Fifty years ago this fall, Jack Guthrie ’63 became editor of the Kentucky Kernel, the daily student newspaper at the University of Kentucky. Much has happened in his life since then, but he looks back upon that formative time at UK as the beginning of his success in journalism.
He explains, “Being editor of the Kernel and studying journalism at the University of Kentucky gave me confidence, and helped me develop skills in writing, public relations, leadership and management which I have used for over 40 years.”
When he graduated from the University in 1963, Jack accepted a public relations position with Philip Morris, Inc., in New York. In 1971, he returned to his hometown of Louisville to serve as president and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival. And in 1977, he launched his own public relations firm which grew to become one of the largest independently owned public relations firms in Kentucky.
During this time, Jack was also continuously involved in the life of his alma mater. He began as a member of the local UK Alumni Association chapter in New York, and then became active in the Louisville chapter. He has served as president of UK’s School of Journalism Alumni Association as well as the UK National Alumni Association. A University of Kentucky Fellow, Jack has also been a member of the UK Development Council. And he was appointed to the University’s Board of Trustees by Gov. Paul Patton ’59.
In addition to his service to his alma mater, Jack is making a special planned gift which will enable UK students to follow in his career footsteps. He has worked with the UK Office of Gift and Estate Planning to endow a scholarship fund through a bequest in his estate plan. The endowed fund will provide a full tuition scholarship each year to the student selected to be editor of the Kentucky Kernel.
Jack is also making annual gifts to the University to provide the scholarship award each year during his lifetime. He shares, “I wanted to fund the scholarship so I can enjoy seeing a student’s work.”
D. Michael Richey ’73 ’79, Vice President for Development, observes, “The planned gift Jack is making will have tremendous impact on generations of students. His gift also serves as a model of good stewardship. I’m grateful that Jack worked with our Office of Gift and Estate Planning to create a current scholarship which he is funding with annual gifts, and which can also be fully endowed with a future bequest.”
The scholarship is being named to recognize two of Jack’s former professors at UK — the late Mr. J. A. McCauley ’48 and Dr. Lewis Donohew ’51.
Jack reflects, “I believe that if you have enjoyed success in life because of the University of Kentucky, you have an obligation to give back — whether it’s your time, treasure or talent — or a combination of all three.”