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KU honors more than 3,600 high school seniors statewide

LAWRENCE — This spring, the Kansas Honor Scholars Program, which marks its 50th anniversary as a tradition of the University of Kansas Alumni Association and KU Endowment, honored more than 3,600 high school seniors throughout Kansas for their academic excellence and achievement. 

Since 1971 the program has honored more than 150,000 high school seniors—from all 105 Kansas counties and approximately 360 high schools—for ranking academically in the top 10% of their class. The program is made possible by KU Endowment, alumni donations and proceeds from the Alumni Association’s Jayhawk license plate program, and allows the University and the Alumni Association to create more scholarship opportunities for Kansas students. 

In the past, the Association has hosted recognition ceremonies throughout Kansas, but because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, scholars were honored virtually this year. A special congratulatory video, featuring messages from KU Chancellor Doug Girod, Alumni Association President Heath Peterson and former KU basketball player and Kansas Honor Scholar Perry Ellis, is available for viewing at In addition, the Association mailed distinctive Kansas Honor Scholar medallions, certificates and letters of recognition to all high schools for distribution to the students.   

In 2020, the Association raised more than $7,000 for one-time Kansas Honor Scholar Scholarships, funded entirely by alumni donations. In addition, two students will receive the $1,000 renewable four-year Herbert Rucker Woodward Scholarship, given annually for more than two decades to Kansas Honor Scholars. Since 1985, more than 18,000 Kansas Honor Scholars have enrolled as freshmen at KU.

Central Plains High School: Matthew Donecker, Hannah Redetzke, Callie Zink; Ellinwood High School: Erin Hammeke, Monica Hammeke, Ashtin Klepper, Aiden Ricker; Great Bend High School: Jaime Arellanes, Jordan Avila, Caden Bieker, Cailyn Brack, Lexi Deines, Cal Dunekack, Addison Ehrlich, Kyler Feist, Ashlyn Harbaugh, Kendyl Henning, Zoe Jerke, Halle Latham, Taylor Lindberg, William Linenberger, Sydney Mason, Rachel Panzer, Anna Popp, Olivia Rugan, Aubrey Snapp, Emma Wasinger, Ruth Williams; Hoisington High School: Quentin Boxberger, Chandra Ehler, Jaci Guthrie, Holt Hanzlick, Alyx Lamatsch, Hunter Morris, Drew Nicholson, Chase Robinson, Brielle Romeiser, Nolan Wilborn; Ellsworth High School: Nicole Haase, Haley Pfeifer, Gavin Webber; Wilson High School: Cooper Weinhold; Larned High School: Halle Barker, Sarah MacMahon, Kaden Pontius, Nicole Taylor, Joseph Theis; Pawnee Heights High School: Jaden Carlson; Little River High School: Kylie Fox, Bailey Hodgson; Lyons High School: Pedro Pina, Emily Robl, Brianna Russell, Blake Seidel-Pinson; Sterling High School: Aubrey Anderson, Macy Brownlee, Madelyn Chesney, Colton Sant, Andrew Schueren, Caden Webb, Tyus Wilson; LaCrosse High School: Garrett Leiker, Blake Pierce, Chase Schmidt; Otis-Bison High School: Michael Bahr, Jayce Kohls; Macksville High School: Angel Hayes, Emma Sanders, Anna Suiter; St. John High School: Dylan Reed, Damian Rios, Toby Woolf; Stafford High School: Emily Green, Jayce Hildebrand; Russell High School: Cole Birky, Halle Hall, Aubrey Larson, Renee’ Nichol, Kaitlyn Nichols, Kalli Pfeifer