Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 29

Over the Last Few Weeks...Among other duties this month I have traveled to New Orleans, Maine, New York, Boston, Salina and of course KC several times! But, it was great to be back on campus this past Sunday evening for the second annual new-student convocation in Bramlage Coliseum followed by the sixth annual Week of Welcome Pep Rally in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. More than 7,500 students filled the stadium and were fired up to get the semester started! This event continues to grow every year - one highlight this year was our men's basketball team, along with President Schulz and Coach Weber, taking the ALS ice bucket challenge - you can see it by clicking here. Hats off to members of the Pride of Wildcat Land Band who showed their versatility by not only performing on the field but also handling the water dumping duties!Today we announced another record-setting year of student ticket support at K-State - click here for the press release. Once again, contrary to much publicized national trends about declining student attendance, K-State students continue to show their pride and dedication to the Best Fan Experience in the Big 12 Conference! We appreciate the dedication of our students and know their presence will be felt at tomorrow night's football game and throughout the season!I have enjoyed visiting numerous team meetings and am especially proud this week when I was able to drop by the WSC's Ahearn Fund Student-Athlete Performance Table in the mornings and see our student-athletes enjoying the launch of our new breakfast snack in the Performance Table. This is a much anticipated element of our enhanced nutrition offerings for our student-athletes made possible by contributions of our Ahearn Fund members after the the deregulation of NCAA food rules that went into effect on August 1. It is yet another step forward in enhancing our World-Class Student-Athlete Experience!Wednesday morning started at 7 a.m. with a head coaches meeting and was followed by our first-of-the-year monthly department-wide meeting in the Vanier Complex. President Schulz came and did a great job updating our staff on numerous topics including K-State 2025 as we continue to make progress toward becoming a top 50 national public research university. This meeting also included a number of critical reminders of policies and expectations for our coaches and staff. Assisted by guests including Roberta Maldonado-Franzen, director of KSU's office of institutional equity, associate general counsel Pete Paukstelis, KSU police chief Ronnie Grice and faculty athletics representative Dr. Be Stoney, we reviewed the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Violence, and Stalking, K-State's Whistleblower and Threat Management Policies as well as our department alcohol statement of responsibility and of course the NCAA violations reporting affidavit each staff member and coach must sign annually. I am proud of the commitment of these University professionals in helping to ensure that the campus environment is as safe as possible for all students, faculty, staff and guests.We also officially welcomed several new staff members to the department during Wednesday's staff meeting, including new head women's tennis coach Danielle Steinberg and assistant Mark Denenfeld. Danielle is a rising star in the tennis profession, was the 2014 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, and her impact on our program has already been noticeable on the recruiting trail and with our current players. Click here for more information on our new tennis staff.Before I get into the rest of the updates, I would like to comment briefly on the Big 12 AD meetings I attended last week in New Orleans. With so much debate and questions surrounding college athletics, the meetings provided an opportunity for us to have some terrific dialogue amongst the AD's and Big 12 staff as we look forward to the new NCAA governance structure. While changes to the landscape may be on the horizon - how autonomy will operate, how some of these court rulings play out, cost of attendance, etc. - I feel more strongly than ever before that K-State is in a position to maintain our place among the top intercollegiate programs in the country. The overall experience provided for our student-athletes is the best that it's ever been, and we will continue to work to make it even better.Now back to the updates...Football Season Nearing Complete SelloutThere are less than 50 standing-room-only tickets left for tomorrow night's game (which you can get at the window or at www.kstatesports.com while they last) and I know Bill Snyder Family Stadium will be rocking when we take the field against Stephen F. Austin in the sixth annual K-State Family Reunion game. We are very close to a full-season sellout, which will run our consecutive sellout streak at Bill Snyder Family Stadium to 20 games, and we thank you for your ticket purchases and support of K-State student-athletes. In addition, we are also pleased to announce that all seating in the Club Level of the West Stadium Center has been sold for the 2014 season!QuadCast Feature to Provide Extra Viewing Options for SFA GameFor those who can't be in attendance for the SFA game, be sure and tune in to K-StateHD.TV as the season opener will serve as our one member institution retained game and be broadcast across the world on our No. 1-ranked digital network. In addition to the live broadcast on K-StateHD.TV, our staff will provide a "QuadCast" viewing option for fans that will greatly enhance the viewing experience. The "QuadCast" will be a secondary option and provide four unique camera views all on the same screen. At once, fans can watch the live game feed, the instant replay feed and two separate high-end camera angles from both the north and south ends of the stadium. Be sure and click here for more information on K-StateHD.TV and how to get tomorrow's ballgame.More Than 150 Former Cats Expected for Football Reunion One of our goals of providing a World-Class Student-Athlete Experience is to host department-wide reunions for every sport over a five-year period. Following our first Golden Cat football reunion back in 2009, the time has come again to welcome back all of our former football players to Manhattan. In a few hours I am headed to the West Stadium Club to welcome some of the more than 150 former players in town for this weekend's game. We are expecting former players from eight decades who are traveling back to MHK from 17 states! After tonight's get together and a pre-game tailgate, our former players attending will be recognized on Dave Wagner Field before the game. Help us welcome back each of these Wildcats as they have all played a key role in the continued development of a special football program!Alumni Association Taking Reservations for ISU Pregame PartyIt's not too early to start thinking about the first football road trip of the season when the Cats travel to Iowa State on September 6 for the 2014 Big 12 opener. If you are traveling to Ames and want to join fellow K-Staters before the 11 a.m. kickoff, the Alumni Association has you covered. From 8:30 - 10:30 a.m., the Alumni Association will host a tailgate party at the Eggerling Traditions Garden near the stadium. For just $20, you can enjoy a pregame breakfast and hear from several Wildcat guests. Click here for more information as reservations are due today! See you in Ames!Volleyball's Varney's Invitational Live From Bramlage Next WeekendAfter returning from Green Bay, Coach Fritz's Wildcats will open up the home schedule next week with the Varney's Invitational at Bramlage Coliseum, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, September 4-6. This tournament will be a test run of a new Bramlage volleyball configuration. Come out and experience the new Bramlage sound system and enjoy the air conditioning as the Wildcats square off against Arkansas, Middle Tennessee State and UCF. The following Monday, September 8, the Cats return to Ahearn to face off against Missouri State in preparation for conference play.K-Staters Recognized by National PublicationFinally, I came across a story in the latest edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education that listed the 29 largest private gifts to higher education for 2013-14, and I am proud to say that gifts to K-State marked two of the Top 20 gifts, joining Cornell as the only other school to be listed twice among those 19 gifts. Under President Schulz's leadership we continue to make great strides both as an athletic department and university community in elevating Kansas State University to one of the top 50 public research institutions in the nation, and all of Wildcat Nation is just as committed to that goal! Click here for the full article.That will do it for today. Thank you for all that you continue to do in support of our student-athletes and all of our programs. See you at Purple Power Play in the Park tonight and at Bill Snyder Family Stadium tomorrow!Go Cats!John