Campus News

UK Alumni Association Announces Service Award Winners

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Alumni Association Distinguished Service Awards 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 2020 recipients were recognized during the recent UK Alumni Association Board of Directors Summer Workshop.

2020 Distinguished Service Award Winners

The UK Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award is selected by the Alumni Service Awards Committee. 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; and earned at least 12 credit hours.

This year’s Distinguished Service Award winners are:

Michael W. Anderson resides in Greenville, Indiana, and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is the senior vice president of operations for Churchill Downs Inc. in Louisville. Anderson is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association and a member of the Wildcat Society. He is the current president of the Greater Louisville UK Alumni Club. He previously served as the club’s treasurer, secretary and vice president. Anderson is involved in all facets of the club, including development, events, book awards, scholarship management, accounting and planning.

Eli Capilouto is in his ninth year as the 12th president of the University of Kentucky. Under his leadership, the $3.5 billion flagship and land-grant research university has gained significant momentum in fulfilling its multifaceted mission of teaching, research, service and health care. Over the last five years, the university has completed, initiated, or authorized many construction projects including 14 new residence halls, several dining facilities, the construction of the Bill Gatton Student Center and expansion of the Gatton College of Business and Economics to name a few. He has led a process to enrich UK’s academic experience by increasing institutional investments in student financial aid, developing the Lewis Honors College, expanding Living-Learning Communities, and rebuilding academic and community spaces. Because of his priorities, the university has enrolled nearly 400 National Merit, National Achievement and National Hispanic Scholars in the last several years — tripling the number of incoming scholars and putting UK in the Top 10 public institutions enrolling these students. A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Capilouto previously served as provost of the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and dean of the UAB School of Public Health — a period of remarkable growth and transformation at one of the leading academic and health sciences institutions in the South. He holds several undergraduate and graduate degrees from schools within the University of Alabama system, a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry from UAB and a doctorate in health policy and management from Harvard University.

Ruth Day resides in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Kentucky in 1985. She is chief information officer for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, heading up the Commonwealth Office of Technology, and is a member of the governor’s executive cabinet. She was previously vice president for administrative services at Landstar System Inc., a transportation services corporation. She is a member of the Capital Campaign Committee, was chairwoman of the Great Teacher/Scholarship Committee, and has served on the Nominating for Board and Club Development committees. She is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association, a UK Fellow, a Wildcat Society member and member of UK Women & Philanthropy. She was inducted into the Gatton College of Business and Economics Hall of Fame in 2012 and is a member of the Gatton Dean’s Advisory Board, Business and Economics Accounting Advisory Board and Women’s Business Leaders-Gatton.

Jane Cobb Pickering resides in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Kentucky in 1974. Pickering founded the Chattanooga UK Alumni Club in 1996 and served three terms as the club’s president. She prepares the club newsletter which is sent at least bimonthly to approximately 200 recipients, hosts and cooks for the club’s annual Kentucky Derby party, helps with Student Send-Offs and hosts football and basketball game watch parties. She is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association, a member of the Wildcat Society and a member of UK Women & Philanthropy. Pickering has been a member of the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2014, where she has served on the Great Teacher Awards/Scholarship, Diversity and Communications committees, and was the assistant chairwoman for the Club Development committee.

Fritz Skeen resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1972 and an MBA in 1973 from the University of Kentucky. He served as president of the UK Alumni Association from 2018-19. Skeen was chairman of the Great Teacher Awards/Scholarship, vice-chairman of the Alumni Service Awards and vice-chairman of the Budget, Finance and Investments committees. He has also served as treasurer and president-elect of the UK Alumni Association and on the Membership Committee. He and two fellow UK graduates restarted the Jacksonville UK Alumni Club, where he continues to serve on the board. During his 30-year career with IBM Corp., Skeen held a variety of sales, marketing and executive positions, including regional manager in Los Angeles, director mid-range systems and group director – telecommunications product marketing in Westchester County, New York, and general manager – greater Chicago. Skeen is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association, a Wildcat Society member, a UK Fellow, a member of the K Fund and returns to campus to play tuba in the UK Alumni Band. He is a member of Phi Sigma Kappa and was president of the UK chapter when he was a student.

Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award

The Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award is named for a longtime UK administrator who 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 a member of the UK Alumni Association, is 35 years of age or younger at the time of nomination and has worked on behalf of young people through the university, the association, their alumni club or in the local community.

In addition, the nominees must have a history of raising funds for scholarships and/or awarding scholarships for students to attend UK; worked with local high school students through club-sponsored events and/or preview nights to interest students in attending UK; worked to educate youth in the local community through tutoring, coaching or other means to keep them interested in learning; and assisted in efforts to support the student alumni association through mentoring or other means.

This year’s Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award winner is Erin Carr Logan.

Erin Carr Logan resides in Seattle and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Kentucky in 2006. She is a category and program management leader for Amazon Inc. She restarted the Pacific Northwest UK Alumni Club and has served as its president since 2015. Under her leadership, the club started a scholarship fund and has expanded alumni activities to western Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The club has been recognized for Outstanding Contribution to Alumni Engagement for new events including an NBA event, shared with other alumni clubs nationally, a Major League Soccer event and joint Southeastern Conference watch parties in Seattle. As a student, Logan was president of the Accounting Club, a Gatton Ambassador and a Top 100 Campus Leader. She served as chairwoman of the Student Development Council Phonathon and Inter Greek Programming Assembly Greek Week, was on the Kappa Kappa Gamma Scholarship Committee and a founding member of Student Association of Fundraising Professionals. Logan was a student caller for UK Philanthropy, raising more than $100,000 in alumni support and earning the highest average pledge, highest dollars per hour and highest upgrade percentage.

For more information on the awards, and to see past winners, visit Recipients will be recognized in-person next summer at the UK Alumni Association’s 2021 Summer Workshop. This year’s Summer Workshop was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK Alumni Association is committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association, visit or call 800-269-2586.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.