WKU honors Dr. Gary and Julie Ransdell for their contributions on The Hill

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO)-- Dr. Gary Ransdell will be moving on from his position as Western Kentucky University President this summer.

Dr. Ransdell and his wife Julie have been staples of the WKU community for years.

The university honored the two of them for their contributions since Dr. Ransdell took over 20 years.

"The accomplishments are satisfying but what's what's important to us are the relationships with people, and the emotions," says Dr. Ransdell, "and in fact those emotions are coming out a lot these days."

The outgoing presidential couple was met Tuesday by an outpouring of love and support from faculty, staff and students.

"You can see new programs, you can see buildings, you can see the expansion, everything like that," says WKU senior Ellen Linder, "but while all of that impacts student lives, like the overall spirit of the university, the Ransdell's have done more in just investing in people."

"The expressions of friendship and affection have meant the world to us," explains Dr. Ransdell, "and we've enjoyed working with so many talented people across this campus."

"We have had a family here," says Julie Ransdell. "We've all worked together, like Gary said, and it's very meaningful."

"I wouldn't trade a minute of our 20 years for anything," she goes on.

Students regularly come across the Ransdell's around campus.

"They are exactly what they look like they are," says Ellen Linder. "Mrs. Ransdell really is that elegant. She really is that classy, and President Ransdell really is as passionate as he comes across."

The Randell's have two sons of their own, but say being on campus has been like adding to their family.

"When I had an empty nest, I had filled it with with 20,000 students," says Julie, "and it's been very special."

"The thing we will miss the most is those high fives across campus and the selfies and students genuinely running across campus to give us a hug," explains Dr. Ransdell. "Those moments are rare, and [are] to be cherished, and that will mean a lot to us not just now but for years to come."

The Ransdell's say their departure from The Hill is not a good-bye, it's an "I'll see ya later."

They've already got their tickets purchased for this upcoming football season.

Dr. Timothy Caboni will take over Dr. Ransdell on July 1, 2017.

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