Campbellsville University’s Derby Rose Gala raises $26,815 for scholarships

Campbellsville University’s Derby Rose Gala raises $26,815 for scholarships

April 30, 2014
For Immediate Release

Anna Mary Byrdwell receives the Derby Rose Gala Award for Distinguished Service at the Derby Rose Gala. She worked with the Kentucky Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union until she retired in 2004. (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda M. Waggener)

By Candice Boone, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University’s sixth annual Derby Rose Gala raised $26,815 for student scholarships.

That’s the most ever, according to Benji Kelly, vice president for development at Campbellsville University. “Each year the Gala continues to get better and better,” He said.

Kelly, who served as master of ceremonies for the Derby Rose Gala on April 14, said, “I can’t think of a better investment, besides a church, than investing in Campbellsville University.”

Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs, was the speaker for the evening.

Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs, speaks
about Campbellsville University being a cultural
phenomenon. (Campbellsville University Photo by
Rachel DeCoursey)

“Campbellsville University is more than a school, or a job; it’s a cultural phenomenon much like the Kentucky Derby,” he said. The room was filled with distinguished alumni, members of the faculty, staff and students.

Flanery’s speech related the long running tradition and importance of the Kentucky Derby to Campbellsville University. He said, “All things in life that are worth happening take patience and perseverance.” This is true, he said, for both horse racing and getting a college education.

Audrey Wunderlich, a senior from Frankfort, Ky., thanked the guests at the Derby Rose Gala for their previous contributions to Campbellsville University’s scholarship fund. “I prayed really hard, and God answered my prayers,” Wunderlich said. “He used you (the donors) to change my life.”

She said, “I was able to come to Campbellsville because people gave selflessly at the Derby Rose Gala.”

Without the generous donations of people at the Derby Rose Gala, Wunderlich said, there are many students who would not be able to attend Campbellsville University. She said the donors at the gala truly are life changing.

“Four years from now another student will be standing up here saying ‘thank you’ for the donation you made that changed their life and made them the person they have become,” Wunderlich said.

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU, spoke of the blessing Campbellsville University is to so many people. “Our lives would be empty in some corners of our hearts if Campbellsville University didn’t exist,” he said.

Carter discussed the great importance that the Derby Rose Gala has regarding scholarships and students’ financial ability to come to CU. “This event makes student scholarships a reality,” Carter said.

Throughout the course of the event there was a silent auction. The auction included items ranging from a handmade quilt to Louisville Slugger gear.

Scotty Clenney, a 1963 graduate, jokingly informed guests of proper silent auction etiquette saying, “Get rid of some of that money and take somethin’ home with ya!”

After the conclusion of Flanery’s speech, the Derby Rose Gala Award for Distinguished Service was presented to Anna Mary Byrdwell of Louisville.

Byrdwell, a 1960 graduate of Campbellsville University, worked with the Kentucky Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union until she retired in 2004.

Upon receiving the award Byrdwell said it was “the biggest surprise of her life” and it was “a truly exciting surprise.”

Kinly Bertram, left, and A'Darius Pegues, right,
interview Gwinn Hahn, chair of the gala, during the live
broadcast. (Campbellsville University Photo by Bethany

Campbellsville University communication students had a big part in the overall effect of the Derby Rose Gala. Students operated cameras, conducted interviews and photographed the black tie event.

There were both radio and television reporters for the event. Radio reporters included Kevin Thomas of Elizabethtown, Ky.; Katelyn Chalk of Frankfort, Ky.; Clayton Embry of Morgantown, Ky., and Mallory Vest of Muskegon, Mich.

The television hosts of the evening were Ellie McKinley and Jordan Antle, both of Campbellsville. TV reporters included A’Darius Pegues of Louisville, Ky.; Kinly Bertram of Campbellsville; Aletheia Chesnut of Winchester, Ky. and Ian McGuffin of Bardstown, Ky.

The Derby Rose Gala was broadcast live on television and radio. It was also streaming live online.

The hosts and reporters were not the only students involved in the convergence at this event. There were also producers, public relations representatives, directors and many more.

At the end of the evening flowers of gratitude were presented to Betty Hord, chair of the decorating committee, along with Gwinn Hahn, chair of the gala, of Mt. Washington, Ky.; Emma Revis, director of foundation relations at CU, and Paula Smith, director of alumni relations, for their work with the gala.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is

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