Saturday, November 18, 2017

UK Provost

As the university searches for a provost it seems a good time to look back at UK's previous provosts.  In its over 150 year history the University of Kentucky has had only seven provosts:

Elvis Stahr - Law
A. D. Albright - Education

Lewis Cochran - Physics
Mike Nietzel - Psychology

Kumble Subbaswamy - Physics
Christine Riordan - Business

Tim Tracy - Pharmacy

The first provost was not appointed until 1954 and there have been extended periods since when UK operated without a provost.  Instead, a Vice-President for Academic Affairs or a Chancellor of the Lexington Campus served as the chief academic officer for the university.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Armistice Day

1919 Kentuckian Dedication

Armistice Day Celebration 1921
University of Kentucky Cadets
in front of Main Building

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Adapting to an Urban Campus

Since the first automobiles arrived on campus UK students have been searching for a place to park.  Often the streets around campus became so congested (and still do) that the streets seem more like parking lots.

In the late 1850's Rose Street, seen below to the right and parallel to Limestone, was little more than a quiet country lane.

By the 1920's automobiles had become a major issue on campus as more and more students owned cars.  The student's cars caused headaches for the Deans of Women and Men because it decreased substantially the control they had over their students.  As problematic was the challenge of where to park the increasing numbers of cars each year.  In 1929 the Board of Trustees issued the following rules for automobiles:

Parking on Administration Drive, 1938
By 1964 the Kernel editors were describing campus parking as intolerable.  Every new construction project on the ever expanding campus eliminated parking spaces.  In 1964 the number of student parking spaces were cut in half.

Traffic on Rose Street, both cars and pedestrians became a growing concern.  President Herman Donovan petitioned the city to install "an electric traffic light" at the intersection of Rose and Washington Avenue.  As dormitories and the medical center developed east of Rose Street the number of reports of cars striking students crossing the road increased dramatically.

By the 1960s some people began calling for the closure of Rose Street.  When UK suggested this solution to a Lexington official in 1962 they countered by suggesting that Rose Street be widened to four lanes through the campus.  Surprisingly, after acknowledging the danger to students crossing Rose Street, Kernel editors backed the four lane plan.
Kernel, 1964

Over the past several years portions of Rose Street have been closed to through traffic making the street much safer for UK students.  The recent proposal for UK to "swap" land for control of campus streets could be the beginning of the university's ability to continue enhancing campus safety while at the same time making the campus a more pleasant place to study and work.

Kernel, 2013

Campus parking?  Making progress but still a work in progress!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

President Otis Singletary Birthday

On this date in 1921 Otis A. Singletary was born in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Today would have been his 96th birthday.  He served as the 8th president of the University of Kentucky from 1969 to 1987.

President Singletary enjoyed having his birthday on Halloween.  During his presidency, UK students would sometimes show up on campus wearing "Singletary masks" celebrating both the president's birthday and Halloween.

In 1981 students serenaded President Singletary in his office for his 60th birthday.

For his 80th birthday, President Singletary, Gloria Singletary, and granddaughter Addie gathered for a birthday celebration in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center along with friends, family, and the UK Singletary Scholars.

Friday, October 20, 2017

UK's First Mascot

UK tradition tells us that the nickname Wildcats became popular soon after UK defeated Illinois in football on October 9, 1909.  Supposedly, Commandant Philip Carbusie, Head of the Military Department, told a group of students in a chapel service following a victory over Illinois that the Kentucky football team had "fought like Wildcats."  The name wildcats soon became synonymous with UK sports teams.
But young Dulaney Lee O'Roark roamed the football field sidelines as the team's mascot before any wildcats!

Dulaney O'Roark, the son of UK engineering graduate student, Lauren Snyder O'Roark and Anna McCormick O'Roark lived across Rose Street from the football field in a house torn down to make way for the King Alumni House.  

Lauren O'Roark served as the university's yearbook editor in 1908 and 1909.  Young Dulaney became the football team's mascot after his father began taking him to football games where Lauren reported on the games and took photographs for the yearbook.  The photo above appeared in the 1910 yearbook.

Dulaney graduated from UK in 1931 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.  He went on to have a very successful military career serving as a Military Governor of the rural district of Kemnath in Bavaria after World War II and serving in Korea.  He retired from military service as a full colonel.

