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Lindsey Wilson College Alumni Awards Celebration is Saturday

By Venus M. Popplewell

Three alumni and one devoted benefactor will be honored during Lindsey Wilson College's 92nd homecoming celebration on September 26-30, 2023. The awards luncheon will be held at 11amCT on Saturday, September 30, 2023, in the Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center, 430 Helen Flatt Drive, Columbia, KY.

Click "Read More" to see bios for each of the four award recipients: Dr. Hannah Hayduk Morales, Bill Straus, Charity Ferguson, and Dr. Jerry Westerfield.

  • Charity Ferguson '01 - Distinguished Service Award
    It would be no exaggeration to say Charity Ferguson has changed thousands of lives. As a member of the LWC Admissions Office, she has spent more than two decades sharing the Lindsey Wilson mission with high school students all over southcentral Kentucky. Her earnest belief in the power of education guides countless students to LWC year after year.

    A native of Greensburg, Kentucky, and a self-proclaimed "farm girl," Ferguson credits her time as an LWC student as the most transformational period of her life. In her sophomore year, she was named the returning John B. Begley Scholar, which is the college's most prestigious scholarship. Some of her fondest memories as an undergraduate student are those spent traveling internationally with the LWC Singers and her experiences as a Begley Scholar.

    Upon graduation in 2001, Ferguson immediately joined LWC's Admissions Office. As a regular conference presenter, she is a respected professional in the college and university admissions community. She has served on numerous leadership boards and committees, including the Kentucky Association for College Admission Counseling (KYACAC), the Kentucky Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (KACRAO), and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). She has also served as chair of the annual admissions workshop in Jabez, Kentucky, that teaches new admissions counselors from all Kentucky colleges and universities across the state.

    Ferguson earned a master's degree in communication from Western Kentucky University in 2003 and was named LWC Director of Admissions in 2006. She makes her home in Green County and serves as the board coordinator for the Green County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) - a community group dedicated to the awareness and early intervention of alcohol and drug addiction. She is an active member of Bethlehem Baptist Church, where she enjoys taking part in outreach programs. She is married to Ben Ferguson and they have two children: a daughter, Ana Kae, and a son, Emmett.

  • Bill Straus '70 - Distinguished Alumnus Award
    For more than four decades, Bill Straus has enjoyed an accomplished career as a professional photographer. Straus graduated from LWC in 1970 and by 1978, he had launched his own photography business. Over the years, Straus's portfolio has grown to feature photography in the diverse areas of equine, athletics, pop culture, commercial and advertising. His images have been published in many publications, including: Sports Illustrated, The Blood-Horse, Pacemaker (England), Hong Kong Racing World, Sky Magazine, Lexington Magazine and Keeneland Magazine. Straus's photographs have appeared on more than 250 magazine covers, including 63 for The Thoroughbred Record. Straus has done work for the NCAA, Coca-Cola, GTE, Bank One, Jordan-Chiles, Blue Grass Airport and Kentucky Utilities Company. One of the more unique highlights of Straus's career was when he was chosen to be Queen Elizabeth II's personal photographer during her private visits to central Kentucky in 1989 and 1991.

    For his work in thoroughbred racing, Straus received the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Photography in 1984 and an honorable mention in 1986. In addition, Straus has received awards from the Kentucky Professional Photographers Association, Kentucky Arts Commission, Mamiya Cameras, Lexington Advertising Club and the College Sports Information Directors of America.

    A lifelong Lexington, Kentucky, native, Straus is a member of several clubs and organizations and has served on the boards of Thursday's Child, the Hearing and Speech Center, and the Children's Charities of the Bluegrass. Straus holds a bachelor's degree from Western Kentucky University. He enjoys participating in celebrity-charity golf tournaments and is engaged to be married on June 15, 2024. Straus has been a faithful supporter of Lindsey Wilson College for more than 20 years.

  • Dr. Hannah Hayduk Morales '15 - Outstanding Young Alumna Award
    Hannah Hayduk '15 Morales came to LWC from her hometown, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, to participate in the cycling program. A psychophysiology major, LWC's pre-professional program for pre-med students, Morales had little time to spare as she juggled schoolwork and practice as a competitive athlete. A model student, Morales excelled in her courses and was a leader on campus. She tutored her classmates as a peer mentor and taught a GED program for Spanish as a first language students. She was named a returning John B. Begley Scholar, which is the college's most prestigious scholarship.

    Morales had a lifelong dream of becoming a doctor and stayed laser-focused during her time as an undergrad. In addition to her academic and athletic endeavors, Morales worked as a certified EMT at the Adair County and Green County EMS and could often be seen monitoring the sidelines at LWC football games. Even when she was critically injured in two separate cycling accidents, Morales persevered and continued toward her goal of becoming a physician.

    Today, Morales holds a degree from the University of Pikeville's Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is currently a resident physician at the Texas Institute for Graduate Medical Education's Laredo Family Medicine Program in Laredo, Texas. Morales is married to Fabricio Morales. She remains involved as a certified EMT and serves locally with the Laredo EMS. Her plans are to return to southcentral Kentucky and provide support to the LWC cycling program and mentor Lindsey Wilson pre-med students.

  • Dr. Jerry Westerfield - Honorary Alumnus Award
    Dr. Jerry Westerfield has become a familiar face around the A.P. White Campus. After a four-decade career as a diagnostic radiologist, Westerfield has returned to the classroom as a student.

    Westerfield was introduced to LWC by his colleague and longtime College supporter, Dr. Janice Aaron and her husband, the late Dr. Henry Baughman, for whom the LWC Henry Baughman Tennis Complex is named. Westerfield occasionally attended events on campus and decided to take classes after his retirement in 2017. He was impressed with the professors and the quality of the instruction. Six years later, Westerfield has earned LWC credits in religion, history, communication and criminal justice.

    Westerfield is a champion of the LWC Theatre Program, its students and Director Robert Brock and Assistant Professor of Theatre Jeremy Cloyd. He rarely misses a performance by the program. A generous benefactor, Westerfield made a substantial gift that allowed nine LWC theatre students to travel to London, England, to see important theatrical venues and learn more about the history of theatre.

    Westerfield grew up on a dairy farm with his five brothers in Hartford, Kentucky. He received his medical degree from the University of Kentucky and trained at the University of Michigan and the University of California in San Francisco where he did a neuroradiology fellowship. He completed his medical residency at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Dr. Westerfield served two years in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. For 25 years, he worked at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Florida where he was a diagnostic and interventional radiologist. In 2001, he returned to Kentucky and finished his career at Russell County Hospital in Russell Springs, Kentucky.

This story was posted on 2023-09-30 10:10:46
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