The JKru legacy lives on at the Kernel, three years after Jonathan Krueger’s death


Kentucky Kernel Photo Editor Jonathan Krueger at Rupp Arena as Kentucky hosted Vanderbilt University, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 in Lexington. Photo by Jonathan Palmer

Arden Barnes

For those of us who didn’t personally know Jonathan Krueger, we learned about his legacy through JKru stickers, a memorialized Red Bull on the photo desk and a cracked ceiling tile.

We were told about his perseverance and his acceptance, his love-life attitude and his ability to make a group of very different college students into a family.

It’s obvious to me as the current photo editor that he is still very much present in the Kernel newsroom.

Reading back through former Kernel editor-in-chief Marjorie Kirk’s thank yous for Jonathan Krueger, I couldn’t help but smile at the similarities between Jonathan’s newsroom and mine.

Where Kirk reflected on throwing a frisbee with Jonathan in the office, we have moved on to battling over a stress ball with brooms. 

We continue to stand over each other shoulders and “help” each other write and edit like Jonathan used to.

We’ve for sure accidentally hit our news editor with flying objects (sorry, Rick).

Most importantly, we’ve all found a family in this Kernel staff, and I’d like to think Jonathan would approve of our shenanigans.

The Enoch Grehan Journalism building is going to be renovated, meaning the Kernel office is going to be moved. But where we go, Jonathan is going to go, too– and we’ve already made plans to keep the ceiling tile.

Jonathan’s legacy is not only his own, but also the Kernel’s. He has, and will continue to, shape the personality of the newsroom, and the Kernel is forever changed for the better by his memory.

Jonathan, we didn’t get to know you and for that we truly missed out.

We will do our best to continue to be as open to others as you were and will most likely break something before our time is up at the Kernel as well. Beyond that, your legacy will continue each time the new photo editor asks the significance of the Red Bull that sits on his or her desk.

Rest easy, JKru.