Jonathan Krueger memorial scholarship awarded to Kernel freshman


Jack Weaver, a freshman and business major, was awarded the Jonathan Krueger Memorial Scholarship, given to student photographers at the Kernel. Photo provided by Weaver.

Lauren Campbell

Jack Weaver spends the time he is not in class telling stories around campus as a Kernel photographer. If an event is happening on campus, Weaver is likely there, camera in hand.

Weaver is the recipient of this year’s Jonathan Krueger Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship created to honor the life of Jonathan Kruger, a UK student and Kernel photo editor who was shot and killed in April of 2015.

Since Krueger’s death, his memory and love for the Kernel has been honored through the Jonathan Krueger Memorial Scholarship, a fund that gives money to new and upcoming Kernel photographers. The scholarship was created by Kernel Press Inc., and most of the funds come from a GoFundMe account created by former Kernel photographer Jonathan Palmer and his wife, Danielle. The GoFundMe’s original goal was $10,000 and to date it has received over triple that amount.

Jonathan’s mother Mary Krueger said she is thankful for Palmer and the Kernel scholarship.

“The scholarship in his honor, thanks to Jonathan Palmer and others, has been a real gift to all of us. He received his first camera on his fifth birthday and never looked back. He was excited to be part of the Kernel staff and I think, even to his surprise, found himself involved in so many aspects of campus life and Lexington that most college students never even know about let alone witness,” Mary said.

Weaver, the latest Kernel staffer to receive the scholarship, is a current freshman studying business management. He says he is thankful to receive this scholarship and that he sees a lot of himself in Krueger.

“Before applying for this scholarship, I wanted to learn more about Jonathan Krueger’s story. I came to find out his story wasn’t too far off from my own. It is an honor receiving this scholarship in his memory and I hope it allows me to continue the work he, unfortunately, didn’t have the opportunity to,” Weaver said.

Weaver’s passion for photography and telling stories began at his high school newspaper in Wildwood, Missouri, and he is excited to continue his photography as a college student at the Kernel.

“I began photography during my time in high school working for my high school newspaper. When our only photographer graduated my sophomore year, I taught myself photography using YouTube over the summer. By the time I graduated, I really enjoyed photography and didn’t want to give it up, so I was very excited to continue telling stories for the Kernel,” Weaver said.

Mary an avid Kernel reader, has been following Weaver’s work and was excited he was the chosen recipient.

“I have had a chance to follow Jack’s work. I am pleased he is this year’s recipient and am excited that I will have a chance to continue to follow him and his work as a photographer over the next several years,” Mary said.

The scholarship is worth $1,000 each semester, and Weaver plans on using the funds to purchase new camera equipment and help pay tuition.

“Being able to purchase new camera equipment using these scholarship funds will certainly present new opportunities for me as a photographer, but receiving this scholarship also motivates me to continue telling stories for the Kernel,” Weaver said.

Mary hopes to travel to Lexington and looks forward to meeting Weaver.

“I do hope to get to Lexington and look forward to meeting Jack and otherwise just spending time in a city and on a campus that Jonathan embraced and loved,” Mary said.

This is the sixth year the scholarship has been awarded to a Kernelite; previous winners have gone on to win state and national awards for their work, and all, like Krueger, contributed to the warm and close-knit network of Kernel photographers.