Mission & History
The UK Alumni Association fosters lifelong engagement among alumni, friends and the association and supports the mission and goals of the university.
The UK Alumni Association will be an essential, relevant and valuable resource to alumni, friends and the university.
The University of Kentucky Alumni Association traces its history to 1889, when Joseph H. "Little Joe" Kastle, a graduate of UK and a nationally-known chemist, returned to his alma mater as professor of chemistry. He persuaded a few of his fellow faculty members/UK graduates to establish an alumni club, organizing the first group of alumni with the purpose of joining together in support of the university in association together.
First Alumni Structure
The residence on Coldstream Farm on Newtown Road was converted into an alumni/faculty club and named the Carnahan House for James W. Carnahan, a prominent alumnus and benefactor of the university who paid for much of the remodeling. Seven years later, UK acquired Spindletop Hall, a grand mansion located on Iron Works Pike, and it replaced the Carnahan House as an alumni gathering point. The Helen G. King Alumni House, on the corner of Rose Street and Euclid Avenue, opened its doors in 1963.
Helen G. King
Helen G. King, the first permanent director of the UK Alumni Association and a native of Lexington, was "Miss University of Kentucky" to thousands of alumni. One alumnus said, "She was the grandest lady I ever knew."
A 1925 graduate of the UK School of Journalism, King went to work for the university a few years after graduation. She stayed for 40 years. She died in Lexington Feb. 19, 1985, at the age of 80.
Raymond L. Kirk. 1920s
James S. Shropshire, 1930-1940
Margie McLaughlin, 1940-1946
Helen King, 1946-1969
E. Jay Brumfield, 1969-1990
Bob Whitaker, 1990-1998
Stan Key, 1998-Present