President Todd gives his Final Word

by Luke Glaser

UPDATE: The correct time for Dr. Lee Todd’s Final Word lecture is 7 p.m. Tuesday.

President Lee Todd has a few things left to say before he leaves the University of Kentucky.

Todd will participate in the Student Activities Board’s Final Word lecture series, which allows UK faculty and staff to share advice and experience about some of the many facets of life.

Though he has addressed students many times, this will be Todd’s first time speaking at a Final Word event.

“It’s really hard to book Dr. Todd, so we’re very excited,” Katie Hall, vice president of internal affairs for the Student Activities Board and a biology senior, said.

Jill Baranowski, SAB director of engaging issues, is spearheading the event.

“We thought it would be cool to have Dr. Todd come and speak since he just announced his retirement,” Baranowski said. “He is a great speaker and has some really cool things to say.”

While the title of the speech is “Raise your Vision 15 Degrees Higher: Go Forth and Compete,” the content will remain a surprise.

“It’s still developing; top secret,” Douglas Boyd, chief of staff in the President’s Office said. While remaining ambiguous about the speech itself, Boyd said “Dr. Todd is an excellent speaker,” and encouraged all to attend. Baranowski said Todd will cover a plethora of subjects.

“He’ll be talking about how he got here, setting your goals higher, his future plans and plans for the university — basically an assortment of ideas,” Baranowski said.

Baranowski expects many students to attend.

Clay Watson, a communications junior, said he plans to be one of them.

“I’ve been to the Final Word before, and it’s really cool,” Watson said. “You don’t really get to be up close and personal with President Todd. It’ll be cool to see what he’s like and what he has to say.”

Dr. Todd’s Final Word lecture will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Student Center in Center Theater.

According to the Student Activities Board website, the Final Word Series allows UK professors, faculty or community members to lecture about a topic of their choice. Speakers are asked to approach the lecture as if this were their very last. Past lecturers have included Robert Mock, Meg Marquis and UK men’s basketball head coach John Calipari.

“It’s really interesting to hear an outgoing president’s perspective on things,” Baranowski said. “It really is his final word.”