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Midway University Spotlight Awards to honor community leaders

Isabel Yates
Isabel Yates

Isabel Yates, James Bowling family to be honored

VERSAILLES, Ky. (April 27, 2016) — Midway University will honor noted community leader Isabel Yates and members of the James Bowling family, who have served on the school’s Board of Trustees, on May 26 the Spotlight Awards Ceremony.

Yates, a longtime public servant and former vice mayor of Lexington, will be presented with the Pinkerton Vision Award, which honors a person who has shown tremendous leadership and innovative thinking in her field while serving as a role model to others.

“For more than 50 years, Isabel Yates has been an active member of the Bluegrass community,” said Dr. John Marsden, President of Midway University. “She has run successful businesses, been a champion for worthy causes and even held political office. Her tireless work and selfless service have made her a beloved figure in Central Kentucky.”

Yates is a native of South Carolina but has resided in Lexington since 1963. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a Master’s Degree from Ohio State University. She was an English Instructor at the University of South Carolina and Newberry College, S. C. In Kentucky, she was a co-owner of two small businesses: Track Two, a dress shop in Midway, and Merit Tours and Convention Planning in Lexington.

James Bowling
James Bowling

Among her many interests and accomplishments are serving as Chair of the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Foundation; President of the Philharmonic Guild; Chair Emeritus, Friends of McConnell Springs; and Board Member and Chairman, Public Policy Committee for the Kentucky Alzheimer’s Association. She has served on numerous Boards, such as LexArts, Downtown Lexington Corporation, UK Art Museum, Lexington Opera Society and the YMCA of Central Kentucky.

Currently, Yates is serving as Chair of the “Friends of the Kentucky Theatre,” a non-profit group raising funds for renovations needed at this historic downtown Lexington treasure.

Midway will also present its Legacy Award, which honors those who have given significant time, service and support to Midway University, to the James C. Bowling family. A member of the family has continuously served on Midway’s Board of Trustees since 1962. After his death in 1997, James Bowling was succeeded by his wife Ann Bowling in 1997. Ann transitioned from active to emeritus status in 2009 and James and Ann’s daughter, Belinda Bowling Metzger, has served as a trustee since 2012. The Bowling family’s connection to Kentucky and Midway is decades long. James Bowling was born in Covington, raised in Paducah, attended the University of Kentucky and completed his degree from the University of Louisville following a break to serve in WWII. He joined Phillips Morris in 1951 and relocated to its Manhattan office where he remained until his retirement in 1986, all the while maintaining a strong connection to his home state of Kentucky and especially to Midway University and the City of Midway, where family members are still living in the community today.

“There are so many people who have given to Midway throughout the years, but the Bowling family has been a constant presence at this institution for more than 50 years,” said Marsden. “By sharing their time and support, the family has played an integral role in fostering growth and positive change at the university.”