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 Jeff Colyer - Medicine, 1986

Attorney General Derek Schmidt - Journalism, 1990

Jayhawk Caucus

The 2017 Kansas Legislature includes 22 lawmakers who are KU graduates. Several hold leadership positions in the House or Senate. Among the graduates, 12 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. John Carmichael, c’80, l’83, Wichita (District 92) 

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

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

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

Rep. Don Hineman, b’69, Dighton (District 118)
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. Troy Waymaster, c’00, Luray (District 109)

Chair, Appropriations Committee
Alumni Association member

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

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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