Role models become pin-ups

Laura Hagan

As part of the Martin Luther King festivities, several Western staff members and other African American men in the community were honored as the city’s “Men of Distinction.”

C.J. Woods, director of Western’s Office of Diversity Programs; Howard Bailey, dean of Student Life; and members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity were among the 24 men chosen for the designation.

The recipients will be featured in a 2003 “Men of Distinction” calendar.

Linda McCray, chairman of the Martin Luther King Planning Committee, said the Housing Authority and Human Rights Commission created the award this year to provide role models for young African American males in the community.

The committee came up with a list of people who were active in the community. Many of the men on the list sent donations of $150 to the committee. Every man who donated was asked if they were interested in being a part of the calendar.

“Basically, they chose themselves in a way,” McCray said.

There are two “Men of Distinction” featured on each page. Underneath each man’s picture is a brief biography and his definition of success.

The men will speak to youth at schools in the area, including the Parker Bennett and L.C. Curry middle schools.

Those in the Western community said they were excited about the project. Woods said he was excited about the recognition.

“It’s a compliment to know your colleagues value your work done here and in the community,” Woods said.

Bailey was also excited to be part of the group.

“It is an honor to be considered. I was more than happy to be involved,” Bailey said.

Bailey said he is looking forward to his upcoming visits to schools in the area.

“I have previously spoken at schools, and it is very rewarding and enjoyable,” Bailey said. “I look forward to it.”

Calendar sales will be used for future celebrations of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The calendars are on sale at the Human Rights Commission for $5 each.

McCray said the calendar will feature Women of Distinction next year. The following year, the calendar will feature both men and women.

“It is a worthy effort, and we want the support of WKU and the community in upcoming years,” Woods said.

Reach Laura Hagan at [email protected]