Owensboro, Ky. (June 16, 2017) – Kentucky Wesleyan College will celebrate Homecoming 2017 on campus and throughout the Owensboro community the weekend of Oct. 6-8. The weekend events surround the Panthers’ home football game versus Great Midwest Athletic Conference newcomer Walsh University on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m. CT.
In addition to the game, Homecoming activities include the Golden Jubilee celebrations for the Class of 1967’s 50th Reunion, the Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner, golf tournaments benefiting the Panther Athletic Fund and Sigma Nu fraternity, Wesleyan Singers concert, tailgate and food truck rally, the return of the Sweetheart Brunch and more.
“We are looking forward to another great celebration with alumni from throughout the country, and indeed the world, returning to campus and the Owensboro/Daviess County community,” said Eddie Kenny, senior director of alumni relations. “We are privileged especially to honor our Alumni Hall of Fame inductees and Alumni Award winners and look forward to recognizing their achievements and celebrating with their families and the extended Wesleyan family.”
The highlight of the weekend will be the 2017 Alumni Hall of Fame and Awards Dinner hosted at the Owensboro Convention Center on Saturday, Oct. 7. The event will kick off with a 6 p.m. reception followed by dinner, the awards ceremony and Hall of Fame induction at 7 p.m.
The 2017 Alumni Award winners are:
Outstanding Alumnus – President Barton D. Darrell ’84, J.D.
Alumni Achievement – Todd Lillpop ’01
Outstanding Young Graduate – Eric Flory ’02
Alumni Service – Doug Hoyt ’84
Gus E. Paris Distinguished Service – Dr. Henry Connor
Honorary Alumnus – Don Moore
The Kentucky Wesleyan College Alumni Hall of Fame perpetuates the memory of those who have brought honor and distinction to the name and reputation of Kentucky Wesleyan College. The Class of 2017 features four individuals who have gained distinction in their careers, become uniquely successful, and/or made a significant impact on the lives of others.
Kentucky Wesleyan College Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 2017
Lydia Dorman ’82
A 1982 graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan, Lydia Dorman earned her master’s degree in communications with an emphasis in corporate communications, training and development from Western Kentucky University in 1983. Since April 1995, Lydia has worked with The Coca-Cola Company, starting in Atlanta, Ga., and since traveling the world. She has held posts in London, England; Dublin, Ireland; Copenhagen, Denmark (encompassing all of Scandinavian and the Baltic countries) and Toronto, Canada, and currently resides in Tokyo, Japan, as the senior vice president, human resources, Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Limited. She began her career at The Walt Disney Company before joining Toyota Motor Manufacturing, where she introduced several organizational development practices.
Lydia is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management, American Chamber of Commerce Japan, and Human Resources Committee of Tokyo American Club. She has previously held positions in a number of charitable organizations domestically and internationally, including serving as a member of the Kentucky Wesleyan College Board of Trustees. She was the recipient of Kentucky Wesleyan College’s 2014 Alumni Achievement Award.
Rep. Walter (Jody) Richards ’60
Rep. Jody Richards is the longest-serving Speaker of Kentucky’s House of Representatives in the Commonwealth’s history. Following his Wesleyan education, he earned an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1962 and then combined his life-long love for education and journalism in his career.
He first launched a teaching career at Western Kentucky University and then his legislative career when he won the 20th District seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1976. While still in his first term, Richards was chair of the House Education Committee. He later played an instrumental role in engineering Kentucky’s sweeping education reforms through his positions on the state Task Force on Education Reforms, Governor Martha Layne Collins’ Excellence in Education Committee. In 1987, Richards was chosen by his Democratic colleagues in the House to serve as their majority caucus chairman, one of five leadership positions. In 1995, Richards was chosen as Speaker of the House. Richards has remained active in the public affairs of Bowling Green and Warren County, serving as past president of the Bowling Green/Warren County Jaycees, the Southern Kentucky Fair Board and the Bowling Green Girls Club Board of Directors.
Richards has been honored by numerous organizations over the years, including the Kentucky Wesleyan Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1991. Bowling Green’s Jody Richards Elementary School and Jody Richards Hall at Western Kentucky University were named to honor Richards’ commitment to his community and the Commonwealth.
Dr. Kim M. (Cecil) Schuster ’88
Kim M. Cecil, Ph.D., received her undergraduate and postgraduate training in chemistry. After a post-doctoral fellowship in magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Cecil joined the Department of Radiology and the Imaging Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1998. She serves as an imaging research scientist and clinical magnetic resonance spectroscopist.
In 2000, Cecil, Antonius deGrauw, M.D., Ph.D., and Gajja Salomons, Ph.D., discovered Creatine Transporter Deficiency Syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by mutations in the creatine transporter gene (SLC6A8). Male patients demonstrate a significant reduction or absence of creatine in the brain, as indicated by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This is an X-linked mental retardation disorder thought to be second only to fragile X in prevalence.
Dr. Cecil continues to give back to Kentucky Wesleyan and its students by visiting and speaking to classes and credits Drs. W.L. Magnuson, Henry Connor and Bob Flachskam and Kentucky Wesleyan College as paving the way for the first steps of her discovery. She received the 2009 Kentucky Wesleyan Alumni Achievement Award.
A.J. Smith ’71
A.J. Smith’s career in football began shortly after graduation from Kentucky Wesleyan College. He started as a high school coach and steadily worked his way through the ranks, eventually serving over 30 years in the National Football League. Most recently, Smith was senior executive with the Washington Redskins, which followed 14 seasons with the San Diego Chargers in various capacities including executive vice president/general manager (2003-2012). He spent 14 seasons (1987-00) with the Buffalo Bills, working his way from area scout to director of pro personnel during the team’s most successful period, which included four straight Super Bowl appearances.
Smith was widely recognized as one of the NFL’s top executives. He was named the NFL’s 2004 Executive of the Year by Pro Football Weekly, the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA), FoxSports.com and CBS Sportsline.com. In 2006, Forbes named him its top NFL General Manager, and in addition, the magazine ranked Smith fourth overall among his counterparts in the four major professional sports leagues in the U.S. and Canada (NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB). In 2009, USA Today ranked Smith sixth on their list of the Top 20 Personnel Executives in the NFL, and Forbes recognized Smith once again in 2010, ranking him fifth on its list of the Top 10 NFL General Managers.
He was a recipient of the Kentucky Wesleyan College Alumni Achievement Award in 2010 and inducted into the College’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame class in 2013.
For more information on Kentucky Wesleyan College’s Homecoming 2017 celebrations, including the most up-to-date schedule and registration links, visit kwc.edu/Homecoming. For information about the Kentucky Wesleyan College Alumni Association including event schedules and registration, visit kwc.edu/alumni, call the Kentucky Wesleyan College Office of Alumni Relations at 270-852-3146, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay connected with the Kentucky Wesleyan College Alumni Association by following @kwcalumni on Twitter and Instagram and by liking the “Kentucky Wesleyan College Alumni” Facebook page (facebook.com/kwcalumni).