Students win broadcast awards at state competition

April 15, 2014

Several UK students brought home honors from the College Contest of the 2014 Kentucky Associated Press Broadcast Awards. The university’s Student News Network (SNN), a live student-produced television newscast, and WRFL, the student-operated radio station, were both recognized at the event.

Individual award winners include:

  • Elizabeth Suh (SNN): Best Public Affairs — TV, “Free Speech,” first place; Best Public Affairs — TV and Best Sports Coverage — TV, “Sports Handshake,” second place; College TV Best of Show winner
  • Garrett Wymer (SNN): Best College Television Reporter, “Tuition Hike,” first place
  • Stuart Hammer (SNN): Best News Story, “Jobless Vets,” second place
  • Garrett Gabehart (SNN): Best College Television Reporter, “Break-ins,” third place
  • Shelby Steele (WRFL): Best Sports Coverage — Radio, “Best High School Football Coach,” second place
  • Hadley Stein and Candice Cruz (WRFL): Best Public Affairs — Radio, “Campus Voices — Social Media,” third place

Congratulations to these students on their achievements!

Couple follows Cats all season long

April 3, 2014

Sherri and Jacob

Fans of both UK basketball and traveling, Jacob Broderick ’05 BE and Sherri Sullivan Broderick ’05 CI, 08 ED set out in 2013 with a mission.

“As UK alumni and true blue fans, we wanted to do something crazy with one of the best recruiting classes ever coming to campus,” Jacob says. “Over the past several years we have traveled to all the NCAA tournaments, SEC tournaments, Maui Invitational, Champions Classic and UK home games. The only things missing were the SEC road games. And wSt. Louis Sherrie said, ‘Why not?’”

The two set out on their journey at the start of the 2013 season, creating an online presence with a Facebook page called Out of the Blue (sound familiar?) and a Twitter persona known as NoJortsNoProblem so friends and family could keep track of them along the way.

The Brodericks followed the Cats across the country, battling ice storms and flight cancelations, witnessing all of the wins and losses along the way. However, the couple never lost sight of their support for the Big Blue Nation and managed to sit in the stands at every 2013-14 season UK game todate.

Following the Cats through their regular season in the SEC was quite the experience, but the Brodericks said the crowds were never rude to them, even as they made their way through the rivaling crowds as lone specks of blue. “Most fans were just curious, and it was the same conversations each time,” Sherri says. “Are you from Kentucky? How long was the trip? What do you think about Coach Calipari? This weather is crazy!”

ScottradeWhile the regular SEC season was the original goal, once the Cats hit their hot streak, the Brodericks couldn’t resist following their team throughout the NCAA Tournament.

“All of the tournament games have been legendary,” Sherri says. “My favorite win has to be shocking Wichita State. Winning that game really sparked our players to realize they can beat anyone.”

The two are hopeful that they can end their journey sitting in the crowd as the Cats bring their ninth championship title home, but say no matter what, they are proud of their team.

“Remember our team members are only kids,” Jacob says. “Even though they look like grown men physically, they have to manage many more things than a normal teenager does. Respect the players, win or lose.”

Show us your Big Blue spirit!

April 1, 2014

The NCAA Tournament has been full of excitement this year! For Wildcat fans, that excitement continues as the team travels to Arlington, Texas, for the Final Four this Saturday in a match-up against the No. 2 seeded Wisconsin Badgers. Alumni from around the country (and world) have been showing us their Big Blue spirit this month. Where will you be cheering from this Saturday? Don’t forget to keep up with us during the tournament at GO CATS!

Greater Knoxville Area

The Greater Knoxville UK Alumni Club is pictured above, rallying on the Cats from one of the UK Alumni Association’s many game watch parties.

Dresden Germany

Twitter user @rachie240 sends this Big Blue greeting all the way from Dresden, Germany!

North Alabama

The Northern Alabama UK Alumni Club also gathered together recently to cheer on the Cats.

Beach Socks

Lucky socks abound! Member Saundra Kimberlain is pictured here rocking her lucky socks by the beach.

Continue to support the Cats in the Sweet 16

March 26, 2014


Both the men’s and women’s basketball programs have advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, and we here at the UK Alumni Association are ready to hUK PEPelp you celebrate and root on our Wildcats!

Meet us in Indianapolis, Ind., Thursday, March 27, at 1 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the Cats during an open practice. Then continue the madness Friday as we host our pregame event at 4 p.m. at the Tin Roof, the official UK Alumni Association headquarters during the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. UK spirit items will be available, and attendees may purchase drinks and food from the menu. At approximately 6:30 p.m., the UK Band and UK Cheerleaders will conduct a pep rally at the venue. The Tin Roof is located at 36 S. Pennsylvania St., just a little more than a half-mile from the stadium. The Louisville vs. Kentucky game will be shown at the Tin Roof at approximately 9:45 p.m. In the event that Kentucky advances, the association will host a similar event Sunday, March 30.

