Dr. Andrew Bolin Honored as G-MAC Faculty Mentor of the Year

Kentucky Wesleyan College program coordinator and assistant professor of communications arts, Dr. Andrew Bolin has been recognized as the recipient of the 2024 Great Midwest Faculty Mentor of the Year Award for his impact on student-athlete development on KWC’s campus. Each year, the conference’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) honors one faculty member who has made a difference. Dr. Bolin will be recognized at the annual awards banquet in Blue Ash, Ohio, on Tuesday, May 21.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the 2024 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Faculty Mentor Award recipient,” Bolin said. “There are many great institutions that make up our conference with many deserving faculty. I am thankful to be a part of the Panther family at Kentucky Wesleyan College, and it is a privilege to work alongside some of the best and brightest student-athletes in the G-MAC.”

Bolin has served Kentucky Wesleyan College in his current role since the 2019-2020 academic year. He also serves as division chair, fine arts & humanities.

Kentucky Wesleyan College to celebrate Class of 2024 with Baccalaureate and Commencement May 3 and 4

Kentucky Wesleyan College’s 156th annual Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 4, at 10 a.m. at Owensboro Christian Church. Dee M. Robinson will address the graduating seniors on “From Wasted to Empowered: A Journey to Pursuing Dreams.” She will be the recipient of an honorary doctor of humane letters.

Ms. Robinson is the founder and chief executive officer of Robinson Hill, Inc., a concessions management firm specializing in retail and restaurants at airports and other non-traditional venues and GT Spirits Company, maker of Good Trouble Bourbon. She has forged successful joint ventures and partnerships that encompass over 60+ airport restaurants and retail stores.

She has authored multiple articles and several books including the bestseller, “Courage By Design.” Her memberships include the National Association of Corporate Directors, Women Corporate Directors, C200, Chicago Network, Chicago Economic Club, and Illinois and National Restaurant associations.

Brescia University and Kentucky Wesleyan College expand partnership opportunities with preferred acceptance in graduate programs

Brescia University and Kentucky Wesleyan College have announced an expansion of partnership with a preferred acceptance agreement. Brescia will offer KWC bachelor degree graduates preferred acceptance into its master level programs in business administration, clinical psychology, social work and speech language pathology.

The joint announcement was made by Brescia Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Dr. Amanda Morris and KWC Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. James Cousins.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with Kentucky Wesleyan College and offer their graduates preferred acceptance into Brescia University’s graduate programs,” said Dr. Morris. “We believe this collaboration emphasizes shared values of both institutions by supporting excellent academic programs delivered with a student-centered and holistic approach. We hope this cooperation strengthens educational opportunities within our community.”

“Brescia and Kentucky Wesleyan have a long history of collaboration. Our faculty, staff and students have partnered on everything from extracurricular programs to coordinated curriculum to travel,” said Dr. Cousins. “Brescia’s strengths complement our own, providing our students with unique experiences and opportunities. We’re proud of this collaboration and excited to see long-term results.”

Kentucky Wesleyan Singers join Owensboro Symphony in Season Finale

The Kentucky Wesleyan Singers joined the Owensboro Symphony in concluding the Symphony’s 58th season on April 20 with a show titled “The Crown Jewel.” The Symphony performance showcased the music of English composers Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughn Williams, William Walton, and more.

Among the show’s featured pieces was Vaugh Williams’ “Dona Nobis Pacem,” a six-movement cantata that translates to “grant us peace.” The Wesleyan Singers performed alongside the Owensboro Symphony Chorus and Orchestra. In all, 80 singers brought to life lyrics taken from the Mass, Walt Whitman poems, and the Bible.

The show also featured guest artists Deanna Breiwick and three-time Grammy Award winning bass-baritone Dashon Burton.

Heather Mapes, a Kentucky Wesleyan College theatre student and member of the Wesleyan Singers, considers the performance a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“I don’t know if there will ever be a time that I will do this again,” Mapes said. “When [Professor Dennis Jewett] told us that we may get lost in the moment, I definitely did a few times when we first rehearsed with the orchestra. I am over the moon right now with pure bliss.”

The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Music Director Troy Quinn. Quinn also serves as the Music Director for the Santa Monica Symphony and the Venice Symphony and is a faculty member at the University of California’s Thornton School of Music. Dennis Jewett, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Kentucky Wesleyan, leads the Owensboro Symphony Chorus and the Wesleyan Singers.

