Kentucky Wesleyan College
A Newsletter for Our Alumni and Friends // May 2018
Accolades Continue with
"Top Five in the South" Recognition
Kentucky Wesleyan College continues to receive accolades with recognition as one of the top five colleges/universities in the South by College Consensus , a unique new college ratings system that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews.

"Kentucky Wesleyan is very pleased to be ranked in the top five in the South, and we plan to continue to climb," said President Barton D. Darrell. "This ranking is important because it not only used performance and objective qualitative measures, but it also investigated the people who chose the 'Wesleyan Way' and determined how it rewarded them. After all, that is why we do what we do. I am so happy for our terrific faculty, staff, trustees, churches and supporters who made this recognition possible. 
"I am also happy for, and grateful to, the Owensboro community. This is a tribute to the Owensboro/Daviess County 'family,' who recognize the importance of welcoming and including our students who come from around the nation and other countries. Owensboro is a significant part of a Wesleyan education."

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150th Annual Commencement Celebrates
 Class of 2018 
Saturday, April 28, marked the College's 150th
Annual Commencement. The dream of completing a college education was achieved by over 140 students and celebrated with family, friends, faculty, staff and alumni.

Perry Rogers of Las Vegas, CEO of PRP, addressed the Class of 2018, offering sage guidance for journeys ahead. He stressed the importance of involvement in the community, the value of empathy and advice about life's unwritten rules.

Mr. Rogers, whose family has deep roots at Kentucky Wesleyan, was awarded an honorary Doctor of  Laws. Nineteen of his ancestors graduated from the College, and in anticipation of his visit to Owensboro, he said, "In a sense, I feel like I am coming home."

View Photos from the 150th Annual Commencement
Dr. W.L. Magnuson
Scholars Program
Exceeds Goal
 A Life of Service
 A Lasting Legacy 

Dr. W.L. Magnuson, President Barton D. Darrell '84, Fred Wright '80 and
Dr. Corey Johnson '00 celebrate the announcement of the total.
One hundred family members, former students, friends and faculty members gathered at the Owensboro Country Club on April 28 to celebrate the career of Dr. W.L. Magnuson, who is retiring after 49 years of service to Wesleyan. Thanks to many generous donations, the Magnuson Scholars Program will provide scholarships to chemistry students in perpetuity. A total of $281,250 has been raised to date, exceeding the $250,000 goal. The evening included laughter and tears, and many expressions of gratitude to Dr. Magnuson for his commitment to student success. The first two Magnuson Scholars Program recipients, Sydney Leisure (rising senior) and Emily Jenkins (rising sophomore) were present. Each will receive a $2,500 scholarship. Eventually, there will be Magnuson Scholar in each class.
"I chose McMurry College (now University) in Abilene, Texas, at the encouragement of my hometown Methodist minister. At the end of my freshman year, my chemistry professor and mentor, Dr. W. Norton Jones, presented me with a generous scholarship for a chemistry major that enabled me to complete my degree. I want to thank everyone who gave to this scholarship, which will give many students a start in life, just as I got my start at McMurry. I am deeply grateful."
                                                                                                                                - Dr. W.L. Magnuson

Charlotte (Morrow) '56 and Rev. Dr. Glenn Sowards '53 (Front) with daughter-in-law Janet and son Wesley Sowards '80 (Back)
Campus Ministries Office Transformed through Gift from
Rev. Glenn and Charlotte Sowards
A generous gift from Rev. Dr. Glenn '53 and Charlotte (Morrow) Sowards '56 has provided a new Campus Ministries Office behind the chapel and includes an inviting new entrance and patio. The John Mark Sowards Office of Campus Ministries, named in memory of their grandson, was dedicated on April 11. Rev. Sowards spoke at the weekly chapel service prior to the dedication and reflected on his appreciation for his Wesleyan education.
"I can never say I am debt free because I have an unpayable debt to God, family, church and Kentucky Wesleyan College. In this case, I'm glad to be in debt . . . As the years have passed, my appreciation for Kentucky Wesleyan has grown . . . I graduated and left with much more than a diploma . . . My professors helped me learn who I was, what I wanted to accomplish and what I was capable of, and that this would be a life-long process.

