Every two years, University of Kentucky graduates have an opportunity to nominate an alumni representative to the UK Board of Trustees by casting a vote. The three candidates with the most votes are presented to the governor of Kentucky. Gov. Andy Beshear recently appointed Brenda Baker Gosney to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees as an Alumni Trustee. Gosney’s term began July 1, 2022, and runs through June 30, 2028. She replaces Michael A. Christian whose term expired June 30, 2022. Gosney joins two other Alumni Trustees: Rachel Watts Webb, whose term expires in 2024, and Paula Leach Pope, whose term expires in 2026.
Brenda Baker Gosney lives in Campbell County, Kentucky, and received a Bachelor of Health Science degree in physical therapy in 1970 and a Master of Science in Education degree in higher and adult education in 1975, both from the University of Kentucky. She spent her professional career in health care in Kentucky and Ohio retiring as chief executive officer of HealthSouth Northern Kentucky Rehabilitation Hospital, now Encompass Health. Early in her career, Gosney was on the faculty at UK in the College of Health Sciences Physical Therapy Program. She has been on the board of directors of the UK Alumni Association for 18 years and served as president for the 2013-2014 term. She is chairwoman of the Alumni Center Committee.
Gosney was appointed to the search committee which assisted in the selection of the associate vice president for alumni engagement and executive director of the UK Alumni Association. Active in professional organizations, she was a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association (KPTA) serving as president of KPTA and chief delegate to APTA. Gosney was appointed to the board of directors of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the executive committee. She is a past president of the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati UK Alumni Club and is on the advisory council of the board of directors. She is a 2010 recipient of the UK Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. Gosney is a member of Women and Philanthropy, Wildcat Society, a McVey Fellow, and is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association.
Paula Leach Pope earned her bachelor’s in education and master’s in higher education from the UK College of Education. She was a teacher in the Fayette County Public Schools and served as an assistant to Lexington’s mayor and assistant director of the Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce before joining her alma mater as a fundraiser in 1983.
Ms. Pope worked first for UK Libraries, where she played an integral role in the William T. Young Library fundraising campaign, as well as co-chairing the University’s United Way campaign. Ms. Pope then moved to the Office of Philanthropy in 2000 where she oversaw the UK Fellows Society, the campaign to restore the historic Main Building; UK Women and Philanthropy; and co-chaired the University’s 2015 Sesquicentennial Celebration. Ms. Pope retired from UK in 2018.
A Life Member of the UK Alumni Association, Ms. Pope has been very active at all levels of the organization. She was a 1999 recipient of the association’s Distinguished Service Award and served as its national president in 2008-2009. She also has held leadership positions in numerous Lexington civic and charitable organizations.
Rachel Watts Webb from Shelbyville, Kentucky, received a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communication from the University of Kentucky in 2005. Before graduating with a 4.0 GPA, she served two terms as Student Government President and two years on the UK Board of Trustees. Webb chaired the Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents, and was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Campus Crusade for Christ, Panhellenic Council, Emerging Leaders Institute, 2004 Homecoming Court, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Beta Kappa. She received the 2005 College of Communication and Information Dean’s Award.
After graduation, she became the UK Government Relations coordinator, working with the State Legislature in Frankfort, as well as organizing grassroots alumni advocacy efforts throughout the Commonwealth.
She has remained committed to nonprofit organizations throughout her career, providing outreach for the Children’s Hospital Foundation, as well as working as Executive Director of the Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons. Webb has served eight years on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors, including the following committees: Executive, Finance (Vice Chairwoman), Membership (Chairwoman), Communications (Vice Chairwoman), Nominating for Board and Club Development (Chairwoman). She was also a founding member of the UK Young Alumni Council.
In 2014, she received the Joseph T. Burch Young Alumni Award. Her husband Lee Webb ’98 received the same award in 2010, making them the first couple to share the honor. In addition to running a commercial real estate company, Alton Webb & Associates, they are raising three children: Walker, Warren, and Wells. She co-hosts a weekly podcast on motherhood that made the top 25 of the iTunes podcast rankings. She is an alumna of Leadership Shelby, Chairwoman of Painted Stone Elementary FRYSC Council, and she teaches third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders on Sunday mornings at Christ Community Church.