Honors college namesake passes away

Honors college namesake passes away

Drew Toennies, Soccer reporter

Pete Mahurin, a longtime supporter of WKU passed away due to a recent illness, Oct. 27.

The 83-year old was not only the founder but also the organizer for the WKU Foundation Board of Trustees where he served for eight years including four as chair. He was also a member of the Campaign Cabinet where he assisted in both of WKU’s capital campaigns.

“Kacy and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Pete Mahurin,” WKU President Timothy Caboni said. “Pete and his wife Dixie, have been among the most generous and loyal supporters in WKU’s history, and their contributions have provided countless opportunities for our students, faculty and staff. Our thoughts are with Dixie, their daughter, Sarah, and the rest of the Mahurin family.”

Among Mahurin’s generous philanthropic support of WKU was a 2002 gift which created a professorship in Gifted Studies, one of the few endowed faculty positions in that discipline in the U.S. In 2010. The Mahurins donated a gift to facilitate the relocation of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children to WKU. 

In 2011, the Mahurins were honored with WKU’s Philanthropists of the Year. Additionally, the WKU Board of Regents named the Mahurin Honors College in the family’s honor in 2017.

“Pete Mahurin was a dear friend to me and to many at WKU and throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Julia Roberts, Mahurin professor of Gifted Studies and the Carol Martin Gatton Academy for Mathematics and Science in Kentucky said. “I have been honored to be the Mahurin Endowed Professor of Gifted Studies for almost 20 years and to have Pete on our advisory board since it began. He will be sorely missed by so many.”

Craig Cobane, executive director of the Mahurin Honors College and the John and Jacque Jarve Endowed Professor of Honors said that the support of Mahurin was transformative for the Honors experience for scholars.

“To Pete, it was more than just being the namesake of The Mahurin Honors College,” Cobane said. “Pete was an advocate for gifted scholars. He wanted motivated and high-ability scholars to have a place where they can grow academically and socially, much like his daughter, Sarah Jo, did.”

Mahurin served as the director and financial advisor for Baird Private Wealth Management in Bowling Green. As a WKU student, he was a member of the Football and Basketball Cheerleaders and obtained a Bachelors of Science in chemistry in 1961. 

More than 50 years ago, Mahurin joined Hilliard Lyons and served on the Board of HL Financial Services, LLC, Hilliard Lyons’ parent company, prior to the merger with Baird in 2019. He was among Hilliard Lyons’ top wealth advisors every year since 1972 and was the top wealth advisor for nine of those years.

Mahurin’s WKU volunteer work included service on the Center for Gifted Studies Board of Advisors, the WKU Board of Advisors, the Gordon Ford College of Business Advisory Council, the Friends of Women’s Studies Group and the Clinical Education Complex Charter Committee. 

Mahurin was officially recognized for his volunteer work with the WKU Volunteer of the Year for the New Century of Spirit Campaign Cabinet in 2011 and for the WKU Foundation Board in 2001. The family was also recognized as Volunteers of the Year at the Center for Gifted Studies and were awarded with the university’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2003. They are members of the Cupola Society for consecutive giving and the society of 1906 for their legacy support.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mahurin is also survived by June Caroline, his granddaughter.

“Whenever a scholar studies abroad, engages in research, completes a capstone experience/thesis or takes part in the numerous other life-changing experiences in the MHC, they will have Pete (and his wife, Dixie) to thank for it,” Cobane said. “Their support has enabled thousands of gifted scholars to further their personal ascent toward excellence. Pete’s legacy will live on in all MHC scholars: past, present and future.”

Soccer reporter Drew Toennies can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @drew_toennies.