AIKCU students take home 39 awards in Kentucky Academy of Science 2016 Student Research Competition

The opportunity to engage in undergraduate research is a hallmark of Kentucky’s private colleges. Some of that research was on display during the recent Kentucky Academy of Science (KAS) Student Research Competition, where students from eight different AIKCU member institutions took home a total of 39 awards.

The annual competition recognizes outstanding student research from the Kentucky Academy of Science’s postsecondary affiliates, which include 16 nonprofit private colleges, all 8 four-year Kentucky public universities, and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Awards are given for undergraduate scientific poster, undergraduate oral presentation, and graduate oral presentation in each of 19 scientific disciplines.

AIKCU students’ 39 total awards came in the form of 18 first place, 17 second place, and four third place awards. Berea College students received the most awards with 24. Students from Asbury University, Bellarmine University, Brescia University, Centre College, Georgetown College, Transylvania University, and the University of Pikeville also took home honors.

Congratulations to these AIKCU students on their recognition in the following categories of the Kentucky Academy of Science 2016 Student Research Competition:

Agricultural Sciences (Poster Presentations)

2nd Place: Kassandra H. Carter, Berea College

1st Place: Helina Asrat, Berea College

Anthropology & Sociology (Poster Presentations)

1st Place: Kyree Hobson and Simeon Huff, Berea College

Botany (Poster Presentations)

2nd Place: Austin Adam, Bellarmine University

1st Place: Preye Agbana, Brescia University

Botany (Undergraduate Oral Presentations)

3rd Place: Sean Nilan, Berea College


Cellular and Molecular Biology (Poster Presentations)

3rd Place: Meghan Kramer, Berea College

1st Place: Hsuan Peng, Berea College


Cellular and Molecular Biology (Undergraduate Oral Presentations)

3rd Place: Jodi DeJohn, Georgetown College

1st Place: Seth Reasoner, Berea College

Chemistry: Analytical/Physical (Poster Presentations)

2nd Place: Ana Gabriela Mira, Centre College

1st Place: Job K. Limo, Berea College

Chemistry: Analytical/Physical (Undergraduate Oral Presentations)

1st Place: Kyaw “Joe” Hpone Myint, Berea College

Chemistry: Organic/Inorganic (Poster Presentations)

2nd Place: Michael B. James and Kateryna O. Nabukhotna, Berea College

Computer and Information Sciences (Poster Presentations)

3rd Place: Carson Blevins, Bellarmine University

2nd Place: Zachary Eckert, Bellarmine University

Computer and Information Sciences (Undergraduate Oral Presentations)

2nd Place: Aaron Andries, Bellarmine University

Ecology and Environmental Sciences (Poster Presentations)

2nd Place: Olivia Slater and Nina Meneses, Berea College

1st place: Jaylen Beatty, Transylvania University

Engineering (Poster Presentations)

1st Place: Brooke Kennedy, Bellarmine University

Health Sciences (Poster Presentations)

2nd Place: Danielle Upton, University of Pikeville

Mathematics (Poster Presentations)

1st place: Bhavesh Ramkorun, Berea College

Physics and Astronomy (Poster Presentations)

2nd place: Dustin Watts, Berea College

1st place: Tanner Thompson, Berea College

Physics and Astronomy (Undergraduate Oral Presentations)

1st Place: Isaac Vock, Centre College

Physiology and Biochemistry (Poster Presentations)

2nd place: James McCarthey, Berea College

1st place: Marco Santos, Berea College

Physiology and Biochemistry (Undergraduate Oral Presentations)

2nd place: Tatiana Mikhailova, Berea College

1st place: Young Hwan Kim, Asbury University

Psychology (Poster Presentations)

1st place: Alicia Bedolla, Berea College

Psychology (Undergraduate Oral Presentations)

2nd place (tie): Brett Vitkun, Centre College

2nd place (tie): Valerie Zehr, Berea College

1st place: Tiffany Estep, Berea College

Science Education (Poster Presentations)

