Wesleyan Woman of Distinction – Donna (Mattson) Meador ’84

One of Donna (Mattson) Meador’s earliest childhood memories is of her mother, in a white nurse’s uniform, carrying her into her grandparents’ house in the wee hours of the morning. “She was working on her licensed practical nursing degree and doing clinicals,” Donna recalls. “She was my example, and I never considered any career but nursing. I wanted to care for and help others.”

Donna grew up in the south end of Louisville and attended Parkwood United Methodist Church, where she first heard about Kentucky Wesleyan College. When she found out the College had a nursing program, she knew KWC was the place for her; it was just far enough away from home, yet not too far. She reflects that KWC was a great place to be on her own, yet she was surrounded by people who wanted to provide support and guidance.

She recalls nursing instructors Rose Clark and Betty Connor and describes them as wonderful mentors to fledging nursing students. “I reflect from time to time on lessons they taught our very green freshman class. Those lessons remain pertinent today.”  She says faculty were always accessible and that the teaching was excellent. “Wesleyan was the right place for me.”

Kentucky Wesleyan College hosts Native Reflections exhibit

Kentucky Wesleyan College has been selected as one of several venues across Kentucky to host the Kentucky Arts Council’s traveling exhibit, “Native Reflections: Visual Art by American Indians of Kentucky.” The exhibit will run from Sept. 15 to Oct 30 at the Ralph Center for the Fine Arts at the corner of College Ave. and S. Griffith Ave. The gallery is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. All visitors to campus are kindly requested to complete the brief health check form at For purposes of this event, they may select “Advancement” from the drop down menu on the form. Facial coverings and social distancing are also required on campus, and the gallery is limited to eight persons at a time.

The exhibit features 23 works by 12 Kentuckians who identify as American Indians of either enrolled tribal membership or unenrolled, but native inspired individuals. The submitted work was adjudicated by a panel of American Indian artists and members of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission for inclusion in the traveling exhibit.

Kentucky Wesleyan Theatre Department to present “The Laramie Project”

The Kentucky Wesleyan College Theatre Department will present “The Laramie Project,” a play about the reaction to the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo. The play will be performed on Oct. 14-17 at 7:30 p.m. and contains mature content. It was written by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project.

The play will be presented outdoors in the Ralph Center Courtyard located at College Dr. and South Griffith Ave. Tickets are $14 for general admission and $8 for students, and are available HERE. The event will be livestreamed and more information on accessing livestream will be available at here and on social media.

For more information, contact Associate Professor of Theatre Nate Gross at or 270-852-3595.

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Kentucky Wesleyan College earns recognition as Best Regional College in the South and Top Performer in Social Mobility from U.S. News & World Report

Kentucky Wesleyan College has been named one of the Best Regional Colleges in the South in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. The College was also recognized among the 2021 Top Performers on Social Mobility.

Wesleyan achieved the highest ranking among Kentucky regional colleges at No. 18 in the South as a Best Regional College. According to U.S. News rankings methodology, Regional Colleges focus on institutions that provide undergraduate education but grant fewer than 50% of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines.

“Kentucky Wesleyan is elated to again be recognized as a top regional college by U.S. News & World Report,” said President Dr. Thomas Mitzel. “Our faculty, staff, students and extended community can take great pride in knowing their college is highly regarded by national outlets. These accolades and superior rankings are the result of a continued commitment to excellence by everyone affiliated with KWC.”

Wesleyan announces standardized test-optional applications policy for Fall 2021 admissions

Kentucky Wesleyan College has announced it will temporarily waive standardized test scores as a requirement for applicants for the 2021-22 academic year. The test-optional policy is being enacted due to the challenges presented to prospective students and their families by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our admissions process aims to gather information on several different areas of importance: academic success, involvement in school groups and in the community, and interest in the Kentucky Wesleyan College,” said Matthew Ruark ’09, vice president of admissions and financial aid. “A standardized test score is an additional piece of information to consider, but certainly not the most important.”

Prospective students who have test scores will be able to submit as part of their application, but they will not be required nor will it negatively impact those applicants. The College also allowed test optional admission for fall 2020 admits in immediate response to the pandemic.

Welcome, Rebekah “Robie” Dickinson ’24 – A Third Generation Panther

Freshman Robie Dickinson and her classmates anticipated their arrival at KWC with the usual sense of anticipation and mix of emotions that accompanies the transition from home to college life.

