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Cynthia Nichols appointed to WKU Board of Regents

Cynthia Nichols appointed to WKU Board of Regents
Photo provided by WKU.

Cynthia “CJ” Nichols was appointed to the WKU Board of Regents by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear on Thursday.

She replaces regent George Nichols III, her husband, whose term ended at the end of June. She will serve through July 9, 2029

Nichols, from Haverford, Pennsylvania, graduated from WKU in 1982 and worked as an accountant in Shelbyville, Kentucky, before retirement.


At WKU, Nichols has regularly provided support for the Intercultural Student Engagement Center and started the Dr. Martha Sales and Munday scholarship funds.

Nichols expressed her excitement for the position and for serving the university.

“I’m looking forward to serving with a distinguished group of regents who are dedicated to this great university and contributing where I can on the important decisions that the board has to make to benefit our students, faculty & staff,” she stated via email.

Nichols stated that she loves the students and believes she can let them know that she has “been where they are,” especially first generation students and students of color.

“I am a living example that with hard work and determination you can succeed,” Nichols stated. “I never dreamed after 40+ years that my life experiences and education would lead me right back to such a role at the school that helped me grow and learn.”

WKU President Timothy Caboni said in a press release that he is excited Nichols was appointed to the Board.

 “I am delighted that Governor Beshear has appointed CJ to the WKU Board of Regents,” Caboni said. “She is an advocate for access to higher education and is dedicated to supporting the educational goals of students and ensuring the success of every Hilltopper. She is truly an asset to Western Kentucky University.”

Carrigan Watson, a junior architectural science major and ISEC student worker, said Nichols’ perspective as a person of color is essential to the Board of Regents and that he is happy she was appointed.

“Having a person of color in a very big organization shows that we can be whatever we want,” Watson said. “We can be appointed to power, it doesn’t matter what our background is, whether it be ethnicity, culture, racial background. We belong wherever we feel comfortable and we also can have a positive role model within a place of power.”

Editor-in-chief Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected].

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