Three new members to join WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni

Photo courtesy of WKU News.

John Reecer

The WKU Alumni Association has named Bill “Doc E” Edwards, class of 1974 and 1976; the Honorable Tom Emberton, Sr., class of 1958; and the late Dr. Chester C. Travelstead, class of 1933 as the newest members to the WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni. 

The 25th class of distinguished alumni will be recognized during a luncheon at 11 a.m. Oct. 21 at Sloan Convention Center. The new members will be inducted during WKU’s 2016 Homecoming celebration.

“A beloved WKU athletic trainer and mentor, a retired Chief Judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and a nationally recognized educator will join WKU’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni this fall,” said Marc Archambault, vice president of development and alumni relations in a statement.


“The WKU Alumni Association established the Hall of Distinguished Alumni, known by many colloquially as HODA, to confer upon its alumni the highest recognition,” Archambault said. “This award is intended to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of alumni who have made significant contributions to their field of endeavor.”

Edwards was named head athletic trainer at WKU in 1983 after six years of service as an assistant athletic trainer. He was named an associate athletic director-director of athletic training and sports medicine in 2009.

Emberton is a retired Chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He also was nominated as the Republican candidate for Governor of Kentucky in 1971.

Emberton also is a former member of the WKU Board of Regents, a past-president of the WKU Alumni Association, and recently retired from the College Heights Foundation Board of Directors after 22 years of service. 

Travelstead was a nationally recognized educator. He was the Dean of the School of Education at the University of South Carolina in 1953, Dean of the University of New Mexico’s College of Education in 1956 and UNM’s first Provost and retired as Provost Emeritus in 1977.

Travelstead passed away in 2006.

Nominations for the WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni are made annually through forms made available through the WKU Office of Alumni Relations, according to the Hall’s policies and procedures.

A screening committee then selects the top 10 nominees to be submitted to the Alumni Board through a plurality vote. The screening committee consists of nine members: two WKU staff members, two WKU Faculty members and five alumni representatives, at least one of which is a former board member

All three members of the class must have a majority vote of those present and voting from the board to be inducted

“They met all the criteria, and we had lots of discussion about each of the folks,” said Tracy Morrison, associate director of the Alumni Association. “There were several people on the list. Obviously we had ten to talk about and the whole pool actually had great people in it.”

“We just kept talking it out and there was a lot of lively discussion,” Morrison said. “People tell their personal stories and then we chose the top three.”