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Founders Day Live April 2013
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Authenticity Key to LWC's Success, Luckey Tells Founders' Day Guests

Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 [12:39 AM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Lindsey Wilson College is a hard habit to shake.


That's what LWC President William T. Luckey Jr. told more than 350 guests Thursday night at the college's annual Founders' Day Dinner, held in Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center.


"This college has always had people who have been passionate for this place," Luckey said in the keynote address. "More than any rational person should have cared. ... There is an irrational passion associated with this college. This place is like super glue -- it just grabs you and you just can't shake it."


Luckey became the college's eighth president on July 1, 1998, but he has served the liberal arts college for 30 years. Luckey and his wife, Elise, have held various administrative and staff positions during that time.


"Elise and I have now invested 30 years of our lives trying to make a difference in the lives of our students here at Lindsey Wilson College," he said. "I have absolutely loved working with students, trying to help them create a better future for themselves because I've always believed so intensely in the transformational power of a college degree."


Luckey, who is a first-generation college graduate, told the guests that he's a walking example of the power of higher education to transform a family.


"I don't know anything more powerful to break the chains of ignorance and to change a generation than a college degree," he said.


Over the last decade, LWC has experienced one of the most successful periods in the college's 110-year history: enrollment has increased by 69 percent to its record 2,677; faculty has grown by 93 percent to its record 114; more than 300,000 square feet of academic and residential space have been added; and residential student population has blossomed to its current level of 1,099.


Luckey said that a record number of students, faculty and staff have been attracted to the college because of its authentic character.


"There's a genuineness in the people we encounter here on this campus and in this community," he said. "We're not pretending to be something that we're not or even aspiring to be somebody else. We're just trying to be the best Lindsey Wilson College and best people that we can be. And that's so rare in this day and age when so many colleges make decisions based on the rankings in U.S. News & World Report."


Luckey said that "this intoxicating spell that compels all of us to be drawn to this place" shapes how LWC students view their place in the world. Many of them are imbued with a strong sense of social justice and service. For example, LWC students donated more than 30,000 hours of community service this year to the region's communities.


"The things that make this place special, money can't buy," Luckey said. "There's not a stock, or a bond or a CD that you can buy that gives you a better return on investment than investing in the life of a student right here at Lindsey Wilson College."


Because of the college's supporters, LWC has become a place where "dreams come true," Luckey said.


"For many of us in this room, this place, this campus, this college is as close to heaven on earth than many of us will ever experience, and it certainly is the place where dreams come true," he said.


The Founders' Day Dinner was preceded by the annual honors convocation in Biggers Sports Center, where more than three dozen academic and professional awards were presented. The President's Award was presented to Kendall Sewell of Somerset, Ky., who will graduate next month with a bachelor of arts degree in English with a minor in women's studies.


Assistant Professor of Chemistry Brian Hilker received with the Exemplary Teacher Award from the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry of The United Methodist Church; Assistant Professor of Communication Anne Streeter was named Advisor of the Year; and Instructor of History Asa Swan was named Student Government Association Teacher of the Year.


Former art professor and administrator Lori Sargent was granted faculty emerita status.


More ...
Click here to see more pictures from the Founders' Day Dinner and honors convocation.
Click here to watch archived videos of Founders' Day and honors convocation.

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