Greetings from Cardwell Hall. Classes have just finished, the campus is quiet and there is a thick layer of snow on the ground. The day after finals ended we got about nine inches of snow – very fortunate timing!
K-State alumni again have demonstrated why they are regarded to be among the most loyal graduates in the nation with the recent release of information ranking K-State No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference for the percentage of graduates who are members of their respective alumni associations. Compiled for the 2004-05 academic year, this marks the ninth consecutive year K-State has finished in the top position among Big 12 institutions. K-State’s percentage of graduates who were Alumni Association members during the last year, 28.13 percent, was the highest ever for the Association and more than three percentage points greater than the second and third place among Big 12 universities.
Changes continue to occur on our campus. In the summer K-State began a 10 year redevelopment of its Jardine housing complex. The project, to exceed $100 million, will offer K-State students a mix of housing options in a community-like setting. No tax dollars are being used for the redevelopment project. Primary funding will come from bonds issued by the Kansas Development Finance Authority and private contributions.
The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art will soon begin a 17,000-square-foot expansion. The current museum has 26,000 square feet. The existing galleries will be devoted to the permanent collection, while the new portion of the building will host temporary exhibitions as well as exhibit storage. An outdoor sculpture gallery is also part of the new design.
The legislature has made no funding cuts in the operating budget this year and has incorporated a pay raise of approximately 2.5% for most employees into the university budget. K-State set another research-funding record. For fiscal year 2005, the university received $110,859,813 in funding for research and creative activities and the Physics Department contributed $7,000,000 of this – a large proportion for just one department.
K-State, with 53 winners, ranks first in the nation among state universities in the number of Goldwater winners since this scholarship began in 1989. The Goldwater provides about $15,000 for two years of study. Among all colleges and universities in the nation, only Princeton, Harvard and Duke have produced more Goldwater scholars.
Muscle & Fitness magazine in its March issue has ranked K-State on its list of Top 20 Fittest Colleges for 2005. Schools are ranked according to six criteria: number of recreation facilities, weight room hours, number of sports clubs, health-related majors, intramural sport opportunities and fitness classes offered.
Most students who leave K-State with bachelor's degrees are successfully moving on in their professional endeavors, according to a report by K-State's Career and Employment Services. The report, Post-Graduation Statistics 2003-04, is based on responses to surveys taken by 80 percent of K-State's 3,503 bachelor's degree recipients who graduated during the 2003-04 academic year. Of the 2,785 graduates surveyed, 69 percent reported they were employed, while 21 percent said they were enrolled in a graduate/professional school or other education program. Sixty percent accepted positions in Kansas.
Legendary Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder retired as the Wildcats’ head coach in November and a new head football coach, Ron Prince, has been hired and has begun to build his coaching staff. Bill Snyder will be the featured guest at this year’s Little AppleŽ New Year’s Eve Celebration and Ball Drop in Aggieville and has been selected to push the button that brings down the ball. Go to http://www.mediarelations.ksu.edu/ for more information.