Todd to deliver his final address

By Becca Clemons

UK President Lee Todd will deliver his last State of the University Address Thursday at Patterson Office Tower Plaza. Todd unexpectedly announced his plans for retirement last week.

Events begin at 11 a.m., when members of the UK community can enjoy a free lunch and browse informational exhibits set up by student organizations, Todd said in a campus wide e-mail Wednesday. Todd and SG President Ryan Smith will deliver the addresses starting at 11:30 a.m., with Smith speaking first on behalf of the student government and Todd’s speech following.

Todd said he will reflect on UK’s successes over the past year in a changing economy and discuss goals for the university’s future.

According to a UK press release, Emmy-award winning NBC sports broadcaster and UK alumnus Tom Hammond will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.

The release said a large part of the address will focus on innovation across campus in a challenging economy.

“Innovation is bubbling up from every corner of our campus,” Todd said. “Our students, faculty and staff continue to stare adversity in the face and, instead of whining, they are trying to find creative solutions to help us through these tough times.”

Todd will recognize UK faculty, staff, students and alumni that display excellence and innovation, including Oscar-winning motion picture sound editor and 1971 UK graduate Henry “Bub” Asman, and UK track and field competitor Rondel Sorrillo and coach Don Weber, the release said.

Todd will also discuss excellence among university programs such as UK’s Campus Dining Services, the P20 Innovation Lab run by the College of Education and UK HealthCare’s Chandler Hospital Emergency Department, recognized worldwide as being one of the most technologically advanced facilities of its kind.

The release reported that a record level of money is being spent on research at UK—almost $370 million—and that the current freshman class has a record retention rate of 81.8 percent, even as enrollment increases each year.

A Sept. 15 Kernel article also reported that this year’s freshman class is the most academically prepared to date in terms of ACT scores and high school GPAs.

UK’s official news website, UKNow, will stream the address live on its website,  and will post live tweets from the university’s official Twitter account, (@universityofky.)

In the case of inclement weather, activities will take place under the covered end of the White Hall Classroom Building, the press release said.