RICHMOND, Ky. — When Lanny Brannock arrived at Eastern Kentucky University as a student in 1992, the furthest he’d ever been from home was Ohio. Home, for him, was a small town called Millersburg in Bourbon County, Ky.
“Once I had seen campus, I completely understood the campus beautiful. It felt big and I was worried that I wouldn’t find my place in it. But pretty quickly, I did.”
While the campus has changed since then, its beauty has only grown, as has the opportunity it provides to Kentuckians from small towns, like him, and big cities alike. That’s why Brannock was excited to accept a job offer as the university’s director of communications.
“It was an opportunity to give back to something that gave me so much, and that is so much bigger than myself,” he said. “I’m at a point in my life that I want to make sure places like Eastern, where the best and brightest make life better for all Kentuckians, are protected and nurtured, in whatever way I can.”
Brannock began his appointment in January 2019. This new adventure follows an eventful career that began in journalism.
“When I was a student, I wanted desperately to be a sports writer. My idol at the time was a newspaper columnist named Chuck Culpepper, who is now at the Washington Post. I pursued that dream for two years and became the sports editor at the Eastern Progress,” Brannock said.
In 1995, a chance meeting with a friend from high school changed his career. His friend helped him earn a job at a Lexington radio station. He started taking broadcasting classes and ended up starting his post-college career in television news in Lexington, which evolved into government reporting and eventually, government public relations roles.
“I don’t know if my career has been normal or abnormal, but I’ve been in government and politics as a spokesperson, I’ve reported on government and politics, I’ve done stints in radio, television and newspapers in several different roles, and I’ve been in public relations now in several different roles,” Brannock said.
Above all else, in all his work, Brannock has remained a storyteller.
“The EKU story is fascinating. Its rich history tells of a university that, from its founding, has consistently been ahead of its time,” Brannock said. “In telling the EKU story, I want to inspire students who are like I was — the first in my family to go to college. I want to make sure that students have a good experience here and achieve their dreams, because EKU allowed me to do that, even if the dream changed along the way.”
He still enjoys sports, and even calls some high school games for a small broadcast company he co-founded.
“My dreams are different now than when I was a naïve, bright-eyed 18-year-old. I want a better world for my kids. I want them to have every opportunity,” he said.
Brannock lives in Georgetown with his wife Kristy, and their four children, Anna, Harrison, Margot and Lillyan.
In his spare time, he enjoys mystery novels, getting outside and making videos with his kids.