Whitlock Presidential Portrait Unveiled

unveiling photo

The framed portrait of Eastern Kentucky University's 11th president, Doug Whitlock, was unveiled on Tuesday, Aug. 12, before a large crowd of appreciative faculty, staff, retirees, alumni and friends.


Whitlock, whose presidency from 2007 until 2013 capped an administrative career at EKU that spanned 45 years, called the unveiling ceremony in the Keen Johnson Building "a very humbling experience for me" and credited three of his presidential predecessors at Eastern for their example and valuable life lessons.


From Robert R. Martin, Whitlock said he learned that "contentment and satisfaction aren't the same thing." From J.C. Powell, he learned the value of "persistent patience." And from Hanly Funderburk, he learned the importance of staying focused on mission.


"I would like to be remembered as the guy who answered the call when the University needed me," Whitlock said, "and left it, I hope, better than I found it."


Others weren't so reticent in describing Whitlock's legacy.


Craig Turner, chair of the EKU Board of Regents, said Whitlock personifies Colonel Pride. "Doug always made the right decision for Eastern regardless of the impact to him," Turner said, adding that the unveiling was a "perfect ending to a great story."


Whitlock's successor, current EKU President Michael Benson, said Whitlock's "impact on the University is felt by all of us."


Benson also thanked his predecessor for his support. "From the first day we arrived, we have enjoyed a friendship with Doug and (wife) Joanne," Benson said, "and I'm honored to occupy the office that he so ably occupied."


Provost Janna Vice and James Street, former Vice President for Administration, also spoke at the ceremony.


At the conclusion of Whitlock's remarks, his grandchildren, Kayla and Stacey, pushed the button to drop the curtain that covered the portrait. Then the Whitlock family, which also included Joanne and the Whitlocks' daughter, Janet, posed for photographs.


But the subject of the portrait did note what he called "one flaw.

"It sort of looks like me," Whitlock said.

Published on August 12, 2014

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