Videos & Speeches

There is no K State alumni, no individual from our home State who bleeds the color purple more fervently than the senior Senator from Kansas. It is an honor to join him here today to recognize the significant accomplishments on the 150th anniversary of the first land grant university college in the Nation. Senator Roberts comes to the Kansas State University through his family—his father as well as his son.

I have become acquainted with Kansas State University as a citizen of our State in which we see each and every day the benefits that accrue to the citizens of our State because of the academic research, the education, the extension of education across our State that benefits each and every citizen. So it is with great pleasure that we honor the accomplishments today of this university. It has had tremendous leadership.

In my early days in Congress, President Wefald in many ways created a great opportunity for Kansas State University to excel, to become something different than it had been, to move forward into the future. Now, under the leadership of president Kirk Schulz, his leadership only accelerates the opportunity for Kansas State University to provide new and beneficial services, education, and benefits to the people of our State, to our country, and to students around the globe.

Kansas State University is known for its agricultural background, for its support for that significant industry in our State--farmers and ranchers look to Kansas State University for education and for technical support, and we know of their importance in that No. 1 industry in our State--but, as Senator Roberts said, engineering and aerospace; now a campus at Salina, KS, dealing with aviation and avionics, with UAVs moving into the future; a campus in Johnson County, the suburbs of Kansas City, in which additional research in bioscience is being accelerated. So in each and every circumstance, Kansas State University contributes to the economy and well-being of our State and our country.

As a parent, I know Kansas State University. Both our daughters attended Kansas State University, and one remains a student there. I remember the first day I wandered with my 18 year old daughter onto campus for a campus tour, and at the end of the day—I will admit we had visited other universities as well, but at the end of the day Kelsey said: “Dad, there is no place more welcoming, no place more like home, no place where I feel like a part of a family more than Kansas State University.”

That is something I think K State exhibits so well and causes Kansas to be so proud of the Wildcat tradition, which is a sense of family; that we are in it together and people are friends. It is a very comfortable and enjoyable learning environment for students, and we have seen it in our family.

Our youngest daughter followed her older sister to Kansas State University and is now a beginning student at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Another area in which Kansas State University is highly regarded is the study of animal science. K State in Manhattan, KS, is the western border of the animal science corridor, the eastern border being that place that all Kansans, regardless of alma mater, despise--the University of Missouri. So from west to east, the animal science corridor is bounded by the research scientists and educators and the schools that increase the likelihood that Americans are going to have nutrition, be well fed, and have a safe and abundant food supply.

It is an honor to be here to pay tribute to the many leaders at Kansas State University, those who have come before and those who will follow President Wefald and President Schulz to make sure Kansas State University remains that place of higher education and learning in our State but also to make certain Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS, is always that place called home where students from across our State and around the globe feel as though they have found family and a place to learn to improve their lives and to make certain they contribute to the betterment of our world.

It is an honor to be here with one of the most distinguished alumni of Kansas State University, my colleague and friend Senator Roberts, to wish Kansas State University many more years of success in providing education to our students and moving our State forward in ways that will benefit not only this generation but those that follow us. So congratulations, Kansas State University, and happy 150th birthday.