“I was very nervous about moving into the dorm because I didn’t want to be away from my family,” Robie explained. “But now that I’m here and settled into my room, I really love it.”

Robie’s first semester classes include algebra, criminal justice, writing workshop, fitness and wellness and freshman seminar. “I was nervous about going to classes the first few days, but like moving into the dorm, once I got there, I was fine.”

Black Student Unions at Brescia University and Kentucky Wesleyan Host March for Justice

The Black Student Unions of Brescia University and Kentucky Wesleyan College are collaborating to sponsor a March for Justice on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. – noon to raise awareness of social injustice across America and in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

The march will begin in the Brescia University Quad with a prayer by Owensboro NAACP President Rhondalyn Randolph and a speech by Brescia student and BSU member Breanna Chester. Participants will then proceed to the Daviess County Courthouse and the event will conclude at the front steps of the Barnard-Jones Administration Building at Kentucky Wesleyan College with a speech by KWC sophomore and BSU member Malcolm Hayes.

From the President’s Office – We Must Act Ethically

Dear Kentucky Wesleyan Family,

Over the past several months, we at Kentucky Wesleyan College have been working with our faculty, staff, students, and community on dealing with emotional wellness with respect to COVID-19. Workshops, letters, videos, and other methods of outreach have been shared to help our community stay healthy during this time. The college has discussed sensitivity with respect to wearing masks, giving others their safe space, acting in a manner that is both respectful of and collegial toward others in our community among other mannerisms. We have worked hard to help ensure a healthy campus physically and psychologically.

As national events have shown, and continue to reveal, the concept of equality upon which the United States was founded is a goal that has yet to be reached. As mentioned in an earlier communication, one of the goals of Kentucky Wesleyan College is to teach our students to live ethically in a complex world. The question often arises, what is meant by living one’s life in an ethical manner and how does KWC impart this guidance upon its students. The Methodist origins and alignments of our college are steeped within the campus’s mission and help guide the decisions and pedagogical mannerisms we wish to instill within our student body. A powerful potential definition of living an ethical life is to “love one’s neighbor as you love yourself.” Treat everyone as you would wish to be treated, with the same equality and love you would hope for yourself each and every day. As strong as these words may show, we have not been working with our community to the same level with reference to treating each other with the respect and equality. As the nation reals from one alarming event to another with regard to the treatment of our nation’s citizens, KWC must act in a manner to help lead and develop our students to be leaders in the next generation while treating all human beings as equals.

Wesleyan Woman of Distinction – Dr. Arba Kenner ’74

Dr. Arba Kenner ’74 is serene. But behind her kind eyes and calm smile is a whirlwind. From Kentucky to Honduras to Las Vegas and other U.S. locations, she has served the needs of countless individuals over the years, and she is always planning her next project and trip.

A graduate of Campbellsville (Ky.) High School, she earned a B.S. in chemistry at Wesleyan and an M.S. in biochemistry at Vanderbilt University. While pursuing her master’s degree, she volunteered as a patient advocate at a women’s health clinic.

Next came the University of Louisville School of Medicine and an obstetrics and gynecology residency at Allentown Hospital in Pennsylvania, where her mother had trained at the School of Nursing.

Arba then practiced medicine in eastern Kentucky for four years in fulfillment of the National Health Service Corps requirement for the medical school scholarship she received.

Faculty Profile – Dr. Eric Schmidt

Where are you from, and what brought you to Wesleyan?
“I’m from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Yes, that’s a real place. Though a bit bigger than Owensboro, it has a similar character—not too big, not too small. It wasn’t too much of an adjustment to move down here. I tell people I love bourbon, bluegrass and basketball, so it was probably fate that brought me to Kentucky in 2017.

”I chose to come to KWC because I gained so much from my time in undergrad at Hope College, a small liberal arts school much like KWC. I saw firsthand the impact small classes and passionate professors can make on a student’s future. In applying for jobs, I knew I wanted to carry on the tradition of a liberal arts education—KWC was a perfect match. While the liberal arts excel at character formation and the education of the whole person, the dynamic job environment of tomorrow is going to increasingly depend on flexible, classically educated individuals only the liberal arts tradition can produce.”