Meanwhile, in Notre Dame, Ind., come support UK Hoops! The ladies are set to take on Baylor at noon Saturday, March 29, at the Joyce Center. If the Hoops win, they will play the winner of Notre Dame and Oklahoma State Monday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, click here or contact UK Athletics at 859-257-1818, 1-800-928-2287 or

Cheer on the Kentucky Wildcats as they dance their way through the NCAA Tournament! For more information on tournament events or to find a game watch party near you, visit


Association to host NCAA Tournament kick-off events

March 20, 2014

Kentucky Banner

It’s almost time! The UK Alumni Association is helping you kick off the NCAA Tournament with events starting this weekend! Whether you find yourself in St. Louis with the Cats or you are sticking close to home cheering on UK Hoops, we have an event for you.

The official UK Alumni Association headquarters will be Joe Buck’s in St. Louis, Mo., during the first weekend of play in the NCAA Tournament. Drink specials and UK spirit items will be available. Attendees may purchase drinks and food from the menu. At approximately 6:30 p.m. CT Friday, the UK Band and UK Cheerleaders will conduct a pep rally at the venue. Joe Buck’s is a short walk (.3 miles) from the Scottrade Center, located at 1000 Clark Ave. The Kansas State vs. Kentucky game will be shown at the venue later in the evening.

On Saturday, stop by the UK Alumni Association on your way to cheer on UK Hoops as the team competes in the NCAA Tournament! Enjoy doughnuts, fruit, juice and coffee with fellow alumni and fans prior to the UK Hoops game against Wright State. Admission is free. UK Alumni Association members who show their cards will receive a free gift! The event will be held from 9-10:30 a.m. at the King Alumni House, located at 400 Rose St.

For those who are following the madness in the comfort of their own homes, stay up to date at!

Nearly $1.5 million raised during DanceBlue

February 25, 2014
DanceBlue alumni are pictured here at the King Alumni House before the start of DanceBlue over the weekend.

DanceBlue alumni are pictured here at the King Alumni House before the start of DanceBlue over the weekend.

The ninth annual DanceBlue dance marathon finished strong with a total of $1,436,606.24 raised over the course of the fundraiser. UK Alumni Clubs raised $21,000 for the event, largely through fundraisers held in conjunction with game watch parties and through efforts of Young Alumni.

DanceBlue is attended by thousands, many of whom spend a total of 24 hours without sleeping, or even sitting for that matter, dancing as they go. Proceeds raised from the fundraiser go to the Golden Matrix Fund and the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. All of the money raised this year benefits children with cancer and cancer research.

Prior to the event, the UK Alumni Association held a reception for all DanceBlue alumni. Alumni clubs were also paired with teams to write letters of encouragement, which were read by the dancers during the marathon.

DanceBlue started in 2006 as a much smaller event, raising about $120,000, and has grown in size and funds raised each year since then. More than 800 dancers participated this year.

Watch the reveal video and finale of the event, below, courtesy of DanceBlue.


A look back at black history at the University of Kentucky

February 20, 2014
Pictured above is Zirl A. Palmer, the first African American to be named to the UK Board of Directors.

Pictured above is Zirl A. Palmer, the first black member of the UK Board of Trustees.

In honor of Black History Month, the UK Alumni Association would like to recognize influential black alumni and employees. While this list does not encompass all great black leaders from the university, it does highlight many of those who helped pave the way for future generations.

Carey L. Anderson Jr. earned a B.A. in architecture at the University of Kentucky in 1973. In 1977, he became the first African-American architect licensed in Kentucky and by 1980 was the first in the state to establish an architectural firm, Anderson Associate Architects.

Tyrone Beason is a graduate of Bowling Green High School. In 1993, while attending UK, he became the first black editor-in-chief of The Kentucky Kernel. In 2010, Beason won the Darrell Sifford Memorial Prize in Journalism. He is currently a reporter with the Seattle Times.

David A. Brennen was named dean of the UK College of Law in 2009, making him the first black law school dean in the state. He has served as the assistant general counsel in Florida’s Department of Revenue and as deputy director of the Association of American Law Schools.

Lauretta Byers and Nathan Sullivan were the first African-American graduates of the College of Social Work graduate program.

Dermontti F. Dawson is a seven-time NFL Pro-Bowler and received two bachelor’s degrees from UK in 1988 and 1995 from the College of Education. He was a lineman for the UK football team and later was with the Pittsburgh Steelers for 12 seasons. Dawson was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003, is a member of the UK College of Education Alumni Hall of Fame and the UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished.

