Fifth-year senior spouts out memories

Blake Blackburn

Being a fifth year student, I’ve been on campus for eight full semesters. I wish I could track the miles I have spent “crawling” up the hill at 8:00 a.m., or the countless hours spent wasted at our food courts.

I’d like to take the time to reflect on a few fragments that stand out in my mind about my time at WKU.

 First, the main street, Avenue of Champions, has changed a million times. It has changed more times than Lady Gaga’s wardrobe. I completely avoid that road now because I fear I’m going the wrong way, will hit a student or encounter the slim chance that they are digging a huge hole in the street and I’ll drive right into it.

Next: The football stadium. It has more seats and same amount of people in the stadium.


I was fortunate enough to live in Keen Hall before it was remodeled. What sticks out in my mind were the circa 1950s tiles, the 70 percent drop out rate and how every shower on each floor was either too hot or too cold — man that put me in a bad mood. Not to mention the fire drills.

I was on campus while two presidents served our country — they couldn’t be more different.

I will note about an image in the 2009 Talisman, where two of my fraternity brothers perpetuated a “riot” in front of Pearce-Ford Tower.

Campus police said “riot,” I say “freedom of speech.”

Their little outburst gave them the chance to meet President Gary Ransdell, the president for my whole college career.

Props, Ransdell, love what you are doing.

Anyway, one of the guys is now married and serving in the Marine Corps and the other is homeless, traveling the country in his Jeep.

Being an avid WKU basketball fan makes many memories stick out in my mind.

Ty Rogers and “The Shot” is now a part of who I am. I had the chance to watch the game across the country in Palo Alto, Calif., while working with the Lady Topper basketball team when they were set to play in the NCAA tournament. My head about hit the hotel ceiling because I’ve never cheered so loud or felt such an adrenaline rush. Housekeeping knocked on the door to see if I was okay. Personally, that was one of the greatest moments in sports for me. I re-watch the game religiously just to unlock the feeling again. I’ve never felt so connected to Hilltopper fans everywhere, even thousands of miles from home. You just can’t put a price on those kinds of moments.

Players like Tyrone Brazelton, Orlando Mendez-Valdez, Courtney Lee, Jeremy Evans and Steffphon Pettigrew will remain in the back of my mind for the rest of my life. Not only were they outstanding on the court — never forget Mendez-Valdez helping WKU into the second round of the NCAA tournament with brilliant leadership or Jeremy Evans swatting opposing teams’ shots like flies — but they were great men off the court.

It really says something about WKU. It’s not just a place to learn, it’s a place to better yourself and connect with people… It’s a family.

With that said, I could write a novel on each semester of my time here. I love WKU, and hopefully you feel the same way.

Blake Blackburn

Louisville senior