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THE KENTUCKY PROMISE MEETS A DREAM In 1931, even as the country spiraled deeper into economic depression, University of Kentucky President Frank McVey was willing to dream. UK students had the dream of a Student Union—a place and building they could call their own. President McVey was willing to dream and plan with them. Although it took some seven years for the dream to take flight, and become reality, the vision was too powerful to ignore. It took a lot of work and sweat. Organizations such as ODK, the National Leadership Honor Society, and the Kentucky Kernel, pledged dollars toward a building. Faculty and students in the College of Engineering helped with the design and ironwork. But, finally, a Student Union, to great fanfare, was born on UK’s campus. Now for 75 years, the Student Union—our Student Center—has been a hub of activity on our campus. It has played host to famous concerts and events, housed thousands of student organizations and been an incubator for young men and women who would go on to amazing careers in business, politics and civic life. For nearly half of that time, our current Student Center Director, John Herbst, has been associated with UK and the Student Center, gently and quietly mentoring students, helping them discover and realize their dreams. As we mark the 75th anniversary of the Student Center, we are dreaming again—even as we find ourselves once more facing seemingly daunting economic circumstances. But 21st century students, faculty and staff require and need 21st century facilities in which to do their work. So, we are dreaming again about a new Student Center and satellite facility—structures that will serve the needs of students and help light a path toward their limitless potential. And, once again, we will be looking for innovative avenues to realize today’s vision. Ultimately, though, buildings—however shining their facade and teeming with technology they may be—are only part of the equation. Structures like a Student Center come to life because of the people, the people who make them special. In the pages of this special section, you will read and see a history come to life—the triumphs and failures, the laughter and tears, and the events that have comprised the history of student life at the University of Kentucky for the last 75 years. In reading about their dreams over the passages and echoes of time, you will understand more fully an important piece of this institution’s indelible history. And, at the same time perhaps, you will want join all of us in dreaming again about the future.

Eli Capilouto President University of Kentucky



Student Center 75th / Love is in the Air


Back when you could buy a car for $445 and shoes for $3 a pair, students at the University of Kentucky pushed their president to invest $277,000 in creating “the center of UK’s student life.” They referred to the Student Union Building, now the UK Student Center, as “the Heart of Campus in the Heart of the Bluegrass.” UK’s Student Center, which has been a celebrated member of the University of Kentucky family for 75 years, moved into the spotlight starting last year for recognition of its past, praise for its present and hopes for its future. Britt Brockman, chairman of UK’s Board of Trustees, reflected on “an important milestone in the life of our university” at the May 14, 2013, meeting of the board. It was the 75th anniversary of the grand opening of the Student Union, which he called “a living, breathing organization that has touched the lives of many people.” Brockman noted that on May 14, 1938, the Student Union Building celebrated its formal opening with the “ODK and Engineers Ball,” including such guests as Kentucky Gov. A.B. “Happy” Chandler, Lt. Gov. Keen Johnson and U.S. Sen. Alben Barkley. The Student Union was seven years in the making, beginning with a push by students in the Nu Circle chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society, known as ODK. They first met with President Frank McVey in 1931, and in 1933 he appointed an exploratory committee.



In the 1930s the university’s The Kentucky Kernel pledged $20,000 to initiate an ODK fund drive. In 1936, students agreed to a fee president and special guests, of $2 per semester and $1 a summer term to pay for including Mrs. Adolph Rupp, a Student Union Building, which cost $277,000 (about served tea and biscuits to tired students as Finals Week $4.6 million today.) The building has been a cultural compass, beginning approached. Today, thanks to the Student Activities when it pointed the way to the hottest big bands in Board and Student Government Association, the the 40s, and today it “Crunch Brunch” and the continues the tradition “Cram Jam” give students a by inviting some of the break from the same stresses best up-and-coming at the end of Fall and Spring comedians and musicians semesters. to perform. At the trustees meeting, The Student Center Brockman praised John Herbst, accomplishes this goal Student Center director, Dr. through activities hosted Robert C. Mock Jr., vice BRITT BROCKMAN, CHAIRMAN OF UK’S by the Student Activities president for student affairs, BOARD OF TRUSTEES Board, The Cat’s Den, and their staffs for creating the Late Night Film “minor miracles” every day. “It is not the kind of modern, Series, the Center for Student Involvement, the student-run WRFL-FM radio multi-purpose space that students find attractive today,” station, the Martin Luther King Center and the Student Brockman said. “Nor has it kept pace with what our competitors offer their students.” Government Association.

