The professional papers of a long-serving and impactful Louisville legislator are set to become a part of the archives of the Spalding University Library and School of Social Work.

Retired Kentucky state Rep. Jim Wayne, who served the 35th House District in Frankfort from 1990 to 2019 and who is also a mental health professional trained in social work, is donating a trove of his legislative papers,  news clippings and other archives to Spalding in order to make them a public resource and historical reference for research into lawmaking, politics, community organizing, social work and social policy.

Wayne, 73, will introduce the collection during a free, public lecture 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in the Spalding Library Lecture Lounge, 853 Library Lane. Co-sponsored by the Library and the School of Social Work, Wayne’s lecture is titled, “Against the Grain: The Social Worker in a Broken World.” Any social worker who attends the lecture will be eligible for one continuing education unit (CEU) toward their professional development.

The Spalding collection of Wayne’s papers spans from 1975, when he was a legislative aide in Washington, D.C., working on climate policy, to his retirement from the Kentucky General Assembly. Wayne said all told, he provided Spalding with about 10 boxes of files, plus a number of flash drives.

A friend of Wayne’s who had organized his own writings and archives told Wayne that it’s important to preserve and share one’s life’s work, especially when that work has impacted the public, because it provides historical context for future generations of what life was like, the successes and struggles that took place and how things were or were not resolved.

“It dawned on me that with all these things I had in my file cabinets in Frankfort and some of the things I had in boxes, ‘Perhaps (that friend) is right,'” Wayne said. “Perhaps someone is doing work on social policy and would like to understand how certain projects were undertaken, how coalitions were built, what negotiations were required, who the protagonists were and how things eventually moved  ahead.”

The archive has a range of public information regarding Wayne’s career that was collected by the Legislative Research Commission. That includes legislative committee transcripts and testimony, floor and committee speeches, and the text of bill signings. There are video copies of Wayne’s appearances on KET programs such as “Kentucky Tonight,” and clippings of his Courier-Journal op-eds, including ones regarding the 1980s and ’90s expansion of the Louisville regional airport and the impact it had on residents in neighborhoods surrounding the airport.

Wayne said the archive could serve as a source for research on issues and projects in which he’d played a key role, including state tax reform, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and the strengthening of laws to protect against child sex abuse.

Viewers can also review examples of political materials from over the years, including clippings of newspaper endorsements he received.

“I think there are even a few yard signs in there,” Wayne said.

Wayne’s papers will be housed in the Spalding Library Archives at 853 Library Lane, and can be viewed in person. Contact [email protected] to make an appointment. The staff is also beginning to digitize the collection so that it will accessible online through the Kentucky Digital Library online database.

Wayne said he is pleased that his papers will be housed at Spalding, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing. In addition, in 2018, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Spalding during a celebration hosted by the School of Social Work.

Spalding President Tori Murden McClure presents framed honorary doctorate diploma to Rep. Jim Wayne
Jim Wayne received an honorary doctorate for public service from Spalding President Tori Murden McClure and the School of Social Work in 2018.

“I love Spalding,” Wayne said. “I really feel like a part of the community there, and I think President Tori Murden McClure is really doing an amazing job of understanding how that university needs to serve the vulnerable and the marginalized in our city. The School of Social Work is a really fine school of social work, and I think the faculty at the School of Social Work will understand how to use this collection.”

In addition to his legislative career, Wayne is President and Founder of the Wayne Corporation, which provides Employee Assistance Programs to a range of businesses, hospitals and schools. Wayne also holds master’s degrees in social work and theology.

Two leaders in Spalding’s School of Social Work – Chair Dr. Shannon Cambron and Undergraduate Education Director Dr. Stacy Deck – said Wayne and his work made a lasting impression on them while they students preparing for their careers.

Cambron said Wayne played a pivotal role in her decision to become a social worker. After her mother went to work part-time at Wayne’s firm, Shannon Cambron met with Wayne at her mother’s request. At the time, Cambron had been struggling with choosing the right path for her graduate work.

“I knew I wanted to be a clinician,” she said, “but I also knew that doing that work from a lens of justice and liberation was important to me. I honestly didn’t know that social work could provide that path until I met with Jim. He was gracious and inspiring, and I left his office confident I had found my life’s work. Having the artifacts of his work on Spalding’s campus is a testament to the his legacy of advocacy and change on the personal and community level.”

Deck said that as a graduate student in the 1990s, she drove to Frankfort and “camped out” in an LRC office to review hard copies of Wayne’s legislative work on the Affordable Housing Trust Fund as background for a policy analysis assignment.

