A 1,000-piece collection of Jayhawk memorabilia will stay at the University of Kansas union thanks to a donation from an Overland Park couple.
James and Mary Ascher donated $130,000 to the KU Endowment after hearing that the Bud Jennings’ Jayhawk collection was being put up for auction.
James Ascher decided to put up the money without even seeing the collection, which Jennings began in 1939. Jennings donated it to the union four years ago, saying he hoped someone would buy it to help fund his retirement. But when no offers came in, the union said it would auction off the pieces or sell them on eBay.
Ascher attended the university in the 1950s, and he didn’t want to see the collection leave the campus to buyers scattered throughout the globe. Ascher, who owned a pharmaceutical company before retiring in 2010, also wanted to help out Jennings.
“I thought, well, that would be bad for the administration of KU because the Jayhawk is probably the most recognized symbol of the university in the country,” Ascher said.
Kansas spokesman Mike Reid said now that the collection will be permanent, some improvements will be made to the presentation.