Jayhawks in the Statehouse

Before entering public service, many Kansas leaders earned their degrees at the University of Kansas. Current Jayhawks serving as elected state officials include:

Governor Sam Brownback - Law, 1982

Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer - Medicine, 1986

Attorney General Derek Schmidt - Journalism, 1990

Jayhawk Caucus

The 2017 Kansas Legislature includes 24 lawmakers who are KU graduates. Several hold leadership positions in the House or Senate. Among the graduates, 13 are Alumni Association members and three are KU staff or faculty members.


Sen. Barbara Bollier, c’80, m’84, Mission Hills (District 7)
Alumni Association member

Sen. Marci Francisco, a’73, a’77, Lawrence (District 2)
Alumni Association member and KU research analyst for the Center for Sustainability

Sen. Randall Hardy, g’76, Salina (District 24)
Alumni Association member

Sen. Julia Lynn, c’81, Olathe (District 9)
Chair, Commerce Committee

Sen. Patricia Pettey, d’68, g’74, Kansas City (District 6)
Alumni Association member

Sen. Vicki Schmidt, p’78, Topeka (District 20)
Assistant Senate Majority Leader and Chair, Public Health and Welfare Committee
Alumni Association Member

Sen. Caryn Tyson, g’07, Parker (District 12)
Chair, Assessment and Taxation Committee

House of Representatives

Rep. Tom Cox, c’08, g’11, Shawnee (District 17)

Rep. Erin Davis, l’13, Olathe (District 15)

Rep. John Eplee, m’78, Atchison (District 63)

Rep. Linda Gallagher, j’79, Lenexa (District 23)

Rep. Dennis “Boog” Highberger, e’85, l’92, Lawrence (District 46)

Rep. Don Hineman, b’69, Dighton (District 118)
Majority Leader
Alumni Association member

Rep. Kevin Jones, d’98, Wellsville (District 5)
Chair, Higher Education Budget Committee

Rep. Jim Karleskint, PhD’04, Tonganoxie (District 42)
Alumni Association member

Rep. Jan Kessinger, j’73, Overland Park (District 20)
Alumni Association member

Rep. Joy Koesten, g’99, PhD’03, Leawood (District 28)
Alumni Association member and Lecturer, KU Department of Communication Studies

Rep. Fred Patton, l’00, Topeka, (District 50)
Alumni Association member

Rep. Melissa Rooker, f’86, Fairway (District 25)
Alumni Association member

Rep. Troy Waymaster, c’00, Luray (District 109)
Chair, Appropriations Committee
Alumni Association member

Rep. John Wilson, f’06, Lawrence (District 10)

Rep. Valdenia Winn, d’72, PhD’94, Kansas City (District 34)

Rep. Kristey Williams, d’93, g’98, Augusta (District 77)
Alumni Association member

Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, s’79, s’82, Kansas City (District 36)
Business Director and Assistant to the CEO, University of Kansas Hospital

RT @kunhm : Happy #FossilFriday ! Here’s a fresh one from the field: a giant crocodilian skull discovered this week by @UnivOfKansas undergra…

KU Today
Internationally recognized programs
Millions in grants and contracts for research
Generous financial support for students
Research projects that stretch to Antarctica, Greenland, and numerous points in between
Birthplace and home of Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology
A thriving field program that sends undergraduate and graduate students throughout the world
Industry recruiters who visit annually to hire KU Geology's graduating students