“I am delighted that information like that will now be easily accessible via Spalding University’s online archives of Representative Wayne’s papers,” Deck said. “In the same way that the Affordable Housing Trust Fund remains a lasting legacy of Representative Wayne’s social justice work, documentation of the process for achieving that legislative victory will now be available as a guide and inspiration to continue this important work.”


Spalding University’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, the state’s largest fall-spring reading series, will take place Saturday, Nov. 13, through Friday, Nov. 19, with readings by faculty and guests of the low-residency graduate programs of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing. Critically acclaimed poet Kiki Petrosino, author of White Blood and winner of the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature, headlines the festival as Distinguished Visiting Writer.

All readings and events are free, ticketless, and open to the public. The University’s Covid-19 protocols require all participants to be masked while indoors. Plenty of free parking is available for the campus readings.

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 13. Faculty Reading. (Brown Hotel, Citation Room, ground floor.) Masks required for all in attendance.

  • Lynnell Edwards (poetry), This Great Green Valley
  • Rachel Harper (fiction), This Side of Providence
  • Bruce Marshall Romans (TV writing), Messiah
  • Ellen Hagan (writing for children and young adults), Watch Us Rise (with Renée
  • Kathleen Driskell (poetry), Blue Etiquette

Overview | MFA in Writing | MA in Writing | Grad Certificate in Writing
Faculty bios
Good River Review literary journalblog

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Sunday, November 14. Faculty Reading. (Egan Leadership Center, 901 S. Fourth St.) Masks required for all in attendance.

  • K. L. Cook (fiction), Marrying Kind
  • Kira Obolensky (playwriting), Why We Laugh: A Terezin Cabaret
  • Dianne Aprile (creative nonfiction), The Eye is Not Enough: On Seeing and Remembering
  • Leah Henderson (writing for children and young adults), A Day for Rememberin’ (virtual appearance)
  • Sam Zalutsky (screenwriting), Seaside

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 17. Distinguished Visiting Writer Kiki Petrosino discusses White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia. (Auditorium, Columbia Gym, 824 S. Fourth St.) Masks required for all in attendance.

Introduction by Kathleen Driskell. Book signing to follow.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Friday, November 19. Faculty Reading. (Egan Leadership Center, 901 S. Fourth St.)  Masks required for all in attendance.

  • Jason Kyle Howard (professional writing and editing; creative nonfiction), A Few Honest Words: The Kentucky Roots of Popular Music
  • Maggie Smith (poetry), Goldenrod
  • Elaine Neil Orr (creative nonfiction; fiction), Swimming Between Worlds
  • Silas House (fiction), Southernmost

The reading schedule may change without notice. Check Facebook for updated information: For more information, email [email protected].

The School of Creative and Professional Writing at Spalding University offers three low-residency programs, including the flagship 65-credit-hour MFA in Writing program; a 35-credit Master of Arts in Writing, offering tracks in creative writing and professional writing & editing; and a 15-credit graduate certificate in writing, also with two tracks. The School of Writing offers concentrations in fiction; poetry; creative nonfiction; writing for children and young adults; writing for TV, screen, and stage; and professional writing and editing. Students begin the semester in the spring, summer, or fall with a residency in Louisville or abroad, then return home for an independent study with a faculty mentor for the rest of the semester. Students may customize the location, season, and pace of their studies. See for more information, or find us on Twitter @SpaldingWriting

Spalding University held its annual Convocation ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021 at the Columbia Gym Auditorium, welcoming new students to the Spalding community and helping them understand the Spalding mission. Spalding President Tori Murden McClure and Louisville Urban League President/CEO were among the speakers.

Spalding Student Government Association President Haley Nestor, who earned her bachelor’s from Spalding in 2020 and is now a student in the Master of Science in Business Communication program, gave remarks on behalf of Student Government, with advice about starting college. You can read Nestor’s remarks (edited slightly for brevity) below:

MESSAGE FROM SGA, President Haley Nestor, MSBC student

Good morning everyone. If feels like just yesterday it was 2017, and I was sitting exactly where you sit today, letting my mom know that I went to class, feeling overwhelmed with assignments, trying to navigate around campus, feeling awkward because I just slept next to a stranger and honestly, looking at the cute boys. I remember looking at the speaker who had the time slot I have today and thinking, how do I get there? How do I become that person who strives to inspire and develop others?

Today, I am so proud to stand here as not only a Spalding Alum and current graduate student but as a representative of the Student Government Association. I am Haley Nestor, and I am your 2021-2022 Student Government President. First and foremost, congratulations to you on becoming a Golden Eagle, getting past mom and dad’s tears as their baby has flown the coop, getting pass the soreness of moving your things up and down the residence halls that you now call your new home, and finally getting comfortable sleeping next to that complete stranger.