2nd place: Douglas J. Kelly, Bellarmine University

1st place: Aubrey Melton, Berea College

Science Education (Undergraduate Oral Presentations)

2nd place: Casey Tetidrick , Berea College

1st place: Alexandria Szalanczy, Centre College

Zoology (Poster Presentations)

2nd place: Robin Hauschner and Favour Akabogo, Berea College

Zoology (Undergraduate Oral Presentations)

2nd place: Jillian Kendall, Berea College
For a complete list of categories and winners from the 2016 Student Research Competition, visit the Kentucky Academy of Science site.

AIKCU average student loan debt lower than state, national averages

Class of 2015 Student Loan Debt bar chart

Class of 2015 Student Loan Debt bar chart

The Institute for College Access & Success’s Project on Student Debt has released its annual report on the status of student debt among America’s college graduates, Student Debt and the Class of 2015.

According to the report, 68% of students who graduated in 2015 from four-year public and nonprofit private colleges nationally graduated with student loan debt. The average loan debt for those who borrowed was $30,100, about 4% more than the previous year’s graduates.

The average loan debt for graduates of Kentucky institutions included in the report was $27,225, about 11% lower than the national average. Statewide, 64 percent of Kentucky students graduated with loans. Kentucky had the 32nd highest average student debt total among the states.

The average graduate debt at AIKCU institutions was even lower, at just under $25,000. [The median debt of AIKCU members was $27,291.] 12 of 18 AIKCU members were included in the report.

The average loan debt at Kentucky’s public universities was just over $28,000. 7 of 8 public universities were included in the report.

The TICAS report includes data voluntarily reported to Peterson’s for about 56 percent of the public and nonprofit colleges and universities in the U.S. The report does not include information about borrowing at proprietary institutions.

See the TICAS data for Kentucky institutions.

Welcome new AIKCU member staff

With a new academic year comes a new group of employees on our member campuses. We’ve attempted to catalog all the new senior campus staff (or relatively new staff, or seasoned employees taking on new roles) below and by highlighting them in bold in our updated 2016-17 AIKCU Membership Directory. The directory includes contact information for all AIKCU member senior staff as well as other important contact information, like AIKCU group listerv addresses and contact information for Kentucky congressional offices.

Welcome to all of these new senior leaders on our member campuses:

Academic Affairs: Linda Strong-Leek, VP for Diversity/Inclusion and Assoc. VP for Academic Affairs, Berea College; Mary Elizabeth Stivers, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs, Midway University; Joanne Berryman, Provost, Spalding University; and Lori Werth, the first ever Provost at the University of Pikeville.

Advancement: David Hutchens, VP for Advancement, UPIKE.

Business Officers: David Wilhite, CFO/Treasurer, Georgetown College; John Dundon, CFO, Kentucky Christian University; Rush Sherman, CFO, Spalding University; Chris Rolph, CFO, University of the Cumberlands; Quentin Young, Director of Business Services, University of the Cumberlands; Barry Bentley, VP for Finance and Business Affairs, UPIKE.

Communications: Keith Spears, Vice President for Communication and Asst. to the President (a new role), Campbellsville University; Samantha Combs, Coordinator of Communications, Kentucky Christian University; Venus Popplewell, Director of Public Relations, Lindsey Wilson College; Marita Salkowski, Communications/PR Director, Thomas More College; Andrew Powell, Senior Director of Communication, Union College

Enrollment Management: Jonathan Sands-Wise, VP Enrollment Management, Georgetown College; Sheree Greer, Director of Admissions, Kentucky Christian University; Jeremy Pittman, VP of Admissions & Financial Aid, Kentucky Wesleyan College; Kelly Gosnell, Dean of Enrollment Services, Midway University; Chris Powers, Assoc. VP of Enrollment, Thomas More College; Holly Sheilley, VP of Enrollment/Student Affairs, Transylvania University

Institutional Research: Jessica Hearn, Director of Institutional Research, Georgetown College; Wesley Whistle, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research, Kentucky Wesleyan College

Information Technology:  Bryan Blount, Sr. Director of Information Services & Resources, Kentucky Wesleyan College

Public Safety: Debbie Fox, Director Public Safety, Bellarmine; Isaac Duncan, Safety Officer, Brescia; Bill Wilson, Director of Campus Safety, Thomas More College

And here at AIKCU, Krista Hudson has been promoted to VP for Member Services.

