Hall of Distinguished Alumni

Three alumni will be inducted into Western’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow during a luncheon at the Sloan Convention Center.

John Oldham

John Oldham, a former men’s basketball coach, took the reins from the legendary E.A. Diddle in 1964. During his seven-year tenure, the Hilltoppers won 78 percent of their games, including four Ohio Valley Conference Championships and four NCAA tournament appearances. The men’s team, under Oldham’s direction, played in the Final Four in 1971.

He started at Western as a student in 1942. He left to serve in World War II, but returned and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1949.

Oldham played two seasons in the NBA for the Fort Wayne Pistons, now in Detroit. He went into coaching in 1952.

He also served as Western’s athletics director from 1971 to 1986.

Gordon Wilson Sr.

Gordon Wilson Sr. was the English Department head for 32 years – but also adds teacher, folklorist, author, and newspaper columnist to his list of activities.

Wilson wrote a weekly column called “Tid Bits of Kentucky Folklore,” which appeared in about 100 newspapers across the state.

He became a faculty member at Western Kentucky Normal school in 1912. He was English Department head from 1928 to his retirement in 1959.

Wilson died in 1970, a year after the university named its former library building Gordon Wilson Hall.

L.Y. Lancaster

L.Y. Lancaster, born in 1893, founded Western’s pre-med program, directing it for about 30 years.

He also founded Western’s Biology Club and Beta Beta Beta, a national honor biology fraternity.

In 1969, the Academic Complex health science area was name The L.Y. Lancaster Clinic. The L.Y. Lancaster Memorial Lectureship Society, which presents an annual lecture, was created in 1980.

Lancaster died in 1980.