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. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

UK Libraries Second Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon Focuses on Kentucky Women
UK Libraries second Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, organized by Abbye Allan, Karyn Hinkle, Kathryn Lybarger, Ida Sell, and the School of Information's Melissa Adler, focused primarily on women in the arts from Kentucky: 33 existing articles were improved thanks to the efforts of all involved, and an impressive six brand new articles were created, thanks to the efforts of skilled historians Megan Mummey and Sarah Wade and especially to expert Wikipedian Kathryn Lybarger. Kentuckians, including the painter Marcia Shallcross Hite, the composer Zudie Harris Reinecke, and the printer Carolyn Reading Hammer, can now be researched in Wikipedia. Over the course of the day, over 4,500 words were added during UK's instance of Art+Feminism's month-long, international event.
Medical Center Library GA Spends Spring Break at the National Library of Medicine 
Riley Cantrall, UK Libraries Graduate Assistant at the Medical Center Library was selected to participate in the School of Information Science 2017 Alternative Spring Break program at the National Library of Medicine, where she worked one-on-one with health science librarians and gained career-enhancing experiences. At the National Library of Medicine, Cantrall was responsible for assessing publisher reviews, which involved checking publisher supplied information for authenticity in anticipation of being considered for PubMed Central. Cantrall also toured the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health Clinical Center. Both Cantrall and UK Libraries will benefit from this unique learning experience.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Claude Sullivan, 
Early Voice of UK Men’s Basketball, 
Inducted in KHSAA Hall of Fame

UK Libraries National Advisory Board member Alan Sullivan accepted the award from the Kentucky High School Athletic Association on behalf of his father, Claude Sullivan—legend in sports broadcasting and one of the first voices of UK's men’s basketball program. The award was presented by longtime UK Libraries friend Jim Host, and Dean of UK Libraries, Terry Birdwhistell, attended the awards luncheon and ceremony. Sullivan was chosen in the “Contributor” category, which KHSAA defines as an individual who has made outstanding contributions to interscholastic athletics on a statewide scale in some capacity other than athlete, coach, or official, including such areas as athletic administration, state association administration, sports medicine and sports media. Sullivan covered high school games his entire career even after he became an announcer for college and professional sports teams, including the Cincinnati Reds. He earned Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year honors eight-consecutive years (1959-66) and was national runner-up to Lindsey Nelson in 1960. Sullivan was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Kentucky Journalism and UK Athletic Halls of Fame in 2006. UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is the repository for the Claude Sullivan Collection, which includes recordings of Sullivan’s games. To learn more about this celebrated and distinguished figure in Kentucky sports history, read Alan Sullivan’s Voice of the Wildcats: Claude Sullivan and the Rise of Modern Sportscasting recently published University Press of Kentucky.

UPK Author Rion Amilcar Scott Wins Pen/America Award

University Press of Kentucky author Rion Amilcar Scott was named the winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Award for Debut Fiction for his book, Insurrections: Stories, during the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony at the New School's John L. Tishman Auditorium. The PEN America Foundation honors writers with more than $300,000 in awards and grants each year. 

The theme of the awards ceremony was titled "Books without Borders." Scott's Insurrections centers around the residents of the fictional Cross River, Maryland, a largely black town founded in 1807 after the only successful slave revolt in the United States. From the podium Scott explained why "I write the black stories that I write." He says "as long as they keep distorting and keep flattening our humanity, I want to keep responding with complexity. That's my 'Insurrection.'" He encouraged others to do the same.

Rion Amilcar Scott teaches English at Bowie State University. He earned an MFA at George Mason University, where he won both the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award and a Completion Fellowship. His work has appeared in publications such as the Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Rumpus, Fiction International, the Washington City Paper, The Toast and Confrontation. Read the full story.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Director of UK Libraries Louie B. Nunn Center Talks Frontier Nursing on WUKY's Saving Stories
In honor of Women’s History Month (and—perhaps unwittingly—as a sidebar to the current healthcare debate), WUKY’s Saving Stories featured clips from the Frontier Nursing Service oral history collection in an interview with Dr. Doug Boyd, Director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). Founded in 1925 by Mary Breckenridge in rural Leslie County, the Frontier Nursing Service brought primary health care to remote areas of eastern Kentucky, helping, among other things, to dramatically decrease the health risks to women and infants associated with childbirth. UK Libraries SCRC is the repository for the Frontier Nursing archives, which documents the organization’s background and development and includes such materials as correspondence, minutes, reports, promotional materials, guest books, financial files, architectural plans, and memorabilia. There is an accompanying collection of photographs and other audio-visual materials located in the Audio-Visual Archives as well as the collection of oral histories in the Louie B. Nunn Center. If you missed the interview on Tuesday, you can hear an archived version here, and you can listen to the full oral history archive here.

UK Libraries to Host Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
The Art+Feminisim Wikipedia edit-a-thon is an international communal updating of Wikipedia content on subjects related to art and feminism. Designed in response to a 2011 survey, which revealed fewer than 10 percent of Wikipedia contributors identify as female, Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thons work to encourage female editorship and help to reverse the dearth of content about women and art in the world’s most popular online research tool. Since 2014, an estimated 4,600 articles have been created and improved as a result of these international events.  To continue that progress, UK Libraries along with university libraries across the US will host an Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon this spring. Please join us at the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library, Monday, March 20. Participation is easy and all are welcome. We hope to see you there.