Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Virtual University Getting a Piece of the Athletic Action

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Virtual University Getting a Piece of the Athletic Action

Article excerpt

FRANKFORT, KY.

Kentucky Virtual University, the state's electronic portal to a higher education without lecture halls, dorms or bad cafeteria food, has a sports franchise.

There are already T-shirts from the KVU Athletic Department, and there will be a logo after its selection by an online poll of KVU students.

The next thing you know, the KVU @vengers will probably want state funding for a football stadium. Or they'll try to get investigated by the NCAA.

Actually, the @vengers are a huge success. They started the season 2-0 and already have generated interest and enthusiasm among the far-flung Virtual U students and staff.

"We're just trying to have a little bit of fun and raise the awareness of distance-learning opportunities," says Sue Patrick, a spokeswoman for Kentucky Virtual University.

The @vengers help create a sense of sharing and community among the online learners, Patrick says.

The idea was hatched in early 1999 when a publication facetiously suggested that if Virtual U really wanted to be accepted in Kentucky, it needed a mascot and probably a basketball team.

Mary Beth Susman - all 5-foot-nothing of her - is @venger coach, head cheerleader and chief executive officer of Kentucky Virtual University. …

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