Zielke returns in new role

Lindsey Reed

When Larry Zielke was a student at Western, he represented the student body. Thirty-five years later, Zielke has returned to the Hill in another leadership role.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher appointed Zielke and Bowling Green businesswoman Judi Hughes to Western’s Board of Regents replacing Ron Sheffer and Jim Tennill.

“I know how important leadership is to a university,” said Zielke, who becomes the first former student body president to serve as a regent.

The 1970 Western graduate went on to be a 1974 graduate of the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.

“He’s a smart individual, a good attorney and very respected across the state,” President Gary Ransdell said.

Zielke is the senior partner of Pedley, Zielke, Gordiner, and Pence Law Firm and a former city law director in Louisville.

Regents chair Cornelius Martin said Zielke and Hughes will bring new energy and dynamics to the board.

Zielke served as student body president before students served on the board, Ransdell said.

Western currently has about 8,000 more students than when he attended, Zielke said.

As a ROTC colonel at Western, Zielke also demonstrated against the Vietnam War outside the Wetherby Administration Building, he said.

“Student activism was at an all-time high,” he said.

Zielke said he plans to focus on more than just the administration as a regent because students and faculty are the “heart of Western.”

Zielke praised Western’s ability to attract quality faculty.

“I think Western is getting the cream of the crop,” he said.

In the midst of tuition increases, Zielke said he would like to see students provided with a quality education for a reasonable price.

Reach Lindsey Reed at [email protected]