Kentucky Wesleyan College
A Newsletter for Our Alumni and Friends // May 2017
Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

  President Barton D. Darrell with Katelyn Laughlin and Adam Standford Jr.

Commencement speaker and honorary doctor of business degree recipient Brian Kelley

"You are graduating at one of the most exciting times in the history of humanity on this planet. The answers to these difficult issues and questions brought on by the Information Age can and will be found. These dislocations will find a new equilibrium -- a better solution; an improved world. Humans ascend. We always do. But it's up to you to ensure it."

Brian Kelley of Lindsay Goldberg, a private investment firm in New York City, and vice chair of the Keurig Green Mountain Board of Directors.

Honorary doctor of business degree recipient Christopher Reid, president and chief executive officer of Independence Bank, with Chair of the Board of Trustees Rev. Thomas Grieb

Learn more about Brian Kelley and Christopher Reid and read the Commencement address here

View highlights of the Commencement ceremony here.
See Commencement photos here.

Sold-Out Crowd Enjoys Second Annual President's Gala


The second annual President's Gala at the Owensboro Convention Center on April 21 was a rousing success, thanks to our attendees and generous sponsors. The evening began with a reception presented by Independence Bank, and continued with dinner and remarks from Jennifer Walker-Crawford '17, Steve Divine '94 and President Barton D. Darrell.  Guests danced the night away at the energetic
 after-party with music provided by The Downtown Band from Nashville.
 Save the date for next year's Gala - April 20, 2018.

View photos of the evening here.

Softball Team Wins Great Midwest Athletic Conference Championship
First Trip to NCAA Tournament in Program History

Midwest Region
Thursday, May 11
2:30 p.m.
No. 1 seed University of Missouri-St. Louis (39-13) hosts No. 8 seed Kentucky Wesleyan (38-20)

Read more here.

Follow the tournament at
  Honors Convocation

Jordan White '12 and Nathan Stemle '17

Jordan White, J.D. '12 addressed students at Honors Convocation at Legacy Owensboro Church on April 6. He graduated summa cum laude from Kentucky Wesleyan with a B.S. in accounting and magna cum laude from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in 2015. He was a second team NCAA All-American and a two-time Great Lakes Valley Conference Baseball Scholar. He is a member of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Labor & Employment Services Teams at Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP in Louisville.

See more photos from Honors Convocation here.
2017 Oak and Ivy Inductees Honored

The 2017 Oak and Ivy inductees, all members of the Class of 2017, from left to right: Daphne Parker, Elissa Starheim, Pennilyn Pluimer, Erin Dorn, Tavis Tinsley and Andrew Martin.

The Order of Oak and Ivy is a prestigious Wesleyan honor society conferred on students who exhibit spiritual leadership and intellectual ability in seeking to promote the interests and welfare of Kentucky Wesleyan College.

Keelan Cole Signs NFL Contract with Jacksonville Jaguars

Former Panther wide receiver Keelan Cole '17 not only picked up his bachelor of science degree at Commencement the morning of Apr. 29, but was also picked up as a free agent with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars later that afternoon, becoming the first former Wesleyan player since 2012 to sign a professional football contract. Cole will report to the Jaguars' training camp in late July.

See a report from Evansville's WEHT/WTVW here.
WESPY Awards
Athletes of the Year
Keelan Cole '17 and Crystal Hopkins

Kentucky Wesleyan hosted the second annual WESPY Sports Awards Dinner on April 26 and recognized scholar-athletes who distinguished themselves during the 2016-17 season.

Wide receiver Keelan Cole and Crystal Hopkins of the track and field team were named
Athletes of the Year. 

Senior Dinner

Left:  Dylan Jeffery '17 entertains his classmates with a song he wrote especially for the occasion.

Right: Dr. BC Childress '05, president of the Kentucky Wesleyan Alumni Association, congratulates graduates and welcomes them to the Alumni Association.
  Seniors celebrated, reminisced and looked to the future at the annual Senior Dinner on April 27 at  Owensboro Country Club.

See more photos of the Senior Dinner here.  

Kentucky Wesleyan Singers, conducted by Bradley Naylor, D.M.A.

Rev. Darren Brandon, lead pastor, Settle Memorial United Methodist Church 

Graduates and their families gathered at Owensboro Legacy Church on April 28
for the annual Baccalaureate service.

See highlights of the service here.
 Meet Bria Wright '17
Interviewed by Kenzie Tomes, public relations intern and Apollo High School senior

Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
Women's Basketball

In search of a school that would accommodate her, her sister (sophomore Shayla Wright), and their dreams of playing college basketball together, Bria Wright found the perfect opportunity at Kentucky Wesleyan College. As a high school visitor, she observed the close-knit, friendly atmosphere the College presented and decided the College would be a great fit for both of them.

Bria pursued a degree in elementary and special education. She chose this path because many teachers over the years influenced her life and shaped her into the person she is today. 

"They didn't have to do take the time to shape and influence me; but they did," said Bria. "I love the field, and I love working with kids." 

Bria has student taught at both Owensboro Middle School (OMS) and Foust Elementary School (FES). At OMS, she taught math in the Resource Room and enjoyed getting to know the students and relating to them. During her time at FES, she worked with several students who have gone through great trauma in their lives, and she broadened her abilities as she reached out to these kids.

