Have you taken a walk through campus lately? The autumn scenery is a great reminder that K-State is experiencing change. With multiple construction projects completed, planned or underway, our university is literally building the future. Sure; blocked walkways, construction fences and constant noise from machinery is bothersome, but you can't deny the excitement that accompanies progress.
Let’s compare our changing campus with what’s happening just 125 miles east on I-70. The boys in blue at The K have us remembering the power of a good rebuilding story. Like the K-State football teams of old, the Kansas City Royals ball club is not known for its postseason appearances. For those born post October 1985, the "hunt for blue October" wasn't a reality until the 2014 season. Yet, here we are again, in pursuit of the "crown" and it’s beginning to feel like the Royals are on their way to accomplishing a turnaround that is screenplay worthy.
K-State’s campus revival and the Royals’ resurgence make for a great comparison, so let’s take it one step further. We've matched construction projects on campus with personalities of Royals players. Fun, right? It will at least give you something to read before the first pitch.
K-State Student Union = Salvador Perez
Your Union is undergoing a little project of its own. After the 2013 student-voted, student-funded $25 million referendum passed, renovation is underway. Your Union is the living room of campus where students look to find their friends, their activities, and often, themselves. Finding the anchor to an organization is one of the most vital parts of success. In Kansas City, that anchor is Salvador Perez. As the Golden Glove-winning catcher, Salvy is steadfast in his contributions to the Royals. He is there to call the games, take the hits and have the fun.
Purple Masque Theatre = Yordano Ventura
The recently completed Purple Masque Theatre has given students of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance a fancy, new space to be oh, so dramatic. Speaking of dramatic: Yordano Ventura. He was what some would argue the instigator of the "bad boys of baseball" nickname the Royals picked up early this season. Known for his icy interactions with opposing players, he is easily the most dramatic athlete on the roster. While K-State students use the Purple Masque Theatre for drama therapy, workshops, acting recitals and scene rehearsals, Ventura prefers the mound.
College of Business Administration = Mike Moustakas
We typically see the biz kids hanging out around Calvin Hall, but growth in the College of Business Administration has called for a brand new home with research labs, meeting spaces and opportunities for professional development. How does this relate to the Royals? Our guy Moose is all business, all the time. Despite his 2014 regular season struggles and personal issues throughout the 2015 season, Moose is here to play. Take a tally of how many times he breaks his tough-guy demeanor and you'll see what we mean.
Durland Hall = Johnny Cueto
In case you didn't know, K-State has an award-winning engineering program. All of those trophies need a new and improved trophy case, so the College of Engineering is about to complete Phase IV of renovations to Durland Hall. Phase IV of the starting pitcher rotation was completed by way of the trade deadline acquisition Johnny Cueto. Many wondered if this "renovation" was worth it, but did you watch Game 5 of the ALDS?
K-State Welcome Center = Alcides Escobar
The K-State community is a family and every family home needs a good foyer. The K-State Welcome Center will "serve the entire K-State family as the front door to new opportunities." It is important to offer a good first impression to prospective students, just as important as a lead off hitter. Alicdes Escobar is often the "welcome center" to several opposing pitchers. As they head to the ALCS, it looks like Esky will be there to greet the Blue Jays.
Vanier Football Complex = Eric Hosmer
A young(er) Bill Snyder sat at a press conference in 1989 and told us about the potential for the "greatest turnaround in college football history." K-State Athletics isn't taking it lightly. With the recent completion of the West Stadium Center and Vanier Football Complex, K-State Football continues to be a prominent force within the Big 12 Conference. Naturally, when we think of prominent forces, Eric Hosmer comes to mind. In a way, he is the unspoken captain of the Royals ball club and acts as their vocal leader in matters of baseball and community.
Wefald Hall and Dining Center = Lorenzo Cain
As K-State continues to make progress in academics and athletics, buzz for the university is expected to increase. And with buzz comes students. Wefald Hall and Dining Center will offer a brand new residence hall for the flurries of future K-Staters. Wefald Hall will house more than 540 students in 129,000 square feet of living space on eight floors and the dining center will be 60,000 square feet of kitchen and dining rooms. Basically, the average square-footage covered by centerfielder Lorenzo Cain in a single game. No-man's land doesn’t exist when LoCain takes the field.
KSU Foundation = Alex Gordon
K-Staters are highly philanthropic. Students, faculty, staff and alumni seem to always be in the giving spirit, making a 14-acre tract of land exclusively dedicated to the KSU Foundation and its causes a necessity. The recently launched Innovation and Inspiration campaign to bring in $1 billion for the university will have K-State rolling in the dough. You know who else rolls in the dough? Alex Gordon. As the highest paid player on the Royals roster, Gordon has a $13.75 million salary for the 2015 season, but that’s chump change compared to K-State’s ambitions.
Seaton Complex = Ned Yost
Seaton Hall is home to our College of Architecture, Planning and Design, another award winning program K-State can brag about. Giving a state-of-the-art facility to students who continuously design state-of-the art facilities is a no-brainer. When talking about building futures, we can’t leave the people that literally build behind. So this is the part where we pay homage to the architect of the Royals, manager Ned Yost.
Did we prove our point? K-State and The K have more in common than you might think. And while the Royals postseason success might get us through October, we have years of K-State success ahead of us. At this rate, there could be anywhere between 17-38 new buildings on campus as we continue to become a top tier university.