A Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 2, 2016

Good Afternoon K-State Nation!

On this crisp fall day here in America’s No. 1 College Town we are getting ready for a big match tonight in Ahearn when Coach Fritz and the 17-6 volleyball team host the 20-2 Jayhawks at 7 p.m. in a key Big 12 match that will have important NCAA postseason seeding implications.  Bring the whole family over to Ahearn - you can conveniently park in the campus garage adjacent to the Union and catch this Sunflower Showdown battle of two teams well on their way to the 2016 NCAA Tournament.  If you cannot be in Ahearn be sure and tune in live to K-StateHD.TV or COX Channel Kansas for all of the action.  A Wildcat 4-Pack is available for the match which includes four match tickets and four $10 concessions vouchers for only $38 - a savings of nearly $20!

November is "go-time" for our crack operations staff with the overlap of seasons, and a very busy week continues Friday with a basketball exhibition doubleheader in Bramlage with the women’s team opening the season with a 5:30 p.m., matchup against Washburn followed by the men’s game against the Ichabods at 8 p.m.  I am really excited about both Coach Mittie and Coach Weber’s teams - both with excellent senior starters leading the way.  Also Friday, longtime Washburn leader Bob Chipman, of course a former K-State player under the legendary Jack Hartman, will be making his final appearance in Bramlage as head coach of the Ichabods prior to his retirement, and we encourage you to be there early to salute one of the true "good guys" of college basketball.  Coach Chipman has won 773 games, made 16 national tournament appearances and won the 1986-87 NAIA National Championship during his illustrious career.

I will be making several other appearances on Friday as we host National Leadership Circle weekend as well as our department-sponsored Track and Field reunion while also attending the dedication of the new Berney Family Welcome Center on campus.  As of this morning, we have more than 100 NLC members attending our weekend event, while close to 300 former track and field student-athletes and family members will be back for the reunion.

Two of those former athletes returning are K-State Athletics Hall of Famer Gwen Wentland-Mikinski and sports reporter Jill Montgomery who will also be on campus Thursday for a special panel session titled “Being Fearless” sponsored by K-State’s Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) Department.  It is the first of two lead-up events for the GWSS Annual Lecture with keynote speaker Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who was named the “Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th century” by Sports Illustrated.  She will deliver a lecture entitled “Dare to Dream” at K-State on March 16, 2017.  The “Being Fearless” panel discussion will be held tomorrow (Thursday) from 5:30-6:45 p.m., at the Town Hall room in the Leadership Studies Building on campus. 

Saturday’s 32nd Straight Sellout to Feature Two of Big 12’s Best

Of course, the weekend will culminate with our 2:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2-televised football game with No. 22 Oklahoma State as Bill Snyder Family Stadium will be at full capacity for the 32nd straight game.  The game will feature two teams battling for positioning in the league standings and the third (K-State) and fourth (OSU) winningest programs in Big 12 history – both of which have won Big 12 championships since the 2011 season.  Coach Snyder and the Wildcats have built some solid momentum coming off wins against Texas and Iowa State, and we look forward to an exciting game and electric crowd on Saturday!  At 5-3, the Cats are nearing bowl eligibility for the seventh straight year, and it is never too early to start making plans for the holiday season.  The Big 12 bowl lineup this season features the Sugar (January 2 in New Orleans), Alamo (December 29 in San Antonio), Russell Athletic (December 28 in Orlando), Texas (December 28 in Houston), Liberty (December 30 in Memphis), Cactus (December 27 in Phoenix) and Armed Forces (December 23 in Fort Worth) bowls, and the conference’s earliest bowl tie-in (Armed Forces Bowl) is only 20 days following the regular season finale at TCU. We encourage you to start making plans now!

Tickets Available for Sprint Center Men’s and UCONN Home Women’s Games
Basketball season is underway, and tickets remain available for the December 10 men’s game against Pac-12 opponent Washington State in Kansas City’s Sprint Center.  It has always been a priority for us to take K-State basketball to our loyal fans in Kansas City, and we enjoy playing in one of the top sports arenas in the entire country.  Also, more than 10,000 tickets have been sold for the December 11 women’s game with defending national champion UCONN.  With a sellout crowd expected, be sure and reserve your seat in Bramlage now with just a few thousand tickets remaining.

Peter Dorhout Named President of American Chemical Society
Congrats to Vice President for Research Peter Dorhout on being elected President of the 2017 American Chemical Society by members of the American Chemical Society (ACS).  He will serve as president of the 157,000-member society in 2018.  The ACS is the world's largest scientific society whose mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.  Congrats Peter on another achievement that elevates K-State and our K-State 2025 goals!

Thoughts and Prayers
Closing on a more solemn note, the last 48 hours have been tough for our K-State Athletics family.  First, our thoughts and prayers are with men's basketball associate head coach Chris Lowery and his wife Erika and their family following the passing of their 15-year old son, Kahari.  Erika and Chris are among the most dedicated and loving parents I have ever known.  And we offer deep condolences to our dedicated KSA Human Resources Specialist Karen Biehler whose father died and mother was injured in an auto accident yesterday.

Thanks again for all you do to support K-State student-athletes.

Go Cats!

John