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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fourth generation Jayhawk to receive torch in Traditions Night ceremony

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Passing of knowledge

A 4th-generation University of Kansas student, Stephen Brown of Storm Lake, whose Jayhawks roots extend to his great-grandfather, joined in a torch-passing ceremony, symbolic of the passing of knowledge, during Traditions Night in Memorial Stadium at the University of Kansas.

Majoring in chemical engineering, Stephen Brown is the son of Dr. Douglas L. Brown, Garden City, KS and Janys Schroeder, Oyens.

Brown, who was elected as a freshman representative, was an Honor student from Storm Lake High School, and graduated in May, 2002

Stephen's parents both attended KU. His grandmother, the late Margaret Brown Ward, was a 1940 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and his great-grandfather Silas S. Brown was a 1895 graduate, also of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Brown carried a lighted torch symbolizing knowledge. At twilight, the torch is passed down KU's Mount Oread by upperclassmen and women as they descend into Memorial Stadium, where a crowd of about 2,000 students, faculty and guests gathered for Traditions Night, a Hawk Week program.

Hawk Week is a series of orientation activities for students before classes begin .

Decades ago, in ceremonies similar to the Traditions Night event, a torch was carried annually from the Mortar Board Fire Basket at the site of North College, KU's first building, to the Rock Chalk Cairn, a heap of stones created through efforts of Omicron Delta Kappa members.

The fire basket is on a commemorative plot in front of Corbin residence hall, which was built on the site of the former Old North College building. The torch-passing ceremony was reintroduced at KU in the 1980s as part of Traditions Night. The program includes university history, and a stadium cheer known as "Waving the Wheat."

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