Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Lydia Dorman, Class of 1982

A 1982 graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan, Lydia Dorman earned her master’s degree in communications with an emphasis on corporate communications and 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), Toronto, Canada, and now currently resides in Tokyo, Japan serving as Senior Vice President, 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 HR 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 Board of Trustees at Kentucky Wesleyan College.  She was the recipient of Kentucky Wesleyan College’s 2014 Alumni Achievement Award.

 

Walter (Jody) Richards, Class of 1960

Rep. Jody Richards’ 14-year tenure as Speaker of Kentucky’s House of Representatives is the longest in the Commonwealth’s history. He also served as Speaker Pro Tempore for two years. Following his Wesleyan education, he earned an MA 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.  Bowling Green’s Jody Richards Elementary School and Jody Richards Hall at WKU were named to honor Richards’ commitment to his community and the Commonwealth.  

Richards has been honored by numerous organizations over the years, including the Kentucky Wesleyan Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1991.

 

Dr. Kim M. (Cecil) Schuster, Class of 1988

Kim M. Cecil, PhD, 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 MR spectroscopist.

In 2000, Dr. Cecil, Antonius deGrauw, MD, PhD, and Gajja Salomons, PhD, 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 MR 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, Class of 1971

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 GMs.

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.