The University of Kansas Alumni Association on Friday evening unveiled a brand new bronze Baby Jay outside the Jayhawk Welcome Center.
The new statue is a tribute in memory of Daniel Torson, who graduated from KU in 2010. Torson was the nephew of KU alumni William E. Roskens, Brenda Roskens Dicus and Barbara Roskens Blount, who gave the statue to the university.
“We are deeply grateful to the Roskens and Dicus family for honoring their beloved Jayhawk — and our cherished KU traditions — in such a unique and enduring tribute,” Alumni Association President Heath Peterson said in a statement.
Torson was 33 years old when his “larger than life heart gave out on him” in March 2021, according to his obituary.
“To say Dan was a performer and entertainer is a profound understatement. You may have seen him on stage at one of hundreds of improv shows,” his obituary continues. “Perhaps he gave you a tour of LA in an Escalade. If you’re lucky, he may have serenaded you on the street or, to the delight of onlookers, performed a mock Olympic pommel horse routine for you on a nearby bike rack. An unstoppable comedian until the end, he would want us all to laugh and to know that this obituary would have been funnier if he wrote it.”
Sculptor Alison Caswell, of Oregon, created the bronze Baby Jay.
The Alumni Association’s Jayhawk Welcome Center at 1266 Oread Ave. just opened earlier this year.