A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

George and CJ Nichols named 2018 Western Kentucky University Philanthropists of the Year

George and CJ Nichols have been named the 2018 Western Kentucky University Philanthropists of the Year. “We are honored and humbled to be recognized as the Philanthropists of the Year,” said George Nichols. “We know that so many others have done so much more than we have even thought about. For WKU to consider our efforts worthy of such an honor makes us proud. We accept it on behalf of all the...

Dr. Hugh and Debby Wilhite establish scholarship at WKU to benefit students in healthcare disciplines

Dr. Hugh H. and Debby G. Wilhite of Calhoun, Ky., have made a gift of $225,000 to establish a scholarship at Western Kentucky University to benefit students in healthcare-related disciplines.   Dr. Wilhite came to WKU in the fall of 1958. Because he took 18 hours of classes each semester in the pre-med program and played on the Men’s Basketball team for Coach E. A. Diddle, he said he could most...

Katie Bouchard serving as Miss Kentucky 2018; will act as spokesperson for Kentucky Proud

Miss Kentucky 2018 Katie Bouchard is heading to the Miss America competition with a new job title. Through a decades-long partnership between the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Miss Kentucky Organization, Bouchard will serve as the official spokesperson for Kentucky Proud. Miss Kentucky 2018 Katie Bouchard and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles show off the grand champion country ham...

Horse racing world mourns the death of Churchill Downs VP, Racing Communications John Asher

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor Condolences are pouring in from throughout the thoroughbred horse racing industry and beyond after the unexpected death of Churchill Downs Vice President, Racing Communications John Asher. Asher Asher died Monday of an apparent heart attack while vacationing in Florida. Darren Rogers, Senior Director, Communications & Media Services for Churchill Downs,...

John Asher, VP, Racing Communications at Churchill Downs, winner of five Eclipse Awards, has died

KyForward staff John Asher, vice president, Racing Communications at Churchill Downs has died. Asher, 62, was one of the most recognizable faces in the industry, and condolences are pouring in from around the world on social media. Asher Asher, who has worked in the thoroughbred racing industry for more than 30 years, reportedly died of a heart attack while on vacation in Florida. Asher earned five...

WKU to present Award for Courageous International Reporting to Mexican journalist Marcela Turati

The School of Journalism and Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University will welcome Mexican journalist Marcela Turati to campus in late September as the recipient of the third annual Fleischaker/Greene Award for Courageous International Reporting. Turati is a reporter for the magazine Proceso, where she reports about human rights, social development and the impact of drug violence and its victims....

WKU scientist, meteorology students part of NSF-funded project on how irrigation affects precipitation

Western Kentucky University meteorology students and a Kentucky Climate Center scientist have been gathering data this summer in Nebraska as part of the Great Plains Irrigation Experiment (GRAINEX), a National Science Foundation-funded research project to further understand how irrigation may be affecting precipitation. The project highlights the engagement of the Kentucky Climate Center and WKU students...

WKU leadership approves strategic plan to serve as campus roadmap for next 10 years

Western Kentucky University’s Board of Regents has approved a plan that will serve as the roadmap for the university for the next 10 years. WKU Board of Regents Chair Phillip Bale (left) swore in Regent Linda Gamblin Ball (center) and Staff Regent David Brinkley (right) on Aug. 3. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon) “Climbing to Greater Heights: The WKU Strategic Plan 2018-2028″ is the result of an...

WKU alumnus enhances scholarship fund, begins role at UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green

As the inaugural class of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus dons their white coats Friday in the closing event of their orientation week, Dr. Todd Cheever reflects on his time as a Western Kentucky University student and how his role as the first associate dean of the new campus brought him back to Bowling Green. Originally from London, Ky., Cheever came to WKU in...

WKU announces record year for philanthropy with more than $45 million in private charitable gifts

Western Kentucky University surpassed its previous record of private support in a fiscal year with a new high of $45 million in private support in 2017-2018. This total includes gifts from more than 14,000 donors from all 50 states and eight countries who made more than 31,000 individual gifts. Donors direct how their philanthropy is allocated, and 786 different initiatives received support that benefited...

WKU shakes up M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan transition program in August for ‘a new generation of Hilltoppers’

Western Kentucky University’s transition program for new students, M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan, is shaking things up for about 2,300 members of the Class of 2022 who will arrive on campus in August. “Last year M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan celebrated its 25th year and we thought this would be a perfect time for us to pull up, reconsider M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan and determine whether or not we thought the program was meeting...

WKU Hall of Distiguished Alumni to welcome three new inductees during 2018 Homecoming activities

An award-winning actress of the stage and screen, a pioneer in Kentucky education reform and a nationally and internationally recognized pediatric surgeon will join Western Kentucky University’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni this fall. Becky Ann Gelke Baker, Nettie Bayless Courts Depp and Dr. Richard C. Rink will be inducted during WKU’s 2018 Homecoming Celebration. The 27th class of noted alumni...

Two WKU faculty among inaugural recipients of $5,000 ACLS Project Development Grants

Western Kentucky University faculty members Audra Jennings and Alexander Olson are among the inaugural recipients of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Project Development Grants. Audra Jennings Dr. Jennings, an associate professor of History and director of WKU’s Office of Scholar Development, received a grant for her project, Insecurity: Disability, the Great Depression, and the New...

Western Kentucky University welcomes stickwork sculptor Dougherty to campus October 1-19

Western Kentucky University’s Cultural Enhancement Series and the Kentucky Museum will host award-winning artist Patrick Dougherty Oct. 1-19 on WKU’s campus in Bowling Green. Dougherty creates large-scale environmental sculptures made from intertwined tree saplings. His next installation will be located in front of the Kentucky Museum. This installation is open to the public at all times during...

WKU Board of Regents approve $388.4 million budget for 2018-19, a 6 percent reduction from last year

The Western Kentucky University Board of Regents last week approved a $388.4 million budget for 2018-19, a 6 percent reduction from the current budget. “This has been a challenging budget to build as we strive to correct our own structural imbalances and prepare for decreasing state appropriations and increasing pension obligations,” WKU President Timothy C. Caboni said. “This budget serves as...

WKU names Corinne Murphy new dean of College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Corinne Murphy, the interim vice provost at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, has been named Dean of Western Kentucky University’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Murphy will assume her duties on Aug. 1. She replaces Dr. Sam Evans, who is retiring. Dr. Corinne Murphy“I am delighted to join Hilltopper nation as the next Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences,”...

Bill Straub: McConnell to become longest-serving GOP boss, takes home-run trot as ‘Rome’ burns

WASHINGTON – Back in January 2007, when Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell was just beginning what will become his historic run as the longest serving Senate Republican leader in history, Congress was held in broad contempt by the American public with only 35 percent of those questioned in the Gallup Poll expressing approval. Sen. Mitch McConnell Under McConnell, first as the minority leader...

Louisville middle school teacher among eight chosen for National Stem Scholar program at WKU

Ten middle school science teachers from eight states have been selected to participate in the prestigious National STEM Scholar Program, a unique professional development program that provides advanced training for the middle school teachers of aspiring scientists nationwide. Created in partnership between the National Stem Cell Foundation and The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western...

Two alumni make gifts to support Western Kentucky University’s Ogden Innovation Endowment Fund

Two WKU alumni who graduated from programs within the Ogden College of Science and Engineering have made gifts to support the Ogden Innovation Endowment Fund. In recognition of these gifts, spaces within the new Ogden College Hall were named in their honor. Dr. Talia McKinney Collins (’93) and her husband, Patrick, recently made a gift to support the Ogden Innovation Endowment Fund, an endowment...

WKU SkyTeach master teacher Rico Tyler named Outstanding Master Teacher at UTeach Conference

Rico Tyler, master teacher with WKU’s SKyTeach program, received the Outstanding Master Teacher Award this week at the 2018 UTeach Conference in Austin, Texas. “SKyTeach has a long association with the national UTeach effort and the UTeach STEM Educators Association,” Tyler said. “Being part of this national effort to improve mathematics and science education is exciting work.” Dr. Max Dass...