The Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) wrapped its 30th year on the campus of Centre College this past weekend. And, according to the 343 participants from 94 counties across the Commonwealth, the five weeks on Centre’s campus left them with a multitude of connections, countless memories and immeasurable experiences.
Campus Director Bryan Rich explains that the Centre GSP opportunity allows for students to take “intellectual risks, learn from outstanding staff and formulate meaningful relationships with their peers from across Kentucky.”
This sentiment was reiterated during the program’s annual Alumni Day, hosted by Centre on July 13, which unified alumni and current scholars from the three participating GSP campuses: Bellarmine University, Centre and Morehead State University. According to Rich, the event provided the scholars with an opportunity to hear alumni share their GSP experiences alongside their career journeys.
“We had a wonderful day, with more than 1,100 scholars—past and present—on Centre’s campus,” he says. “President Roush welcomed the group in the morning, and more than 25 GSP alums came to share the story of their lives with the scholars.”
GSP Executive Director and Academic Dean Aris Cedeño adds that Alumni Day is a “powerful testimony of the success of GSP.”
“I felt inspired by the synergy, the positive attitudes and comments from current scholars, and the excitement this day generated among all alums participating,” he says. “It demonstrated the real essence of why the program exists. “
For GSP and Centre alumna Sara Loy’ 10, the program is nothing short of a life-changing experience.
“GSP gave me a lot of pride in Kentucky, because it showed me how incredibly passionate its people are,” she explains. “I then came to Centre with the high expectation that it would also foster a culture of Kentucky-based community building. And, of course, it did—far more so than I could have imagined.”
Though rigorous, GSP leaves an impact on these rising high school senior students that outlasts the five weeks of the program. The lessons learned through GSP influence the scholars’ future academic and career pursuits in a meaningful and profound way.
Centre Associate Professor of English and GSP alumnus John Kinkade expresses his appreciation for the lasting influence of the program.
“GSP made it clear to me that learning wasn’t just acquiring information but instead a process of making connections, using my judgment and thinking for myself. Just as importantly, GSP showed me just how delightful learning could be—it’s an exhilarating intellectual community.”
Reflecting on the 2019 Centre GSP experience, Rich says he’s confident that “the future of our Commonwealth is in excellent hands with these outstanding young people as the future leaders of Kentucky.
“We appreciate Centre College for serving as an outstanding host for the program,” he adds, “and we look forward to returning in the summer of 2020.”
by Makenzie Dries ’21
July 23, 2019