Faculty and staff from the University of Kansas (KU) came to the Kansas Sampler Foundation (KSF) Wednesday evening as part of KU’s Wheat State Whirlwind Tour - a five day, 1,400 mile trek across the state that stops in nearly 30 communities.


Faculty and staff from the University of Kansas (KU) came to the Kansas Sampler Foundation (KSF) Wednesday evening as part of KU’s Wheat State Whirlwind Tour - a five day, 1,400 mile trek across the state that stops in nearly 30 communities.
The tour, which is in its 13th year, was started by former KU Chancellor Robert Hemmingway as a way to show KU faculty and staff, many of which may be new to Kansas, what the state has to offer and where many of their students may be from.
Tour participants included staff from KU’s Lawrence campus, the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. and the School of Medicine in Wichita.
KU Geophysics Professor and tour director Don Steeples said the tour, in addition to showing everyone Kansas, is a a valuable way for colleagues to get to know each other.
“In addition to getting to know Kansas and its people better, the tour is also a valuable way to foster interdisciplinary collaboration amongst our faculty and staff,” Steeples said.
KSF Executive Director Marci Penner treated tour participants to an enchilada dinner before presenting a brief slideshow about what KSF does for the state. Afterward, the tour moved on to Hutchinson for the evening. Over the next two days, the tour will visit Wichita, El Dorado, the Flint Oak Resort, Elk County, Madison and Ritchie Ranch in Lyons County.
Overall, participants said it’s been a rewarding, but tiring experience.
“Five days isn’t a lot of time,” said KU University Relations spokesman Mike Krings. “That’s why we call it a ‘whirlwind tour.’”
Readers can keep up with the tour on Twitter by going to www.twitter.com/kuwheatstate.