbooks, memorabilia and historical documents from the Jayhawk’s prehistory, through the first “official” Jayhawk drawn in 1912 to the current incarnation.

Schulte will also discuss the origins of the term “Jayhawker,” the history of the Rock Chalk chant and the various Jayhawk creators, including Hank Maloy, Macclay Lyon, Eugene “Yogi” Williams and Hal Sandy.

“Even though I am a KU grad, it wasn’t until I became the university archivist that I started thinking about the historical significance of the Jayhawk,” Schulte said. “As I realized the interest held by alumni and others around the world, I began keeping track of the different images that I found in the photo collection in the University Archives and in the Jayhawker yearbook. It was the Libraries’ own fascinating collections that spurred me to put together a presentation about the famous bird.”

University Archives, located at Spencer Research Library, is the repository for the records documenting the history of KU.

RSVP to Rebecca Smith by May 24 at rasmith@ku.edu or (785) 424-4224.


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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