Kentucky Wesleyan College
A Newsletter for Our Alumni and Community // April 2015

Kentucky Wesleyan College

Receives Two Major Gifts


Kentucky Wesleyan College announced today the receipt of two major investments as the college continues to generate significant momentum in its fundraising efforts. The first is an estate gift from alumna Luellen Pyles '44, who passed away Dec. 30, 2014, at her Maysville, Ky., home. The bequest of approximately $4 million will support alumni programming and teacher education scholarships. Miss Pyles' gift is one of the largest estate gifts in the college's history.


"Miss Pyles' life was not only one of tremendous personal and professional achievement which spanned the globe, but also one of selfless service to her alma mater, to which she believed she owed so much," said President Barton D. Darrell.


In addition to the Pyles estate, the institution also received a $100,000 cash gift to the Wesleyan General Scholarship Fund from an out-of-state contributor. The anonymous donor said, "We have been following the great things that are happening right now at Kentucky Wesleyan College . . . We are proud to be an investor in Kentucky Wesleyan College and enthusiastically encourage others to do the same."


President Darrell said, "It is humbling to have investors from outside of Kentucky choose to support our mission to meet the demands of the workforce in a constantly changing world."


For more information on this exciting news, click here.

Renaissance Man
Sophomore Dylan Jeffrey



"I was the first student President Darrell met his first day here, and we have had a bond ever since. I love the guy." 


Hometown: Zebulon, Georgia

Major: Political Science

Goal after Wesleyan: Law School


Dylan Jeffery is everywhere:

  • Leading music at the Wesleyan Heights United Methodist Church contemporary service on Sundays
  • Exploring his belief system at a Stanley Reed Pre-Law and Politics Society Debate in the Winchester Center
  • Strumming his guitar at the mid-week service in Tapscott Chapel
  • Joining other students for Monday night prayer
  • Protecting the quarterback as an offensive lineman at Steele Stadium
  • Savoring life in a "small college atmosphere that is perfect for me"
  • Performing in a Southern country rock band in Madisonville

"Wesleyan is handing me opportunities on a silver platter I would not have had at a large university," says Dylan Jeffery. He shares that students have many choices to be as involved in campus life and activities as they wish. "The small campus and close-knit atmosphere make it so easy to figure out where you fit."


Dylan explains that faculty and staff, and even the president, are accessible, supportive and interested in the student body. "Dr. Conroy (professor of history and political science) is awesome, and he is preparing me well for law school, and Professor Jerry Garner's (professor of criminal justice) Judicial Process class was great. He was helpful and interesting." 

"Jim Coleman and Kent Lewis are always there when I need them," remarks Dylan, "and I appreciate them for giving me opportunities to serve." The Rev. Dr. Jim Coleman is senior pastor at Wesleyan Heights and assistant professor of religion, and Rev. Kent Lewis is on the pastoral staff at the church and the campus minister."


By the way, Dylan Jeffery also plays the piano, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, dulcimer and drums.


What can't he do? "Calculus, definitely calculus," he answers quickly and emphatically.

For more information on the Wesleyan political science and pre-law programs, contact Dr. Bill Conroy at or 270-852-3235.
The Power of Music

"Our goal is always to play the greatest music at the highest level."

- Professor Steven A. Pederson


Spring Wind Ensemble Concert
Sunday, April 26
3 p.m.
RiverPark Center

The 85-piece band is composed of Wesleyan students, regional all-state high school students and community members. 

Professor Steven A. Pederson, Wesleyan Director of Bands
DuWayne Dale, Wesleyan Assistant Director of Bands, and Director of Bands at Daviess County High School



Professor Steven A. Pederson


Bachelor of Music Education, Magna Cum Laude
Master of Arts in Clarinet Performance
Doctor of Musical Arts (A.B.D.), Conducting
Wartburg College, Iowa
University of Iowa
University of Kansas


2015 College/University Teacher of the Year

Kentucky Music Educators Association


View an interview with Professor Pederson here.

For more information on the Kentucky Wesleyan band program, call or text Professor Steven Pederson  at 859-333-8666 or email him at
Owensboro coach Rod M. Drake, facing camera. hugs Dustin Miller Sunday, March 22, 2015, after beating Bowling Green 74-58 to win the state championship at the of the KHSAA Boys' Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/John Flavell)

We Compete with Integrity


Our congratulations to three former Panther student-athletes who led their teams to state championship victories this academic year as head coaches.