Holloway Fields Jr. received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1951 from the College of Engineering. This made him the first African American to receive a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky. He became a test program engineer with General Electric Co. and throughout his years there, held positions of increasing technical and managerial responsibility. He is in the College of Engineering Hall of Distinction.

James “Jimmy” H. Glenn III became the first black president of the UK Student Government Association in 1999. He is also a recipient of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Distinguished Citizen Award. He earned a degree in engineering, having graduated in 2004.

Angelo Henderson, Pulitzer Prize-winning Detroit journalist in 1999 for feature writing, radio talk show host and co-founder of a prominent community patrol group, earned a journalism degree in 1985 from the University of Kentucky. He was the only African-American reporter to win the Pulitzer Prize at The Wall Street Journal. Henderson was inducted into the UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Ollen B. Hinnant Jr. was the first African American to graduate from the UK College of Law, receiving his degree in 1955. In 1997 he was the first to be inducted into the school’s Alumni Hall of Fame. He practices law in Lexington.

Keisha Schumacher Houston was the first African American to graduate from the College of Public Health, earning a master’s of public health in 2002.

Marsha Hughes-Rease is the first African American to graduate from the College of Nursing, receiving a BSN in 1972. She served as a Navy Nurse Corps officer almost 30 years and was aboard the USNS Comfort during Desert Shield and Storm War. Hughes-Rease received the Legion of Merit medal, two Meritorious Service medals, two Commendation medals, and the Combat Action ribbon. She later started her current career as an executive coach and organization development consultant, Quo Vadis Coaching and Consulting.

Keith L. Jackson graduated from the UK College of Communication and Information in 1987. In 2012, he became the first black fire chief in Lexington. He is a 21-year veteran of the department and a member of the UK Alumni Association.

Lyman T. Johnson played an integral role in integrating Kentucky higher education in 1949, when he won a lawsuit against the university and became the first African-American student at UK. The lawsuit challenged the state’s Day Law, the law that prohibited blacks and whites from attending the same schools. Johnson and around 30 others started classes at UK that year, with Johnson entering UK as a graduate student in the History Department. Although Johnson left UK before earning a degree, in 1979 the university presented him with an honorary doctor of letters degree. Johnson taught history, economics and math for 33 years at Louisville’s Central High School. He spent his last seven years in the school system as an assistant principal at Parkland Junior High, Manley Junior High and Flaget High School, all former schools in Louisville. The civil rights pioneer was a member of the Jefferson County Board of Education from 1978 to 1982.

Owen Johnson was the first African American to receive a doctorate from the College of Public Health in 2005.

William Jones Jr. was the first African American to graduate from the College of Arts & Sciences, earning a degree in sociology in 1958. He became a minister and civil-rights leader and had a 5,000-member church in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Jones also hosted a syndicated weekly radio program called Bethany Hour. In 1979, he published a book entitled God in the Ghetto.

Dr. Benjamin W. Nero was the first African-American graduate of the UK College of Dentistry in 1967. He has been practicing dentistry for more than 40 years as an orthodontist and is now semi-retired. Nero has served as the second president of the New Era Dental Society of Philadelphia, traveled to Haiti to provide dental care to island residents and has mentored many dental students and young dentists.

Zirl A. Palmer was the first black pharmacist in Lexington and also the first black member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees. He was appointed by Gov. Wendell Ford.

Joker Phillips, a native Kentuckian and former Wildcat player, became the first African-American head football coach at UK in 2010 and only the second in the history of the Southeastern Conference. Phillips, who earned a journalism degree at UK in 1988, played at UK from 1981-84 and was on the football staff from 1988-96. He played with the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (1985, 1987) and Toronto in the Canadian Football League (1986). Phillips returned to UK from South Carolina, where he coached wide receivers in 2002. He also has coached at Cincinnati (1997-98), Minnesota (1999-2000) and Notre Dame (2001). Phillips was on the staff of Coach Rich Brooks from 2003-09, including the last five seasons as offensive coordinator.

Sharon Porter Robinson is a three-time graduate of UK. She is the former president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and was the first black woman to serve in the position. Robinson was also appointed the assistant secretary of education with the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, becoming the first black person to serve in the position. She is a member of the UK Alumni Association.

John T. Smith was the first black student to receive a doctorate from UK, doing so in 1961. He also earned a master’s degree from UK in 1958. His career as an educator included teaching in junior-senior high school, in two community colleges, Ashland and Jefferson, and in graduate courses at UK. He was the first African-American to serve as the chief administrator of Jefferson Community College, and the first African American to serve as a member of the president’s administrative staff in the position of vice president for minority affairs. His title changed to vice chancellor for minority affairs in 1982. Smith was inducted into the UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1995.

