Georgetown College history professor, who was honored at the 2008 Governor’s Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship, is also the Kentucky State Historian. See bio below.

Release Date: Sept. 29, 2008
Contact: Sue Patrick
Phone: 502-573-1555 ext. 308
Cell: 502-330-6596

klotter(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – The postsecondary education community recognized outstanding alumni and faculty members at an awards luncheon this afternoon during the 2008 Governor’s Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship in Lexington.

Following the keynote address by Governor Steve Beshear, the Outstanding Alumnus of Kentucky (OAK) and Acorn Awards were presented by Secretary of State Trey Grayson. The awards are sponsored by the Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of postsecondary education in Kentucky.
The OAK Awards were inaugurated in 1987 to recognize outstanding alumni of Kentucky colleges and universities. Recipients of the OAK award hold an undergraduate degree from a public or independent Kentucky college or university, have achieved national stature and reputation in their chosen career and have exhibited a lifelong affection for, and attachment to, their alma mater and to Kentucky.

This year’s OAK winners are:

  • Harry B. Gray – Western Kentucky University
  • James C. Klotter – University of Kentucky
  • Johny B. Russell – Murray State University

The Acorn Award, first presented in 1992 by the Kentucky Advocates, recognizes outstanding faculty at Kentucky’s public or independent colleges and universities with a $5,000 honorarium. Recipients are chosen based on information they provide about their reasons for selecting college teaching as a profession, their philosophy of teaching and their professional achievements.

The 2008 Acorn Award recipients are:

  • Marlisa R. Austin – Jefferson Community and Technical College
  • Jerry D. Cook – Eastern Kentucky University

“Kentucky is fortunate to have such outstanding faculty and alumni associated with our postsecondary institutions,” said Richard Crofts, interim president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. “Their valuable contributions extend well beyond their classrooms into our communities, across the state and around the nation.”

Brief biographical information for each award recipient and a list of past OAK and Acorn award winners is available at

Kentucky is in the middle of the most dramatic economic and social transformation in its history. Double the Numbers: Kentucky’s Plan to Increase College Graduates explains that increasing bachelor’s degrees is the quickest, most direct way for Kentucky to increase its economic prosperity. College graduates earn more, are healthier, create a more robust economy, and enjoy a higher quality of life. The Double the Numbers plan outlines five statewide strategies for Kentucky to achieve this ambitious, but achievable goal. While this effort will not be easy, the benefits of Doubling the Numbers will be felt by all Kentuckians.

James C. Klotter – University of Kentucky

Dr. Jim Klotter is Kentucky State Historian and professor of history at Georgetown College. A Lexington resident, Klotter has published more than 18 scholarly historical works about Kentucky history, including the award-winning textbook, Faces of Kentucky, that is now studied by Kentucky fourth graders. His most recent work, A Concise History of Kentucky, is acclaimed for making history accessible to adults as well. Klotter teaches all over the state and nation as a guest lecturer and has given over 700 public talks ranging from national professional groups such as the American Historical Association, to state groups such as Leadership Kentucky. He has appeared on the History Channel, A&E Network, NPR and KET as an historical expert and has received multiple awards in recognition of his work, including the Thomas D. Clark Award for Excellence in Kentucky History, the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, and the Governor’s Outstanding Kentucky Award. In 2008, he was the first Kentuckian to receive the President’s Award from the Midwest Archives Conference. Klotter has served as president of the Kentucky Association of Teachers of History, chair of the Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, chair of the Kentucky Council on Archives, and president of the University of Kentucky Library Associates. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and history from the University of Kentucky, where he also earned his doctorate.

Dr. Klotter is also known as a dedicated educator, advisor and mentor to his students. In four out of the past seven years his students have won the statewide Thomas D. Clark Undergraduate Writing Award at the Kentucky Association of Teachers of History Conference. One of his students said of him, “Dr. Klotter serves all Kentuckians by conducting lectures and seminars which allow individuals to see and experience history in a personal, tangible manner. In his well-researched and engaging fashion, the past becomes as familiar as the present and as fascinating as the future.”