November7, 2003
Vol. 28, No. 6

Tuition, housing costs remain below average
Original Baby Jay now roosting in Kansas Union
Vigil, ceremony to mark Veterans Day
CLA&S dean to lead general education review
KU Endowment elects 7 trustees
Water wards
Molecule library wins grant
KU joins national study of dissertation standards
Shots take sting out of flu season

Program seeks families to host Thanksgiving
$10M award will expand loan cooperative
Shell Canada president launches women’s leadership forum at KU
Engineering dedicates facility, celebrates gifts

Research summit applications due Nov. 21

September employees honored

United Way campaign nears goal
Women’s Leadership Conference is Sunday
Injured ’Hawks help at schools
Budding historian

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Original Baby Jay now roosting in Kansas Union

Amy Hurst Rachman, creator of Baby Jay, waves to the crowd in character with Big Jay during a graduation ceremony in the early 1970s. The original Baby Jay costume, built of fiberglass, chicken wire and felt, is on display near the Hawk’s Nest on the first floor of the Kansas Union. The display was dedicated during homecoming weekend in conjunction with a mascot reunion. Contributed art

Mascot creators establish fund for Baby Jay, Big Jay

The original Baby Jay has established a new nest on the first floor of the Kansas Union, and its creators are making sure future hatchlings have the support they need to cheer on the Jayhawks.

Asheville, N.C., resident Amy Hurst Rachman, the original Baby Jay, has given $5,000 to the KU Endowment Association to establish the Original Baby Jay Mascot Fund. The fund will help defray the costs of the mascot program including purchasing and maintaining the mascot costumes for Baby Jay and Big Jay. Rachman’s mother, Marti Daniels Hurst of Boca Raton, Fla., has committed an additional $57,000 for the fund through her estate plans.

The gift coincides with the completion of a permanent display for Rachman’s original costume, which her parents helped her put together more than 30 years ago. The original Baby Jay had been stored at University Archives since the costume’s retirement in 1987. A gift from the Class of 2002 paid for the costume to be mounted and displayed on the first floor of the newly remodeled Kansas Union.

Rachman’s inspiration for Baby Jay came when she was in high school and visited Lawrence, where she saw a Jayhawk bumper sticker depicting Big Jay and hatchlings. The idea stayed with her throughout her freshman year, when she befriended the student who portrayed Big Jay. She eventually secured approval from the Kansas Alumni Association to create the costume—and permission to wear it.

Rachman said her parents devoted the summer of 1971 to helping design and build Baby Jay. Using the design she drew on spiral-notebook paper, they worked nightly to turn her concept into a chicken wire, fiberglass and felt costume. It cost only $53 to create.

“My parents’ enthusiasm for the project was extraordinary,” Rachman said. “My mom’s creativity and talent with crafts really made this all happen. I have pictures of her on the cement floor of the garage, stitching Baby Jay together.”
Rachman, who was Baby Jay for three years, said the original costume is much different than those worn by current Jays.

“My original wasn’t flexible,” she said. “I couldn’t get my wings to come together. I could only see out of small holes in the beak and eyes, and the weight of the fiberglass bounced up and down, bruising my legs. But it didn’t matter. I loved being Baby Jay.”

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