Haley Nestor, Spalding student
SGA President Haley Nestor

I am sure you are all feeling overwhelmed with the amount of times your parents have called you, the lengthy syllabi, choosing what outfit to wear, and I am sure the list goes on. As I was trying to map out the perfect words to say today, I quickly realized that this would be more than just a warm welcome. But a time for me to say the things that I really needed to hear when I sat in the seat that you are in today.

● Allow your parents to check-in and be proud of you and allow yourself to miss them.

● Embrace the different personalities, ethnicities, religions, point of views, and cultures. After all we are a diverse community of learners and you can grow a lot as a person embracing those that are different from you.

● Meet the needs of the time and appreciate the things like being able to have a conversation with a friend but staying six feet apart, having a roommate, having a discussion in class, etc. COVID-19 is our reality and it has its restrictions, but it should not be restricting how creative the mind can be as well as your ability to interact with one another.

● Open your heart, mind, and soul to the people around you. I never would of thought freshman Haley with a lot of freedom, would meet her love of her life on this very campus or the best friends who will stand next to her as she says “I do.”

● Finally, get out of your comfort zone and get involved. I met my fiancé on the cross country team, I learned and developed with student representatives through Student Government, and I have found this passion and love for leadership through Spalding University.

During your time here, I hope you come to realize that Student Government is a resource for you. It is our duty to advocate for and empower students to make our university a better place for all. We have a student representative for undergraduate students and graduate students as well as a secretary and a treasurer. I am excited to meet you all and have conversations on how you can be involved on campus and in the community.

For all the late nights, midterm and final cramming sessions and stressful group projects, I can assure you that it will be worth it. Try something new, change your major, but most importantly  find yourself being comfortable with who you truly are and then share it with the world.

Thank you for having me today, and I am looking forward to seeing one of you in this very spot next year.


Before Nestor spoke, student leader Victoria Shedron, an elementary education major, gave the Invocation at Convocation. Here is Shedron’s prayer:

This is a moment of privilege, a moment in which these students have chosen to take upon the calling to be a student, to live out their individual callings through their specific gifts and talents. We recognize the blessing that that truly is. We pray that we are stewards to the opportunity and resources that have graciously been given to us. We ask for wisdom as we enter into this new season that has been prepared for us. We seek spiritual reassurance in our physical safety, mental and emotional well-being, and the inevitable growth that will occur in our time here at Spalding. I personally stand with the leadership in praying for students to be courageous and kind during this time of resistance. It is not a burden to be given the calling of resilience, for You have gifted us the power of resilience in our innermost being, and that itself is a blessing.


The first week of classes is over, and it’s time to celebrate. Spalding University’s inaugural Eagle Fest concert has you covered.

Eagle Fest – Spalding’s biggest Welcome Week event of Fall 2021 – will take place 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28 at Trager Park (at the corner of South Second and West Kentucky streets) and is a free event for all Spalding students, employees, alumni and their families.

Joslyn and the Sweet Compression – a high-energy, dance-inducing funk, soul and R&B band from Lexington – will be performing, and food trucks and vendors and campus organizations will be on hand. Free T-shirts will be distributed to early arrivers. Joslyn and the Sweet Compression will go on about 7 p.m. DJ Alli will also perform, closing out the evening.

Eagle Fest is the first and biggest 2021 event organized by a new committee of campus leaders focused on strengthening campus traditions and community engagement.

“We love the community we’ve built at Spalding, and we are constantly looking for ways to strengthen that sense of campus pride and build energy and excitement around activities on campus,” said Amanda Lucas, Spalding’s Senior Director of Marketing. “Now that we are all fully back on campus after being away from one another for so long during the pandemic, we thought a big, high-energy, outdoor concert would be a perfect tradition to establish to celebrate the new school year. Because it’s outside in a huge open space, it’s also a safe way for us to gather and have a great time.”

Lucas said Spalding couldn’t have landed a better headliner for their inaugural concert than Joslyn and the Sweet Compression, led by dynamic singer Joslyn Hampton and guitarist/songwriter Marty Charters, Hampton’s stepfather who has shared the stage with Buddy Guy, Van Morrison and other legends. The seven-member band, which includes two horn players, “deliver(s) a hook-filled mix of funk and soul,” according to their website. (Watch a video of the band here or at end of this story.)

Lucas, a musician, herself, said her band, Bridge 19, shared the bill with Josslyn and the Sweet Compression at a music festival and that she instantly became a fan.