Surprise Party at Wesleyan Honors
Alumnus Rod Drake

Owensboro Public Schools personnel joined Wesleyan students, faculty, staff and alumni to surprise and honor Rod Drake on Thursday, March 26, in Rogers Hall. Owensboro High School Athletic Director Chris Gaddis and Michelle Drake, Rod's wife, shared in the subterfuge that made the surprise a success. 
"Rod's achievements surpass athletics. He embodies everything we want in a Kentucky Wesleyan graduate."
- President Barton D. Darrell

Owensboro High School 1980

Kentucky Wesleyan College 1984, Physical education major

Campbellsville University, Master of Science, Special education

Head coach at Owensboro High school since 2008

Wife, Michelle, employed at Green River Area Development District in workforce development

Daughter, Camille, junior at Owensboro High School

Owensboro basketball coach Rod M. Drake celebrates Sunday, March 22, 2015, after his Red Devils won the state championship 74-58 against Bowling Green in the KHSAA Boys' Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/John Flavell)


Rod Drake

In His Own Words


"When Wesleyan recruited me, I just couldn't say no, and then the college changed my life. I can't imagine my life without Kentucky Wesleyan. I still enjoy cherished friendships from those years."


"I particularly remember Professors Dan Bradshaw, Marisue Coy, Don Davenport and Bill Kolok. They were interesting and helpful and good to me. What an experience to sit in their classes."


"It was an experience, too, to play for Mike Pollio. We went to the Final Four in 1982 and 1984, and I will never forget the excitement."


"I went to class and played basketball with people from all over the country. That was good for me, and so was the close-knit family that was and is Kentucky Wesleyan."


"My greatest accomplishment? I have the ability to maintain relationships, and those friendships mean more and more to me as I get older. I try to be a friend, and I try to remember - with my friends, my students and my co-workers -  that I may not know what is going on in their lives behind the scenes."

#TheWesleyan Way
Follow Kentucky Wesleyan on Twitter @KyWesleyan


Cheer for the Panthers!

Athletics Events at Home


April 2

Softball vs. Ursuline
Noon and 2 p.m.
Foster Field


April 3

Baseball vs. Alderson Broaddus
11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Panther Park

Softball vs. Ursuline
Foster Field

April 4

Baseball vs. Alderson Broaddus
11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Panther Park

Tennis vs. Ursuline
10 p.m.
Moreland Park

Tennis vs. Indiana - Southeast
3 p.m.
Moreland Park

 April 7

Baseball vs. Missouri - St. Louis
1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Panther Park


April 8

Softball vs. Trevecca
Noon and 2 p.m.
Foster Field


April 15

Baseball vs. Indianapolis
2 p.m.
Panther Park


April 17

Tennis vs. Cedarville
2 p.m.
Moreland Park


April 18

Baseball vs. Oakland City
Noon and 3 p.m.
Panther Park


Tennis vs. Central State
10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Moreland Park 


April 20

Softball vs. Alderson Broaddus
2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Foster Field


 April 21

Softball vs. Alderson Broaddus
Foster Field

April 24

Softball vs. Davis & Elkins
Noon and 2 p.m.
Foster Field


Baseball vs. Salem International
Noon and 3 p.m.
Panther Park


April 25

Baseball vs. Salem International
Noon and 3 p.m.
Panther Park

Softball vs. Davis & Elkins (Senior Day)
Noon and 2 p.m.
Foster Field

See  for more information on Panther Sports.



Don't miss these



April 10, 7:30 p.m

April 11, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.


The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus

Zion United Church of Christ 625 Allen Street

Presented by Wesleyan Theatre Arts

For tickets call 270-852-3595 or see Kentucky Wesleyan College Theatre Arts on Facebook 


April 15, 7 p.m.


Ellie Magnuson Speaker Series

James Fleming, M.D., M.Sc.

"The Uses of Empathy:

A Physician's Perspective"

106 Yu Hak Hahn Center for the Sciences 


April 23


Celebration of Student Achievement Day 


Honors Convocation

Martha Fitts Clark, Speaker

Owensboro community leader and philanthropist

12:30 p.m.

Wesleyan Heights United Methodist Church


Posters and Oral Presentations

2 - 4:30 p.m. 

Winchester Center


88 Keys Music Recital

6 p.m.

Tapscott Chapel

April 26, 3 p.m.


Spring Wind Ensemble Concert

RiverPark Center