Home » UK grad, PR firm founder creates scholarship fund for Kernel editors

UK grad, PR firm founder creates scholarship fund for Kernel editors

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 19, 2012) — University of Kentucky alumnus and former Kentucky Kernel Editor Jack Guthrie (1963) has created a fund in the UK College of Communications and Information Studies to provide the equivalent of a full-tuition scholarship to future editors-in-chief of the Kernel, the independent student newspaper at UK.

The John R. “Jack” Guthrie Editor’s Scholarship will be supported indefinitely through the establishment of a $250,000 endowment. The scholarship was dedicated in the honor of former UK journalism professors J.A. “Mr. Mac” McCauley and R. Lewis “Lew” Donohew, who served as mentors to Guthrie. A ceremony to announce the scholarship was conducted in the Kernel newsroom, attended by past Kernel editors and advisers, current Kernel staffers, UK journalism faculty and students, and others.

“Being the editor of the Kernel is more than a full-time job,” Guthrie said. “It takes more than eight hours a day. When I was with the Kernel, we were here morning, noon and night. Throw in a couple of classes, and you don’t have time for a part-time job. If you do, then you’re really burning the candle at both ends.”

Guthrie, founder of Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations in Louisville, says he created the scholarship to make it easier for Kernel editors to dedicate themselves to the newspaper without having to worry about how to make ends meet, and to inspire more students to aspire to editorial leadership.

Becca Clemons, recently named editor for the 2012-13 school year, will be the scholarship’s first recipient.

“It’s already an incredible honor to be selected as editor-in-chief,” Clemons said. “This just makes it even more special.”

Among those making remarks at the ceremony was Donohew, now retired, who was adviser to the Kernel during Guthrie’s tenure as editor 49 years ago. Donohew credited Guthrie as the “father of the modern Kernel,” saying that the newspaper first became “hard-hitting” under Guthrie’s leadership. Donohew then introduced Dick Wilson, a Kentucky Journalism Hall of Famer who served for four decades with the Courier-Journal, as “Jack’s college roommate.”

During the 1962-63 school year, the Kernel reported on national issues such as the civil rights struggle and the Bay of Pigs invasion. With Guthrie as editor, the Kernel initiated an editorial campaign that eventually led to the integration of athletics at UK, in spite of some strident opposition locally and throughout the Southeastern Conference.

“We saw ourselves as more than a campus paper,” Guthrie said. “We were the third-largest newspaper in the state, and sometimes we scooped the Herald and the Courier-Journal.”