“They have really blown up, playing a lot of great festivals and events in Kentucky and other states, and they are just super-fun to see live,” Lucas said. “We are really excited to have them at our first Eagle Fest, and I know our students and campus community are going to love them and have a great time.”

Before you head to Eagle Fest, please review these FAQs and important safety information:

When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021
Where: Trager Park (corner of South Second and West Kentucky streets)
Who: Joslyn and the Sweet Compression, and DJ Alli will perform. The Student Involvement Fair will be held on site.

How much are tickets?
Sponsored by Spalding’s Campus Traditions Committee, Eagle Fest is a free, ticketless event open all Spalding students, faculty, staff, alumni and their families.

Where can I park?
Campus parking and street parking – for which there is much around Trager Park – will be available. Check out our campus map for campus parking locations.

What time can I get there?
The lawn opens at 5:30 p.m. Arrive early for a free T-shirt.

What time is Eagle Fest over?
The event will end around 10 p.m.

Can I bring my kids?
For sure, Eagle Fest is a family-friendly event, and kids will love the band.

Can I bring lawn chairs?
Yes, we encourage you to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Can I bring a canopy?
Yes, but if you plan to bring a canopy, please set it up along the perimeter of Trager Park to avoid blocking anyone’s view of the stage.

Will there be food and/or drinks on sale at Eagle Fest?
Bourbon Trail Bites Food Truck will be on site, along with Louisville Pure Tap’s free self-serve water coolers.

Can I bring my own food?
Sure thing.

What can’t I bring?
Alcohol and glass. Additionally, please do not bring items listed in the Spalding University student handbook.


An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public space where people are gathered, even at an event that is fully outdoors. All guests who enter our event space must behave responsibly to prevent the spread of COVID.

We are closely monitoring government policy changes, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, government mandates, and public health announcements and any guidance provided will be strictly followed.

Masks: While outdoors at Eagle Fest, wearing a mask is optional for those fully vaccinated.  We encourage everyone to mask up, especially in crowded, high-traffic areas.  Note: masks will be required for access to restrooms.

Keep your distance: Be courteous to other Eagle Fest goers and make sure to give them space — on your way in, in the food line, on the lawn, wherever.   Attendees from different households should stay at least 6 feet apart.

How are you feeling? If you’re not feeling well, please STAY HOME. We cannot emphasize this enough. Help keep each other healthy.


Spalding President Tori Murden McClure sent the following message to Spalding students, faculty and staff on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021.

Dear Spalding Community,

We can’t wait to kick off the fall semester on Monday.

It has been exciting to have our new first-year students on campus this week for Engage, and by this weekend, all of our new and returning residential students will be moved in. Then on Monday, for the first time in 18 months, the majority of our classes will once again be held in person.

Our faculty and staff who were working remotely throughout the pandemic are back in the office as well, and in-person services and office hours are available for academic and student services departments across campus.

It is a momentous time as the depth of conversations and the joy of events and activities that can only be achieved in face-to-face settings – and that are key to the university experience – are restored on a broad scale.

As we prepare to reunite fully next week, I ask everyone to commit to doing their part to maintain a safe and healthy campus. The cooperation and responsible behavior of all students, faculty and staff is critical to get through the surge caused by the COVID-19 Delta variant.

Please review our Healthy Together at Spalding webpages, including the information on procedures for if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Students, please make sure to review this message from Dean of Students Janelle Rae from Monday, Aug. 16.


When you arrive on campus on Monday, please remember that a face covering is required for all individuals in all indoor settings, except for your own residence hall room or private office or whenever you are eating. I do not intend to mandate masks any longer than is necessary this year, but it is absolutely necessary right now with Delta cases on the rise.

In addition, I urge you, if you have not already, get vaccinated for COVID-19! The vaccines are safe, free and easily accessible, and the data couldn’t be clearer that they work.

From March 1 to Aug. 16, 2021, 86.8 percent of COVID-19 cases and 90.5 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Kentucky were among partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals, according to the Governor’s Office.

We are planning an on-campus vaccine clinic the week of Aug. 29, with more information to follow.

We also plan to implement mandatory on-campus testing for COVID-19 for unvaccinated employees and those students in high contact and congregate settings such as athletes and residents who have not been vaccinated.


I am excited that once again, a full slate of events and activities will be taking place on campus, with many planned around the start of the fall semester. These are fun, meaningful and safe, and please plan to attend as many as you can. Thank you to the dozens of folks who have worked hard to organize these special events.

* Mon.-Sat., Aug. 23-28: Welcome Week – A wide variety of mixers, meet-and-greets, games, informational sessions, and athletic events all across campus. Check out the full Welcome Week schedule here, and here is a Facebook event for the entire schedule.