Brockman hinted that a new Student Center might be on the horizon for UK as it moves forward with its master plan, and later under “projects the university would pay off using revenue generated by the project,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reported plans for $115 million “to renovate and enlarge the main student center on campus, including dining spaces.” “We honor the legacy and history of this place,” Brockman said, “but we should do so with an eye toward the future … and a commitment to redouble our efforts as we move forward in thinking about how we will grow and develop as an institution to ensure that we give our students the kind of facilities that will maximize their ability to grow and develop as people.” On the prospect of UK finding the funds to upgrade its student center facilities, Herbst said, “It will be a significant investment; however, the return to UK students will be immeasurable.”

Kentucky Kernel




AFTER DARK SHOWCASES CAMPUS A CAPPELLA GROUPS After performing for millions on a hit TV show, the men of The Most UK students are familiar with the men’s a cappella group AcoUstiKats, UK’s all-male a cappella group, are bringing their on campus, following their stint on a national TV show. Now, the a talents back to campus for a melodious Valentine’s Day. cappella women of UK are next in line for the chance to win a major The group will be performing at After Dark in the Worsham singing competition, the International Championship of Collegiate A Theatre, featuring songs from their run on NBC’s The Sing Off Cappalla. as well as songs from their album due for release in early March. But before they hit that big stage, students have a chance to hear The Kats made it to episode five before being eliminated from the them sing live on campus with the tradition of the After Dark concert. competition. Paws & Listen, UK’s all-female a cappella group, will perform The group earned praise from celebrity judges and fans with along with the men’s a cappella group, The AcoUstiKats, at the After songs such as “Amazed,” “Blurred Lines,” and “Old Time Rock n Dark concert in the Student Center on Valentine’s Day. Roll” on the show. But AcoUstiKats member and manager Jeremy Nicole Schladt, group member and business manager for Paws Lewis said there will be plenty of & Listen, said there will be plenty of love songs in store, but also love songs on the After Dark set an exciting sneak peak at their routine for the upcoming ICCA list as well. performance. “There will definitely be The ICCA is a prestigious event fans may know from the 2012 movie serenading,” Lewis said. “Pitch Perfect.” Paws & Listen has made its way to the quarterfinals After Dark is a traditional and will compete later this month in Centerville, Ohio. performance for the “We are excited to get to take our music to a larger AcoUstiKats and stage and to share it with more people,” Schladt they are glad said. “Some of the songs are about female to be back empowerment, we have a Destiny’s Child to their mash-up in there, so it’s a lot of fun, r o o t s contemporary music.” before After Dark is a collaborative concert PAWS & KATS AFTER DARK leaving between Paws & Listen and The for more tour dates, including stops in AcoUstiKats, and Schladt said the Cincinnati and Louisville to perform women are grateful to draw from the STUDENT TICKETS $5, $10 OTHERS with the national Sing Off Tour. men’s experience from their run on The 7-10 P.M. “Shows like this are what got us Sing-Off. WORSHAM THEATRE there,” Lewis said. “We can’t lose sight “We’ve been really lucky to have the of that.” leadership of The AcoUstiKats,” she said. After Dark is a much more intimate “Since they’ve returned from The SingINFO: 257-8427 performance than other venues, Lewis said, Off they have been able to really help us prepare for the ICCA because in Worsham Theatre the group can competition and give us connect with the audience by being so close to the tips and encouragement. After seats. Dark allows us to come together and “As a performer, there is a difference in pretending to show that at the end of the day we all support have made eye contact and actually looking an audience member in each other.” the eye,” he said. “If you really want to hear us as we sound and see Since the After Dark concert is on us as we really are live, then I can’t think of a better seat.” Valentine’s Day, Schladt said it is a great date Following the show, the Kats will attend a reception where fans idea for couples, but also something a group can meet the performers and enjoy refreshments. Lewis said staying of friends or an individual can enjoy even after a show to meet the audience is a favorite past-time for the Kats. without the romance. “If you want to stay and have a drink with us, we love to stay “We love performing for students because and meet people,” he said. “It’s not just a gig, it’s something we that gives us a large audience of people our age who are enthusiastic love to do.” about what we are doing and the songs we are singing,” she said. The concert is followed by a dessert reception where the audience Fans can keep up with giveaways, concert updates and request can meet and greet the singers. songs from the group on Facebook and on Twitter @acoUstiKats.


