"You are prepared to make
a real difference in lives no matter where you choose to go. But I encourage you to
make your life here in Kentucky."
-Charles T. Wethington Jr.,
University of Kentucky
6, 2001 (Lexington, Ky.) Charles T. Wethington Jr., in his
final public address to students as University of Kentucky president, today urged a new
crop of UK graduates to stay in Kentucky.
You are prepared to make a real difference in lives no
matter where you choose to go. But I encourage you to make your life here in
Kentucky, Wethington told students and their families and friends who attended
UKs 134th commencement at Memorial Coliseum. This state has an abundance of
opportunity for anyone with vision, ambition and perseverance.
During his presidency,
Wethington has awarded 61,163 degrees, which is nearly 32 percent of all degrees awarded
at UK since its founding in 1865.
Audio and video of the
presidents commencement address is available at this link.
Wethington steps aside in
June after 11 years as UK president and nearly 40 years of service to UK. He will be
succeeded by Lee Todd, a UK graduate and entrepreneur.
Today represents an
ending and a wonderful new beginning, Wethington told the graduates. The joy
of obtaining your dreams will often be found in the pursuit of those dreams.
Today, UK granted degrees
to 5,813 candidates, including December 2000 and August 2000 graduates. May 2001
graduation candidates included 2,203 bachelors degrees, 783 graduate degrees, 355
professional degrees and 342 associate degrees.
honorary doctoral degrees to Peter P. Bosomworth, retired chancellor of the Albert B.
Chandler Medical Center; Linda Challis Gill, a benefactor of UK's Linda and Jack Gill Heart Institute; and
Frank X Walker, a catalyst for many cultural and arts initiatives in the Lexington area.
John F. Wilson, professor
of behavioral science, received the William B. Sturgill Award, presented annually to an
outstanding member of the graduate faculty.
Don M. Gash, professor of
anatomy and neurobiology, received the Albert D. and Elizabeth Kirwan Memorial Prize for
original and creative research.
Christi Shawn Stafford,
an agriculture education senior from Wilmore, spoke on behalf of the class of 2001.
Three members of the
University of Kentucky family were cited for their selflessness. Clayton Thomas Dunn,
Patrick P. DeLuca and Kristina Marie Talbert-Slagle received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan
Medallions, which are awarded each year to a male graduate, a female graduate and a
non-student who have shown a spirit of helpfulness to others.
Graduating political science
student Dunn performed an extensive oral history on Lexington's Lyric Theater, which
served as the heart of African-American life in the city for two decades before the end of
segregation. Dunn's work greatly fleshed out the available information about the
Lyric and may have broad implications for efforts to restore the theater.
DeLuca, a faculty member of the UK
College of Pharmacy and the non-student recipient, has shown compassion by volunteering at
the Faith Pharmacy, which provides free medications to the impoverished. He traveled to
Ghana last year to help a small church evolve and to start a baseball team for children of
Talbert-Slagle, a graduating
student of agriculture biotechnology and Russian, exhibited helpfulness to others by
co-founding the Community Bookshelf, an organization dedicated to collecting and
distributing childrens books for charities, and promoting childrens literacy.
She was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.