AIKCU members embrace Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship Program

Twelve AIKCU members have signed on to participate in the new Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship Program established by Governor Matt Bevin’s June executive order and administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.

The 12 AIKCU members participating in the Dual Credit Scholarship Program are: Bellarmine University, Brescia University, Campbellsville University, Kentucky Christian University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Lindsey Wilson College, Midway University, Spalding University, Thomas More College, Union College, University of the Cumberlands, and the University of Pikeville.

In its initial year, the Dual Credit Scholarship Program will allow every Kentucky public high school senior to take two dual credit courses at no cost to the student. The dual credit, where students receive both high school and college credit, may be earned in general education or career and technical education courses.

To enroll students using the Dual Credit Scholarship, participating postsecondary institutions must agree to charge no more than 1/3 of community college tuition, or $52 per credit hour. Several other AIKCU members will continue to offer dual credit opportunities for high school students outside of the Dual Credit Scholarship Program.

AIKCU awarded James Graham Brown Foundation grant to help strengthen private nonprofit colleges through data analysis

JGBF logoFRANKFORT, Ky. – The James Graham Brown Foundation of Louisville, Kentucky has awarded a grant of up to $690,000 to the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities to help Kentucky’s private nonprofit colleges and universities engage in a strategic analysis of their core academic operations and enhance their viability.

The James Graham Brown Foundation has long been a major supporter of Kentucky’s nonprofit private colleges. With this grant the foundation sought to look beyond its previous capital and programmatic funding efforts to support a more systemic process designed to improve colleges’ long-term sustainability.

James Graham Brown Foundation president, Mason Rummel, noted, “We were looking for opportunities to assist private higher education in Kentucky achieve greater success. We believe this program will benefit not just the institutions, but will have greater impact on the state and its image.”

Under the three-year grant, AIKCU will partner with The Higher Education Practice, led by Ken Hoyt, PhD, to provide an opportunity for all AIKCU members to engage in the Optimizing Academic Balance (OAB) analysis process. OAB is a data-driven, multi-year process that helps colleges better understand their academic business models. The ultimate goal of OAB is to provide information college administrators and boards can use to “redirect scarce resources to increase enrollment, maximize the value of the curriculum, and strengthen institutional viability.”

“We appreciate the James Graham Brown Foundation’s support of our members’ ongoing efforts to become more effective and efficient,” said AIKCU president Gary S. Cox. “Participating in the Optimizing Academic Balance process will help our members better understand what they do especially well and how they can build on their successes in the most cost-effective manner. We are pleased to partner with the Brown Foundation so that all of our members will have this opportunity to take a deep dive into their data and then use that new understanding to strategically focus their resources on meeting the needs of their students.”

The Optimizing Academic Balance process uses an institution’s own data collected throughout the academic lifecycle – from admissions inquiries to successfully completed credit hours – to develop a thorough understanding of the costs, benefits, and long-term viability of each academic major and the general education program. It helps identify both opportunities for growth and for cost containment, providing colleges and boards with the information they need to assist their long term strategic planning efforts.

This James Graham Brown Foundation grant is designed to remove financial barriers to the process by covering 75 percent of the costs of the OAB process for each AIKCU institution that chooses to participate. The grant also provides additional supports for colleges that need assistance during the internal data collection process.

AIKCU will hold information sessions for members on the Optimizing Academic Balance process and the grant in the coming weeks, with implementation to begin soon thereafter.