Kentucky Kernel





SCOTT CROSBIE & K.C. WATTS After extensive and careful planning, on February 12th, 1992, Student Government President Scott Crosbie walked onto the court during halftime of a UK basketball game versus Alabama. Under the guide of promoting a campuswide formal dance sponsored by SGA and SAB, he had asked his girlfriend to join him. Then, in front of a full house at Rupp Arena asked for SAB President K.C. Watts’ hand in marriage. Friends had jokingly given Watts the nickname “the first lady of SGA.” That name had a ring of truth to it from that day on. Two decades later the couple is still going strong and incredibly active in the Lexington community. Scott is a successful attorney in town and KC one of Lexington’s most distinguished and active members of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County City Council.



Student Center 75th / Love is in the Air

On a Friday afternoon in early March 1983, a young sophomore was sitting in the back room of the Student Activities Board office as a newly selected Memberat-Large for the upcoming year. Coming into the office was a strikingly beautiful brunette junior dressed in her 80’s power suit, obviously returning from an important meeting. She immediately congratulated the sophomore, Scott Mustian, on becoming a member of the board. He was rather surprised Susan Van Buren even knew who he was, as she was the newly elected SAB President and they had only been introduced in passing once before. Neither realized that their lives were to be joined from that moment as the spark was set right then. After weeks of laughing and casual flirting, Susan

invited Scott to her soro April 15. Being the Preside of course took charge of e first “official” date. By s they were inseparable. Scott served his senior y Vice President while Su in December 1984. Scott in May 1985. Their career Scott to Cincinnati and Susa Scott proposed to Susan in of Commonwealth Stadium spot they had their first kiss. They were m 1987 and lived in Cincinnati. Scott returned to school full time in 1 University in Bloomington, Indiana for h Susan continued her work. While there t their first son, Samuel, in 1990. First stop school was Stevensville, Michigan with Sc Whirlpool Corporation and in 1992 they birth of their second son Nathan. A transfer of Scott to Tokyo, Japan chapter to life for their young family an move to Singapore brought even more adv in Singapore they welcomed their daug their family in 1994. Returning from As


Michael and Nicole met Fall Orientation, where Orientation Leader. It was no spring, when they were both UK on the Summer Advisin that their paths crossed again 1988 they began dating. Mic Activities Board President a the Homecoming and other S worked in the Student Cente desk, the popcorn machine, the music lounge …) Man


year as the SAB usan graduated t followed suit rs initially took an to Louisville. n the parking lot m in the same married May 23,

1989 at Indiana his MBA while they welcomed p after graduate cott working for y welcomed the

n added a new nd a following venture. While ghter Sarah to sia they settled

in South Bend Indiana. Desiring to return to Kentucky, Scott accepted a position with Hill-Rom Company and they settled in Northern Kentucky in 1997. Being the full-time parent of three small children, Susan remained very active in UK Alumni both at local and national level and serving as PTA president at their children’s schools. Unexpectedly, Scott was asked relocate to Asia again. After attending the UK vs. UL of game in Rupp Arena (Pitino’s first game on the “other” bench) on December 29, 2001, they boarded a plane with the family the next day and arrived in Hong Kong on New Year’s Eve celebrating the New Year in their new home. After 3 ½ wonderful years in Hong Kong, Scott and Susan returned to Northern Kentucky where they have since remained. Susan returned to her work on the National UK Alumni board along with serving as a National Board Member on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Scott is VP Sales and Marketing for a Northern Kentucky company. Their children are now grown and completing school at Northern Kentucky University and Northwestern University. Although it has been more than 30 years since that fateful day in March, it seems like only yesterday the two young SAB members found love in the Student Center, the place that started a lifetime together.


