Meet the 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees
Submitted on June 21, 2023
On Wednesday, June 21, five people were inducted in into the 2023 Georgetown College Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established in 1993 to honor outstanding alumni and friends who have made distinctive contributions to Georgetown College during their lifetimes. The 2023 inductees include Dr. John Blackburn, Dr. Keon Chi, Dr. Ben Warf, and Robert “Flash” and Carol Williams. Read more about this year’s inductees below, and watch the recorded ceremony at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJxYdaPMETg.
Dr. John Blackburn
Dr. John Blackburn graduated from Westminster College in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He attended graduate school at Vanderbilt University and received his doctorate degree in chemistry in 1972. He came to Georgetown College in the fall of 1972 and taught physical, inorganic, general, forensic, and environmental chemistry. He served as Department Chair in the 1970s and 1980s. While at Georgetown, he served as advisor to various student organizations such as Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, Explorers’ Club, American Chemical Society Student Affiliates, and First Tee Scholars. Dr. Blackburn also served as the Faculty Athletic Representative to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for over 25 years and represented the college on several national NAIA committees, including two terms as Chair of the National Coordinating Committee. A beloved and respected teacher and colleague, he taught at GC for nearly 40 years. He also served two 4-year terms on the Georgetown College Board of Trustees and rotated off the Board in December of 2022. Dr. Blackburn and his wife Pat are active members of Faith Baptist Church in Georgetown and also are involved in the Gathering Place Mission. Dr. Blackburn’s two daughters, Jennifer and Melissa, are alums of Georgetown College.
Dr. Keon Chi
Dr. Keon Chi was born in South Korea and became a U.S. citizen in the early 1970s. He held master’s and doctoral degrees in government from Claremont Graduate University. He taught for 36 years at Georgetown College as a professor of political science. During his tenure at GC, Dr. Chi taught political science to several generations of students, served as chair of the department of political science and interim provost, and won the Cawthorne Excellence in Teaching Award in 1996. He was nationally recognized in 1998, when he was named the Carnegie Foundation’s Kentucky Professor of the Year. Dr. Chi was the editor-in-chief of The Book of the States, a premier reference book on American state governments published annually by The Council of State Governments. He was author or co-author of more than 100 journal articles, monographs, book chapters, and columns on current government issues. He served on boards for the Public Administration Review, State and Local Government Review, American Journal of Public Administration, and Public Integrity. Dr. Chi also served on several advisory committees for state and federal governments, including the National Conference of State Legislatures and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He was married to In Soon Chi and they have two sons, Ron and John. Ron is a 1989 alum of GC.
Dr. Ben Warf ’80
Dr. Ben Warf is a pediatric neurosurgeon specializing in hydrocephalus, spina bifida and neuroendoscopy with a passion for training the next generation of surgeons. He graduated from Georgetown College in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1984, followed by a residency in neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve University. From 2000 to 2006, Dr. Warf served as chief of surgery and founding medical director at CURE Children’s Hospital in Uganda. While there, he developed a new operative procedure to treat infant hydrocephalus, now commonly referred to as “The Warf Method.” He also launched a non-profit organization called NeuroKids, with the goal of eliminating untreated hydrocephalus in low-income countries through training, research, and advocacy. In 2007, he was presented with the Humanitarian Award of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. In 2012, he received a MacArthur “Genius” grant, which he used to fund his global neurosurgery work. Dr. Warf is currently the director of Neonatal and Congenital Neurosurgery and holds the Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida Chair at Boston Children’s Hospital. His wife Cindy is a 1979 GC graduate, and their six children are Joanna, Micah, Naomi, Sarah, Asa, and Ezra. They also have seven grandchildren.
Robert “Flash” and Carol Williams
Carol and Flash Williams met at Georgetown College and were married in 1968 one week after Flash arrived home from the Vietnam War. Carol graduated from Georgetown College in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in art and a minor in English and earned her master’s in education in 1970. Carol taught at Scott County Schools from 1968 to 2000 and was a professor at GC from 2000 until her retirement in December 2015. She is also a long‐standing member of the Woman’s Association of Georgetown College. Flash graduated from Georgetown College in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He came to GC on a basketball scholarship and was inducted in the GC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. After nearly 30 years at GTE as an internal auditor and director of public affairs, he returned to Georgetown and started the women’s golf team and coached both the men’s and women’s programs. Flash coached an NAIA All‐American, two Mid‐South Conference Golfer of the Year winners, one MSC Freshman of the Year and 31 MSC All‐Conference honorees. He was twice MSC Women’s Golf Coach of the Year. He retired from coaching in December 2015. They have one child, Lindsay, also a graduate of Georgetown College.