The Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award is named for a long-time UK administrator who has spent the better part of his life in service to UK students.
A recipient for this award must be an alumna or alumnus who is a member of the UK Alumni Association, who is 35 years of age or younger at the time of nomination and who has worked on behalf of young people through the university, the association, their alumni club or in the local community in the following capacities:
- Raising funds for scholarships and/or awarding scholarships for students to attend UK
- Working with local high school students through club-sponsored event and/or Preview Nights, to interest students in attending UK
- Working to educate youth in the local community, whether through tutoring, coaching, or other means to keep them interested in learning
- Assisting in efforts to support the student alumni association through mentoring or other means.
This year’s Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award winners is Blake Willoughby.
Blake Willoughby resides in Brandenburg, Kentucky, and received bachelor’s degrees in accounting in 2011 and in economics in 2012 and an MBA in 2012. He is the chairman and president of First Breckinridge Bancshares Inc., which owns and operates seven community banks in central and western Kentucky. He serves on the boards of directors of Brandenburg Communications Corporation, the Breckinridge Health System Foundation, Volunteers of America Mid-States, and the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He also serves on the Golden Matrix Fund Advisory Council and the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics Emerging Leaders Board. As a student at UK, Willoughby was a Singletary Scholar, Gatton Ambassador and member of the University Appeals Board. He served as President of the Lambda Lambda Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, corporate relations chairman of DanceBlue and as a Supreme Court Justice for the Student Government Association. He is married to UK graduate Leslie Allen Willoughby ’12 and they have two sons, Herbert and Hamilton.
To learn more about the award and see a list of previous recipients, click here.