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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rock Chalk chant ‘8 Wonders’ finalist

The Rock Chalk chant is inscribed on a stone bench in the Kansas Union at Kansas University. The chant is a finalist in the Kansas Sampler Foundation’s 8 Wonders of Kansas Customs.

The Rock Chalk chant is inscribed on a stone bench in the Kansas Union at Kansas University. The chant is a finalist in the Kansas Sampler Foundation’s 8 Wonders of Kansas Customs.

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KU chant a Kansas finalist

KU's Rock Chalk Chant is one of about two dozen finalists for the Eight Wonders of Kansas. The winners will be selected by the end of October.

Rock Chalk. Jayhawk. Vote for KU.

Kansas University’s unique Rock Chalk Chant is among 24 finalists for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Customs.

Anyone interested in ensuring the chant is elevated to one of the eight wonders can visit the Kansas Sampler Foundation’s contest Web site — 8wonders.org — to vote.

The chant is up against a variety of other customs, such as saving twine, which resulted in the World’s Largest Ball of Sisal Twine in Cawker City; cruising Main in Blue Rapids, which has the only round square in Kansas; and bringing musicians together in Cottonwood Falls, where a jam session gets under way nearly every Friday night at Emma Chase Cafe.

“This list gives a wonderful overview of our quirky humor, cultural traditions and our history, but it also reflects our hobbies, entertainment and recreational activities,” said Marci Penner, foundation director, in a statement.

The Rock Chalk Chant evolved from a cheer a KU chemistry professor created in 1886, and continues to echo throughout the Sunflower State.

“Considering the chant’s cadence was inspired by the sound of a train crossing the state, and its words by the chalk rocks found from western Kansas to the Flint Hills, it is a natural for this statewide honor,” said Todd Cohen, a KU spokesman. “And it is indeed wondrous, as anyone who has heard the chant inside Allen Fieldhouse can attest. It is a custom all Jayhawks cherish.”

Voting ends at midnight Oct. 20, and winners are scheduled to be announced by the end of October.

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