Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little
17th Chancellor of the University of Kansas, 2009-2017

Since arriving at the University of Kansas in 2009, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has guided KU to unprecedented success, elevated the university’s national stature, and transformed the way KU serves the state and world.

Chancellor Gray-Little has advanced KU's mission to educate leaders by implementing new admissions standards, launching a new undergraduate curriculum, and growing the freshman class for five straight years. She strengthened KU's efforts to build healthy communities by overseeing the University of Kansas Cancer Center’s application for National Cancer Institute designation and expansions of the schools of Pharmacy and Medicine. She empowered KU to make discoveries by recruiting 12 Foundation Distinguished Professors, leading the university to record-high research funding, and pursuing resources to help KU researchers excel.

Additionally, Chancellor Gray-Little led a record-setting $1.66 billion fundraising campaign and an unprecedented modernization of KU’s campuses. Under her leadership, KU completed 50 capital improvement projects totaling $700 million and secured funding for the Central District — a once-in-a-generation development project that will change the face of education and research at KU.

Most recently, in December 2019, the Kansas Board of Regents gave KU authorization to rename the Integrated Science Building after Chancellor Gray-Little (effective in spring 2020) and bestowed upon her the title of Chancellor Emerita.

Chancellor Gray-Little's legacy   |   Timeline of achievements »

Recognition from U.S. Rep. Jenkins »​​   |   Recognition from U.S. Rep. Yoder »

KBOR authorization of building name change and Chancellor Emerita status

Tribute Video

Wisdom. Integrity. Grace. And some terrific dance moves. Check out our video tribute to Chancellor Gray-Little.

Video Playlist

Look back at our favorite videos of Chancellor Gray-Little — including her Commencement selfie, her encounter with Little James Naismith, and her unforgettable drive in a KU race car.

Speeches and Campus Messages

Chancellor Gray-Little delivered some memorable speeches over the years — including her remarks at President Obama's visit to KU, her Commencement address challenging graduates to "do something bigger than your selfie," and her Marywood University speech about growing up in North Carolina.

Similarly, her campus messages covered timely topics like sexual assault, diversity and inclusion, and public funding for higher education.

View speeches    |​   View campus messages

Photo Album

We've gathered our favorite photos of Chancellor Gray-Little at events such as Commencement and the Central District groundbreaking, as well as some special moments with students, faculty and staff.

By the Numbers

5 straight years of freshman class growth

$1.66 billion fundraising campaign

50 capital improvement projects totaling $700 million

300% growth in national media coverage of KU research

1 of 69 NCI-designated cancer centers

100% increase in license agreements for KU technology

12 Foundation Distinguished Professors recruited to KU

2 researchers named to National Academies

From the Chancellor

“The University of Kansas is a special place with terrific people and an instinctive spirit to improve the world. During the past eight years, we have made tremendous strides as a university and positioned KU for even greater achievements in the future. Leading this remarkable institution is a privilege I always will cherish, and I’m grateful to the KU community for believing in our mission."


Thank you, BGL!

Share your thoughts and memories of Chancellor Gray-Little on Twitter using the hashtag "ThankYouBGL."

Make a gift on behalf of the Chancellor

Jayhawks are invited to donate to two funds Chancellor Gray-Little was instrumental in creating.

The Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowships help recruit and support doctoral students. Twelve fellowships are awarded each year to provide a $25,000 stipend and cover tuition and fees.

The Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund provides emergency assistance for KU staff members who are struggling due to a natural or personal disaster that has caused financial hardship. Chancellor Gray-Little established the fund in honor of her mother, Rosalie Lanier Gray.

Make a gift >>

Congressional recognition

Two members of the Kansas Congressional Delegation recently entered tributes to Chancellor Gray-Little into the Congressional Record.

Recognition from U.S. Rep. Jenkins »​​  

Recognition from U.S. Rep. Yoder »