A Big Blue Family Welcome ...

It is simply my favorite time of the year. There’s an excitement in the air. Our students, faculty and staff have been gearing up all summer to welcome the newest Wildcats to the Big Blue family during K Week. Today I spoke with the K Crew, a group of 400 student leaders who will spend all day (and long hours into the night) welcoming folks to campus. Their enthusiasm reminded me of how excited Mary Lynne and I were this time last year as we were embarking on our “freshman” year at UK. I shared a story with them that I want to share with you as well. Last year, after all the fun and excitement of New Student Induction Ceremony, Big Blue U and Campus Ruckus, I had returned home to Maxwell Place to pick up our two dogs to take them for a walk. As we walked through campus, we passed groups of students happily chatting, recapping the day’s events and meeting new friends. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle I noticed a student walking alone, so we stopped to talk to him. I asked him how he was doing and he said back to me, looking down at my two pups, “I’m fine but I really miss my dogs.”

I told the K Crew that story and I share it with you because during the next few weeks it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of all that is going on at UK. But now is our time and we need all members of the Big Blue family to reach out to that person standing alone or the quiet one in a group, and extend a hand, share a smile and ask how they are doing. Everyone on this campus has something in common – we all love UK – so reach out and make sure that no one feels alone. The K Crew welcomes new students to campus as their part of the Kentucky Promise, but it’s something we can all share in.

New and returning students, welcome. We’re so excited that you’re here. Remember, always, see blue.