* Mon., Aug. 23: WDJX Campus Crash, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Mother Catherine Square – Stop by as 99.7 WDJX broadcasts live from campus on the first day of classes. There will be tents set up with free Spalding T-shirts and masks, snacks and other prizes.

* Thurs., Aug. 26: Convocation, 10-11 a.m., Columbia Gym Auditorium and online – This traditional event welcomes our community to all of the excitement a new academic year brings and inspires us to live into our mission. Louisville Urban League President Sadiqa Reynolds will deliver our keynote, and I will distribute a mission coin to each new Spalding student. All new students are encouraged to attend in person. All others are encouraged to join virtually, with the link to do so in your Wednesday, Aug. 18 email from Dean Tomarra Adams.

* Sat., Aug. 28: Eagle Fest, 6-10 p.m., Trager Park – Our inaugural fall free concert is our biggest welcome-back event of the week. Joslyn and the Sweet Compression and DJ Alli will perform, and there will be food trucks, giveaways and vendors. The Student Involvement Fair, with information on campus clubs and activities, will be held on site. Arrive early for a free T-shirt. Families are welcome.

This is an exciting time for our campus, and we are set for another tremendous year at Spalding. Please mask up, get a vaccine and pledge to do what it takes to keep yourself and our campus community safe. I can’t wait for us to work and learn together and to have a lot fun along the way.

See you Monday!


Tori Murden McClure 
Spalding University President 


Dear Spalding Community,

I am excited to share the schedule for our in-person Commencement ceremonies, to be held on campus June 3-5, 2021. We will hold ten ceremonies over three days, with the events divided up by academic program. A few academic programs will have a combined ceremony with other programs, and a couple larger academic programs will hold two ceremonies in order to ensure social distancing. Provost Burden and I will attend every event to confer degrees.

Remember that our 2020 graduates are also invited back to walk in this year’s Commencement with the Class of 2021. Academic leaders, please remember to share all updates and instructions about your program’s Commencement ceremony with last year’s grads as well.

Note: Two academic schools – the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy and the School of Creative and Professional Writing – are having virtual Commencement ceremonies this year.

Here is the 2021 Spalding Commencement schedule:

Thursday, June 3, 2021
11 a.m. – Combined: School of Liberal Studies, School of Natural Science and Bachelor of Science in Health Science, College Street Ballroom, 812 S. Second St.
2 p.m. – Creative Arts Department, College Street Ballroom, 812 S. Second St.
5 p.m. – College of Education, Columbia Gym Auditorium, 824 S. Fourth St.

Friday, June 4, 2021
11 a.m. – Master of Science in Athletic Training, Troutman Lectorium, Egan Leadership Center, 901 S. Fourth St.
2 p.m. – Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice, Troutman Lectorium, Egan Leadership Center, 901 S. Fourth St.
5 p.m. – Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Columbia Gym Auditorium, 824 S. Fourth St.

Saturday, June 5, 2021
10 a.m. – Combined: School of Business and School of Communication, Columbia Gym Auditorium, 824 S. Fourth St.
Noon – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in Psychology, College Street Ballroom, 812 S. Second St.
2 p.m. – Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, College Street Ballroom, 812 S. Second St.
5 p.m. – School of Social Work, Columbia Gym Auditorium, 824 S. Fourth St.


Graduates, please take the time in the next week to order graduation regalia through our vendor, Jostens. The link to order your cap, gown and other items is:

The Spalding Campus Store is handling regalia orders from Jostens. Students may either have their orders shipped to the Campus Store (“ship to school” option) for pickup or shipped to their homes. The deadline for “ship to school” is April 26, and the deadline for home shipping is April 29.

The Campus Store, which is located in the south end of the Egan Leadership Center at 901 S. Fourth St., can be reached at [email protected] .

Note about regalia: The graduation “stole” is optional.

Guest tickets

In order to reduce capacity and ensure social distancing, each graduate is allowed a maximum of two guests. We are finalizing a ticketing system and will share information about distributing tickets soon.

Safety protocols

Everyone attending Commencement must be symptom-free and will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing outside of their family unit. To help ensure Commencement is as safe and successful as possible, we encourage all our students, faculty and staff, and their loved ones to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are now available for anyone 16 and older.

Commencement webpage

Information and updates about this year’s Commencement can be found at

We are excited to celebrate our graduates soon!

All the best,

Tori Murden McClure

Spalding University President

Spalding University’s Black Student Alliance will host a virtual edition of one its signature events on Wednesday and Thursday with the third annual Elmer Lucille Allen Conference on African American Studies.

