LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 20 , 2017) ― The University of Kentucky Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award and Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award are presented annually to honor and recognize those who have provided extraordinary service to the university and the association. The 2017 recipients were honored during the recent UK Alumni Association Board of Directors Summer Workshop in Lexington.
The UK Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to honor and recognize up to four recipients, who have provided extraordinary service to the university and the association. One can be a non-alum friend of UK. Nominees for this prestigious award should have:
- Demonstrated a history of diligent work for the UK Alumni Association and/or a local alumni club.
- Contributed to the accomplishments of the UK Alumni Association and/or a local alumni club.
- Provided leadership and dedication to university and association programs.
- Provided meaningful service to alumni and friends of the university, community and profession.
- Shall have at least 12 credit hours.
This year’s Distinguished Service Award winners are Price Atkinson, Pat Beckman (Stansbury), Tom Harris and Mark Hogge.
Price Atkinson resides in Easley, South Carolina, and graduated from UK in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a founding member of the Upstate South Carolina UK Alumni Club, being integral to its creation nearly a decade ago and served as president of the club for five years. In addition, he has served two terms on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors. Atkinson has helped many students choose UK through his work at Upstate College fairs. He has many years of experience in media relations after working in public policy, politics, health care and sports in Greenville, South Carolina; Annapolis, Maryland; and most recently Washington. He currently serves as communications director for the Energy & Enterprise Initiative (republicEN) for former South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis and co-hosts a radio show “Straight up with Sturg” on ESPNUpstate, where he bleeds blue. As a student, he was a member of the UK swim team and a staff writer for the Kentucky Kernel. In addition, he is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association.
Pat Beckman (Stansbury) resides in Edgewood, Kentucky, and received her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1968. She has been a dedicated alumna for many years. She first became active in the Chicago club area in the mid-1980s and focused on recruiting students to UK. She then was a founding member of the South Bend, Indiana, alumni club in the late 1980s and was integral to the club’s success over its first decade, where she again focused on student recruitment. More recently, she has been involved with the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati (NKY/GC) UK Alumni Club, serving two consecutive five-year terms, where she chaired the ticket committee and was very involved on the golf committee. In addition, she revitalized the NKY/GC UK Alumni Club’s Student Send-off events. More recently she has served in an advisory role. In addition to her involvement in UK clubs, she is an active member in her church, Covenant First Presbyterian Church of Cincinnati, volunteers through Humana’s Volunteer program and supports the Ronald McDonald House in a variety of ways. She is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association and a K Fund member.
Tom Harris resides in Lexington and is a native of Madisonville, Kentucky. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1985 from UK. He has been a dedicated and involved member of the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors and has served on the association’s Executive Committee and Budget, Finance & Investments Committee. He currently serves as the UK vice president of university relations. In addition to his work with the university, he is very active in the Lexington community, having served on the board of the YMCA of Central Kentucky, the Downtown Lexington Corp., Commerce Lexington, Downtown Development Authority, and the Lexington Visitors and Convention Bureau. Harris recently won the Red Triangle Award through his work with the YMCA of Central Kentucky. In his professional career, he has almost 30 years of experience in the public relations field and has held positions with Honda of America Manufacturing in Marysville, Ohio, Toyota Motor Manufacturing and Kentucky Utilities Co. He is a Life Member of the Alumni Association and UK Fellow.
Mark Hogge resides in Catlettsburg, Kentucky. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UK in 1997. He has been active with the Ashland UK Alumni Club for over a decade and served as the club’s president from 2011-2013. He is instrumental in planning the club’s major fundraiser, Run-Blue, and consistently helps with the Cats for a Cause food drive. In addition, he always assists with Game Watch Parties and touts the benefits of UK Alumni Association membership to everyone. He is involved with MathCounts in the Ashland area and promotes UK through his interactions with high school students who participate in the program. In his professional career, he is employed at Middough and offers his office for Ashland UK Alumni Club meetings. In addition, he is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and has held positions with the tri-state AICHE chapter.
The UK Alumni Association's Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award is named for a long-time UK administrator who has spent the better part of his life in service to UK students. A nominee for this award must be an alumna or alumnus who is an active member of the UK Alumni Association, who is 10 years or less out of college at the time of nomination and who has worked on behalf of young people through the university, the association, their alumni club or in the local community:
- Raising funds for scholarships and/or awarding scholarships for students to attend UK.
- Working with local high school students through club-sponsored event and/or Preview Nights, to interest students in attending UK.
- Working to educate youth in the local community, whether through tutoring, coaching, or other means to keep them interested in learning.
- Assisting in efforts to support the student alumni association through mentoring or other means.
This year’s Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award winners are Nick Phelps and Wil Schroder II.
Nick Phelps of Louisville is a member of the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Young Alumni Council. He currently serves as a member of the Club Development Committee. He is a 2008 graduate of UK with a degree in finance. After graduation, he began his career in Louisville and currently serves as a vice president in the banking and finance industry. In addition to his career, he is involved in the Louisville community. He serves on the board of the Louisville Youth Orchestra, Best Buddies KY, BG Magazine and the Innovation Network of Entrepreneurial Thinking. He is also founding chair of Farnsley by 40! and is an active DanceBlue alumnus, having worked since his graduation to engage alumni and raise funds for the DanceBlue initiative. As a student, he was president of the student body and served as a student member of the UK Board of Trustees. In addition, he served as president of Sigma Chi and Homecoming king.
Wil Schroder II of Wilder is a member of the UK Alumni Association and has been a member of the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati (NKY/GC) UK Alumni Club Board of Directors since 2011. He is a 2005 graduate of UK with a bachelor’s degree in education. Since his graduation, he has been an integral member of the club. He was a member of the Golf Committee and took charge of gathering sponsorships. In addition, has greatly assisted with Student Send-offs by co-chairing the events. As a student at UK, he mentored middle school students at the Bluegrass Boys’ Ranch and was a staff member there until he graduated. He continues service to his community by volunteering through his church and speaking at schools in his club area. In addition to these roles, he is an attorney who currently serves his community as a member of the Kentucky Senate 24th District of Campbell, Pendleton and Bracken counties.
The UK Alumni Association is a membership-supported organization committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association or to become a member, visit www.ukalumni.net or call 1-800-269-2586.
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