The James Graham Brown Foundation is a Louisville-based foundation whose overarching mission is to “cultivate progress and civic pride through philanthropic investments that promote the image of Kentucky and Louisville and the well-being of its citizens.” The James Graham Brown Foundation’s Higher Education Initiatives seek to improve degree/credential attainment and create significant, sustainable improvement in higher education outcomes in Kentucky. For more on the James Graham Brown Foundation, visit

The Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) is the nonprofit member organization serving Kentucky’s nonprofit, four-year private colleges and universities. Learn more at

Statement from AIKCU President Gary S. Cox on St. Catharine College closure

AIKCU member St. Catharine College announced earlier today that it will close at the end of July.

The following is a statement from AIKCU President Gary S. Cox, PhD on St. Catharine’s closing:

“St. Catharine College, led by its board and President Gnadinger, has worked tirelessly to address the concerns raised by the US Department of Education and to satisfy the DoE’s demands. I am extremely saddened by the DoE’s failure to act responsibly to resolve what they eventually agreed were inappropriately applied administrative compliance demands. The result is this 85-year-old college, with an educational legacy in the area stretching back 200 years, has been forced to close, displacing hundreds of students, faculty and staff and leaving an educational void in their region.”

SCC is truly a special place and the entire AIKCU family is saddened by this news. Our thoughts and prayers are with the students, faculty and staff affected by the closure.


St. Catharine College to close at end of July


The following release comes from St. Catharine College and is reprinted in its entirety. SCC has been a valued member of AIKCU. The college has been a critical community resource and a beacon of educational opportunity in their region. We are saddened by the news of St. Catharine’s pending closure and our hearts go out to their students, faculty, and staff.


St. Catharine, KY  –  After numerous recent meetings of the St. Catharine College Board of Trustees, chairman John Turner announced at a campus-wide faculty and staff meeting on Wednesday that the College would be closing its doors.

“It is with great sadness that I announce today, after exploring all possible options, the Board of Trustees has determined the challenges facing St. Catharine College are insurmountable and we will be closing the College at the end of July,” Turner said.

He went on to say the decline in overall enrollment, caused recently by the federal Department of Education’s admitted wrongful withholding of student aid on several key academic programs, has proven to be too difficult to manage with the debt obligation the College has assumed in recent years.

The debt he referenced was due to the building of new facilities including residence halls, a health-sciences building, and most recently a state-of-the-art library.

President Cindy Gnadinger and the College’s Board of Trustees have worked tirelessly in attempting to satisfy the requirements of the DoE and to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in immediate operating funds through this past spring semester.

“Without the enrollment and with the DOE’s chokehold on our cashflow, the debt is simply not manageable,” Chairman Turner explained.

According to a newsletter from Gnadinger on April 18, “a detailed and lengthy mediation process… failed to resolve the profound negative impacts that prior DOE decisions have had on our institution.” Mediation failed after other financial aid submissions were rejected for varying reasons, and the DOE failed to agree to pay the Colleges damages for diminishing its overall enrollment and reputation.

The DOE’s sanctioning of the College has not only critically restricted operational cash flow, but has also irreparably damaged the College’s ability to attract students. Prior to the problems with the DOE, enrollment was approximately 600 full-time students. Current enrollment projections are significantly diminished to fewer than 475 students enrolled for the Fall 2016 semester – a drop that College officials exclusively attribute to the negative impact of the DOE’s ongoing refusal to allow financial aid in key academic programs.

In recent weeks, the College administrators and trustees have explored various options for moving ahead and even explored the idea of an alliance with several other institutions. St. Catharine College President, Dr. Cindy Gnadinger, has recently held meetings with other college leaders, but the idea of some type of merger has proven unsuccessful.

The decision came after a board meeting Tuesday night, where the Board voted to close.

College administrators state they have reached out to several other institutions to establish teach-out plans for the current students. College administrators remain committed to ensuring this difficult situation is not exacerbated by a difficult transfer situation for SCC’s students.

