Student group 10 years in the making officially launches


Grehan Associates held its first meeting in January 2017. The student-ran communications firm is seeking clients. 

Emily Baehner

Grehan Associates, a student-run communications firm at UK, has announced its official launch, which has been a decade in the making. 

Drawn to UK in part by a flyer about Grehan Associates she saw on a visit to campus, founder Morgan Haas was eager to join her freshman year. So she was surprised when she found that none of the faculty she spoke to had any knowledge of the organization. Finally, discovering that the agency had been inactive for 10 years, she set her mind to restarting the firm. 

With the help of co-founder Ross Allen and the guidance of several faculty and staff members, Haas has turned her dream into reality. One of those staff members includes Catherine Hayden, the Grehan Associates faculty advisor and the communications director for the College of Communication and Information. 

Grehan Associates was approved as a student organization in Spring 2017, and Haas hosted the first official Grehan Associates meeting as an active firm this past January.

“The purpose of Grehan Associates is to provide exceptional strategic communication services to clients while developing top candidates for future employment by providing students with essential real world experience,” said Haas, a junior majoring in integrated strategic communication.

Real world experience is exactly what the 11 students who are a part of Grehan Associates are gaining. The students are a part of three account teams that work on marketing, public relations, design efforts and reaching out to possible clients.

Allen, a business and organizational communication junior, said the firm is equipped to write press releases, manage social media accounts, create social campaigns and fulfill design needs.

“I am learning skills that I am going to use in my future career. It [Grehan Associates] also helps me make connections with students on campus and professionals in the Lexington area,” said Clare Henning, a junior organizational communication major.

Grehan Associates works with real clients, giving students professional experience that prepares them for their careers post-graduation. Haas said that Grehan Associates foresee non-profit organizations, local businesses, small businesses, other student organizations or other colleges at UK as clients. The firm’s first client, a national social crowdfunding platform called Givebutter, has allowed for just that.

“Having the opportunity to work directly for a nationwide business is not something many students get to do, and it’s really cool to get real-world experience that we can apply later in life in our careers,” said Sabrina Dolan, PR director and business communications junior.

For Haas, having spent the better part of her college career attempting to get Grehan Associates up and running, the official launching of the student organization is a proud accomplishment for her. Looking to the future, a long term goal is to have a space on campus dedicated to Grehan Associates. For now, though, the students involved are happy with the opportunities that the group presents.

“I was looking for a way to get involved on campus and gain some valuable work experience, and Grehan Associates was everything that I was searching for,” said Dolan.