Letter from A.D. John Currie - March 6

Here are a few more updates from around the department, beginning with a look at tonight's women's basketball game.Women's Basketball Ready for Big 12's Following Dramatic Senior Night WinComing off a thrilling comeback Senior Night win over West Virginia on Tuesday, Coach Mittie and the women's team are in Dallas for the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at American Airlines Center. The eighth-seeded Wildcats will face the ninth-seeded Jayhawks tonight at 6 p.m. in first-round action (the game will be televised live on FCS) with the winner advancing to take on Big 12 Champion Baylor on Saturday.  Back to Senior Night briefly...  we are proud of our team embracing Coach Mittie's program and already improving our win total from last season in his first year by six games to 17-12 as well as achieving our highest Big 12 win total since 2011-12.  Kudos to seniors Ashia Woods, Haley Texada and Heidi Brown for their leadership and contributions to K-State, and best of luck this postseason to our entire team!  And congrats to Ashia and Breanna Lewis on being named to the All-Big 12 team earlier this week.Men's Hoops Heads to Texas Before Big 12 ChampionshipRiding thrilling consecutive home wins over two Top 15 teams, Coach Weber and the men's team will wrap up the Big 12 regular season tomorrow at Texas.  The game, which tips at 3 p.m., can be seen live on ESPN2.  The Cats then head to Kansas City for the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.  Seeding and game times will be determined following all of Saturday's games as another competitive season in the nation's top basketball conference comes to a close.  It should be an exciting week at the Sprint Center.Baseball Opens Home Schedule This WeekendAs I mentioned earlier, the weather forecast for this weekend looks terrific, and Coach Hill and the Bat Cats are set to open up the 2015 home schedule at 3 p.m. today against Santa Clara.  All three games, including the 2 p.m. Saturday matchup and 12 p.m. Sunday finale, will be broadcast live on K-StateHD.TV.  Be sure and bring the family out to Tointon Family Stadium this weekend and enjoy the sunshine and a little baseball!Tennis, Rowing, Golf in ActionCoach Sweeney and our rowing team have spent the winter months training hard in our new Intercollegiate Rowing Center, and they will get back into competition tomorrow in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to face the Sooners in a battle of the conference's top two squads from a year ago.  On Sunday, the tennis team will be at Iowa to face the Hawkeyes at noon, while the men's golf team begins play at the Tiger Intercollegiate in Auburn, Alabama.  Best of luck to these teams in action, and be sure and visit k-statesports.com throughout the weekend for updates.Honors Roll in for Coach Rovelto's SquadsFresh off a Big 12 Indoor Championships performance that saw our women's team take home four individual conference titles and finish second as a team, several members of our track and field teams were honored this week by the league office.  In addition to Coach Rovelto's honor, Akela Jones earned Women's Performer of the Year and freshmen A'Keyla Mitchell and Nate Gipson were each awarded Outstanding Freshman honors.Four Student-Athletes Receive Big 12's Highest Academic HonorThe fifth annual Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement award was handed out to four of our student-athletes earlier this week as Sarah Kolmer (Sr.; track & field; kinesiology), Brittany Long (Sr.; rowing; psychology), Erika Schiller (Sr.; cross country/track & field; dietetics) and Stanton Weber (Sr.; football; accounting) were all recognized.  In order to be eligible for the accolade, student-athletes must have lettered at least once in their career while maintaining residence at their institution for at least one academic year.  The honoree, which can only be recognized once, should have 100 hours of earned credit with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.80 at the time of the nomination. Congrats to these terrific student-athletes!Architecture, Planning & Design Dean de Noble HonoredCongratulations to Dean Tim de Noble of the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, as he has been selected by Kansas City-based Ingram's magazine as one of its 2015 Icons of Education.  APDesign is one of the most highly-ranked academic programs at K-State with numerous degree tracks currently ranked in the Top 5 across the nation, and Dean de Noble's leadership and vision have been instrumental in the program's sustained success.  The de Noble family is also a proud supporter of our student-athletes and can be regularly seen at Wildcat baseball games and other athletic events.  Congratulations to both Dean de Noble and the entire College of Architecture, Planning & Design on this honor.  Click here for more information on the college.Finally today, I want to commend President Schulz, Director of Governmental Relations Sue Peterson and K-State Vice President for Research Ron Trewyn for their continued hard work in the development of the $1.25 billion National Bio and Agro-defense Facility.  Recently, Congress passed a bi-partisan funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security which will feature the remaining amount to fully fund this transformational facility.  Construction on the laboratory is expected to begin this summer.  The progress continues for our great community and university!!!Have a great weekend, and thank you for all that you do for K-State Athletics and all 450-plus of our student-athletes!Go Cats!John