Articulation agreements are being put together to ensure students’ academic credits will transfer easily and tuition arrangements will be honored as closely to the tuition rates that St. Catharine students are accustomed to paying.

Chairman Turner expressed his gratitude to the employees of the College for working diligently through what has been an extremely challenging year.

Summer camps and classes will proceed as already scheduled, but no classes will begin in the Fall.

SCC employed 118 full-time faculty and staff employees, as well as numerous part-time staff and adjunct instructors.

Prior to the Board’s decision to close the school, every avenue was investigated to save SCC, according to College officials. One plan of action that the school did implement was to fight the DOE’s strict sanctions by filing a lawsuit in federal court in late February, claiming the DOE was unlawfully withholding student financial aid funds. The lawsuit was filed Feb. 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, based in Louisville.


But SCC did not have the financial capacity or cash flow to stay afloat while the DOE’s rules changed nearly monthly.  This resulted in the College needing $5million to move forward next year and position the school confidently into future.

Some local donors stepped up to help keep the College’s doors open while administration worked through issues with the DOE. However, these fundraising efforts were not enough and not in time.

With the length of time involved in financial aid sanctions, litigation, and other looming capital debt, SCC would not be able to sustain the College’s financial needs even for the coming Fall semester.

What started as a school in a “still house” in the early 1800s and grew to a four-year college in the heart of bourbon country will be shuttered before a new semester starts in the Fall – forever silencing the legacy of its pioneering, founding Dominican Sisters.

After educating thousands of students over the course of nearly 200 years, and after repeatedly addressing all the sanction issues of the DOE to no avail, the tiny private College’s financial crisis will close its doors for good.


ABOUT ST. CATHARINE COLLEGE: Founded in the Dominican tradition in 1931 and sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, St. Catharine College, a Catholic Dominican college inspired by its founders, welcomes all to the challenging pursuit of truth, preparing them to become critical thinkers, ethical leaders, and engaged citizens.

EDUCAUSE’s Malcolm Brown to keynote AIKCU Technology Symposium

Malcolm Brown, EDUCAUSEMalcolm Brown, Director of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, will keynote the 2016 AIKCU Technology Symposium at Spalding University in Louisville on Friday, June 17.

Brown has been the Director of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative since 2009, where he has initiated major ELI undertakings such as its Seeking Evidence of Impact program and the Learning Space Rating System. Prior to assuming the ELI directorship, he was the Director of Academic Computing at Dartmouth College, overseeing a team active in instructional technology, research computing, classroom technology, and pedagogical innovation.

The AIKCU Technology Symposium brings together campus professionals from the fields of of information technology, instructional technology, and libraries for a day of presentations, roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities with peers from other institutions and vendors alike.

The one-day professional development event is offered free to AIKCU members thanks to the generous support of AIKCU’s technology business partners. This year’s premier symposium sponsor is Pomeroy. Additional major sponsors include: Aspect, Blackboard, Bell Techlogix, Creative-image technologies, Crowe Horwath, Mirazon, and Time Warner Cable.

While there is no registration fee, we ask all attendees register by June 10 so that we can adequately plan for conference session seating and meals.

The draft agenda and descriptions for more than 30 concurrent sessions are now available for download. Contact Krista Hudson at AIKCU with any questions about the symposium.

2016 AIKCU Technology Symposium event page

2016 AIKCU Technology Symposium registration

Spring Commencements send off the Class of 2016

Commencement season is underway. We’ve attempted to aggregate 2016 commencement information for our member institutions here in one place. Where incomplete, listings will be updated as information becomes available. As always, visit the institutions’  websites for the most current and accurate information.

Congratulations, Class of 2016!

