News

KWC receives gift to name Welcome Center in Activity Hall

$35,000 gift one of several early investments in facility

Kentucky Wesleyan College has named the Welcome Center in Activity Hall for Larry ’64 and Lamone Mayfield in appreciation of their investment in KWC’s newest facility. The former Legacy Owensboro at 3300 Frederica St. was acquired in December 2019 and is a true multipurpose venue that has already greatly benefitted the College and community.

Larry earned his degree in business administration and has put it to use as a bank executive for more than 35 years. He currently serves on the board of directors at Independence Bank after previously holding responsibilities as executive vice president and president.

“When I heard what Activity Hall is and will become, I was so proud of my College for making a positive move to help students become the best they can be in life…in every way!” Mayfield said. “I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of this project and KWC’s mission. I encourage others to consider supporting this cause.”

Kentucky Wesleyan College Announces Commonwealth Commitment

Kentucky Wesleyan College announced today the Commonwealth Commitment, a unique affordability opportunity for residents of Kentucky.  Beginning in fall 2022, the Commonwealth Commitment will meet 100% of tuition for every first-time, full-time Kentucky student with a minimum 3.0 grade point average who is Pell eligible in their first year. Using all federal student aid programs, state grants and Kentucky Wesleyan College scholarships, students have the opportunity to attend Wesleyan with minimal personal financial responsibility.

Why We Give – Jim ’93 and Sharon (Murphy) Duncan ’91

“From this vantage point, we can look back and appreciate how our academic, social and spiritual needs were nurtured at KWC. We are grateful for the investments others made to help us and trust our gifts will ‘pay it forward’ for the next generation.”

Jim-Biology major at KWC, completed M.D. at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, then completed residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Sharon-Psychology major at KWC, completed master’s in management from St. Mary University of Minnesota.

Meet Leigha Taylor – Sr. Director of Development

We are excited to welcome Leigha Taylor to our Panther family, but in a sense, she already was – as a strong supporter of KWC over the years with husband Sam ’97.

“I am excited to be a part of moving the College forward and helping to impact future generations. As a first-generation scholar myself, I understand how much my college experience helped to shape my life and impacted the person I am today.

“I moved from San Jose, Calif., to Murray, Ky., at age 13 and graduated from Murray High School. I grew up very close to Murray State’s campus, so it was only natural for me to attend MSU after high school. After graduating from college, I began working for the Shawnee Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America, which was headquartered in Owensboro.  I served for two years in Hopkinsville and then transferred to Owensboro. I fell in love with the city and decided this was where I wanted to live and raise a family.”

New and Transfer Student Orientation 2021

New Student Orientation is an academic and social experience to assist incoming students with their transition into Kentucky Wesleyan College. Because of the importance of material presented at New Student Orientation, it is a required activity for all new, incoming students.

New Student Orientation will be Aug. 21-23. Details for Transfer Orientation are being confirmed. Please stay tuned!

Godspeed, Dr. Paula Dehn

We offer our deepest thanks to Dr. Paula Dehn who will retire June 30 after 13 years as vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college. Dr. Dehn has been a steadfast leader who served with tremendous dedication to our students and the mission of the College.

Dr. Dehn, we appreciate your hard work, determination and sense of humor and wish you the best in your much-deserved retirement!

What were your greatest accomplishments as vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college?

  • Being able to hire great faculty and staff who are committed to educating the whole student
  • Developing new, while strengthening old, academic and co-curricular programs and opportunities – music, theatre, health sciences, online degrees
  • Creating the Wesleyan Fellows program to support students participating in undergraduate research, scholarly and creative work with faculty
  • Writing grants which funded the sophomore year experience, National Science Foundation S-STEM scholars, Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning, the campus fit trail
  • Building the new Center for Student Success with its wonderful faculty, who help students succeed academically

What challenges did you face, and how did you deal with them?
“The major challenge has been financial. I grew up with the understanding that the Lord helps those who help themselves, so writing grants has created opportunities and led to new grants which have expanded opportunities for students and faculty. For example, once we had the new Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning, the director secured several grants to develop and expand service learning via the Bonner Leaders program.”

Staff Spotlight – Sydney Smith

Country music fan Sydney Smith was thrilled when her favorite local radio station, WBKR 92.5 – The Country Station, featured an article about her May 4 social media post. Sydney had suggested to President Thomas Mitzel that the College celebrate Star Wars with a clever nod to “May the Fourth Be with You” featuring him as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The WBKR feature is available HERE.

An Owensboro High School graduate, in 2018 she earned a B.S. in entertainment industry studies with a minor in public relations at Belmont University in Nashville. Following a stint as a Grand Ole Opry tour guide, she was a video licensing specialist in Nashville and helped people manage their viral videos to increase views and make money on their efforts. She returned to her hometown during the pandemic and joined the Admissions team at KWC in October 2020.

Why We Give – Lori (Parks) ’00 and Ben Byers

“I loved the close-knit atmosphere and opportunities I would not have had access to at a larger university. KWC was my first college visit. I knew after that visit I had found my home for the next four years!

“KWC is very near and dear to my heart! Ben and I give because we simply believe in giving back. Ben is an alumnus of WKU and NKU; however, he knows my love for KWC and is very supportive of our giving. My time at KWC was such an amazing experience, and Ben and I both want others to be able to share in that experience.”

Family
“I am married to Ben Byers, who has a law practice in Owensboro focusing on elder law.  We have two children. Jon-Hunter will be a senior at Apollo High School, and Sophia will be a fifth grader at Eastview Elementary. We stay busy with Jon-Hunter and Sophia’s activities including football, dance and golf.”

Kentucky Wesleyan Magazine Spring 2021

The Spring 2021 issue of the Kentucky Wesleyan Magazine is now in print and available online. Enjoy the latest issue, which includes a cover feature on “What Unites Us” along with features on the progress of our Three Pillars, Dr. Randy Capps ’57, Professors Nate and Molly Gross, Sashalia Ramirez ’23 and Panther football’s sophomore quarterback Wiley Cain ’23. The issue also has staff profiles and a special “Why We Give” with Camilla (Harreld) ’72 and Glenn Taylor, plus an endowment update Class Notes and more! Click below to view this issue online.

Kentucky Wesleyan College receives federal funding

Kentucky Wesleyan College has received funding from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER), which is federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES). This funding was given to governors to provide emergency aid to combat state-specific needs resulting from the pandemic. Kentucky Wesleyan received $44,950.

Wesleyan will use the funding to enhance the Rising Scholars Program, which serves students who need additional assistance to help ensure they begin college with good foundations and continue their enrollment that progresses to graduation.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant, which will allow us to expand our Rising Scholars program to include a summer bridge program.,” said Rebecca McQueen-Ruark, vice president of student affairs and dean of student services. “The bridge program is an intensive week of sessions designed to assist students in the transition from high school to college, adjust to the academic rigor of college, build connections with their peers and establish mentoring relationships with student success coaches (volunteer staff members). We will equip them with tools they need to earn their degrees at Kentucky Wesleyan.”