Education

New scholarship will pay tuition for Kentucky Kernel editors-in-chief

Becca Clemons received the John R. "Jack" Guthrie scholarship for becoming the next Kentucky Kernel editor-in-chief.
Becca Clemons received the John R. "Jack" Guthrie scholarship for becoming the next Kentucky Kernel editor-in-chief.

Future editors-in-chief of the University of Kentucky's student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel, will have their tuition paid for during their time on the job, thanks to a scholarship announced Wednesday.

Jack Guthrie, who became the Kernel's editor 50 years ago this fall and went on to a career in public relations, is establishing the scholarship.

Becca Clemons, who will become the Kernel's editor-in-chief in the fall, will be the first to receive the scholarship. It is named for two professors who had a substantial impact on Guthrie's career — J.A. McCauley, one of Guthrie's journalism professors, and Lewis Donohew, faculty adviser to the Kernel when Guthrie was editor.

Guthrie, who graduated from UK in 1963, worked in public relations positions with Philip Morris Inc. and as president and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Derby Festival. In 1977, he started his own public relations firm.

"I want to recognize the hard work and the effort that young people put in on student publications," said Guthrie, chairman and founder of Louisville-based Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations. "I'm hoping that the tuition program that I have set up will interest others in becoming part of the Kernel."

He said that being editor of the Kernel changed his life, teaching him leadership, management and responsibility.

"I know how hard those kids work. This is a way to say thanks," he said.

Guthrie will be paying the Kernel editor's tuition — roughly $8,000 to $10,000 each year. Upon his death, a $250,000 endowment will continue to cover editors' tuition, said Chris Poore, the Kernel's adviser.

"Jack has always cared deeply about the Kernel, and now, I think he's making an effort to ensure that the Kernel thrives in perpetuity. It's an amazing gift for both the Kernel and UK," Poore said.

"Just being chosen as editor for the next year is just a huge honor," Clemons said. Getting a scholarship like this is just amazing."

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