Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Message: Jayhawks leading the way across the globe

Monday, October 30, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

We often talk about how we educate leaders and how our work benefits people around the globe.

This week, we will welcome back to campus one of our distinguished alumni who has demonstrated outstanding leadership to end a long-running civil war in his native Colombia. President Juan Manuel Santos, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, will return to KU receive an honorary degree.

President Santos, who last visited our campus in 2012, received economics and business degrees from KU in 1973. After leaving KU, he returned to Colombia, working first as a journalist and then transitioning to a political career culminating in his election as president of Colombia in 2010.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 after leading efforts to end a decades-long civil war in his country.

As you may have seen, the presentation of his degree has been moved from its originally announced time and date. I encourage you to join former KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and me at the honorary degree presentation ceremony at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday at the Lied Center.

I also want to take a moment to thank everyone involved in last week’s Showdown for Relief. The charity men’s basketball game between the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri raised more than $2 million for hurricane relief in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Our coaches, players, athletics staff and fans should be commended for their efforts that, taken together with similar basketball exhibition games across the country, will make a big difference to those rebuilding their lives after these storms.

From working to foster a new peace to helping families in need, Jayhawks everywhere are demonstrating how society can benefit when we don’t just do, but actively choose to lead.



One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
Chancellor's Vision

The mission of the University of Kansas is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world.

We will do that by raising the expectations we have for ourselves, the aspirations we have for our state, and the hopes we have for our world.