Abney Re-Elected Chair of Board of Regents
The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents unanimously re-elected Gary Abney, of Richmond, to a second term as chair at its regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 26.
Abney, who has chaired the Board for the past year, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from EKU in 1970. He is the latest in a long line of highly successful Eastern grads to return to chair the Board of Regents at their alma mater, succeeding J.T. Gilbert, Fred Rice and, most recently, Hunter Bates.
A former bank executive and now a Realtor, Abney has long been active in community affairs and in the life of the University. For the latter, he has served as president of the Alumni Association and the Colonel Club and as chair of the Arlington Association. He was named to the University’s Board of Regents in 1999.
“Gary Abney represents what I often call the ‘Essential Eastern’ as he embodies an alumnus who has taken his EKU education and experiences to become the successful businessman and civic leader he is today,” said EKU President Doug Whitlock. “Through his continued leadership as Board chair, Gary will help us accomplish our primary goals of student success, regional stewardship, and preparing students to become critical and creative thinkers who communicate effectively.
“I look forward to continuing to work with him this year.”
In a recent issue of Eastern magazine, the University’s alumni publication, Abney was described as calm, positive, courteous and conscientious, a “gifted leader with a true heart” for Eastern. Abney is “a people person (who) knows and likes everybody,” said Faculty Regent Dr. Malcolm Frisbie.
Abney’s family roots run deep at EKU. The son of Ralph Abney and Eastern graduate Marie Anderson Abney, Gary Abney graduated from Model Laboratory School on campus before entering Eastern. His daughter, Susan Abney Creamer, is a third generation graduate of Model. Son Brian is a 2001 EKU graduate. By Abney’s side is his life partner, local ophthalmologist Dr. Adrienne Millett.
His brother, Bill, is a retired College of Justice & Safety faculty member at EKU.