Allen, a 1953 graduate of Spalding (then called Nazareth College) who became the first Black chemist at Brown-Forman, will also be one of the featured presenters at the conference. Allen, an accomplished artist who specializes in ceramics, will give a presentation about her art at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s conference will be presented virtually via HD Meeting.  Dr. Deonte Hollowell, Spalding Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies and the BSA’s faculty advisor, will help lead the conference, which is free and open to the public. Please register here. The full conference schedule can be found below.

REGISTER | 2021 virtual Elmer Lucille Allen Conference on African American Studies

*BSA provides supportive space for students
*Faculty Focus Q&A | BSA Advisor Deonte Hollowell

*Follow the BSA on Instagram at @spaldingbsa
*Email [email protected] for more info

2021 Elmer Lucille Allen Conference on African American Studies

Presented by Spalding University, the Black Student Alliance and the West Louisville Women’s Collaborative

Day 1, Wednesday Feb. 24, 2021

12:30 p.m. – Introduction – Dr. Hollowell & BSA (Program Preview)

12:45 – Statements from the Writing Center and Spalding Equity Groups

1– 2:30 – HIST 383 Student Presentations – Works in Progress

4 – Performance by Alex Betts (Waterworks Dance Company)

4:30–5:30 – AAS 300 Student Presentations – Works in Progress

5:45 – 6:45 – Local Grassroots Organizer’s Forum

Day 2, Thursday Feb. 25

3:30-4 – BSA Day One Overview/Day Two Preview

4:15 – Student Presentations – Internships and Research Assistants

5:30–6 – WLWC Presents A Hip Hop Tribute to Elmer Lucille Allen

6– The Artistic Contributions of Elmer Lucille Allen

Closing Remarks from Spalding President Tori Murden McClure, Dr. Hollowell, Dean of Undergraduate Education Dr. Tomarra Adams, Dean of Students Janelle Rae


Spalding University’s Festival of Contemporary Writing – the state’s largest fall-spring reading series – will take place in a virtual format Tuesday, Nov. 10 through Friday, Nov. 20, featuring readings by faculty of the low-residency programs of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Kevin Willmott will make a special appearance on Thursday, Nov. 19 to accept the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature.

All readings will take place virtually and are free and open to the public, but you must register separately for each event in order to receive the link to attend. The complete schedule of the festival, which is held in conjunction with the School of Writing’s fall residency, is listed below, and each session has a unique registration link.

Register here to attend Willmott’s presentation and prize ceremony, which will occur 5:30-6:45 p.m. Nov. 19.

The Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature was established to honor exceptional literary works that exemplify Spalding University’s mission. The $7,500 prize will be awarded to Willmott for his body of work in November during his virtual visit to the School of Writing, home of the nationally distinguished low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program.

Willmott, who in 2019 shared the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, is also Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Kansas and has spent his filmmaking career taking on the subject of racism in America. He is a frequent collaborator with Spike Lee, most recently on the critically acclaimed Vietnam film Da 5 Bloods. Willmott’s other films include the mockumentary CSA: The Confederate States of America (which he wrote and directed) and Chi-Raq, a retelling of Lysistrata in a violence-wracked neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side (which he co-wrote with Lee). The film critic Richard Brody called Willmott’s work “brilliantly imagined fictions.”

“Kevin Willmott is an extraordinary screenwriter and teacher,” said Kathleen Driskell, Chair of the School of Creative and Professional Writing. “BlacKkKlansman, which he wrote with Spike Lee and others, is the kind of work we aim to recognize with our Spalding Prize and bring to our students’ attention. BlacKkKlansman is courageous, unflinching, and beautifully written. Like his earlier work, it’s a relevant social commentary on our times.”

In 2019, the year Willmott won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with co-writers Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, and Charlie Wachtel, the film was nominated for a total of six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The screenplay was adapted from Black Klansman, Ron Stallworth’s memoir detailing his work as the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, during which he infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan of Colorado Springs. BlacKkKlansman premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prix. The American Film Institute named it one of the top films of 2018.

Willmott has visited the Spalding MFA program twice before, most recently to talk about Chi-Raq. Prior to Willmott’s visit, all School of Writing students and faculty will read and discuss the screenplay for BlacKkKlansman and will view that film as well as Da 5 Bloods, Destination Planet Negro!, and CSA: Confederate States of America.