Alice Lloyd College

Saturday, May 7
Grady Nutt Athletic Center
Speaker: George Nicholas, III, ALC alumnus and Senior Vice President of New York Life Insurance Company
Graduates: 82

ALC Celebrates the Class of 2016 (


Asbury University

Commencement for APS and Graduate Students:
Saturday, May 7
10 AM
Hughes Auditorium
Speaker: Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
100 graduates were honored

Commencement for Traditional Undergraduate Students:
Saturday, May 9
Luce Center
Speaker: Dr. Billy Jang Hwan Kim, pastor, evangelist, and world-renown broadcaster.
260 graduates were honored

Asbury University commencement page:

Bellarmine University

Saturday, May 14
9 AM
Owsley Brown Frazier Stadium (Severe weather: Knights Hall)
Speaker: The Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Honorary degrees: Kurtz and retired Dish Network CEO Joseph P. Clayton, a Bellarmine alumnus, will receive honorary doctoral degrees from Dr. Doris Tegart, Bellarmine’s interim president
Anticipated number of degrees: 607 (468 undergraduate, 139 graduate and doctoral)

Commencement page:

Archbishop Kurtz to speak at Bellarmine’s May 14 Commencement (


Berea College

Sunday, May 8
Seabury Arena
Speaker: Dr. Everett McCorvey
Graduates: 260 total (216 spring graduates, the remainder will complete degree requirements in August)

McCorvey Urges Berea Graduates to Pursue Impossible Dream (


Brescia University

Saturday, May 14
10 AM CT
RiverPark Center
Speaker: Sister Sharon Sullivan
Anticipated number of graduates: 167

Campbellsville University

Graduate Commencement:
Friday, May 13
7 PM
Ransdell Chapel
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award: Dr. Joseph L. Owens, fifth-term chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees and Campbellsville University 1977 alumnus; pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Lexington, Ky.
Anticipated number of graduates: 128 master’s degrees are to be awarded

Undergraduate Commencements:
Bachelor’s Graduation
Saturday, May 14
9 AM
Powell Athletic Center
Speaker: Dr. Joseph L. Owens, fifth-term chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees and Campbellsville University 1977 alumnus; pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Lexington, Ky.
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award: Kristen Nicole Jacob, 2016 senior from Lexington, Ky.
Anticipated number of graduates: 156 bachelor of science degrees are to be awarded

Bachelor’s and Associate’s Graduation
Saturday, May 14
Powell Athletic Center
Speaker: Dr. Joseph L. Owens, fifth-term chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees and Campbellsville University 1977 alumnus; pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Lexington, Ky.
Anticipated number of graduates: 126 bachelor and associate degrees to be awarded

Campbellsville University to graduate over 400 students (

Centre College

Sunday, May 22
Newlin Hall of the Norton Center for the Arts
3 PM
Speaker: Deborah Bial, founder, Posse Foundation
Honorary Degrees: Deborah Bial, Harold (Hal) Smith
Anticipated number of graduates: 303

Posse Founder Deborah Bial to deliver 2016 Commencement address at Centre (


Georgetown College

Saturday, May 14
10 AM
Giddings Lawn (inclement weather: Davis-Reid Alumni Gym)
Speaker: Robert L. Mills, Jr., a 1967 alumnus, retired banking executive, and son of former GC president, the late Robert L. Mills.
Special Recognition: Don and Chris Kerr Cawthorne Award for Faculty Excellence (winner TBA)
Anticipated number of graduates: 218 (174 Bachelor’s; 44 Master of Arts in Education)

Commencement page:

Over 200 Degrees to be Conferred Saturday (


Kentucky Christian University

Saturday, May 7
10 AM
Dick Damron Hall of Champions, Lusby Center
Speaker: Jim Gibson
Honorary degree: Honorary doctorate presented to Jack Strother, Sr.
Graduates: 140 (6 master’s)

Kentucky Wesleyan College 

Saturday, April 30
10 AM CT
Jones Gymnasium
Speaker: Lydia Mari Dorman, KWC ’82, senior vice president of human resources for Coca-Cola in Japan
Honorary Degrees: Lydia Dorman, Randall Capps (KWC ’57), and Dr. Angelos Stergiou (KWC ’97)
Graduates: 125