in 1987 at Nicole’s Michael was an ot until the following selected to represent ng Conference Staff, n. Early in the fall of chael was the Student and Nicole served on SAB committees and er (at the information , the Sweet Shoppe, ny hours were spent

together at the Student Center together in the SAB office, and also because Michael would not leave Nicole alone at her work stations. While there is not one single favorite memory, every day for about the first three months of dating, Michael would surprise Nicole with a gift of some sort. The gifts included personals in the Kernel, flowers and probably 90% of the time something Michael could purchase in the Student Center! Those little things have added up to a 25 year and counting relationship, and hopefully three future Wildcats.

Ashley and Mark met at student employee orientation in August 2008. She had just moved to Kentucky from Mississippi to work as the Student Center Graduate Assistant while pursuing her MPA, and he was a veteran employee and student. During her first semester, Ashley put together a Student Center intramural flag football team, which Mark joined. Although the team may not have won gold, Mark sure did, as he and Ashley became instantly attached. In January 2010, Mark proposed to Ashley in the snow outside of her apartment. To commemorate the place they met, they took engagement photos on a snowy day around the University of Kentucky campus, including the Student Center. They married on November 27, 2010, and currently reside in Indianapolis, Indiana, always keeping the University of Kentucky in their hearts.



ority formal on ent of SAB, she establishing the semester’s end,


Alexandra and Phil met working in the Cats Den in the Fall of 2010. Alex thought he was a big jerk. She was a service rep, Phil was a manager and it took a long time for Phil to finally get a date. Their first date was at TollyHo after working a rather late shift for the Late Night Film Series. He walked her home and they’ve been inseparable ever since. Phil finally proposed in March of 2012 and they were married shortly later. Phil currently teaches Math and Science at Eastern Kentucky University’s Middle College and Alex works as a community advocate for children and families in Lexington.

Kentucky Kernel





Student Center 75th / Love is in the Air

and the winner is...

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The winner of the


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Kentucky Kernel




December 7, 1935 The Board of Trustees of the University of Kentucky approves a Student Union Building to be one of four new buildings to be constructed on campus.

May 13, 1963 The name of the enlarged building is officially changed to the STUDENT CENTER.

April 5, 1937 Ground is broken for the Student Union Building in the area south of Alumni Gym.

1975- 1978 The cinema program gains recognition as one of the finest in the nation. Films were shown seven days a week with two or three screenings a day.



May 14, 1938 Formal opening of the Student Union Building. The Cincinnati Enquirer called the building, “Swanky as the most luxurious country club.”

1978 The Student Center Expansion Committee recommends the inclusion a 500-seat cinema, a new bookstore, various lounges and meeting rooms for the new addition.

1945-1947 The Student Union Board met the requests of veterans returning to campus for big name bands and for cabaret style set-ups for dances. Some of those artists featured were: Louis Armstrong, Ray Anthony, Stan Kenton and Elliot Lawrence.

1979 The U.K. Board of Trustees approves a proposal for a second Addition. 1981 President Singletary breaks ground for the new Student Center Addition.

1958 A committee is appointed to develop a Program Design for an addition to the Student Union Building by Vice President F.D. Peterson.

1997-98 Major redecoration efforts of the Student Center are initiated including restoration of the Great Hall designed to complement the architectural period of the 1930’s & 1940’s, updating of the lounge areas throughout the Student Center, and redecoration of the Gameroom.

April 23, 1962 At 7 a.m. the contractor for the addition begins bulldozer site preparation, and at 4 p.m. there is an informal ground breaking.

2013 UK Board of Trustees Chairman Britt Brockman salutes 75th anniversary of grand opening of Student Union Building

Student Center 75th / Love is in the Air

Student Center 75th/Valentine's KEG  

Kentucky Kernel