Dulaney Lee O'Roark, "The Little Wildcat"

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Name That Stadium

At a time when sports arenas and stadiums change names often in order to capture corporate sponsorship, there was a time when names of stadiums lasted far longer.  Still, a look back shows that even in the early 20th century some confusion surrounded UK's iconic Stoll Field located on the current site of the Otis A. Singletary Center for the Arts.  On either side of Stoll Field rose two concrete grandstands that comprised McLean Stadium, home to the football Wildcats until 1972.

Commonwealth Stadium opened in 1973 on the site of the former UK agriculture farm next to Cooper Drive.  In 2000 UK named the playing surface at the stadium C.M. Newton Field.  Commonwealth Stadium became Kroger Field in 2017 with C.M. Newton Field becoming C.M. Newton Grounds.

Stoll Field Plaque, October 14, 1916

In 1936 the Kentucky Kernel reviewed the then short history of its football field and stadium to highlight the confusion about what to call the home of the football Wildcats.

Stoll Field - McLean Stadium

Text of the UK historical marker placed at the site of Stoll Field/McLean Stadium in 2007:

In 1880 the first college football game ever played in the South was held here at what was eventually named Stoll Field. It was dedicated in 1916 at the Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt game and was named in honor of alumnus and long-term Board of Trustees member Judge Richard C. Stoll. The field was the setting of early football games and an integral part of student life. Class of 2007. 

(Reverse) McLean Stadium- This field, which once pastured President Patterson’s cows, was used for military training during WWI and in 1924 it held McLean Stadium. It was named for Price McLean, an engineering student who was fatally injured in a football game in 1923. McLean Stadium was the site of Kentucky football games until they were moved to Commonwealth Stadium in 1972. Class of 2007.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

UK Students, Please Take a Bath!

Water has always been important to UK and sometimes a scarce commodity. 

October 7-13 is University of Kentucky Water Week, "a week of films, panel discussions, invited speakers and service activities examining climate change impacts on water quality" sponsored by the Colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering, and the Kentucky Geological Survey, all of which are members of the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment’s water systems working group. Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute is also a collaborator.

The focus on water reminded me that in 1930, in addition to economic woes brought on by the Great Depression, Lexington and the University of Kentucky faced a severe drought that put the region's water supply in jeopardy.

During a gathering in Memorial Hall for the first convocation of the 1930 school year, President Frank McVey advised the students that if they had been in the habit of taking a daily bath that they should consider taking one "every other night."  If they had been "taking one every other night, take two baths a week."  But if any student had been taking only one bath a week, McVey encouraged those students "for goodness sake keep that up!"

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Depicting UK Women Students

Hugh Hefner's passing is being marked by the ongoing controversy regarding his objectification of women.  Unfortunately, the University of Kentucky has a long history of emphasizing women's physical appearance more that their intellectual ability and presenting images of women as sexual objects.

The first woman to be recognized at a UK commencement in 1884, Leanora Hoening, received more comments about her appearance that her academic achievement. A reported wrote that she "was a fresh, healthy young woman, with an eye as full and bright as a dove's, and the head of a Greek Venus on a neck like a lily-stalk.  She was a happy, wholesome, appetizing creature, with an expression of frank good-fellowship about her, well mingled with a becoming and maidenly modesty.  

Writing in 1916 about Margaret Ingels, UK's first woman graduate in Engineering, a reporter noted breathlessly that Ingles was not of the "mannish" type but rather "ladylike" and added that, "she is medium height (about five feet two inches) and of slender figure.  She is really pretty; has large, intelligent gray eyes, the slightly tanned complexion of the outdoor girl and the long upper lip that denotes a poetical temperament and a love of ease and luxury.  But this feature is given the lie by the strength of her chin and the way she closes her mouth as she works."

Kentucky Kernel Front Page, January 18, 1957
By the mid-twentieth century the Kentucky Kernel represented the changing culture in it pages by portraying women students  as "Kernel Kuties" or "Kernel Pin-Ups."  

Front Page Kentucky Kernel, September 28, 1950

What will this generation of women students demand from the popular culture in regard to the representation of women on campuses across the United States?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Learning A Skill...Learning To Live

The debate over "liberal" versus science and "practical" studies is as old as the University of Kentucky itself.  Founded in 1865 following the Morrill Act that intended to support agricultural and mechanical education and access to public higher education generally, UK's early history illustrates the persistent tension between "practical" and "liberal" education.

