UK renaissance man Joseph T. Burch remembered at memorial service



By Miles South

A memorial service for the recently deceased Joseph T. Burch was held at Worsham Theater on Aug. 17.

Burch died April 4 of cancer. He was 72.

During the service, stories were shared and those who knew him relived their fondest memories.

“It felt like a family reunion,” said Robert Mock, vice president of student affairs.

He was an integral part of the UK, from his tenure as an undergraduate in the early 1960s to his retirement in 2001.

“Joe served the university with distinction for four decades,” Andrew Oppmann, former editor of the Kernel, said.

Burch held numerous positions, including dean of students, athletic director, and director of police and campus safety.

One of the most notable accomplishments from his many years at UK was the construction of W. T. Young Library. He was head of the campaign to accumulate funds for the project.

In 2009, UK established the Joseph T. Burch Society in his honor. The group is responsible for encouraging donations that are used to assist students who are struggling financially.

In addition, the university established the Joseph T. Burch Alumni Award. It is given annually to recent alumni who are making significant contributions to the Alumni Association.