KWC Celebrates Order of Oak and Ivy Class of 2024

The Order of Oak and Ivy awards are given annually to students who best typify strength of character, dedication of purpose, and devotion of Christian ideals. It also recognizes those who exemplify intellectual ability and leadership in seeking to promote the interest and welfare of Kentucky Wesleyan College.

As is the custom, faculty and administrative staff nominated full-time juniors, seniors, or December graduates who they believed were qualified to receive this prestigious award. Those students who received at least four nominations were named as finalists.

Congratulations to this year’s Oak & Ivy inductees who were recognized at the annual Oak and Ivy Banquet on Apr. 12.

  • Gordon Anaple ‘25
  • Jaylin Bross ‘25
  • Corina Conley ‘24
  • Rebekah Dickinson ‘24
  • MaeKayla Minton ‘25
  • Claire Sloane ‘24
  • Professor Dennis Jewett

Kentucky Wesleyan College announces appointment of Dr. James Cousins as 36th president

The Kentucky Wesleyan College Board of Trustees has announced the selection of James Cousins, Ph.D., as its 36th president. Cousins will begin his appointment on Jan. 1, 2025, and will work alongside the current president, Dr. Thomas Mitzel, through his retirement in December 2024, ensuring a seamless and momentum-continuing transition for the institution.

President-elect Cousins has served as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Kentucky Wesleyan College since 2021 and has a distinguished career in higher education, including faculty and administrative leadership positions at several other colleges and universities. 

“The Board of Trustees was unanimous in its selection of Dr. Cousins and excited about the future of our College under his leadership,” said Trustee Chair Fred Wright ’80. “Dr. Cousins has proven his abilities as a strategic leader with a strong academic and faith foundation combined with business acumen. We are also blessed to have Dr. Mitzel leading the College through his previously announced retirement in December, thus handing the leadership baton in a seamless and transparent fashion.”

During his tenure as provost at Kentucky Wesleyan, Dr. Cousins spearheaded numerous strategic initiatives. These included the design and implementation of a comprehensive first-year student retention program, which yielded a substantial increase in retention rates. Additionally, he strategically reorganized online education, leading to record levels of online enrollment. Dr. Cousins also oversaw the successful completion of the College’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) fifth-year accreditation report, and under his leadership, the College completed several significant institutional partnerships providing Kentucky Wesleyan graduates with expedited graduate and career pathways.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as the 36th president of Kentucky Wesleyan College,” Cousins remarked. “Kentucky Wesleyan holds a unique place in the landscape of higher education and plays a special role in our community. Our campus is held together by bonds of faith, a commitment to liberal arts tradition and unmatched athletic achievement. It has been humbling to work alongside our world-class faculty and staff, each of whom is dedicated to the lifelong success of our students. I am grateful for their support and for the faith and trust of the Board of Trustees as we move the campus forward into the next chapter of Kentucky Wesleyan’s history.”

Kentucky Wesleyan Band presents concert celebrating the 60s

The Kentucky Wesleyan College Band presents their final concert of the 2023-2024 academic year, “All You Need is Love,” wind band literature celebrating the 60s, on April 18 at 6 p.m. in the Jack T. Wells ’77 Activity Center. Music from Leonard Bernstein, Claude T. Smith, Dmitri Shostakovich, Vincent Persichetti and The Beatles represent some of the earliest works for wind band. The concert is free.

Kentucky Wesleyan Alumnus to give Honors Convocation keynote address

Michael Wade ’80 is University of Louisville director of accountancy

Michael Wade ’80 will give the keynote address, “Three Takeaways for Success,” at Honors Convocation on Thursday, April 11, at 12:30 p.m. in the Jack T. Wells ’77 Activity Center. He is director of accountancy, which includes management of graduate and undergraduate programs, at the University of Louisville. He is a certified public accountant. A native of Drakesboro, Ky., he served in the U.S. Army for 31 years.

Honors Convocation celebrates and recognizes individual student achievements and Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Staff Person of the Year and Advisor of the Year. The event will be livestreamed on the College’s YouTube channel.

Immediately following convocation, Scholars Day presentations will take place in the Panther Room at the Wells Center.