The details of the early debates are presented in James Hopkins, The University of Kentucky: Origins and Early Years (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1951) and J. Allen Smith, College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky, Early and Middle Years, 1865-1951).  

President James K. Patterson, UK's first president and a central figure in the debates, received a "liberal" education at Hanover College and his intellectual interests focused primarily on philosophical studies.  Many believed that he hindered the growth of UK's science, engineering, and agricultural programs because of his own background and intellectual interests.

As explained by Smith, "In an 1880 report...he (Patterson) contrasted eloquently and convincingly the agriculture and mechanical colleges conducted under the 'narrow gauge' view with those conducted under the 'broad gauge’ view, to the great advantage of the latter, and he declared the intent of the Morrill Act of 1862 was 'to make scientific and technical education the privilege of all, and not the prerogative of the dignify labor and ennoble toil by making the agriculturist and the mechanic the equal in intelligence, in culture, in breadth of information, and in nobleness of aim of those in any rank and in any profession of life."

Unfortunately, the debate over “liberal’ versus “practical” education continues in 2017.  People outside the academy somehow feel the need to pit interpretive dance against STEM majors, English against engineering, art against agriculture, and foreign language against business.  But within the university there is tremendous cooperation among the colleges.  I believe President Patterson would be very pleased with the scope and breadth of his university today and the opportunities that UK students have to learn a skill and learn to live.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Wendell Ford - Last Governor to Serve as UK Board Chair

Today is Wendell Hampton Ford's birthday (September 8, 1924 – January 22, 2015).  He would have been 93.

Wendell Ford served Kentucky as State Senator, Lt. Governor, Governor, and U.S. Senator.  His passing in 2015 brought tributes to his life and service from all levels of government.

Senator Ford attended the University of Kentucky during the 1942-1943 academic year leaving to return to Davies County to help on his family's farm before entering the military during World War II.  Upon becoming Governor in 1971, like his predecessors, Ford became Chair of the UK Board of Trustees. However, during his time as Governor, he supported the removal of the Governor of Kentucky as UK's Board Chair, therefore, making Wendell Ford the last governor to serve in that position.  

Many believed that removing the Governor from the board would help keep politics out of the university. Perhaps it did, but more recent events in Kentucky illustrate that politics, as practiced in the bluegrass state, are never far removed from Kentucky's educational institutions.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

UK's Scottish President

The legacy of James K. Patterson is remembered across the UK campus because of the Patterson Office Tower, the Patterson statue, Patterson Hall, and the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. UK's first president served four decades before retiring in 1910.  He is credited with guiding the university through its difficult early years and setting the institution on a path to become today's modern public research university.

What many may not know is that President Patterson was born March 26, 1833 in the Gorbals parish of Glasgow, Scotland.  His family immigrated to a farm near Madison, Indiana in 1842.

Moreover, at the age of four, an accident severely injured young Patterson's leg requiring him to walk with the aid of a crutch (which can be seen as part of the statue) for the remainder of his life.

UK's founding president overcame his immigrant status, a disability, and meager family resources to play a crucial role in the history of the University of Kentucky.

Photograph of Main Street Gorbals,1868
Today, the University of Kentucky welcomes students, faculty, and staff from across the globe and is committed to a policy of providing opportunities to people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

I trust that commitment on the part of UK would have made President James K. Patterson proud.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Remembering Norma B. Case - UK Librarian

Over seven years ago UK Libraries began a new effort of international involvement.  Toni Greider, a senior librarian with extensive international experience, led the new initiative with tremendous success.  The number of visiting international librarians increased, more UK librarians traveled internationally and presented at scholarly meetings, and UK Libraries' involvement with the UK International Center and international students increased exponentially.

This week, while looking for an article in the October 10, 1952 Kentucky Kernel, I was reminded that UK Libraries' international involvement began decades earlier.

Norma B. Case

Norma Case, described as "one of the leading reference librarians in the country" established benchmarks for what it means to be an academic librarian in a research library that we should still aspire to today in the 21st century.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Basketball Memories

On occasion I intend to include some of my personal experiences at UK in this blog.  After all, beginning my 45th fall on the University of Kentucky campus gives me some perspective on its history.

Almost as far back as I can remember UK played a prominent role in my life.  Of course, those earliest memories revolve entirely around Kentucky basketball.  Like so many young Kentuckians I listened intently as Claude Sullivan called UK games over the Standard Oil Network that covered most, if not all, of Kentucky.  I also was lucky enough to see Kentucky play at Vanderbilt one or two times since it was not far from my home in Hopkinsville.

