College of Health Sciences Alumni

40th Anniversary Gala

The University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences celebrated 40 years of excellence in allied health education with a series of events in April that included a reception hosted by Dean Lori Gonzalez and the Gala, a night of recognition, dinner and dancing. The weekend's festivities concluded with a brunch and college tour. It was the first event of its type in the history of the college and was designed to bring together alumni, donors and friends of the college.

The 40th Anniversary Gala, sponsored by 36 health care organizations, had 500 people in attendance. Dean Gonzalez traced the history and growth of the college which included the move into the new, state-of-the-art Charles T. Wethington Building in 2002. For the first time since the inception of the college, all nine disciplines are housed under one roof.

University President Lee T. Todd, Jr. was the featured speaker of the evening.

"We often talk about the impact we have on Kentucky but you are the ones on the front lines – improving lives of the young and old across the Commonwealth," he said. "On behalf of the entire university, I thank you for your continued dedication to making Kentucky a better place to live.

Dean's Message about 40-year Celebration

We are celebrating 40 wonderful years in the College of Health Sciences! The College of Health Sciences started out as the College of Allied Health Professions in 1966. We were the first of our kind in Kentucky and one of only 12 in the nation. Dr. Joseph Hamburg assumed the deanship with three bachelor’s degree programs, including medical technology, community health and physical therapy.

Dean Lori Gonzalez leads the Gala in celebrating the college's history and future.

A snapshot taken twenty years later, in 1986, showed a college that was housed in several makeshift facilities and offered two master’s degree programs, five bachelor’s degree programs, and one certificate program. Dr. Thomas Robinson had assumed the deanship in 1984. Over the next 20 years, new programs were added, programs were expanded to include master’s and doctoral programs and in 2002 the college moved into a wonderful new building.

When I assumed the deanship in 2005, the College looked very different from the college of 1966. Today, all our programs are housed under one roof. We now have nine disciplines, with programs ranging from bachelor’s to doctoral level. Our students work in clinics, laboratories and classrooms as they prepare to positively impact health care through clinical practice, research, and teaching.

Where do we go from here? We have accomplished so much over the last four decades, but we have so much more to do. We are well on our way to ensuring our position as a nationally recognized college of health sciences. As we move forward, our first priority is to maintain the quality of our educational programs. We aim to be nationally recognized for educating front-line entry-level practitioners, as well as preparing the academic leaders of tomorrow. We do this by recruiting the highest quality students, hiring excellent faculty, growing programs, and constantly evaluating our programs.

We are also reaching for national prominence in the area of research and have recently set a college record for grant dollars received. In 2004-2005, the researchers in the college secured $842,921 in external funding. This year, that number has reached more than $2.5 million. What is most exciting is that most of the external funding comes from the National Institutes of Health, and this funding will allow us to move forward very quickly in the national rankings.

Finally, the College will continue to engage our alumni, voluntary faculty, and friends in activities that enhance the allied health professions. These individuals can provide the feedback and assistance needed to improve the quality of our academic programs, can engage in clinical research with our faculty, and can help advocate for the disciplines in the college. Their efforts will allow us to more positively impact the lives of Kentuckians and to improve health care for all.

Thank you for sharing this celebration with the faculty, staff and students of the College of Health Sciences. We look forward to many more years of serving the Commonwealth through education, research, and service.

Dr. Lori Stewart Gonzalez,
Dean College of Health Sciences

University President Lee T. Todd, Jr., the featured speaker of the 40th Gala, said it well about our alumni:

"We often talk about the impact we have on Kentucky but you are the ones on the front lines – improving lives of the young and old across the Commonwealth," he said. "On behalf of the entire university, I thank you for your continued dedication to making Kentucky and beyond a better place to live.”