WKU president admits that emotions running high as tenure comes to a close

05/08/2017 09:55 AM

BOWLING GREEN – Next Saturday, Western Kentucky University President Dr. Gary Ransdell will serve his last major function as he oversees commencement ceremonies for the 2017 graduating class.

Ransdell, who is a 1973 grad of WKU and has served as president of the university since 1997, says emotions are running high with time running down on his 20-year tenure.

“We’re going through a lot of lasts these days, last this, last that, but it’s a very special time in our lives and a good smooth, pleasant transition is important for a university and I’m proud of that as well,” Ransdell said. “The transition is good and positive, and emotional, rather than a circumstance which doesn’t bring distinction to an institution which happens from time to time.”

Ransdell will take six months off after his tenure ends on July 1 before taking over as the new president and CEO of the Institute for Shipboard Education, parent organization to the Semester at Sea program.

“We own a ship that circles the globe each semester for four months, and students earn 15 hours of academic credit for a voyage that circles the globe and has about a dozen ports of call on continents and countries across the globe,” Ransdell said. “It’s a life-changing learning experience.”

Semester at Sea program itineraries are built around international challenges, trends, issues, and relevant academic themes. Since 1963, more than 60,000 students from 1,700 colleges and universities around the world have studied with Semester at Sea.

Notable alumni and contributors include Nobel Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and many other world leaders and global thinkers.


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