October 17 , 2003
Vol. 28, No. 5

Late Night to go ‘Into the Phog’
KU pumps $2.4M into classrooms, technology
Women of Distinction
Classified employees support alternative to state civil service
Center of attention
‘88 champ ‘Manning’ the helm for homecoming

Rock Chalk sidewalk

Dinner to honor retirees
Admissions seeks student information
Bench inscription tells story behind Rock Chalk chant
CCL teaches leaders

Volunteer finds second family in Little Brother
Tuition assistance sees jump in fall numbers
Eaton Hall to be dedicated
A muddy good time

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Bench inscription tells story behind Rock Chalk chant

Anna Gregory, Topeka senior, relaxes on a new bench outside Bailey Hall. The bench was donated by Carolyn Bailey Berneking, a Spencer Research librarian and granddaughter of E.H.S. Bailey. Aaron Paden/University Relations

A new bench outside Bailey Hall may set to rest what has been one of the great mysteries for loyal Jayhawks: Where did that Rock Chalk chant come from, anyway?

“There’s been so many fables and folk tales,” said Carolyn Bailey Berneking, a librarian at the Spencer Research Library and granddaughter of E.H.S. Bailey, for whom Bailey Hall is named. Berneking donated the bench and the plaque beside it. “I just wanted the public and especially the students to know the real story behind the Rock Chalk chant.”

E.H.S. Bailey, who served as either chair of the chemistry department or a part-time professor from 1883 to 1933, wrote the cheer, according to his account in the 1917 Jayhawker, “When the Rock Chalk Came into Being.”

“One morning, the science club needed a yell, and he just wrote one out,” Berneking said.

The original chant that Bailey wrote was “Rah! Rah! Jayhawk, K-U,” repeated three times. The staccato “Rah! Rah!” was changed to “Rock Chalk” a few years later, though reports are less clear on who made the change.

“Some say that he did it; some say that it was an English professor,” Berneking said.

The mystery of the chant’s origins, however, was very easily cleared up.
“It’s all up there in the Spencer Research Library,” said Berneking.

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