Why We Give: Anna and Jay Ivey ’11


Houston, Texas

M.S., Occupational Safety, Eastern Kentucky University
B.S., Business Administration, Kentucky Wesleyan College
Owensboro Catholic High School

Safety, health and environmental professional in the oil and gas exploration and production industry for Hess Corporation

Married to Anna (from N.D.) for five years

Why do you give to Wesleyan?

“I was a scholarship recipient and a major beneficiary of giving. Anna and I believe scholarship recipients need to be near the front of the giving line once they become alumni and are able to give back. The College is blessed with tremendous leaders, beginning with President Darrell, and we trust our investment in the hands of the president and his entire team.”

Why do you encourage others to give to Wesleyan?

“The pace of Kentucky Wesleyan’s future success and ultimate trajectory depends on investments from alumni and friends of the College.”

Why did you choose Wesleyan?

“I transferred from Middle Tennessee and chose Wesleyan because I wanted to be a part of the tradition-rich basketball program and the incredible College community.”

What are special memories of your years at the College?

“I’ll never forget going to a basketball game just after leaving MTSU and how it felt to be in the Sportcenter: eight National Championship banners in the rafters, future Hall of Famers Joel Utley and Roy Pickerill with Glenn Young courtside, and a sense of momentum toward a return to national prominence.

“The alumni and fans who support Panther athletics programs are the best. Wesleyan has a consistent and sincere sense of community, and many servant pillars do so much to make the place great. I

remember well the first time Ruthie Hume and I met. She was genuinely interested in me and my future plans, and there are so many people like her who truly care.”

How did Wesleyan help prepare you for your life and career?

“Kentucky Wesleyan is laser-focused on developing future leaders. You can’t blend in at Wesleyan. The class sizes and liberal arts education force you to get out of your academic and social comfort zone, and that is often where growth happens.

“The Wesleyan classroom and campus atmosphere prepares students for the workplace much more effectively than big lecture halls on expansive campuses do. Many big decisions in the ‘real world’ are contemplated and ultimately made in small team/group settings. I learned to think critically, collaborate, debate, help enact change and grow spiritually in various campus settings. I benefited from the Wesleyan atmosphere in a big way, and I was well-prepared for Eastern Kentucky’s M.S. program. I often hear the same thing from Wesleyan alumni who have gone on to law, medical, business and other graduate schools.”

Tell us about your career.

“I help the company manage operational risks to people and the environment. My first job in the industry started immediately after Wesleyan in the Bakken shale in N.D. on the frontlines of the oil and gas drilling boom that was occurring there.  Since then, I’ve been to Asia and Africa and throughout the U.S. for some interesting work, and now I’m working in our offshore Gulf of Mexico oil and gas drilling and production business unit from the Houston office. “

Tell us about your family.

“Anna works at a girls’ Catholic high School in downtown Houston. We were very fortunate and not affected by Hurricane Harvey. We added Otis, a Redbone Coonhound, last year to the house. We enjoy traveling to see our families in Kentucky and Montana in our free time.” 

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

“If you’re in Owensboro, get your friends and family together and head to the Sportscenter to see Coach Happy Osborne and the Panthers. Coach Osborne is a proven winner. He has brought some great talent to Wesleyan. With showings in the NCAA tournament in the last two seasons, the program is right on the brink of a ninth Division II National Championship. A jam-packed Sportscenter might be the final rung on Wesleyan’s climb back to NCAA Division II college basketball dominance. 

“I encourage alumni to stay connected. Even if you can’t be on campus, stay in touch through social media. ‘Visiting’ campus is easy these days and only a few clicks away.”