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WKU Young Alumni Council celebrates success stories

The group named its first class of Under 40 at the Top for young alumni.

The WKU Young Alumni Council has launched the “Under 40 at the Top” initiative to honor WKU graduates that have made significant achievements before reaching the age of 40, the Alumni Association announced recently.

The Under 40 at the Top inaugural class includes:

  • Abby Blandford (‘18, ‘20) of Louisville.
  • Telia Butler (‘12) of Bowling Green.
  • Alan Keck (‘07) of Somerset.
  • Elvis Meskovic (‘16, ‘18) of Bowling Green.
  • Justavian Tillman (‘18) of St. Louis, Missouri.
Photos provided by WKU Alumni Association

“It’s an honor to be recognized by my alma mater for making a difference in our community and exemplifying ‘The Spirit Makes the Master’,” Telia Butler, Bowling Green’s downtown development coordinator, said. “As a Bowling Green native who is amazed to watch the city and WKU campus transform over the past few decades, it’s humbling to be just one piece of the puzzle that helps the community grow.”

Since taking on the role of downtown development coordinator in December 2021, Butler has been a pivotal piece in establishing the city’s inaugural Downtown Development Division which is dedicated to investing in the downtown area by helping businesses thrive and engaging the community.

Butler and her team at the city have worked directly with WKU, the WKU Alumni Association, and several other campus departments on several downtown projects, including spearheading the inaugural Duncan Hines Days, reviving the Fountain Square experience for Big Red’s Roar and launching Tops Takeover BG with a downtown night for students.

“I am appreciative and have fond memories of my time at WKU,” Butler said, “and am grateful for the opportunities the university gave me to both engage with the community and further my career path options.”

Under 40 at the Top is part of the Alumni Association’s efforts to engage and recognize young graduates, according to a press release. The program seeks to highlight accomplishments and contributions alumni have made in their professions, communities and for the university.

Nominees for the program must have graduated from WKU and be 40 years old or younger at the time of their nomination, the Alumni Association said.

“We are thrilled to launch Under 40 at the Top and shine a spotlight on the remarkable accomplishments of our young alumni,” Douglas Stratton, president-elect of the WKU Young Alumni Council and chair of the council’s recognition workgroup, said in the press release. “This initiative not only celebrates their individual success but also serves as inspiration for current students and recent graduates as they pursue their own career goals.”

The Young Alumni Council provides opportunities for young alumni to maintain ties to WKU and seeks to provide feedback to the Alumni Association on programming. The Council consists of members who have graduated within the last 10 years.

Criteria that Under 40 at the Top nominees will be evaluated on include professional achievements, leadership roles, community involvement, and contributions to WKU.

More information on all of the honorees can be found at

Nominations for Under 40 at the Top are currently open to the public.

Reporter Cameron Shaw can be reached at [email protected]

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