Kernel alumnus creates scholarship for future editors-in-chief

Future Kernel editors-in-chief will receive a scholarship the equivalent of a full-tuition for serving as editor.

Jack Guthrie, of Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations, was Kernel editor 50 years ago and is providing the scholarship. He said he hopes the scholarship will prevent future editors from having to worry about finances.

“Even though it’s been that long, my years at the Kernel are extremely important to me,” he said. “I want to see other people have that experience and not have financial stress that comes with it.”

He said the scholarship will also help future editors not have to work jobs other than the Kernel.

“As a past editor, I understand how much work goes into (the Kernel),” he said, “and I understand the financial restraints students have.”

Guthrie said the benefits of being editor are not always easy for someone who has not stood in the editor’s shoes to see.

“You give up a lot to be editor, but yet the rewards you receive can be recognized by no one but yourself,” he said.

This scholarship will be a more visible reward for editors’ work, Guthrie said. It will also provide an incentive for more students to apply for the position.

Becca Clemons, next year’s editor-in-chief, will be the first to receive the award.

“Being chosen as the next Kernel editor was enough of an honor, but receiving this scholarship makes being chosen even more special,” Clemons said.

Chris Poore, the Kernel’s adviser, said this is an incredible gift to the Kernel and the university community.

“Jack cared deeply about the Kernel when he was here, and I don’t think that feeling’s changed,” Poore said. “I think this proves his feeling has grown over 50 years.”

The scholarship is named for Lewis Donohew, Guthrie’s adviser at the Kernel, and J.A. McCauley, one of Guthrie’s journalism professors.

Donohew said he was “very much honored” that Guthrie had chosen to name the scholarship partly after him.

Guthrie was a hard-driving editor, Donohew said, who wrote “thundering editorials” calling for the integration of the college athletics for the Southeastern Conference.

Donohew said Guthrie managed a talented staff of writers, including a future Courier-Journal editor, an economics editor for the Chicago Tribune and a CBS producer.

“That was a glorious experience for me being adviser of the Kernel and working with that group,” Donohew said.

Though the future of print journalism is in question, Guthrie said this scholarship will go to the editor no matter the medium the Kernel publishes.

“As long as there’s a Kentucky Kernel, I want that editor to be rewarded for his or her outstanding work,” he said.

If the day should come when there is no longer a Kernel, Guthrie said the money will go to the UK Alumni Association to be awarded to a student from Jefferson County. Guthrie previously served as president of the national alumni association.

Upon Guthrie’s death, a $250,000 endowment will continue to pay for future editors’ tuition.

Guthrie said the scholarship allows him to give back to UK and to the Kernel.

“(It’s) my way of saying thanks to the university — thanks to the students who are still giving of their time and talent to produce an outstanding publication,” he said.