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Cumberlands Students Travel to Frankfort to Celebrate Independent Higher Education in Kentucky


FRANKFORT, Ky. – On February 22nd, five University of the Cumberlands students traveled to the state capital to celebrate Independent Higher Education Day in Kentucky. The event, sponsored by the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities, brought together over 140 students from across Kentucky, to meet with legislators and to celebrate the success of Kentucky’s twenty nonprofit, independent colleges and universities.

Students from University of the Cumberlands who participated included the following: Williard Ball of Pine Knot, Ky., Katherin Cox of Pine Knot, Ky., Charle Delph of London, Ky., Larry Hay of Henderson, Ky., Danielle Worthy of Gray, Ky.

The day's festivities began with a luncheon at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. During lunch Secretary of State Trey Grayson and State Auditor Crit Luallen thanked the students for engaging in the political process and urged them to remain active participants during the coming election season and throughout their lives. Students also heard about the legislative process from one of their own, Transylvania University student Ashley Koch, who is currently interning in Representative Kathy Stein’s office through AIKCU’s Legislative Internship Program.

Following lunch the activities moved to the second floor of the Capitol. There students set up displays and informally met with legislators who stopped by on their way to the House and Senate chambers. Several independent college alumni, including Speaker of the House Jody Richards (Kentucky Wesleyan), House Minority Leader Jeffrey Hoover (Centre), and Senator Daniel Mongiardo (Transylvania) stopped by to chat with students, as did many legislators who represent AIKCU campuses or who had been invited by students from their home districts.

”Today's great turnout is a testament to our campuses and the impact they make on student lives and on communities across the Commonwealth,” said Gary Cox, AIKCU president. “We appreciate all the support from legislators who stopped by to visit with our students and help us celebrate independent higher education in the Kentucky.”

Students were eager to talk about the exciting things happening on their campuses, to share personal success stories and to relate to their senators and representatives the importance of Kentucky’s student financial aid programs in helping them attain their educational goals.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed resolutions honoring Kentucky’s nonprofit, independent colleges and universities. House Resolution 194 ( was introduced by Representatives Jody Richards, Mike Weaver, Tom Burch, Keith Hall, Jeff Hoover, Russ Mobley, and Rick Nelson and adopted on the House floor on the 22nd. Senate Resolution 197 ( was introduced by Senators Vernie McGaha and Ken Winters and similarly adopted on the Senate floor.

Governor Fletcher was unable to attend the day’s festivities due to complications from gall bladder surgery. All the students in attendance signed a poster-sized get well card for the Governor. The card was displayed in the Capitol during the day’s activities and then delivered to the Governor’s office.