Message from WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell

Hilltoppers,

What a special week here on the Hill! This time of year is always exciting as the season's change brings about our transition to the heart of our fall sports schedules and also the beginning of the winter sports seasons. With Homecoming festivities well underway for 2011, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge some recent happenings throughout our WKU athletics program.

As our football team prepares to represent our university against Sun Belt Conference leader Louisiana-Lafayette this Saturday and build upon its current two-game winning streak, there is plenty of excitement brewing throughout WKU athletics. Our women's volleyball program has worked very hard through what has been a challenging 2011 schedule. They currently sit at 21-3 and are ranked 23rd in the latest RPI indicator. Our women's soccer program has won or tied in six straight contests, while shutting out their opponents in the last four. They currently find themselves 10-5-1 with three matches remaining before the Sun Belt Conference Championships. Men's and women's cross country compete for the Sun Belt Championship on October 29th right here in Bowling Green, where the women's program looks to make it 18 consecutive Sun Belt Championships in indoor track, outdoor track and cross country. This past Friday marked the official pre-season kickoff of the 2011-12 edition of Hilltopper and Lady Topper Basketball, and Claire Donahue from our women's swimming program won gold in the 100-meter butterfly last Saturday at the Pan American Games in Mexico. Claire set a Pan Am Games record in the event as she continues her preparations for the Olympic trials next summer.

More important than the athletic accolades and current momentum on the playing fields are the achievements our young men and women are experiencing in the classroom every day as student-athletes. The cumulative GPA for all 378 WKU student-athletes is over 3.0 and over the last decade, 85 percent of all WKU student-athletes who completed their eligibility have graduated. Our Hilltoppers and Lady Toppers are committed on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.

The impact that each and every one of our student-athletes bring to our WKU campus community, Bowling Green, and the entire South Central Kentucky region is truly invaluable. It is amazing to watch them as they pursue their dreams, capitalize on opportunities, and experience success, all while proudly donning the Red and White as Hilltoppers and Lady Toppers. Though, they do not do it alone.

Members of the Board of Directors and volunteers for the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation (HAF) have spent the last year campaigning to raise awareness and encourage investment in the lives of WKU student-athletes through membership in the HAF. The Power of One Campaign is a concentrated effort to ensure WKU student-athletes are provided enhanced opportunities through scholarship funding made possible by the HAF.  I ask you, if you are not currently a member, to join the HAF for as little as $50. Your support, in addition to that of the over 1,600 current HAF members, will play a large part in the ensured continuation of the achievements discussed above.

WKU student-athletes, the athletics program and the university are committed to being a positive beacon for all of Bowling Green and South Central Kentucky. We want you to be part of that as well by participating in our Power of One Campaign. Learn more by visiting supporthaf.org and become a member of the HAF today.

Thanks, have a great Homecoming week, and GO TOPS!
Gary A. Ransdell

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