7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, November 10. Faculty Reading. Register:

  • Rachel Harper (fiction), This Side of Providence
  • Fenton Johnson (creative nonfiction, fiction), At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life, The Man Who Loved Birds
  • Lesléa Newman (writing for children and young adults), Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story
  • Douglas Manuel (poetry), Testify
  • Larry Brenner (writing for TV, screen, and stage), Growing Up Dead, Saving Throw Versus Love
  • Lynnell Edwards (poetry), This Great Green Valley

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, November 14. Faculty Reading. Register:

  • Leslie Daniels (fiction), Cleaning Nabokov’s House
  • Greg Pape (poetry), Four Swans: Poems
  • Jacinda Townsend (fiction), Saint Monkey
  • Roy Hoffman (fiction, creative nonfiction), Come Landfall, Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations
  • Erin Keane (professional writing, poetry), Demolition of the Promised Land
  • Sam Zalutsky (writing for TV, screen, and stage), Seaside (Now streaming on Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, and elsewhere)

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, November 17. Faculty Reading. Register:

  • Kirby Gann (fiction), Ghosting
  • Jeanie Thompson (poetry), The Myth of Water: Poems from the Life of Helen Keller
  • Keith S. Wilson (poetry), Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love
  • Edie Hemingway (writing for children and young adults), Road to Tater Hill
  • Eric Schmiedl (playwriting), Browns Rules
  • Dianne Aprile (creative nonfiction), The Eye is Not Enough: On Seeing and Remembering

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, November 19. Faculty Reading. Register:

  • Nancy McCabe (creative nonfiction, fiction), Can This Marriage Be Saved?, Following Disasters
  • Jeremy Paden (translation), Under the Ocelot Sun
  • Gabriel Dean (writing for TV, screen, and stage), Terminus, Qualities of Starlight
  • Silas House (fiction), Southernmost
  • Beth Ann Bauman (writing for children & young adults), Jersey Angel

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, November 19. Spalding Prize winner Kevin Willmott. Register:

  • Kevin Willmott, Academy Award-winning screenwriter. Credits include BlacKkKlansman, Da 5 Bloods, C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America. Willmott will be awarded the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature for his body of work.

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Friday, Nov. 20. Faculty Reading. Registration:

  • John Pipkin (fiction), The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter
  • Rebecca Walker (creative nonfiction, fiction), Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness, Adé: A Love Story
  • Robin Lippincott (fiction, creative nonfiction), Our Arcadia, Blue Territory
  • Kira Obolensky (playwriting), Hiding in the Open
  • Charlie Schulman (writing for TV, screen, and stage), Goldstein: A Musical About Family
  • Kathleen Driskell (poetry), Blue Etiquette

The reading schedule may change without notice. Check Facebook for updated information: For more information, call 502-873-4400 or email [email protected]. ‘

Spalding University will begin the celebration of its 100th year as an institution located in downtown Louisville with its annual Founders’ Day Weekend, Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 1-4.

Spalding’s location is a source of pride for the university made all the more significant in light of the ongoing demonstrations in the name of racial and social justice.

Founders’ Day Weekend will include a slate of free, public virtual activities, including Spalding’s annual 24-hour Giving Day fundraiser on Thursday Oct. 1; a series of free, public “Alumni College” mini-workshops led by Spalding faculty; and a Sunday Mass conducted by the Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, at the Spalding Mansion Chapel.

There will also be reunions for the five- and 10-year anniversaries of every graduating class since 1950.

The Alumni College mini-workshops are new to Founders’ Day this year. Free and open to the public, the hour-long virtual sessions feature Spalding faculty from a range of academic disciplines discussing historical and current-affairs topics related to race, politics, health care, Kentucky literature and design thinking.

The Founders’ Day Weekend events will begin a 12-month celebration of Spalding’s 100th year downtown. Through Founders’ Day 2021, the University will share alumni and history stories on Spalding’s website and organize community service projects and special events, in accordance with public health guidelines during the pandemic.

“Spalding’s mission statement says we are a diverse community of learners dedicated to meeting the needs of the times,” Spalding President Tori Murden McClure said. “Set on a path by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, we are proud to have been in downtown Louisville for 100 years, and we will be here for the next 100, meeting the needs of the times, educating future leaders and promoting peace and justice.

“We welcome the public to join us over Founders’ Day Weekend in celebrating Spalding’s rich history and commitment to the future of our neighborhood.”

About Spalding’s history

Spalding is a private, Catholic institution that was founded in 1814 as Nazareth Academy by Mother Catherine Spalding and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Nelson County, Kentucky.
In the fall of 1920, the Sisters established the downtown Louisville campus under the name Nazareth College – Kentucky’s first four-year Catholic college for women – at the Tompkins-Buchanan-Rankin Mansion at 851 S. Fourth St.

