The latest WKU men's basketball player will add some international flair to the roster.
Ben Lawson, a 6’11’’ forward, will have four years of eligibility at WKU beginning this fall. Lawson is a native of Hitchen, England and was a member of the England 18 and under national team.
Over 31 games for Oaklands College in Great Britain last season, Lawson averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds, and nearly five blocked shots a game. The big man can also shoot it from outside, hitting 40 percent of his three-point attempts last season at Oaklands.
Lawson is the fifth new addition to the WKU roster who will be eligible for the upcoming season.
Lawson joins Aaron Adeoye (6-7, forward, Marion, Ill.), Chris Harrison-Docks (6-0, guard, Okemos, Mich.), Payton Hulsey (6-5, guard, Memphis, Tenn.), Trency Jackson (6-2, guard, Jackson, Miss.) and Daouda Soumaoro (6-9, center, Mali) as newcomers to the Hilltopper roster in 2013-14.
The Kentucky Wildcats are making it clear they want pay-back for last year’s football loss to the WKU Hilltoppers. Several UK players talked about the season-opener for both teams at Wednesday’s Southeastern Conference Media Days event in Hoover, Alabama.
To hear several Kentucky Wildcat football players tell it, the WKU Hilltoppers were disrespectful following last season’s 32-31 overtime win at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington.
Wildcats running back Raymond Sanders said the team was looking forward to the season-opener for both schools. The Courier-Journal quoted Sanders as saying the Toppers “were pretty disrespectful on our field—and disrespectful with some tweets and Facebook and some stuff. After the game, jumping and stomping on the field. It’s our field. You gotta take pride in that.”
After last year’s win at Kentucky, then-WKU head coach Willie Taggart said WKU red was the “new blue” in Kentucky.
Ground will be broken Wednesday morning at the future site of the Hardin County Schools Early College and Career Center. The effort is a collaboration between the school system and WKU, and will allow high school students in the Hardin County system to take classes during the academic year that will transform into college credit from WKU, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, or Sullivan University.
Hardin County Schools Superintendent Nannette Johnston says the Early College and Career Center is facing a strict construction deadline.
"I can sum it up in the one word: aggressive. Typically, we look at construction projects of this magnitude taking about 18 months. We want this project to be completed by August of 2014," Johnston told WKU Public Radio.
The Early College and Career Center will offer Hardin County students classes in fields such as engineering, manufacturing, automotive technology, media arts and communication, and culinary arts and hospitality services.
Efforts are underway to determine what can be done to salvage artwork damaged by the Thursday morning fire at Bowling Green's Downing Museum at the Baker Arboretum.
The museum houses numerous paintings by the late artist and Hart County native Joe Downing. WKU President Gary Ransdell says the Downing Museum art is now at different parts of the school's campus.
"All of the artwork has now been transported to the Kentucky Building, and is in storage and is protected," said Dr. Ransdell. "The art that has been damaged by smoke and water is over in the services supply building where the art restoration experts will look them over and determine what needs to be done immediately, and what needs to take place over time. Only a few pieces were damaged by the actual fire--I'm guessing maybe 30 or 40 pieces."
The fire started before 7 a.m. and was discovered by estate staff members. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Officials on the scene of the blaze this morning told WKU Public Radio the fire was likely started by an electrical malfunction or a lightning strike.
The WKU Board of Regents will vote on the school’s next budget at a meeting Friday afternoon. The nearly $394 million spending plan for 2013-14 is a 1.4 percent increase over last year’s budget.
If approved, 46 percent of the revenue used to run WKU would come from tuition and student fees. Only 18 percent of the proposed budget comes from state funding.
The budget vote comes after several tumultuous months on the WKU campus. In April, the Council on Postsecondary Education rejected President Gary Ransdell’s request for a 5 percent tuition increase, granting just a 3 percent hike. Ransdell told WKU faculty and staff that the decision meant the school was going to have to cut jobs.
Dr. Ching-Yi Lin of Bowling Green received a Jefferson Award Tuesday in Washington.
Dr. Lin, a world-class violinist, was recognized for sharing her talent within the community by serving as the director of the WKU pre-college strings program. That program has about 70 children between four and 18 years old studying the violin, viola and cello. Besides giving performances at area schools, her students also perform at local retirement homes, charities and businesses.
The Jefferson Award is given to exceptional Americans who strive to make their communities better and stronger. Recipients are nominated from throughout the country.
Besides leading the pre-college strings program, Dr. Lin is assistant professor of violin at WKU and Concertmaster of the Symphony at WKU.
The Hilltoppers have been named the Sun Belt preseason favorite in The Sporting News college football preview. WKU is followed in the ranking by Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State.
Also, senior running back Antonio Andrews has been named a preseason All-America selection by the organization.
Andrews is a third-team selection to the 2013 Sporting News All-America Team as an all-purpose player.
Kickoff time has been set for WKU’s season-opening football game versus Kentucky.
The Hilltoppers will open their 2013 campaign on Saturday, August 31, at 6 p.m. at L.P. Field in Nashville.
The contest will mark the first games for both teams’ head coaches—Bobby Petrino at WKU and Mark Stoops at Kentucky. The Wildcats will be looking to avenge last season’s overtime loss to WKU in Lexington.
WKU didn’t have to look too far for the school’s new Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations.
Rick Dubose is a familiar face to many on the WKU campus. He graduated from WKU in 1973, and returned to the hill in 1997 to serve as the first major gift officer for the Potter College of Arts and Letters and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.
Since 1999, he’s been WKU’s director of corporate and foundation relations.
Dubose starts in his new position May 15, taking over from Donald Smith, who was recently named President of the College Heights Foundation.
WKU President Gary Ransdell has spelled out how the school will handle a $2.1 million dollar budget cut next fiscal year.
In an email sent to faculty and staff Wednesday afternoon, Ransdell said that starting July 1, WKU will eliminate the budgets for the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching—or FACET--and the Center of Excellence in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.
Recurring funding will end for the Provost’s Initiative for Excellence, and the budgets of the ALIVE Center and Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility will be combined.
WKU will close its center in Radcliff, and will operate programs previously held there at its campuses in Elizabethtown and Ft. Knox.
Earlier this week, President Ransdell said the school had found ways to deal with the budget cuts without eliminating jobs, although some positions could be shifted to other departments on campus.
Here is an excerpt from the email Dr. Ransdell sent Wednesday: