Centre College junior Daniel Thompson was recently elected to the board of directors of the Central Kentucky African-American Cemetery Association (CKAACA). As a Bonner Scholar, Thompson has worked with the CKAACA for over three years, improving the natural beauty and the historical preservation at the Shelby City Cemetery, an African-American cemetery just south of Centre College dating back to the Revolutionary War.
Throughout his three years, Thompson deepened his involvement with the cemetery, leading to his eventual election to the CKAACA’s board. This work included grant writing and preserving artifacts found at the site.
“I wrote a grant to the Bonner program to receive funding for tools to improve the efficiency of preservation, and the organization granted us the funding,” he said. “According to my site supervisor, the tools have increased our maintenance efficiency by a minimum of twenty percent.”
He is happy to note that this funding has greatly improved the capacities of the CKAACA and its connections to surrounding communities.
“The time saved with the additional tools enabled the CKAACA to spend more time on reaching out to the community and applying for non-profit status,” he explained.
As he supported the rejuvenation of the Shelby City Cemetery, Thompson linked his work with the CKAACA to the Centre community during the Orientation Week Service Plunge for incoming first-year students.
“This fall, I assisted in directing and managing volunteers during the first-year service plunge at Centre. I also introduced a reflection component to the event,” he remarked.
Drawing these two parts of his Centre career together, Thompson has positively impacted the lives of students and maintenance of the cemetery and will continue to do so as part of the CKAACA board.
By Kathleen Murphy ’18
March 6, 2018
Pictured above: Thompson and Brendan Holly ’18 restoring an artifact found at the Shelby City Cemetery.