In 1973, the university, then called Spalding College, was incorporated as an independent, urban, coeducational institution in the Catholic tradition for students of all traditions. It assumed its current name of Spalding University in 1984 in recognition of the range of academic programs it offered.

In 2011, Spalding was certified as the world’s first Compassionate University by the Compassionate Action Network.

Spalding’s campus has expanded to nearly 25 acres, with buildings and green spaces located primarily along South Second, South Third, South Fourth, West Kentucky and West Breckinridge streets. The campus also includes a seven-acre athletic fields complex that opened in 2019 west of the primary campus, between South Eighth and South Ninth streets.

Founders’ Day Weekend activities
Here is a rundown of the public virtual Founders’ Day Weekend activities, including Alumni College sessions:

All Day – Spalding’s Annual Giving Day: Spalding will hold its fifth annual all-day fundraiser – 24 hours focused on generating donations from within Spalding’s community of faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and going through midnight, donations can easily be made online at

Noon-1 p.m. – Alumni College: Anne Braden’s “A Letter to White Southern Women,” with Dr. Pattie Dillon, Chair of the School of Liberal Studies and Professor of History
6-7 p.m. – Alumni College: African American Involvement in Local and State Politics, with Dr. Deonte Hollowell, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies, and Executive in Residence Jerry Abramson

11 a.m.-Noon – Alumni College: From Nazareth Academy to Spalding University: A brief history of a great university, with Dr. Kurt Jefferson, Dean of Graduate Education
Noon-1 p.m. – Alumni College: Before the Anti-Racist Movement there was Black Studies, with Dr. Tomarra Adams, Dean of Undergraduate Education, and Dr. Ricky Jones, Chair of Pan-African Studies at University of Louisville
1-2 p.m. – Alumni College: The New Essential Kentucky Novels, with Professor Kathleen Driskell, Chair of the School of Creative and Professional Writing, and MFA in Writing alumni Silas House, Crystal Wilkinson and Katy Yocom
2-3 p.m. – Alumni College: Design Thinking and Creative Innovation: Leaning into Change, with Professor Deb Whistler, Associate Professor and Director of the Creative Arts program

11 a.m.-Noon – 2020 Founders’ Day Mass, with the Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville
2-3 p.m. – Alumni College: Health Care Today – Whom Do We Really Care About? with Brother Ignatius Perkins, Chair of the School of Nursing

March 12, 2020

The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to an unprecedented past few days in our country with widespread cancellations and closures creating large- and small-scale disruptions to daily life. Governments and institutions are working hard to prevent the spread of the virus, and Spalding is no exception.

There remains no known case of COVID-19 on campus, but the safety of our students, faculty and staff remains our paramount concern. In addition to moving all face-to-face classes online from March 16 to April 5 and having on-campus residential students move out of the of the residence halls, Spalding has canceled or postponed many campus events in the coming weeks.

Spalding’s Commencement ceremony at Canaan Christian Church is still on schedule for June 6, 2020.

Below is a list of list of cancellations and postponements that will be updated here, on the university’s coronavirus info page as needed. It will also be pinned to Spalding’s Facebook page.

March 14 Zeta Phi Beta Informational meeting

March 16 Bracketology fundraiser at Cardinal Stadium (canceled)

March 17 Future Business Leaders of America Region 3 meeting (canceled)

March 17 Campus Activities Board Meeting (canceled)

March 17 Hip Hop Dance Class (canceled)

March 18 Yoga (canceled)

March 19 Open Gym (canceled)

March 19 Kickboxing Class (canceled)

March 23 Phi Beta Lambda Meeting (canceled)

March 24 Campus Activities Board Meeting (canceled)

March 24 Hip Hop Dance Class (canceled)

March 25 Celebration of Student Writing (postponed, new date TBA)

March 25 Yoga (canceled)

March 26 Open Gym (canceled)

March 26 Kickboxing class (canceled)

March 27 A Way Forward: Dismantling Institutional Racism Conference (postponed, new date TBA)

March 28 Spalding University Nursing Students (SUNS) Blood Draw Ball

March 30 Phi Beta Lambda Meeting (canceled)

March 30 Underground Artists Movement Bake Sale (canceled)

March 31 Hip Hop Dance Class (canceled)

March 31 Countdown to Graduation (canceled)

March 31 Campus Activities Board Meeting (canceled)

March 31 Underground Artists Movement Bake Sale (canceled)

March 31 Army ROTC Information Session (canceled)

March 31 Keenan Lecture (canceled)

April 1 Countdown to Graduation (canceled)

April 2 MSN-FNP Information Session (canceled)

April 2 Red Cross Blood Drive