The thrill of the Final Four is upon us and it is a special time to be at the University of Kentucky!
We have a long tradition of academic and athletic excellence. We have overcome challenges in our programs over the last several years – this is an exciting moment.
As the country’s greatest fans, I know the Big Blue Nation will represent the history and tradition of Kentucky basketball with the same dignity and pride as our team. I am incredibly proud of the way this team has represented the University of Kentucky. Each day, I am reminded in unique ways that they fully embrace being the Commonwealth’s Team and proudly represent the greatest tradition in college basketball.
UK Athletics is a readily identifiable brand – a front door to the University. It attracts students, increases brand identity, and keeps alumni and friends connected to the institution they care for deeply. We continue to find new ways to leverage the tradition of excellence and integrity in our Athletic department to enhance all aspects of the academic, Land Grant and research mission of the University. Harmony across our institution is essential as we renew the spirit and veracity with which we pursue our Kentucky Promise.
For our students and fans that will be here in Lexington this weekend rooting on the Cats from the comfort of your home or with a group of friends out on the town, I want to remind you to cheer loud for our student-athletes, but to be respectful and courteous to other fans and act as a responsible neighbor in our community. So that when our team returns to Lexington, we can celebrate their hard work and accomplishments honorably and with integrity.
For our fans traveling to New Orleans, please remember that our team is tending to business this weekend, the very serious business of winning the NCAA National Championship.
Please be safe and respectful in your celebrations. Watch out for one another. Keep each other safe. Be smart and careful. Have fun.
By this time next week, I expect all of us to look back and be proud of our team and the way in which we recognized their achievement.