Earth Day celebration kicks off Earth Week at Campbellsville University

Earth Day celebration kicks off Earth Week at Campbellsville University
Local cub scout troop 777 leader Megan Basham Watkins plants sunflowers in the Campbellsville University Pollinator Garden with her son and cub scout, Caleb, during the Earth Day Kickoff. (CU Photo by Joshua Williams)

By Ariel C. Emberton, student news writer, Office of University of Communications

“We are stewards of the Earth, and we are to take care of it,” Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president for government, community and constituent relations, said as he welcomed the audience to the university’s Earth Day at the Turner Log Cabin April 23.

Tanner Wilson, a senior of Glasgow, Ky., served as the master of ceremonies and thanked everyone for attending the event and showing their support for Earth Day. Brenda Allen, mayor of Campbellsville, and Barry Smith, Taylor County judge-executive, delivered the annual Earth Day proclamation.

Various groups were present at the opening event, one being Clay Hill Memorial Forest representatives. Mikayla Groce, Americorps member at Clay Hill Memorial Forest, and Madison Meyer, a sophomore biology major of Denver, Colo., spoke on behalf of Clay Hill.

Groce has taken part in many environmental edu- cation programs and has partnered with conservation land funds in order to promote a green life.

Meyer serves as the president of the Green Minds Club at Campbellsville University and strives to lead a life with as little waste as possible. She strives for sustainability and said, “Being out in nature isn’t something you can recreate anywhere else.”

Earth Day celebration kicks off Earth Week at Campbellsville University 1
Mikayla Groce introduces a turtle to Trent Creason, director of student activities, and his daughter Evelynn during the Earth Day kick-off. (CU Photo by Joshua Williams)

Jackie Bennett and Kelli Humphrey represented Kentucky Utilities and thanked everyone for their continued support.

Amy Berry, environmental educator and instructor in environmental services at Campbellsville University, received the Friend of the Earth Stewardship Award.

Chowning presented the award, and he said Berry always “expresses the essence” when it comes to the environment and what she does.

Berry presented the George Howell Earth Stewardship Award to three groups on campus as well as two individuals. Shay Bishop received a $1,000 award for the Green Minds Club. Cody Jones, representing Campbellsville University Outdoors, received $500 for his organization. Sigma Zeta received an award of $500. Dr. Robin Magruder, undergraduate chair and associate professor of education at the university, represented Sigma Zeta.

Zane Wilkins, a junior of Campbellsville, Ky., and Serena Corbin, a sophomore of Campbellsville, Ky., received an individual scholarship as well as an additional $500 for the art club.

During the event, Stan McKinney, lead professor for mass communication and associate professor of journalism, recognized the winners of the Nature Photography competition. There were 48 entries in the employee division and 50 entries in the student division.

Whitley Howlett, a freshman of Louisville, Ky., won first place with her photo of a dandelion in the sunset. Second place for the student division went to Lauren Williams, a sophomore of Columbia, Ky. Her photo was of a jellyfish.

Third place for the students was Kara Davidson, a freshman of Campbellsville, Ky. Her photo was of a mountain reflecting in a lake.

First place in the faculty/staff division was awarded to Deborah Andrejco, CIE office coordinator, for her photo taken in the snowy mountains of Oregon. Second place went to Alexandria Swanger, communications assistant, and her photo taken in the Arizona desert.

In the faculty/staff division, Joshua Williams, communications office manager, received third place with his close-up photo of a praying mantis.

Each first, second and third place recipient received, $50, $25 and $15, respectively.

The national Earth Day began April 22, 1970 – 49 years ago. Campbellsville University has been celebrating Earth Day since 2010.

The university had a week of events including an Earth Week Social Media Scavenger Hunt, Endangered Hall in Winters Dining Hall, DIY Workshop, a wildflower hike at Clay Hill Memorial Forest, a presentation and demonstration of thinning walnut trees by the Kentucky Forestry Service and a School of Theology worship service in honor of Earth Day.

Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,000 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has off-campus centers in Kentucky cities Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. The website for complete information is

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.

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