Oregon native Bryan Lietzke has been in the U.S. Air Force for eleven years. He’s been deployed to Afghanistan five times.
On Saturday afternoon he’ll have a new experience: he’ll receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Management from WKU.
What will he feel as he walks across the stage?
“I don’t know…probably satisfaction,” said Lietzke.
Some 1,300 WKU students will receive their diplomas on Saturday at Diddle Arena. But not all of them had quite the same college experience as Lietzke.
Lietzke posted a 4.0 grade point average and he did so while taking his classes online. Some of the classes he took while at Fort Knox, other times at Fort Drum in New York and still other times while in Afghanistan.
A college basketball rivalry dating back to 1932 continues Saturday between two Kentucky programs.
The WKU Hilltoppers travel west to take on the Murray State Racers for the 152nd time.
Both teams enter tomorrow’s game with .500 records. WKU is 3-3 and coming off wins against Bowling Green State and Saint Joseph’s. The Hilltoppers are led in scoring by senior guard T.J. Price, who is averaging 13 points a game, with senior forward George Fant leading the team in rebounding at 7 per contest.
Murray State is 4-4, and has been a tough home opponent for WKU in recent years. The Racers have won the last three meetings they’ve hosted against WKU, with the Toppers’ last win in Murray coming in 2004. If WKU is to win Saturday, they’ll likely have to contain the Racer’s star sophomore guard Cameron Payne, who was picked as the Ohio Valley Conference preseason player of the year.
After Saturday’s game in Murray, the Toppers have a week off for finals. Then they travel to Ole Miss Dec. 13, before hosting games against Chicago State Dec. 17, and the Louisville Cardinals Dec. 20.
The nationally-ranked WKU volleyball team is heading to a familiar location for its first-round NCAA tournament match.
The #24 Lady Toppers take on Iowa State Friday in Champaign, Illinois—the fourth time since 2008 that WKU has played an NCAA tournament contest in that town. WKU is 30-5 on the season and won the Conference USA tournament last weekend.
WKU head coach Travis Hudson says Friday’s matchup with Iowa State comes at an extremely exciting—and stressful—time of year for his players, given that finals week begins next Monday at WKU.
WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty threw eight touchdown passes Friday, as the Hilltoppers won at previously undefeated Marshall.
Trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter, the Thundering Herd rallied to tie the score with less than a minute in regulation.
After the game went into overtime, Marshall scored a touchdown on the team's opening possession. WKU responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Doughty to Jared Dangerfield, and then won the game on a successful two-point conversion. On the game's final play, Doughty rolled to his right and found Willie McNeal in the endzone for the winning score.
Hilltopper running back Leon Allen carried the ball 33 times for 237 yards and a touchdown, and Doughty completed 34 of 50 passes for 491 yards, in addition to his eight touchdowns.
WKU finishes its regular season with a 7-5 record, and now awaits to hear if the team will be invited to a postseason bowl game.
The WKU football team is entering its final regular season game with the chance to knock off an unbeaten team.
The Hilltoppers travel to Hungtington, West Virginia, for a Friday game against the Marshall Thundering Herd. Marshall is ranked 19th in the nation, and is looking to go 12-0 with a win against WKU.
Hilltopper Head Coach Jeff Brohm says he knows his time is a big underdog this week.
“We’re playing now with some confidence, and we’ve improved a bit every week. We understand that for this game, it’s going to take all three facets of the game to play their best. Our offense is going to have to play very well, obviously our defense is going to have to play very well, our special teams is going to have to not give up the big play and try to make a few big plays on its own.”
The Lady Hilltopper basketball team is set to play its fourth game in eight days.
And this time, state bragging rights are on the line.
WKU travels to the Louisville Tuesday to take on the #12 Lady Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center.
The Lady Toppers bring a 3-1 record into the game, including two wins in the Preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament. WKU lost the championship game to Mississippi State Sunday.
The game against the Lady Cards is a special one for WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard, who is a native of Louisville and was an assistant coach at U of L before coming to Bowling Green. Clark-Heard says she’s proud to see so many quality women’s basketball teams in the commonwealth.
“That’s the way we want it to be. Kentucky is known for basketball, and we want it to be known for women’s basketball just as much, across the board.”
Kentucky’s six high school state football championship games will remain in Bowling Green through 2018.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that it will continue its partnership with WKU and Russell Athletic for at least four more years. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett says while there are larger football stadiums in the Commonwealth, WKU’s L.T. Smith Stadium offers the perfect venue for the games.
“And what we hear from the fans that come, from the coaches who come, to the players who have played here is that the intimacy of a packed or a nearly packed house sometimes trumps some of the bells and whistles that they’ll never see anyway.”
The state football championships moved to Bowling Green in 2009 after 30 years in Louisville. W-K-U Athletic Director Todd Stewart says his school’s coaching staff loves hosting the games because it exposes potential recruits and their families to the campus, stadium, and community.
“Our coaches have always felt that if they can get a recruit here on campus then we have a great chance to get them, because they’ll see everything. And so for us to have six state championship football games here every year, which is obviously bringing 12 high-caliber teams here , exposes our program to them, and vice-versa.”
The 2014 state championship games will be played at WKU December 5-6.
“It’s going to bring together the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood, an acapella African-American group from Covington,” said Brent Bjorkman, director of the Kentucky Folklife Program at WKU, and a member of the Cultural Enhancement Series committee. “Also, Paul Mosely and his friends—he’s an award-winning thumbpicker, but they also play some sacred music as well. And starting out the show is our very own John Edmonds, from the Bowling Green area.”
Bjorkman says the music presented Tuesday evening is a kind that impacts many people in the region.
“Church, going to church, and worshipping is very much part of many peoples’ lives here in the commonwealth. So it’s a wonderful thing to bring together African-American and white churches. Everybody really has a connection to this particular kind of music we call gospel.”
The show begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Downing Student Union auditorium.
Before kickoff of the November 15, 2014 matchup between Army and WKU Football, WKU President Gary Ransdell delivered the game ball from 13,500 feet above Houchens-Smith Stadium in a tandem jump with the US Army Golden Knights.
President Ransdell jumped in tandem with SFC Chris Acevedo and SFC Noah Watts provided aerial videography.
Thanks to WKU PBS and the U.S. Army for sharing this behind-the-scenes video with us!
WKU is hoping to attract those over the age of 50 to a new organization that will offer classes ranging from financial planning to art history.
The Society for Lifelong Learning at WKU will begin offering non-credit courses next March, with the curriculum largely based on member input. The WKU group is modeling its efforts on more than 500 other lifelong learning institutes throughout the country.
Society member Frank Kersting says many of those surveyed indicated they would like to take classes that help explain major events and issues they’ve faced during their lifetimes.
“We found that individuals here would like to have courses that reflect their generation. So a lot of the classes will deal with who we were, back when we were younger.”
Kersting says the classes will not involve grades or papers, and are intended to be pressure-free.
“We are not only going to offer courses every semester that address a variety of interests that individuals over 50 have, but also provide a social network for individuals to meet other people of like mind and interests,” he told WKU Public Radio.
The Society for Lifelong Learning is holding an open house this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green.