strong hall with bronze jayhawk

Class of 2009 gift will replace flagpole in front of Strong Hall

Flag pole in front of Strong Hall
Flag pole in front of Strong Hall

Every day, thousands of University of Kansas students walk past Strong Hall, where three flags wave in the wind. The flagpole that holds them may look sturdy enough, but a closer look shows it has seen better days. This year’s Senior Class Gift wants to change that.

The Board of Class Officers is raising funds to replace the flagpole. Anyone who makes a contribution of $10 or more will receive an official Class of 2009 T-shirt. The full amount of all donations will be applied toward the purchase of a new flagpole, estimated to cost about $6,000. Members of the Board of Class Officers will have tables set up on Wescoe Beach in April to give students the opportunity to participate.

A tent will be set up in mid-April on Wescoe Beach to give students the opportunity to participate.

Todd Crawford of Leawood, Kan., vice president of the Board of Class officers, said students began looking last fall for a gift the class could provide. A fellow board member mentioned he was walking by Strong Hall and noticed that the flagpole was leaning and the metal was corroding. He asked if the senior class gift could buy a new one.

“Once he said that, I looked at the flagpole and said, ‘Oh my gosh — how did we go this long without getting a new one,’” Crawford said. “But it’s not the type of thing you generally think about needing to be replaced.”

The new flagpole will be about the same height as the current one. It will be fashioned from stainless steel and will have a bronze finish and internal mechanism. The design includes a concrete base with a plaque noting it’s a gift from the Class of 2009.

Crawford hopes the new pole can be installed by graduation. “It’s a lofty goal to have it up by then,” he said. “But I think seniors would appreciate the opportunity to see it before they depart in May.”

KU’s tradition of senior class gifts stretches back to 1873 and often is the first step students take in carrying on the tradition of KU alumni giving back to the university. Past gifts have included a bird bath near Lippincott Hall (Class of 1903), crab apple trees (Class of 1945) and the creation of the HOPE Award for professors (Class of 1959). In 2007, the senior class gift helped refurbish the organ in Danforth Chapel. And last year, the seniors’ gift created a Jayhawk inlay in the sidewalk in front of the David A. Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center.

More information about the senior class gift can be found online or by calling (785) 832-7420.

The senior class gift fund is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment is the first foundation of its kind at a public university in the United States.

Rosita McCoy

Senior Vice President, Communications and Marketing 785-832-7336

Michelle Tevis

Senior Editor, Media Relations 785-832-7363