A look back: Ransdell Hall turns 4 years old

The home of WKU’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Gary A. Ransdell Hall, turned four years old on April 29, 2015. The university spent $35 million to accommodate more than 3,000 students through its academic programs, including elementary education, WKU’s largest undergraduate program. Nick Wagner/HERALD

Lashana Harney

Four years ago, President Gary Ransdell received one of the university’s highest honors—a building with his name on it.

WKU dedicated Ransdell Hall on April 29, 2011. The decision was unanimous by the Board of Regents. The hall created a new home for the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

President Ransdell said this dedication continues to challenge him in making WKU the best it can be.

“I’ve got to continue to earn the designation that the Board of Regents very generously bestowed upon me with the naming of the building while I was serving as president,” Ransdell said. “That’s my challenge, to continue to earn that honor.” 

In the past four years, Ransdell said WKU succeeded in many areas, but three areas stick out: doctoral programs, competitive scholarships and international programs. 

“The world has become a complex place, environmentally with climate change, economically, geopolitically,” he said. “What happens in one country instantly affects our country. Our students need to be global citizens and understand how the world works and what all they can have in it. I don’t want our students to graduate without having some confidence in a global context.”

Ransdell also had confidence in the eco-friendly nature of his namesake building. Chief Facilities Officer Bryan Russell said Ransdell Hall was designed to accomplish LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. 

House Bill 2 requires that any building costing more than $25 million must meet minimum LEED certification. However, GRH consciously went above those requirements. 

“It’s more than just the building,” Russell said. “It’s about the property. It’s about the windows. It’s about the outdoor lighting. It’s about the material choices, recycling… There’s a whole lot that goes into the LEED certified facility depending on what level you achieve.”

Ransdell said he plans to move forward with the same momentum.

“I’ve been in this job 18 [years], I don’t know if the last four years have been any more successful or eventful than the previous 14 but I would like to think we’ve achieved successes… and I hope we continue to be productive in the next four,” he said.