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Behind the Blue

Some stories require a little more – a little more discussion, more context, more depth and breadth. That’s the idea behind “Behind the Blue” – a weekly podcast created by UK Public Relations and Marketing. It is designed to explore through probing interviews the in-depth the stories that make UK the university for Kentucky and that have impact across the institution, the Commonwealth and, in some cases, the world.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Sep 30, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 30, 2021) – Discussed as early as 1957, the Hall of Distinguished Alumni of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association was established along with the construction of the Helen G. King Alumni House in 1963. The Hall pays tribute to those UK alumni who have distinguished themselves and their alma mater through their contribution to the welfare of the commonwealth and nation in arts, sciences, business, industry, engineering, journalism, politics, military science, religion, agriculture, labor or other fields of endeavor.

The original selection of inductees of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni included 85 in 1963. Two years later in 1965, 39 inductees were chosen and the first official recognition ceremony of the members took place that year in conjunction with the university’s Centennial Anniversary.

On this episode of Behind the Blue, two individuals with unique connections to the Hall talk about its impact on the Commonwealth, the country and the world.

Taunya Phillips is a past president of the UK Alumni Association board of directors. Currently, Phillips is the director of the Office of Technology Commercialization at the University of Kentucky where she oversees a team of 14 staff managing the University’s intellectual property, licensing and startup portfolios.

Previously, she was the senior associate director of New Ventures & Alliances, where she was focused on overseeing key alliances for OTC and managing support and services for UK and Lexington entrepreneurs and startups.

She has worked at UK since 1999, where her previous positions have been assistant vice president for Commercialization & Economic Development, chief financial officer for Kentucky Technology, Incorporated, College of Engineering lecturer, and Minority Engineering program director. Taunya has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Kentucky.

Charles Wethington, Jr. was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on April 21, 1995. Dr. Wethington was elected the 10th president of the University of Kentucky September 18, 1990, serving in that role until June of 2001.

He began his career in higher education in 1965 as an educational psychology instructor on the Lexington campus of the University and two years later was named Chief Administrator of Maysville Community College. In 1971, he moved to Lexington as Assistant Vice President, becoming Vice President of the Community College System in 1981.

In the University reorganization of 1982, he was named Chancellor of the UK Community College System, one of the three major sectors of UK. In 1987, he was given university wide responsibilities for public and governmental relations in addition to his community college role, and his title was changed to Chancellor for the Community College System and University Relations.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of Behind the Blue can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

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