Mary L. Smith was the 11th and first female president of Kentucky State University, serving as president for seven years (1991-1998). Smith has a long record of achievement in academia including scholarship, teaching and professional activity in education at various levels. She received a master’s degree in 1964 and a doctorate in 1980 from the College of Education. Smith is a member of the College of Education Hall of Fame and the UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Orlando “Tubby” Smith became the first African-American men’s basketball coach at UK in 1997. In 1998 the team won the NCAA Basketball Championship. He has also coached at Texas Tech, the University of Minnesota, the University of Tulsa and the University of Georgia. Smith also served as an assistant coach on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team. His 10 years at the University of Kentucky ended with a record of 263 wins and 83 losses; four NCAA Elite Eights; five SEC tournament titles; five SEC regular season titles; 2003 AP Coach of the Year; and 10 selections to the NCAA Tournament.

Arthur B. Still was a National Football League All-Star and graduated from UK in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts & Sciences. An All-American at UK, Still became just as formidable in the National Football League as a defensive end with the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only was he a four-time Pro Bowl selection, he was named the Chiefs’ Most Valuable Player twice and in 1997 he was inducted into the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame. He has also worked as a physical education instructor and provided counseling and supervision to juvenile delinquents between the ages of 12 and 18. Still was inducted into the UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Vertner Taylor was the first African American to graduate from the College of Pharmacy, receiving his degree in 1960. He has been the director of health services and also the commissioner of corrections at the State Corrections Cabinet.

Frank X Walker graduated from UK in 1996. He joined the UK Department of English as a faculty member in 2010 and was named director of both the African American Studies and Research and Africana Studies programs. In 2013, he was named the first black poet laureate of Kentucky, and is also the youngest recipient in the state’s history. He is a member of the UK Alumni Association.

Dr. Carl Watson was the first African American to graduate from the College of Medicine, with the first class of graduates in 1964. He has practiced as an obstetrician-gynecologist for 45 years and lives in the San Francisco, Calif., area.

Doris Wilkinson was the first African-American woman appointed to the full-time faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky. She also was the first director of the African-American Studies and Research Program at UK. She received a bachelor’s degree in social work in 1958 from UK. Wilkinson established the Forum for Black Faculty, the Carter G. Woodson Lecture Series and the Black Women’s Conference.

Elaine A. Wilson is the first African American to become president-elect of the UK Alumni Association and will assume the presidency in July 2014. She received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Social Work in 1968 and is the cultural diversity director for Somerset Community College. She has also been a member of the UK Board of Trustees.

George C. Wright is a noted African-American scholar and the seventh president of Prairie View A&M University, the second oldest institution of higher education in Texas. He previously was executive vice-president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Texas at Arlington, and has been with Duke University as vice provost for university programs and director of the Afro-American studies program. Wright received a bachelor’s degree in 1972, a master’s degree in 1974 and an honorary doctorate in 2004 from UK. Wright was inducted into the UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Information was compiled from several resources, including the UK Alumni Association database, UK Libraries Notable African Americans Database and information supplied from individual UK colleges.

UK students make the most out of a snow day

February 13, 2014

We’re thinking about all our UK alumni in the southeastern part of the United States who are struggling again with Mother Nature. Here’s a video, courtesy of the Kentucky Kernel, of UK students making good of a “bad” day out in the winter elements. Enjoy!

New Orleans first grade class adopts UK

January 23, 2014

University of Kentucky Adopts

A New Orleans, La., first grade class is now known as the University of Kentucky as its students “adopted” the college recently.

KIPP Believe Primary is a public charter school that serves students in kindergarten through second grade. According to Whitney Gruenloh, teacher of the honorary first grade Wildcats, each classroom at the school is named after a prominent university or college in order to get students interested in learning more about post-secondary education.

In an effort to further generate excitement about college, students are exposed to histories of universities across the country, their academic progress is tracked and learning goals are created to help them try and reach the end goal of attaining higher education.

The little Wildcats, pictured in the photo above, have an anticipated college graduation date of 2029.

UK cheerleading team claims 20th national championship

January 21, 2014
Cheerleader Champs

UK cheerleaders are pictured here celebrating their big win as they brought home another national championship title over the weekend. (Photo courtesy of UCA.)

UK cheerleaders finished on top at the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA)/Universal Dance Association College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in Orlando, Fla., Sunday.

The squad brought home its 20th national championship title, 15 of which have been won since 1995.

This year’s team boasted seven seniors who wanted to end their college cheerleading careers on top, having just missed the mark last year being named runners-up. Head coach Jomo Thompson says he is extremely proud of his team.

“I think they just really seized the opportunity,” Thompson told UK Athletics. “They didn’t let down. They didn’t take anything for granted. They just did a really good job of going out there and executing and bringing home No. 20.”

The dance team finished fifth in the nation at the competition.

For more on the victory courtesy of UK Athletics, click here.


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