Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Funeral Services Held for Former UK President Otis A. Singletary

listening to: 'Remedy' by Jason Mraz
feeling: Beyond Sleepy

One last thing. Promise. Funeral Services Held for Former UK President Otis A. Singletary

Dr Singletary was president when I started school. Yeah. I know. I'm still working on a degree. If I finish that one last year and get my PhD, I'll actually have been at UK about as long as he was--and he was president for 18 years!

He made it into our school history for a lot of things, but I remember him as being tough in the winter. See, the rule was that if Dr Singletary could walk from his home, Maxwell Place, to the library (which at that time was M.I. King, which was right behind his house) in the snow, we wouldn't get our classes cancelled. In the entire time he was president, they cancelled them once, in the winter of 1978-79, with the entire region shut down. For those of us who were walking 30 minutes in 65 below wind chill in 1985, this was not a popular decision. But I still have a soft spot for him. He steered the university through some of its toughest years--kids running through the streets of Lexington and burning the ROTC building, switching from a primarily agricultural and engineering college to a selective flagship of the Commonwealth's higher education system, that sort of thing.

His signature is on my BA diploma. Nice to have a historian sign a history degree. So I have memento. And of course, whenever we attend community and university performances at Singletary Centre for the Arts, we can't forget his support.

A quote: 'I sometimes feel I’m involved in a conspiracy here to build a better university than Kentuckians are willing to pay for'--that's for sure.

Requiescat in pace.

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