Letters to campus

January 2011

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back to campus for the Spring semester! I hope you had a fun and relaxing holiday break. Campus was pretty quiet the first week in January, and as many of you know, it was easy to walk right into many of the restaurants in Aggieville with no wait!

Like many of you, I will decide to try some new things to start off 2011. Like many Americans, I generally vow to exercise a bit more, and try and ensure that I don't get too run down with work-related activities.

With these new year motivations in mind, I stepped on the treadmill, pulled out my iPhone, went to the iPod icon, and picked some songs to play while exercising. Since I am the 13th president of Kansas State — I will share 13 songs on my iPhone that remind me of how special 2010 was at K-State...

Song #13 — "Sunshine on My Shoulders" by John Denver. Why? K-State opened up two LEED certified buildings in Manhattan — the School of Leadership Studies building and the expansion of the Jardine Student Complex.

Song #12 — "Chariots of Fire Theme" by Vangelis. Why? K-State student athletes continue to excel in the classroom as Kansas State University led the Big 12 in the all-sports graduation rate for the fourth consecutive year.

Song #11 — "The Entertainer" by Billy Joel. Why? The arts continue to thrive on campus as the McCain center enjoyed sellouts of four of its seven shows for the Fall 2010 semester.

Song #10 — "Shake It Up" by The Cars. Why? K-State attracted terrific new leaders into senior administrative positions — April Mason as Provost and Senior VP, Bruce Shubert as VP for Administration and Finance, Jeff Morris as VP for Communications and Marketing, Ken Stafford as Vice Provost for Information Technology, Jackie Hartman as Director of Community Relations and Assistant to the President, and Ruth Dyer as Senior Vice Provost.

Song #9 — "We Are The Champions" by Queen. Why? K-State once again crowned several new national champions across a range of disciplines. This year's champions included the K-State Salina SIFE Team, the Crops Judging Team (who won their ninth national title in last 12 years), and a group of Construction Science and Management Students who won the American Concrete Institute's International Competition.

Song #8 — "Money, Money, Money" by Abba. Why? K-State attracted nearly $91M in private gifts — the fourth highest in history. We attracted two $5M gifts in 2010 — the Edgerley family endowed deanship in CBA and the Berney Capital Projects fund to assist with construction of the student welcome center and basketball practice facility. Additionally, K-State finished another record year in new grants and contracts with nearly $150M recorded during the last fiscal year.

Song #7 — "Drink the Night Away" by Gaelic Storm. Why? Eric Stonestreet (1996, BA Sociology) won an Emmy award for best supporting actor in a comedy for his role as Cameron Tucker in ABC's "Modern Family."

Song #6 — "The River of Dreams" by Billy Joel. Why? K-State announces the K-State 2025 initiative, which seeks to place Kansas State University among the Top 50 Public Research Universities in the next 15 years.

Song #5 — "Now We Are Free" — Gladiator Soundtrack. The Big 12 Conference moves into 2011 with only 10 members following the departure this summer of the University of Colorado to the Pac 10 and the University of Nebraska to the Big 10.

Song #4 — "Victory" by Bond. Why? Kansas State once again had a record enrollment, including the overall number of students, international students, and students of color.

Song #3 — "Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins. Why? Two K-State academic programs celebrated 100 years of service to the State of Kansas — the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Department of Grain Science and Industry.

Song #2 — "I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General" — Gilbert & Sullivan. Why? Six K-State faculty members received CAREER Development Awards from the National Science Foundation, the most by any university in Kansas last year and a record year for K-State.

Song #1 — "First Snow" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Why? A microburst hit campus two weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall semester, downing 50 trees on campus — including some that were over 100 years old. Thanks to some excellent work by our facilities people, campus was ready to go for Sorority Rush three days later.

So, the next time that favorite song of yours starts playing on the radio or you scroll past it on your iPod — sing or hum to the music and enjoy the memories of the successes you were part of as a member of the K-State family in 2010.

Here's looking at a great 2011!

Go Cats,

Kirk