The inaugural We are Kentucky State luncheon at the Capitol building in Frankfort drew hundreds of Kentucky State University alumni, students, faculty, staff and community partners Jan. 25.
Lt. Governor Jenean M. Hampton visited with Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II, as well as various Kentucky State constituents, during the event. Legislators from around the Commonwealth visited to learn more about the college on the hill.
Kentucky State University Board of Regents Chair Dr. Elaine Farris was one of many who attended the subcommittee meeting on postsecondary education as well as the luncheon.
“I think the importance of the meeting today and having the support from the alumni and staff of Kentucky State University demonstrates to our legislators that Kentucky State really does have a footprint in the Commonwealth and in Frankfort,” Farris said. “It’s also important that we continue to request that they support the mission and the work of Kentucky State University because it definitely has a place in the Commonwealth.”
A large contingent of green and gold was present during the standing-room-only subcommittee meeting, during which President Brown and other state university presidents outlined the negative impact budget cuts would have on their respective campuses.
President Brown highlighted areas of growth and improvement the University has shown recently, including increased enrollment, higher retention and graduation rates and the remarkably diverse student and employee populations.
Fabian Churchill, a student and leader in Student Government Association at Kentucky State, attended the meeting and the luncheon.
“The biggest reason I made the effort to come out is to also show support to not only the president but to the University,” Churchill said. “I want to know what’s going on at the legislative level and to give my input when needed.”
Cornelia Calhoun was one of many alumni in attendance.
“As a former Kentucky State regent, I know the value of sitting in the committee meetings with your school colors on,” Calhoun said.
Sonia Sanders, assistant vice president for public engagement and community outreach reflected on the day.
“To have Kentucky State University be in the heart of our state capitol today was a grand opportunity,” Sanders said. “Our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community were engaged and ready to boast that we are Kentucky State and we matter.”
Dr. Crystal deGregory, director of the Atwood Institute for Race, Education and the Democratic Ideal, thought the event was a positive showcase for Kentucky State.
“Events like today’s are important because they signal the continued contributions of Kentucky State as a leading producer of the Commonwealth’s best and brightest citizens,” deGregory said.