LAWRENCE - The visual and musical presence of the Marching Jayhawks on football game days is an undeniable aspect of the KU tradition. The Marching Jayhawks uniforms — a critical component of that great tradition — are nearing the end of their life cycle.
The University of Kansas School of Music, Kansas Athletics and KU Endowment are partnering to raise funds for the purchase of new uniforms for the legendary Marching Jayhawks. The campaign, titled The Tradition Marches On, will formally launch in conjunction with the KU football game on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Tradition Marches On campaign has a goal of raising $300,000 to purchase new uniforms in time for the 2014-15 marching season.
“The Marching Jayhawks are a source of spirit and pride for all Jayhawks. Since 1906, when the very first marching uniforms were acquired, the Marching Jayhawks have performed in formation wearing the Crimson and Blue to entertain and inspire us on game days and at other university functions,” said Robert Walzel, School of Music dean. “With this campaign, we hope to secure the much-needed private funding to ensure that the Marching Jayhawks keep pace with their competitors on the field of play.”
Designs for the new uniforms are inspired by Marching Jayhawks uniforms from the past 50 years but allow for updates to fonts and visual elements to be consistent with current KU standards. The new uniforms will return the Marching Jayhawks to a classic style, proudly highlighting the KU school colors, crimson and blue. KU Band’s partner of more than 60 years, Fruhauf Uniforms of Wichita, will manufacture the new uniforms.
“The Marching Jayhawks are one of the university’s most visible symbols and are outstanding ambassadors for KU around the state and nation. This campaign will ensure they’re outfitted in crimson and blue wherever they perform,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said.
"The KU Band adds immeasurably to the atmosphere at football games and many other KU sporting events year after year,” said KU Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger. “Kansas Athletics is proud and excited to be part of the effort to provide these new, updated uniforms, which will further showcase the great job our marching band does to support KU’s student-athletes.”
"As our current uniforms reach the end of their usage, we are experiencing growth in our marching band enrollment. Combined with the excitement surrounding KU football, the time is right for us to purchase new uniforms,” said Matthew Smith, director of the Marching Jayhawks. “We're proud to bring back a traditional look that highlights our school colors and aligns the uniform with the current KU trademarks and logos. The KU Band has a tremendous relationship with Kansas Athletics and KU Endowment, and we all look forward to working on this campaign together."
Donations to The Tradition Marches On campaign are not applicable to the Williams Education Fund, but will count toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign.
Donations for The Tradition Marches On campaign are managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.
For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or visit www.music.ku.edu.