Campbellsville University to Offer Discussion on Political Parties and Elections Oct. 8

By Joan C. McKinney, director of university communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – A panel of political leaders in the Commonwealth of Kentucky will lead a discussion on “Political Parties and Elections 2007-2008” at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 in the Little Auditorium of the Student Union Building.

Everyone is invited to the event which is free.

Invited guests include: Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky; Lowell Reese, founder of The Kentucky Roll Call Inc., a Frankfort-based governmental affairs publishing company and “The Kentucky Gazette”; and Ron Ellis, politicalwriter for the CHNI News Service in Frankfort, Ky.

John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, who founded KHIPP, said the session will be “very informational,” and he hopes everyone will take advantage of the event to learn more about the upcoming elections.

Cross became director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues in August 2004 after more than 26 years as a reporter at The Courier-Journal, the last 15½ as the Louisville newspaper’s chief political writer.

His coverage ranged from presidential to local elections and included all facets of state government. He is also a political columnist for The Courier-Journal and will become host of “Comment on Kentucky” upon the retirement of Al Smith.

Cross is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky, where the institute is based. His awards include a share of the Pulitzer Prize won by The Courier-Journal staff in 1989 for coverage of the nation’s deadliest bus crash. He was co-recipient of an honorable mention for environmental reporting in the Southern Journalism Awards for a 1987 series on strip mining.

He has received many awards for reporting and column writing. He is the longest-running panelist on KET’s weekly “Comment on Kentucky,” has appeared on C-SPANand “Washington Week In Review,” and has been quoted in “The Almanac of American Politics.”

Cross is a graduate of Clinton County High School and Western Kentucky University, where he was chief reporter, editor and advertising manager of the award-winning College Heights Herald. Cross was born in Knoxville, Tenn., and grew up in Albany, Ky. Cross is married to Patti Hodges Cross. Reese grew up in rural Kentucky in the 1940s and 1950s.

He earned a history degree at Berea College and second lieutenant bars at Fort Benning. He served as an infantry officer in Vietnam. After military service, he worked as an executive in the Chamber of Commerce for 17 years, as well as the Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina and Arizona Chamber of Commerce. He is the founder of Kentucky Roll Call Inc., a Frankfort-based governmental affairs publishing company.

Among his various publications include “Who’s What in Kentucky Government,” “Second Circle,” and “Mr. Butler’s Classic Quotations.” He lives with his wife, Carol, in Frankfort. Ellis is a political writer for the CHNI News Service in Frankfort, Ky. He has covered state government, the General Assembly, politicies for Kentucky papers and produced a weekly column. He was born in Glasgow and is a 1975 graduate from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor of arts in English and journalism.

Ellis has worked for more than 20 years as photographer, reporter and columnist with a couple of stints outside news business working for United Way. He has worked for Glasgow Daily Times as well as Henderson Gleaner. Among his accomplishments include various awards for photography, reporting, editorial writing and columnist.

For three years he has covered politics, both local and state, from campaign coverage to topics of the General Assembly. He has two children, a daughter, Scottie, and a son, Jack. Chowning said, “Campbellsville University has established the institute that primarily focuses focus its attention on facilitating public policy study and issues debate, while encouraging the involvement of Christian leaders in the public and civic arenas. “A wide range of public issues will be studied and presented by the institute for the purposes of engaging Campbellsville University students, faculty and staff, and the general public, in a greater awareness and understanding of the myriad issues confronting our culture,” he said.

Chowning said KHIPP is “committed to preparing Christian civic and political leaders for the 21st century.” Anyone requesting more information about KHIPP, can contact Chowning at (270) 789-5520.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,310 students who represent 100 Kentucky counties, 32 states and 28 foreign nations. Listed in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” 15 consecutive years, CU was listed 22nd in the “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” this fall. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his ninth year as president.

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