The name is Hawk... Jayhawk.

Most Jayhawks jaywalk campus with their own personal perspective on what exactly being a Jayhawk means to them. For University of Kansas alumna and Korean language graduate teaching assistant Rachel Kook, being a Jayhawk doesn’t exactly mean she can fly.

Though she may be lacking wings, she said the University has been a turning point for her life. Kook has been in Lawrence for seven years and said her experiences as an undergraduate student opened many doors for her pursuit to attend graduate school and eventually become a KU employee.

Kook isn’t the only one who feels being a Jayhawk stems from school pride.

School Pride

Sophomore Lucie Krisman from Tulsa, Oklahoma, said being a Jayhawk means having immense school pride. Krisman said the school pride students at the University have is unique and welcoming.

“Walking into somewhere and knowing you belong is sort of what being a Jayhawk means to me,” Krisman said.

Embracing Student Life

For senior Jack Lapin of Overland Park, being a Jayhawk means being a student on campus and taking part in the right of passages.

“It’s taking part in going to basketball games and being in Anschutz until 3 a.m.,” Lapin said. “It’s really about being a Lawrencian and kind of swallow the whole town.”

Even though she’s from Japan, senior Karen Hamamoto said her friends and family back home recognize the Jayhawk spirit.

“I’m so proud about being Jayhawk because sometimes I talk to Japanese people — they know KU, and that was surprising,” Hamamoto said. “I’m kind of proud of being Jayhawk because that.”


Freshman Austen Romstedt of Ottawa said being a Jayhawk stems from history and tradition.

“It’s bonding with people over the shared traditions that we all do together because we all go here,” Romstedt said. “It’s bonding with people over the fact that we go here is what makes me a Jayhawk.”

Seth Law, a junior from Wichita, said being a Jayhawk is being a part of a community and a legacy that is bigger than what it may seem.

“It’s bigger than all of us but is impossible without all of us,” Law said. “Without any one less person, we wouldn’t be the same as who we are. We are Jayhawks because of everyone, and we make up what is KU: the traditions, the legacy, the values and the accomplishments. When one of us accomplishes something, we all do, and we should all celebrate each other.”


For research and information library assistant Evan Washechek, being a Jayhawk means supporting the freedom of information and equal distribution of knowledge to the community — and KU basketball.

Chinese Language lecturer Yue Pan said being a Jayhawk means for him to teach as many students at the University as possible.

“I like this place,” Pan said. “I love my job, and I want to teach my language to the Jayhawks here — as many as possible, as much as possible and as perfect as it can be.”

University alumna and office manager of the School of Languages Samantha Raines said being a Jayhawk is more than being an avid KU sports fan.

“I thought it was all about the sports, but as being a native of Kansas it’s so much more than that,” Raines said. “The historical context of what being Jayhawker really was means more than our basketball team and beyond just KU. I think it means having that spirit of can-do and wanting to be helpful and of service of others, as well as supporting education and things in your community.”