Meet Dr. Catherine Eblen Sherrard ’95

Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs,
Southern Indiana Region, Ivy Tech Community College
B.S., Criminal Justice, Kentucky Wesleyan College
M.S., Justice Administration, University of Louisville
Ed.D., Education Leadership, Spalding University

Why did you attend Wesleyan?

“My parents graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan in 1968 and both worked at the College in the late 1970s/early 1980s.  My mother, Ann Tabor Eblen, served as the alumni director and my father, Tom Eblen, worked as the campus chaplain.

As a little girl, I hung around the phone-a-thon room with Mom, and I knew the carpet in the chapel and Dad’s office was purple because it was my favorite color. Kentucky Wesleyan was always a part of our family.

I visited several other colleges during my senior year of high school, but when my friend, Elizabeth Bender Lehner ’95, and I visited Wesleyan, I knew Wesleyan was the place for me.  I have never regretted that decision.  I had such a great experience as a student that I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work in the Office of Admissions after I graduated.”

What are memories of your years as a student, and what does the College mean to you today?

“Oh, goodness. There are so many; I am not sure where to start.  From my freshman year with academic experiences in the Profiles in Leadership class to the amazing speakers brought to campus for the Leadership Symposium over the years, and from the weekly lunches at Wesleyan Heights for the United Methodist Student Fellowship to working as an ambassador in Admissions, there were many wonderful times. Each helped mold me into who I am today.  The faculty and staff each influenced me in their own unique ways.  I firmly believe God knew that at Kentucky Wesleyan I would grow in a nurturing environment.   

I have fond memories of Minerva, bonfires, intramural games, studying at Denny’s, midnight movies, Hanging of the Greens, Oak & Ivy, dances at the English Park Center, Bid Days, pledge bowl, sorority and fraternity formals, the DLS band, Writing Workshop, Bowl for Kids’ Sake, the opening of the RiverPark Center and dances at the Executive Inn. Being a part of the Homecoming court and walking onto the football field in the snow on Halloween my junior year was an experience.  Living on campus provided the opportunity to get to know so many people very well.  We didn’t have separate sorority halls, and many of us lived together in Peeples Hall or Stadium.  I lived in the same room of Peeples Hall all four years, which led to close friendships in Kappa Delta and Sigma Kappa. 

I still get together with a group of sorority sisters at least once a year, and it is as if no time has passed when we are together.  We have been through many life experiences side by side and Wesleyan and Kappa Delta brought us together. They have been my extended family for 20+ years, and I have no doubt we will be there for each other for years to come.  

There were educational opportunities outside the traditional classroom that I was blessed to experience, such as the criminal justice special topics course via Amtrak train to Seattle, San Francisco and Reno. The trip to Israel and Egypt was an amazing way to earn three credit hours in religion.  However, the experience that became a part of Wesleyan tradition for decades was the spring break trip to New York.  I think about the dedicated faculty who organized these trips,which were the experiences of a lifetime.

Another specific memory is the 1994 snow storm.  I remember walking as a group to stock up on movies at Movie Warehouse across Frederica Street, and each night wondering if there would be classes the next day. As I recall, we were closed a week. Then there was the large ice cream container from the cafeteria that hung outside a window of the Sig Ep floor most of the week, and the Messenger-Inquirer photo of students in shorts and t-shirts in the snow on the front lawn.

I worked In Admissions for three years after graduation.  While in this position, I was privileged to work closely with one of the most loyal alumna of the college, Luellen Pyles ’44.  She was a gracious lady with fire in her belly for Wesleyan. She did whatever it took to support her alma mater, including recruiting many students.  I returned to Wesleyan in 2002 when Eric and I married and decided to live in Owensboro.  I then worked for the Admissions Counselor turned Registrar turned Dean of Students Scott Kramer ’87, who is also among the most dedicated of Wesleyan alumni.  The renovation of Massie Hall and addition of the science building and football stadium to campus were all major upgrades during those years, and I felt fortunate to watch those enhancements take shape.

I have been blessed to interact with many alumni through my years as a student, a staff member, and as Alumni Association president.  I am always super excited when I see another Kentucky Wesleyan license plate!

Kentucky Wesleyan has had a special place in my heart since I was a child.  I would not be who I am today, personally or professionally, without the experiences and relationships made possible by my alma mater.”

Eric, Robbie, Benjamin and Catherine Sherrard


“Eric and I have two sons. We live in Louisville and own an assisted living business in Eric’s hometown, Goshen. He spends his day running the BeeHive Home of Goshen and serving seniors.”

Community involvement

“Our time outside of work is spent with our boys at one of their many activities.  Robbie plays basketball, flag football and softball with Special Olympics. Benjamin plays soccer, basketball and runs cross country.  We are involved with Down Syndrome of Louisville and Middletown United Methodist Church, where we are proud to have two Kentucky Wesleyan alumni (Rev. Dr. Tom Smith ’86 and Rev. Scott Woodburn ’11) in the pulpit each Sunday.”

Why do you give to Wesleyan?

I originally started giving to Wesleyan’s General Scholarship Fund to help other students attend a private, liberal arts college at a more affordable price for their families.  A few years after graduation, my goal was to give at the Minerva Society level so I gave up a dinners out, which was fast food at the time, to give Wesleyan $100 a year.  Over the years, giving has become more of a personal commitment for regular support. I set money aside monthly, as I do for church and other philanthropies, and that is how we became members of the President’s Circle.  I plan to be a lifelong supporter of Kentucky Wesleyan, and that means giving now. If I wait until someday, that time will never come.

I am always concerned when I see small private liberal arts colleges struggle financially and then close. Our alma mater needs us.  When I think about the faculty, staff, and alumni who have influenced me over the years and what Kentucky Wesleyan has meant to me, I realize my generation must pick up where those who went before us left off. President Darrell is making remarkable gains for Wesleyan, but he needs us, too. Even small gifts add up and make a huge difference in the lives of students who will someday step onto our campus.”

A favorite quote.

“All things are possible if you believe.”

– Mark 9:23

and more recently….

“When they go low, we go high! “

– Michelle Obama