As she prepared to graduate, Bria reflected on her four years at Kentucky Wesleyan and how the four values of The Wesleyan Way - Honor, Support, Integrity and Love - have impacted her life.

"My freshman year, these principles were not yet in place," Bria recalled. "Since they were implemented, I have grown in my leadership abilities, and I have been encouraged and trusted to do more. I am on the council in my sorority, I am a member of the Student Government Association and the Student Activities Programming Board, and, of course, I play basketball."

Bria shared, "With the guidance of The Wesleyan Way, students influence more people through leadership roles, and in turn, our class is encouraging underclassmen to grow in their leadership skills. Through living The Wesleyan Way, we have all been part of an amazing cycle as we grow ourselves and then encourage others to succeed."

Future Panther Days
June 10 and July 14, 2017

If you have been admitted to Kentucky Wesleyan College for fall 2017, you are invited to attend Future Panther Day. This is an official registration day and your final step to becoming a Panther!

Register here today.
Scholars' Academy
For Rising High School Seniors
June 25 - July 1, 2017

The Kentucky Wesleyan Scholars' Academy is an exciting and challenging week-long immersion experience for students who have completed their junior year in high school.

Students will grow through shared residential life and academic experiences in a high-quality and socially-enriching environment led by Kentucky Wesleyan faculty and staff.

See a video about the 2016 Scholars' Academy here.

The application deadline is May 19, 2017, and decisions for acceptance will be made by May 26, 2017.

Learn more and apply here.
Welcome to the President's Circle!
President's Circle Logo
The President's Circle recognizes those who invest in Kentucky Wesleyan College at a level of $1,000 or more for the current fiscal year. The following joined or renewed their membership during the month of April:

Dr. Ernest Abernathy '55
Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities
B J Killian Foundation
BC '05 and Hope Childress
Martha Fitts Clark
Karen Fisher-Brasher '77
Darrell and Denise Higginbotham
Independence Bank
J. Drew and Gail Kirkland
Jean Nofsinger

Time is running out!
If you haven't made your 2016-17 gift to Kentucky Wesleyan or renewed your President's Circle membership, you have until May 31 and can do so via our secure online giving site here or by calling the Office of Advancement at 270-852-3142.
Wesleyan Announces First-Ever Alumni Cruise
"Wesleyan on the Waves" Will Set Sail June 3, 2018, to the Eastern Caribbean

Join Kentucky Wesleyan College alumni and friends for "Wesleyan on the Waves," a Wesleyan-themed cruise vacation for alumni and friends begins June 3, 2018, from Orlando (Port Canaveral), Fla. The cruise will be a seven-night sailing adventure aboard Royal Caribbean's world-renowned Oasis of the Seas, with stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Labadee, Haiti.

Read more and find out how to register here.
Upcoming Alumni Events
Western Kentucky-Area Networking Breakfast
Hosted by Farmers Bank & Trust  

Wednesday, May 16, at 7:30 a.m.
Meet and network with fellow Western Kentucky-area Wesleyan alumni. Light breakfast, coffee and juice will be provided by Farmers Bank.

Farmers Bank & Trust
2215 N. Main St.
Madisonville, Ky.
Complimentary but registration is required - Click Here.

Down After Dark at Churchill Downs
June 17 , on Millionaires Row

Reserved seating, Chef's Table buffet, racing program and breathtaking views from sixth floor balcony overlooking the finish line.
Limited seating. Register here.

A Night with Cincinnati FC
June 24

Alumni and friends are set to enjoy the excitement of an FC Cincinnati match at Nippert Stadium on Saturday, June 24. Enjoy a pre-game gathering in the family fun zone followed by 90 minutes of United Soccer League action.

Limited tickets available - Click Here to Register Today!

Winchester Picnic
Aug. 5

More information on the annual
Winchester Picnic will be announced

A Night with Louisville City FC
Sept. 15

Alumni and friends are set to enjoy a Night in the City at Louisville Slugger Field on Friday, September 15. Enjoy a pre-game meetup at Against the Grain followed by the excitement of Louisville City FC soccer as they host Bethlehem Steel FC.

Limited tickets available - Click Here to Register Today!

For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (270) 852-3146 or
Introducing Our New Instagram Account
Official Instagram for Kentucky Wesleyan alumni and friends

The Office of Alumni Relations has launched a new social media account! To kick off our new Instagram, we're sharing five reasons why you should follow us and offering a giveaway. When we reach 500 followers, we will randomly choose someone to receive a special Kentucky Wesleyan themed prize. For a chance to win, follow our account, like our posts, and tag your friends to spread the word! 

Follow us on Instagram by clicking here
Roy Pickerill '75 Recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations to Roy Pickerill '75, who was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the College Sports Information Directors of America. He retired in 2016 as Wesleyan's longtime SID and now serves Wesleyan as a special assistant for college relations.

Read more about the recognition here.
Please contact Kathy Rutherman,  Director of Public Relations,
with comments or questions  about the Wesleyan Way e-newsletter at  or  270-852-3143.