LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2019) — One University of Kentucky alumna is on a mission to help students reach their potential.
“I think about all of the hate that is thrown at our young people today, and I do not want a single one of them to lose their life because of hate,” said Tuesday Meadows, a 1977 graduate who has advocated on behalf of LGBTQ* people throughout Central Kentucky.
She has worked to support LGBTQ* people throughout the Commonwealth. In Lexington, she chairs Lexington Fairness, an organization focused on educating about and pushing for LGBTQ* rights and fairness. On campus, she helped create the PrideCats LGTBQ* alumni group and was instrumental in forming the Transform Health clinic, a UK HealthCare clinic that caters to the needs of LGBTQ* patients.
And now, she is supporting the next generation of Wildcats.
This spring, the Office of LGBTQ* Resources will award two scholarships in honor of Meadows and David Mudry, a 2018 graduate who enthusiastically advanced LGBTQ* initiatives on campus. Applications are available online and are due Nov. 15. They will be awarded for the spring 2020 semester.
The scholarships support Kentucky Can: The 21st Century Campaign, a $2.1 billion comprehensive campaign focused on increasing opportunities for student success, funding innovative research, improving health care, strengthening our alumni network and supporting our athletic programs. More than halfway to its goal, Kentucky Can enables UK to be the University for Kentucky, serving the needs of the Commonwealth and beyond. It also allows alumni to invest in their alma mater. To reach its goal, the campaign aims to increase alumni giving by 21%.
The two funds also build on Mudry and Meadows’ legacies. After Mudry died in February, his family wanted to honor his memory. Full of life, Mudry was an aspiring drag queen, huge Nintendo fan and lover of all animals (especially dogs). As a student, he worked at the University Bookstore, where he saw many students struggle to pay for their books and course materials. He always went out of his way to help those students and found ways to lift up others, even in their lowest moments.
Active in Alpha Phi Omega, the service fraternity, Mudry dedicated his life to helping others. He shepherded young LGBTQ* students, helping them acclimate to campus and worked on campus to foster a sense of community and belonging.
A retired grocer, Meadows has pushed for progress, lobbying politicians and leaders to enact fairness ordinances and to make Kentucky a safer place for LGBTQ* residents. As a transgender woman, Meadows wants to enable LGBTQ* students and residents to celebrate themselves and fully develop their talents. She writes a blog and is a contributor to Linq, a monthly publication for the LGBTQ* community.
Active in the community, she serves on several boards and is the president of PrideCats. Over the last three years, the group has increased its visibility, ensuring LGBTQ* alumni know they have a group dedicated to their interests. This summer and fall, the PrideCats participated in Pride rallies from Lexington and Louisville to Pikeville, Bowling Green and Berea and distributed buttons with their logo.
Partnering with the University of Louisville LGBTQ* Alumni Network, the PrideCats will host a game watch party Nov. 30 for the UK vs. UofL football game.
In December, they will support Feast on Equality, an evening to celebrate the work of UK’s Office of LGBTQ* Resources and to increase opportunities for the students the office serves. Last year, Feast raised more than $100,000 to support the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, providing programming, scholarships and outreach, which make UK and Lexington a more inclusive and welcoming place for students, alumni, faculty, staff and local residents.
Though Meadows and Mudry’s family established their respective scholarships, Feast grew the funds, enabling the Office of LGBTQ* Resources to help more students. This year’s Feast will be at 6 p.m., Dec. 6, in the Gatton Student Center Ballroom, and will include dinner, presentations and an auction to support scholarships like these and further the office’s outreach.
To apply for the scholarships, complete the online form. To attend Feast, purchase tickets online. For information about LGBTQ* Resources, visit its website. To learn more about Meadows, read her article in UKNow or listen to her interview as part of the OutSouth Oral History Project in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.
Kentucky Can: The 21st Century Campaign is a comprehensive campaign focused on increasing opportunities for student success, funding innovative research, improving health care, strengthening our alumni network, and supporting our athletic programs. For more information about Kentucky Can, visit kentuckycan.uky.edu.