Beta Theta Pi

1425 Tennessee

Lawrence, KS 66044

News Release

For Immediate Release

April 7, 2016


For More Information, Contact:

John Killen, Jr.

Philanthropy Chair

(507) 458-4702


Tom Strong 5k to help students with disabilities

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Beta Theta Pi fraternity of the University of Kansas will hold a 5k on Sunday, April 24 to help make the KU campus more accessible to students with disabilities. The 5k is in honor of Tom Babb, a Beta member who was paralyzed from the neck down in a swimming accident in December.

Beta Theta Pi hopes to raise $40,000 in order to create a scholarship through KU Endowment called the Tom Babb Accessibility Scholarship. $30,000 will create the scholarship fund; annually $1,300 will be awarded to a student with a disability. The other $10,000 will go to Student Access Services at KU.

“We are building a future for easygoing lives for those who need it most,” says John Killen, Beta Theta Pi’s philanthropy chair.

Babb was a freshman when he dove into a wave in Hawaii and crushed his fifth vertebrae and fractured his fourth, leaving him with a C5 complete injury. Since January he has been undergoing rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver. Babb expects to be fully released April 14. He plans to return to KU in the fall.

The 5k will be a “run, walk, and roll” through the KU campus starting at Memorial Stadium at 9 a.m. The cost to register is $20 per participant.

There is no deadline to register, and participants will receive a t-shirt, a #TomStrong bracelet, and breakfast the day of the race.

Babb and his family will be attending the race.

For more information on the event, including registration information go to For information on volunteer options contact John Killen at (507) 458-4702.