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Western Kentucky University recognizes top volunteers at annual alumni celebration dinner


The Western Kentucky University Alumni Association recognized its top volunteers at an Alumni Volunteer Celebration dinner last week.

According to Dr. Anthony McAdoo, Executive Director of the WKU Alumni Association, the event honored retiring members of the WKU Alumni Association National Board of Directors, as well as paid tribute to individual volunteers and alumni chapters that have had a tremendous impact on alumni engagement activities this past year.

“Every day, alumni represent WKU as our global ambassadors,” McAdoo said. “Through the work of the WKU Alumni Association, we provide our alumni with volunteer opportunities to serve their alma mater through our various volunteer programs. We are thankful for the contributions of every one of our volunteers, and we are delighted to recognize some of the outstanding achievements of individual volunteers and our alumni chapters and groups.”

The event culminated with the presentation of six individual awards to recognize volunteers who have made outstanding contributions in support of alumni engagement this past year.

Back Row: Jonny Garcia, Matt Holl, Erin Holderman. Front Row: Whitey Sanders, Al Tucker, Joy Tucker, Peggy Krug

William “Whitey” Sanders from Ft. Myers, Fla., received the Lee Robertson Legacy Award. A 1955 alumnus, Sanders is an award-winning political cartoonist, member of the WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association. For the past 60 years, Sanders has said “yes” to WKU’s requests for artwork for everything from special galleries to magazine covers. However, he was recognized for his many years of creating original cartoons for WKU student graduation prints, which have become treasured keepsakes for our newest alumni.

WKU Alumni Association Lifetime Members Al and Joy Tucker from Union, received the Recruitment Ambassador Award. Al Tucker, a 1972 and 1979 alumnus, has served as President of the WKU Alumni Association this past year, and he and Joy, a 1973 and 1977 alumna, have attended several high school awards programs in their area to represent WKU and recognize student achievements. They’ve also teamed up to write 160 welcome notes to admitted students in the northern Kentucky area this year.

Peggy Krug of Louisville, received the Alumna of the Year Award to honor the exceptional amount of time she has spent advancing WKU in her home community. A 1978 alumna and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, Krug has served as Treasurer of the Greater Louisville Alumni Chapter and a member of the WKU Alumni Association Board of Directors, where she has chaired the Alumni Achievement Task Force and overseen the Hall of Distinguished Alumni selection process.

Jonny Garcia of Nashville, Tenn., received the Young Alumnus of the Year Award for his service to his local community. A 2016 graduate, Garcia hosted the Nashville WKU 2023 student recruitment event and helped organize the Hilltopper After Hours program in Nashville. He is also President Elect of the Young Alumni Council.

WKU Alumni Association Lifetime Member Erin Holderman, a 2009, 2017 and 2019 alumna from Bowling Green, received the Newcomer Award in recognition of her service with the Young Alumni Council and the Red, White & Brew scholarship fundraiser.

Matt Holl, a 2019 alumnus from Swansea, Ill., received the Outstanding Student Ambassador Award. An Annual Member of the WKU Alumni Association, Holl served as President of the Student Alumni Ambassadors in 2018-2019, as well as the student representative on both the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Strategic Planning Committee.

During the Volunteer Celebration, the WKU Alumni Association National Board of Directors also recognized nine Board members who recently completed their terms of service.

Deanna Mills of Woodstock, Ga., a 1994 graduate and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, concluded six years of service to the Alumni Association Board of Directors, with three years as a member and the last three as President Elect, President and Immediate Past President. During her tenure on the Board, she served as Chair of the Executive Committee, Membership and Business Development Task Force, and Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. She also served as a member of the Communications and Marketing Committee, an ex-officio member of the WKU Foundation Board of Trustees, and a member of WKU’s Strategic Planning External Affairs and Alumni Engagement Committee.

Seven Board members, first elected in 2016, ended three-year terms of service:

John Carter of Smyrna, Tenn., a 1988 and 2001 alumnus and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, served as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.

Amy C. Hardin of Bowling Green, a 2002 and 2010 alumna and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, received the Leadership Award for Excellence. Hardin, who served as Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force this past year, led efforts to collaborate with the Kelly Autism Program and Hilltopper IMG to create a sensory room for Topper Tailgates, providing the opportunity for families with neuro-diverse children to enjoy a WKU tailgate and football experience that might not have been possible before.

Jeff Key of Glendale, a 1990 alumnus and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, was a member of the Membership and Business Development Task Force.

Peggy Krug of Louisville, a 1978 alumna and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, served as a member of Executive Committee and the Alumni Achievement Task Force.

Curtis Lucas, a 1976 and 1985 alumnus and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, was a member of Membership and Business Development Task Force.

Leslie McCoy of Bowling Green, a 2005 and 2007 alumna and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, served as Chair of the Communications and Marketing Committee, Secretary of the Board of Directors, and member of both the Executive Committee and Young Alumni Engagement Task Force.

Holly Vaughn of Bowling Green, a 1983 alumna and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, served as Treasurer of the Board of Directors and as a member of the Finance Task Force, the Executive Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee.

The WKU Alumni Association also recognized one retiring member who served in an ex-officio capacity:

Katie Beard of Bowling Green, a 2009 alumna and Lifetime Member of the WKU Alumni Association, served as an ex-officio member of the Board as President of the Young Alumni Council. She also served as a member of the Young Alumni Engagement Task Force and the Student Philanthropy and Engagement Task Force.

In addition, the WKU Alumni Association also recognized members of the Alumni Chapter Network for special programs and events held in their communities this past year.

The chapter awards and honorees were:

Membership Award – Presented to the WKU Alumni Owensboro Chapter for membership recruitment activities at WKU-Owensboro Campus Graduation.

Spirit of Service Award – Presented to the Greater Louisville Alumni Chapter for their Christmas Service Project.

Student Recruitment and Interaction Award – Presented to the Northern Kentucky Alumni Chapter for the Hilltopper Sendoff Ice Cream Social, as well as college fair staffing and personal contacts with prospective area students.

Scholarship and Fundraising Award – Presented to the WKU Alumni Owensboro Chapter for fundraising efforts through the sales of the Big Red Prints, involvement with Regional Campus Scholarships through WKU-Owensboro and Corvette Raffle ticket sales.

Young Alumni Involvement Award – Presented to the Greater Louisville Alumni Chapter for monthly Topper Tuesday events.

The Association also recognized the WKU Ticket Office with the Power of Partnership Award, which is presented each year to a campus organization, department or faculty or staff member who has been an outstanding partner for the advancement of alumni initiatives.

From Western Kentucky University


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