Finally, as a teenager I experienced UK basketball in Memorial Coliseum.  I do not recall how I secured the ticket but in February I saw Kentucky (Rupp's Runts) beat Georgia 74-50.  Following the game Larry Conley and Tommy Kron autographed my game program which I still have.

The price of admission to the game, $2.60.  The experience for one Kentucky teenager, priceless!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Moving in!

Students have been moving into UK each fall since the 1860's.  The first on-campus dorm, Whitehall, was for men only.  Even though women began attending UK in 1880, they had no place to live on campus until the construction of Patterson Hall nearly a quarter century later.

Whitehall Men's Dormitory

The Patterson Office Tower replaced Whitehall dormitory in the 1960's.

Patterson Hall

Patterson Hall for women opened in 1904 but state funding stipulated that it must be constructed "off campus," thus its location across Euclid Avenue from what was then the main campus.

Back in the day parents and students dressed more formally for the big move.

Wonder how many students moving in this week know that suitcases were not always on wheels?

Thanks to the assistance of large numbers of UK volunteers (administrators, staff, and faculty), this year's move-in should be the best ever and hopefully easier than balancing a table on one's head!

Welcome new Wildcats!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Helen Galvin King - UK's First Alumni Director

As the University of Kentucky prepares to begin a new era of leadership it is a good time to remember the Alumni Association's first director who devoted most of her adult life to the Association and to the University of Kentucky.

Helen Galvin King (1904-1985) became the first Director of the UK Alumni Association in 1946. She served the Association with distinction until her retirement in 1969.


A 1925 graduate of UK in Journalism, King held positions in marketing, public relations, and with newspapers before directing the Alumni Association.  In 1959 she launched a fundraising drive to secure $335,000 to build and furnish the Alumni House at Euclid Avenue and Rose Street.  The building was later named the Helen King Alumni House in her honor.

King participated in an interview for the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in 1977 in which she discusses her student days at UK and her work with the UK Alumni Association.  The link to the interview is below:

Monday, May 8, 2017

F. Douglas Scutchfield, M.D., to Receive UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement/Be Honored at Spring Gala

Since 1990, UK Libraries has honored a Kentuckian who has made a contribution of lasting value to the Commonwealth with the UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement, one of the university's most prestigious awards. This year's recipient is national public health leader Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield, whose many years of service have helped improve public health and professional medical training worldwide. A native of Wheelwright, KY, Dr. Scutchfield received his BS, with distinction, from Eastern Kentucky University and is a 1966 alumnus of the UK College of Medicine. He completed post graduate medical education at Northwestern University, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the University of Kentucky. Before leaving Kentucky to found first the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Alabama and then the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University, he served as field professor of Community Medicine for UK while in private practice in Morehead. He returned to UK in 1997 as the inaugural Peter P. Bosomworth Professor in Health Services Research and Policy and became the founding director of the UK College of Public Health. He currently holds faculty appointments in the College of Medicine and the College of Public Health. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Preventive Medicine, a fellow of both the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Family Practice, and has held many national positions in professional organizations as well as been recognized for distinguished service within those organizations. Among his many talents, Dr. Scutchfield is also an accomplished writer and has served on the editorial board of many journals. He is the author of over 200 referred papers, book chapters, and technical reports and has edited several books, including most recently (with Paul Holbrook) The Letters of Thomas Merton and Victor and Carolyn Hammer: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam published with the University Press of Kentucky in 2014. Please join us in celebrating Dr. Scutchfield's many accomplishments at UK Libraries Spring Gala on Tuesday, May 9.

UK Libraries Spring Gala to Honor F. Douglas Scutchfield, M.D.

Friday, April 14, 2017

UK Libraries Diversity Scholar Interns to Host UK's Second Human LibraryEvent
UK Libraries diversity scholar interns, Vaibhav Chitkara and Javoughn Brown, are hosting the University of Kentucky's second Human Library™ event on April 18. The Human Library™ is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. It provides a space where members of oppressed and isolated communities can share their opinions, stories, and life lessons with readers who check them out as if they were bound books. The exercise fosters empathy and promotes connection by unse
aling the stories individuals embody through personal interaction and conversation. Chitkara and Brown have collected a number of exciting titles for readers to check out at this year's Human Library™ event. Additional information, including a schedule of books, can be found here. We hope to see you there.