Professional News

UK Honors 2020 Hall of Distinguished Alumni

This video was shared with the 2020 inductees and their guests at the induction ceremony Oct. 1. Courtesy of Alumni Association

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 4, 2021) — This weekend, the University of Kentucky inducted 27 new members into its esteemed Hall of Distinguished Alumni. The 2020 class of inductees returned to their alma mater on Friday to be honored for their meaningful contributions to the Commonwealth, nation and the world. 

The prestigious event, held every five years, was postponed last year due to pandemic restrictions. 

“The 2020 class is diverse in its range of accolades and achievements, but they each share a common characteristic: they make us proud to call them UK alumni,” said UK President Eli Capilouto.

The inductees included:

  • Henry B. “Bub” Asman Jr. B.A. ’71 — Telecommunications, College of Communication and Information
  • Steven L. Beshear B.A. ’66 — History, College of Arts and Sciences; J.D. ’68 — Law, J. David Rosenberg College of Law
  • Dana R. Canedy B.A. ’88 — Journalism, College of Communication and Information
  • Jon C. Carloftis B.A.’86 — Communication, College of Communication and Information
  • Joe Cross Creason* B.A. ’40 — Journalism, College of Arts and Sciences
  • James C. Duff B.A. ’75 — Philosophy, Political Science, History, College of Arts and Sciences
  • O. Gene Gabbard B.S. ’61 — Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • F. Joseph Halcomb III B.S. ’74 — Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering; M.D. ’78 — Medicine, College of Medicine
  • John G. Heyburn II* J.D. ’76 — Law, J. David Rosenberg College of Law
  • Ashley T. Judd B.A. ’07 — French, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Elmer T. Lee* B.S. ’49 — Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Alan C. Lowe B.A. ’86 — History, College of Arts and Sciences; M.A. ’89 — History, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Davis Marksbury B.S. ’80 — Civil Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Sally K. Mason B.A. ’72 — Zoology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Martha M. McCarthy B.A. ‘66 — Elementary Education, College of Education; M.A. ‘69 — Elementary Education, College of Education
  • L. Stanley Pigman B.S. ’81 — Mining Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Eugene Poole Jr. A.S. ’80 — Hopkinsville CC; B.A. ’85 — Architecture, College of Design
  • Tommy L. Preston B.A. ’56 — Journalism, College of Communication and Information
  • Laura M. Schwab J.D. ’98 — Law, J. David Rosenberg College of Law
  • William E. Seale B.A. ’63 — Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences; M.S. ’69 — Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; Ph.D. ’75 — Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Charles L. Shearer B.S. ’64 — Accounting, Gatton College of Business and Economics; M.A. ’67 — Economics and International Diplomacy, Gatton College of Business and Economics
  • Valerie Still B.S. ’00 — Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Gregory L. Summe B.S. ’78 — Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Paul C. Varga B.B.A. ’85 — Finance, Gatton College of Business and Economics
  • Paul R. Wagner B.A. ’70 — English, College of Arts and Sciences; M.A. ’72 — Communication, College of Communication and Information
  • John A. Williams B.S. ’62 — Accounting, Gatton College of Business and Economics
  • Terry Woodward B.S. ’63 — Commerce, Gatton College of Business and Economics

*Joe Creason passed away in 1974 at the age of 56. John Heyburn passed away in 2015 at the age of 66. Elmer Lee passed away in 2013 at the age of 93.

To read full bios of the inductees, visit www.ukalumni.net/s/hall-of-distinguished-alumni.

With the addition of the 2020 honorees, the total number of alumni honored to date is 333, since the hall was created in 1965.

To learn more about the Hall of Distinguished Alumni and previous inductees, visit www.ukalumni.net/s/hall-of-distinguished-alumni.

2020 Hall of Distinguished Alumni
The University of Kentucky's 2020 Hall of Distinguished Alumni inductees on campus Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Photo by Tim Webb.

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.