Alpha Kappa Alpha alumna talks lasting friendships from UK experience

Lexington Souers

As a founding member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kim Burse knows a lot about the lasting friendships UK offers.

Burse graduated with a degree in accounting in 1976, and returned to UK as a graduate student to receive her MBA in 1985.

Her first job after graduation was for the Arthur Young and Co. firm, where she was one of the few women to be “breaking into a man’s world.” Burse said that UK prepared her for a successful career.

“I knew I could do the accounting work,” Burse said.

Burse also worked with a student group within the Chester Grundy Office of Institutional Diversity, and a group that brought concerts and other events to campus.

But it was her mother’s sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and the chartering of an undergraduate chapter that Burse calls on as creating the lasting memories.

Burse joined the Lexington chapter of the historically black sorority but worked with other college women to recruit and form a city-wide undergraduate chapter. Students from both Transylvania and UK participated in chapter activities.

Burse said that she still keeps in touch with her sisters and that her relationships in college focused on having fun while also remaining dedicated to schoolwork.

“I think UK has come a long way,” Burse said about minority enrollment but said that the biggest change at UK has been the change in campus facilities.

Burse said that UK recognized the need to expand in order to be competitive with other schools, commending UK President Eli Capilouto for his building projects.  

Burse offered advice to minority students, by reminding them that their education is the reason they chose to attend UK.

“Focus on who you are and why you came to UK,” Burse said. “Don’t forget who you are and where you came from. Make strong relationships and lasting memories, and go out to serve the world.”