Campus News

'Behind the Blue': Jill Smith and Hannah Myers on ‘History Holders’ and Future Efforts of the UK Alumni Association

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2020) — Since its inception in 1889, the University of Kentucky Alumni Association has been a self-governed, nonprofit membership organization that serves the university and its many alumni, students, parents and friends.

From maintaining the Helen G. King Alumni House as the alumni home on campus, to scholarships, Homecoming and Golden Wildcat reunion activities, providing networking opportunities with UK graduates around the world and more, the vision of the UK Alumni Association is to: “Enhance the lives of alumni, the university, and its students and provide opportunities for increased engagement by current and future alumni in service to each other, to the university, and to the communities that the university serves across the Commonwealth and beyond.”

On this episode of "Behind the Blue," UK Public Relations and Strategic Communications' Carl Nathe is joined by Jill Smith, executive director of the UK Alumni Association and associate vice president for alumni engagement, and current UK Alumni Association President Hannah Myers. Myers and Smith talk about their shared UK backgrounds; how their time here inspired them to give back to their communities; the 131-year-history of the Alumni Association and how it has developed and adapted over that time; the importance of being the “history holders” and tradition-keepers for the university; and more.

"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 or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.

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The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.