Kentucky Wesleyan graduates 125 on rainy Saturday morning (

Lindsey Wilson College

Saturday, May 14
Biggers Sports Center
Speaker: Hall of Fame Journalist and Kentucky Educational Television host Bill Goodman
Honorary Degree: Bill Goodman; Henry Baughman, retired college professor and EMT expert
Anticipated number of degrees: 244 (13 associate degrees; 166 bachelor of arts degrees; 22 bachelor of science; 25 bachelor of science of nursing; 7 master of arts; 11 master of education)

Midway University

Saturday, May 14
11 AM
Graves Amphitheater (inclement weather: Marshall Gymnasium)

St. Catharine College

Saturday, May 14
11 AM
Lourdes Hall gymnasium
Speaker: Bill Lamb, WDRB
Anticipated number of graduates: 140 (41 associate degrees, 93 bachelor’s, 6 master’s)

Spalding University

Saturday, June 4
10 AM
Canaan Christian Church
Speaker: Spalding President Tori Murden McClure will address the graduates
Honorary Degrees: Honorary degrees will be presented to Walter Randolph Coe II, Ishmon F. Burks, and Ruth E. Williams-Brinkley. Susan Marie Gatz, SCN will receive the Caritas Award, the highest honor awarded by Spalding University.

Thomas More College

Saturday, May 14
11:30 AM
Connor Convention Center

Commencement page:

Transylvania University

Saturday, May 28
9 AM
Lawn in front of Old Morrison (rain location: Clive M. Beck Center)
Speaker: Jim Gray, Mayor of Lexington
Anticipated number of graduates: 280

Commencement page:


Union College

Saturday, May 7
10:30 AM
John M. Robsion Jr. Arena
Speaker: Thomas C. Clark, Chair Emeritus Union College Board of Trustees
Graduates: 211 (10 bachelor of arts; 133 bachelor of science, including 14 students from inaugural pre-licensure nursing class earning a BSN; 51 master of arts in education; 16 educational specialist; 7 master of arts in psychology; 12 chemical dependency counselor)

Commencement page:

University of the Cumberlands

Saturday, May 7
10 AM
O. Wayne Rollins Center on the University of Cumberlands campus

University of Pikeville

Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine Commencement:
Saturday, May 13
9:30 AM
East Kentucky Expo Center
Speaker: John W. Becher, D.O.
Honorary degree: Becher will receive an honorary Doctor of Osteopathic Education degree

University of Pikeville Commencement

Saturday, May 13
2 PM
East Kentucky Expo Center
Speaker: W. James (Jim) Host
Honorary degree: W. James (Jim) Host, honorary Doctor of Public Service

Commencement webpage:

University of Pikeville commencements set for May 14 (

Transylvania University extends Battle of the Bumpers reign

Transy license plateTransylvania University and its supporters have maintained their lock on the AIKCU “Battle of the Bumpers” license plate sales title for the 8th straight year. The annual friendly competition pits Kentucky’s 19 private nonprofit colleges and universities against each other to see whose supporters purchase the most college-branded Kentucky license plates in a calendar year.

Transylvania supporters purchased 923 plates in calendar 2015, generating $9,230 in scholarships for Transy students. Ten dollars from the sale of each Kentucky Independent Higher Education license plate goes to the featured school’s general scholarship fund.

Overall Kentucky Independent Higher Education license plate sales generated nearly $48,000 for student scholarships in 2015.  After Transylvania, Centre College (811), Bellarmine University (612), and Georgetown College (460) were the next highest sellers.

Sales of independent college license plates have generated more than half a million dollars in for student scholarships since their introduction in 2002.

Kentucky Independent Higher Education license plates cost $44 on initial issue and $31 on renewal, with $10 going to the institution’s general scholarship fund. Plates may be purchased at any Kentucky County Clerk’s office. For more information, visit the Kentucky Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing.