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Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 1

Good Afternoon K-State Nation,

November is here, and we are ready to launch with four home contests in the next 60 hours! We'll start off a Wildcat Weekend tonight with a basketball doubleheader as Coach Patterson and our women's team, fresh off an 85-64 win over Washburn on Monday, tip off at 5:45 p.m. against Alaska-Anchorage before Coach Weber and the defending Big 12 Champs host Pittsburg State at 8 p.m.

Tomorrow's football game against Iowa State will be our 11th consecutive sellout at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and will serve as our annual Fort Riley Day. There will be a lot of exciting events tied into this year's Fort Riley Day, and maybe even a few surprises, including a joint performance of the K-State, Iowa State and Big Red One marching bands, an appearance from our own Miss Kansas 2013, and much more. Also, a reminder to fans this weekend that seating is not available (and no tickets sold) on the northeast grassy hill due to the placement of the Salute Battery for Fort Riley Day. Let's continue to show the nation, and our FOX Sports 1 national audience, the terrific atmosphere and environment we have here at K-State.

Saturday is also our annual Cats for Cans food drive, so be sure and bring canned food items, or monetary donations, and drop them off to any of our student-athletes who will be walking around the parking lots and also stationed at each of our gate entrances. The goal this year is to raise $15,000 or 6,000 pounds of donated goods to help fight hunger in the Manhattan area.

The competition weekend concludes on Sunday night at 7 p.m. as our volleyball team will host Oklahoma to make up the match that was unfortunately canceled this past Wednesday due to travel difficulties for the Sooners. Please come out Sunday to Ahearn to support the 'Cats. Remember you can bring your football or basketball ticket stubs and get a volleyball ticket for just $3.

While all these activities are taking place in MHK we want to wish the best of luck to our men's and women's cross country teams as they compete in the Big 12 Championships tomorrow morning in Waco, Texas. The men will race first at 10 a.m., followed by the women at 11 a.m. Good luck to both squads and check k-statesports.com tomorrow afternoon for race results.

Here are some more updates from around the department:

President Schulz Featured in NCAA Publication
Last week I was reading through the fall edition of the NCAA Champion when I came across a full-page article about our president, Dr. Kirk Schulz. The "dean of social media" was featured on pages 26 and 27 (click here for the full story) and the article praised President Schulz's use of social media, and Twitter in particular, to communicate with students, our fans and even the media. As a member of the Division I Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, President Schulz has been a tremendous representative for both K-State and the Big 12 Conference on the national scene. His K-State 2025 vision has Kansas State University on track to becoming a Top 50 public research institution, and we are very fortunate to have such a dynamic individual leading our great university.

Expansion Project Underway at MHK Airport
Those of you who have taken advantage of our five daily American Airlines jet flights out of Manhattan will notice some significant changes on your next visit. Earlier today a groundbreaking ceremony took place to commence construction on a terminal expansion. Construction plans call for an expansion of the building from 12,500 square feet to 42,000 square feet, which includes enclosed passenger boarding bridges! The airport will remain fully operational during construction, with the work taking place in two phases. Click here for the full release. The American Airlines service from MHK plays a key role for us, providing coaches, student-athletes and fans with access to any destination in the world! Coming soon will also be two additional flights per week from Manhattan to Phoenix via Allegiant - beginning next week!

Kudos to KDOT!
It has been a long process but the improvements to K-18 on the west side of Manhattan are nearly complete with a modern four lane divided access highway now connecting Fort Riley Blvd. and Scenic Drive all the way to Ogden and I-70. We appreciate the many city, county and state officials who have worked together to totally transform the west side access to MHK! It is another great step in the growth of a great community! Remember to pay attention to new traffic patterns and drive safely as you travel to and from K-State events!

Update on Willie Skit
Prior to last week's kick-off we had an unfortunate conclusion to the traditional "Willie skit." Fortunately the good people across the street at Mercy Regional Hospital were able to treat and release the student involved that afternoon. As the safety of our participants and spectators is always paramount, we have already modified our future skit plans and have reviewed our mascot and cheer practices. We appreciate the many emails and notes of concerns we have received this week.

That will do it for today. We hope to see you this weekend at Bramlage Coliseum and Bill Snyder Family Stadium, and good luck to our cross country teams this weekend in Waco, as well as our men's golf team which is currently in action out in California and will wrap up play Saturday.

Thanks for all that you do in support of 438 K-State student-athletes, and ............

Go Cats!

John