The Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) will be returning to Centre College after a six-year hiatus, marking the 30th year that the College will host the program. With a mission to remain committed to the academic and personal growth of Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders, GSP will welcome 343 participants to campus on June 16th, representing 93 counties throughout the state.
The program was founded at Centre in 1983, and campus director Brian Rich indicated his delight that the program is returning to its “original host.” He considers the College an ideal location, because it offers “wonderful academic facilities that are ideal for the needs of the scholars.
“Centre is a beautiful campus which is welcoming for our scholars,” he adds, “and the College provides ample green space for the students to use for extracurricular activities.”
GSP Executive Director and Academic Dean Aris Cedeño reiterates Rich’s confidence in Centre’s ability to host a successful program.
“Centre College has demonstrated a strong commitment to intellectual growth, community service and effective leadership, which are the values that our Commonwealth’s futures leaders will need as a foundation that rewards merit and emphasizes the whole person,” he explains.
“The campus will serve the GSP not as a summer oasis but rather as an irrigation system that will help the program spread the water of knowledge across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
GSP is a five-week program designed to be an ideal balance of a strong liberal arts program with a full co-curricular and residential life experience. Once students arrive on campus, they will attend a residence hall meeting, community meeting and the opening ceremony in the College’s Norton Center for the Arts.
During their five-week stay, the scholars will participate in a three-fold curriculum concentrated on one of 18 different focus areas of study, general studies and a seminar course. Beyond the three courses offered, students will take field trips to some of the greatest Kentucky landmarks, participate in service events in the Danville community and will welcome two other GSP campuses to Centre for Alumni Day in July.
Cedeño explains that the program allows for scholars to “build a strong base of intellectual, academic, artistic, entrepreneurial and social experiences within a residential environment that fosters the creation of a community of learners.”
John Kinkade, director of the College’s Brown Fellows Program and associate professor of English, who participated in GSP at Centre in 1990, applauds the impact this program has on these bright students.
“GSP helps the scholars see that learning isn’t just acquiring information but discovering how many ways there are to think about what knowledge is, and how knowledge works in different contexts.”
Kinkade states that the program teaches students more than classroom skills and gives them the opportunity to broaden their academic thinking through new and innovative approaches.
“One of the wonders of GSP is how it affects students in so many different ways: quiet students often feel like they’re better at using their voice because they’ve been asked to speak; students who are used to dominating conversations learn about the importance of listening. Students are at once given more confidence and reminded to be humble, because they realize new avenues to be smart and to be successful.”
GSP takes great satisfaction in preparing students for their future academic journeys, with roughly 80 percent of the scholars continuing their studies in a Kentucky college or university.
“We seek to honor our past and to adhere to the educational legacy of academic and intellectual excellence that we have inherited from the visionary leaders who created the Governor’s Scholars Program,” Cedeño says.
GSP scholars who are admitted to Centre—and remain within the top 10 percent of their high school class—will be offered a scholarship of at least $21,000 to attend the College.
Learn more about the Governor’s Scholars Program at Centre.
by Makenzie Dries ’21
June 13, 2019