A wall of plaques featuring the faces of distinguished alumni is located in the lobby of Garrett Center. As students pass by, they may be oblivious to the fact that Western has recently lost one of those faces.
Frank O. Moxley, the first black student to receive a master’s degree from Western, died Aug. 6 in a Bowling Green nursing home at the age of 96.
Moxley had a stroke and was admitted into the nursing home a few months before his death.
Howard Bailey, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of student life, said he visited Moxley regularly at the nursing home.
“After he had a stroke last winter, it was pretty obvious he was not going to do any further recovering,” Bailey said. “It was sad to see a giant of a man in such a feeble state.”
Moxley graduated with a master’s degree in guidance and psychology in 1958. He became the first guidance counselor in Kentucky and was also a teacher and a coach, according to Western’s alumni Web site.
Moxley later earned a doctorate in psychology from East Coast University/National University in Florida.
He was inducted into Western’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1998.
Moxley started the first Negro Athletic League in Kentucky and the Southern Negro Athletic Conference. He also helped form the Cumberland Trace Legal Services, according to the alumni Web site.
Moxley served on the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, said Donald Smith, assistant vice president for alumni relations.
While members of Western’s faculty and staff remember Moxley’s accolades, it was his personality that they remember most.
“He was a highly intelligent person, caring, giving; he was a leader,” Bailey said.
Smith said Moxley was humble and outgoing.
“If you could pick a person to embody the spirit of Western it would be Dr. Moxley,” he said.
Moxley never forgot about Western.
“He always had an active interest in what Western was doing and monitoring our efforts to recruit, maintain and mentor our African-American students,” Smith said.
Zacharias Hall Director Adrien DeLoach wants Moxley to be remembered. DeLoach said he believes the Bowling Green and Western community owes a lot to Moxley.
DeLoach is currently trying to create a scholarship in Moxley’s name.
“Someone like that, you kind of want them to be around forever,” he said.
Reach Kelly Richardson at [email protected]