"Charlotte joins me in expressing our thanks to Kentucky Wesleyan for the opportunity that is ours today to honor John Mark and help undergird the work of Campus Ministries."
                                                                                                                       - Rev. Dr. Glenn Sowards '53

Rev. Mark Gibbons '78 delivered the keynote address
Baccalaureate Celebrates
 Student Successes
Honors graduates were recognized and Rev. Mark Gibbons '78, Superintendent of the Owensboro District of the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church, addressed the graduates with the theme, "Is there life after college?" at the annual service
 held at Legacy Owensboro Church.

Dr. Ryne Williams '12 delivers the keynote address at Honors Convocation
Dr. Ryne Williams '12 Encourages Students at Honors Convocation

Dr. Ryne Williams '12 returned to campus and addressed the student body on running life's race with a combination of perseverance and faith. He earned a Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Kentucky and is the clinic director of Results Physiotherapy in Lexington.

Honors Convocation started the annual "Celebration of Student
Caitlin Crabtree '18 shared her educational experiences in Tanzania in the summer of 2017 at Scholars' Day.
Achievement," and recognized the accomplishments of students and shared the College's gratitude to generous donors who make pursuit of a Wesleyan degree a reality via scholarship opportunities. Scholars' Day presentations followed convocation.

Enjoy photos of Honors Convocation and Scholars' Day here.
Congratulations to 2018 Oak and Ivy Inductees 
Pictured left to right: Cornelia Thomas '19, De'Vonta Moffitt '18, Lucas Butler '18, Codie Drake '18,
Grant Allen '19 and Adelaide Reimbold '18

The Order of Oak and Ivy, established in 1955, is the College's most prestigious student recognition. The honor is conferred on a limited number of students each year who exhibit spiritual leadership and intellectual ability in seeking to promote the interests and welfare of Kentucky Wesleyan.

View More Photos of the Celebration 
Third Annual President's Gala Draws Record Crowd  

The President's Gala on Friday, April 20, was sold out for the third year in a row. The annual event celebrated the successes of the College over the past year, while recognizing the school's most generous benefactors.

Festivities began with a cocktail reception, sponsored by Independence Bank, followed by a plated dinner, remarks from President Barton Darrell and an energetic after-party, sponsored by American Patriot Getaways, featuring Nashville's award-winning group, The Downtown Band.

2018 Scholars' Academy
June 24-30  

Kentucky Wesleyan Scholars' Academy is an exciting and challenging week-long immersion experience for high school students who have completed their junior year in high school. Students will be selected through a competitive application process.

The application deadline is May 25 and decisions for acceptance will be made by June 1.

Click here for further details and application.

Seniors Say "Thanks"

Tara O'Shan and other members of the
 Class of 2018 reflected on their Wesleyan experience and said "thanks"
 to family, friends, faculty and staff
 for their support and encouragement
as they reached this significant

Enjoy the video here.

Welcome to the President's Circle!

  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:
W. Hershell Cave '61
Margaret Driskill
William '68 and Mary Ann (Tippin) Foree '68
Darrell Higginbotham
Kelsey Jarboe '14
Brian Jones '83
Virginia (Tyirin) Kleine '69
Dr. Judy (Watkins) Mills '73
William Munday
Jean Nofsinger
Ken '75 and Patricia (Steward) Pernisek '78
Everett (Buddy) '79 and Margaret (Puff) Rogers
Carl and Jean Saalwaechter
 Learn about the Young Alumni President's Circle, which recognizes alumni of the past 10 years who invest at least $100 a year since their graduation here.

Upcoming Alumni & Friends Events
May 3: First Thursday 
(SIP Owensboro)

June 3-10, 2018: Wesleyan on the Waves
(Booking window closed) 
Eastern Caribbean Cruise Aboard the Oasis of the Seas
Please contact Kathy Rutherman,  Director of Public Relations,
with comments or questions  about the Wesleyan Way e-newsletter at  or  270-852-3143.