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News & Notes

Black in Blue

"Black in Blue," a documentary about the integration of the UK football team, directed by A&S alum and Academy Award winning documentarian Paul Wagner, premiered at the Virginia Film Festival this past November and was screened on campus this semester.

"Black in Blue" focuses on the story of the first four African-American players to play for the University of Kentucky. Wagner got the idea for the documentary when fellow UK alum Paul Karem, former quarterback who played for the University during its integration, brought to his attention that the role UK played in integrating the SEC is often glossed over. Wagner and Karem, who serve as the executive producers of the film, wanted to rectify this situation. 

The first African-American football player in the SEC, Nate Northington, signed with the University of Kentucky in December 1965. The second, Greg Page, signed soon after that. However, they had to wait until the 1967 season to play, at which point two other black players had joined the team, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg. Wagner’s documentary tells the stories of these four men and the legacy they left on Southern football culture. 

Wagner earned his bachelor’s degree in English and linguistics, and a master’s degree in communications research design at the University of Kentucky. Learn more about the documentary by visiting


Celebrating Dr. William Nunn Lipscomb, Jr.'s Cenntenial Birthday

This December marks the centennial of the birth of notable UK alumnus and Noble Prize recipient Dr. William Nunn Lipscomb, Jr. Born December 9, 1919, Dr. Lipscomb lived most of his young life in Lexington, KY where he attended the University of Kentucky on a music scholarship and obtained a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1941. Following graduation, he attended Caltech, earning his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1946. From there, he taught at the University of Minnesota until moving to Harvard University to teach in 1959 until his retirement in 1990. Among his numerous achievements and honors, Dr. Lipscomb is most noted for his research on boranes, securing him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1976. The College of Arts & Sciences and the University of Kentucky are proud to be associated with Dr. Lipscomb’s legacy and intend to continue to honor him with a symposium hosted by the Department of Chemistry on October 24, 2019.



UK to Transform Chemistry-Physics Building

The University of Kentucky Chemistry-Physics building is getting a much-needed transformation.

The central campus staple is currently under a two-phase construction project that will result in a renovation of the third floor, as well as a completely new exterior façade of the building, including a three-story entrance/atrium.

The first phase of the transformation, the third floor renovation, will produce 15 wet-bench research labs, plus support spaces, equipment spaces and offices. The second phase will be the new exterior façade, which includes replacement of the building exterior, stair tower, freight elevator and roof; construction of a new loading dock and entrance additions; and mechanical upgrades in the penthouse. 

"When the renovation is complete, this building will be a much more pleasant, open and inviting place to learn," said Mark Meier, chair of the Department of Chemistry. "For students engaged in research projects, they will have modern laboratory spaces that are designed with modern science practice in mind."

Stay up-to-date on the renovation and watch as the Chemistry-Physics building, originally completed in 1962, transforms at



Department of Geography Celebrating 75 Years

The UK Department of Geography celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Founded in 1944, the department’s establishment was due in no small part to the need for cartographers and students of human geography demonstrated by the military during the second World War. In an official announcement, then UK President Herman Lee Donovan explained his decision to recommend the establishment of the Department of Geography, stating, "The war has made everyone more conscious of the need of a knowledge of geography. The Army and Navy have recognized that it is essential that the soldiers and sailors know a great deal about the peoples of other lands, their habits and customs, climate, land masses, resources and many other things that are essential information for a citizen of the world." 

The Department has grown significantly since its inception. While early majors were taught standard mapmaking skills and human geography, undergraduates in 2019 have the opportunity to take classes covering topics as advanced as geographic information systems and sciences, computer cartography and remote sensing technology. The Department of Geography’s 75th anniversary is being celebrated with a series of events throughout the 2018–2019 academic year and will conclude with the 47th annual Ellen Churchill Semple day on April 26, 2019. Professor Karl Raitz will open the day with a talk, "An Archipelago of Risk: Making Bourbon, and Heritage, in Nineteenth-Century Kentucky," at 2 p.m. in the W.T. Young Library UK Athletics Association Auditorium. Attendees will reconvene at the Lyric Theatre at 6 p.m. for a banquet celebration. For further information, visit