New on-campus space, made possible by a grant from the PNC Foundation, will serve as a hub for academic support

With the support of a $100,000 grant from the PNC Foundation, Spalding University has established the PNC Center for Student Success, a new space on campus that centralizes and strengthens the university’s academic support services.

The new PNC Center for Student Success brings together the Writing & Peer Learning Center, the Center for Accessibility & Learning Equity’s reading support services and Success Coaches program, and the Math Lab. Located on the second floor of the university’s library, this shared space will improve ease of access and visibility to resources for students, while also fostering administrative coordination.

“Spalding University is known throughout our region for its efforts to close the equity gap in higher education, and for its contributions to the development of our local workforce,” said Kristen Byrd, PNC regional president for Louisville. “The services and resources offered at the PNC Center for Student Success will help ensure today’s students and tomorrow’s workforce are equipped to thrive.”

Integral to the delivery of the center’s services is a faculty/peer-mentor staffing model, which accommodates a variety of learning styles and is designed to reach students statistically at-risk for attrition, including first-generation and minority students.

These services include tutoring, research guidance, assistance with math and reading comprehension, study skills development, test preparation and technology use. Additionally, the center aims to foster a sense of community and collaboration, with a comfortable common space where students can connect with each other.

“I remember being in the residence halls when I was a student, and we would converse for hours and debate as part of our student experience,” said Tomarra Adams, dean of undergraduate education. “Our vision for the PNC Center for Student Success is to create that kind of synergy for students. They come to get the technical help, but they also feed off the energy of learning and the interactions that a central space fosters. Thereby, they get to share ideas and learn in a different way.”

The PNC Center for Student Success’ grand opening will be 2:00 p.m., May 11, 2022. President Tori Murden McClure, Dean Tomarra Adams, PNC Regional President Kristen Byrd and the center’s coordinators will share remarks.

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About PNC Foundation: The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

About Spalding University: Established in 1814 and located in downtown Louisville since 1920, Spalding is a historic, private institution that offers graduate, undergraduate and accelerated programs in a range of areas of study. The regionally accredited university offers an innovative schedule of seven six-week sessions per year, allowing students to earn a bachelor’s degree at their own pace. Its athletic teams compete in NCAA Division III. Spalding was recognized as the world’s first Compassionate University. More information is available at

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.”


Other than Commencement, the Running of the Rodents is Spalding’s oldest annual tradition, held each spring around Kentucky Derby season as a fun break from the “rat race” of upcoming exams and the end of the school year. This joyful event for students, faculty and staff was held for 47 consecutive years until last year, when, unfortunately, the pandemic forced us to take a pause. Led by the Student Government Association, Spalding is proud to announce that next week, festivities surrounding the week of the Running of the Rodents will return, leading up to a modified, socially distant, livestreamed version of our rat derby on Thursday, April 22.

RELATED: 2019 Running of the Rodents ‘Rat Recap’

More information and reminders will be shared next week, but Rat Week activities will kick off Monday afternoon, with a Spring Carnival at Trager Park sponsored by the Residence Hall Association. (See info below.)

For all events, remember to practice social distancing, wear a mask (including for outdoor events) and complete the CampusClear assessment before coming to campus.

Here is the schedule:

Monday, April 19

RHA Spring Carnival, Trager Park, 3-7 p.m.: Join the RHA and our campus residents for yard games and activity stations, including cornhole, ladder golf, giant Connect 4 and a tie-dye station. (Bring your own items to tie-dye.) There will be popsicles and lemonade for attendees. Also, to benefit Family Scholar House, bring a donation of school supplies to be entered into a raffle. The raffle winner will receive a prize from the Campus Store.

Rat Race Photo Archive, Library Huff Gallery, all day (Monday-Thursday): A video of photos will be on display.

Tuesday, April 20
Lemon Juleps, College Street Café, lunch hours: The Café will serve Spalding’s traditional Running of the Rodents beverage. The Library will have a fun display with the history of the drink.

Derby Hat Social Media Contest, enter by noon: Create a Running of the Rodents or Kentucky Derby hat and please submit a photo of it to [email protected] or tag @spaldinguniversity on Instagram by noon. The winner will receive a Rat Race T-shirt.

Rat Race Photo Archive, Library Huff Gallery, all day: A video of photos will be on display.

Wednesday, April 21

Way Back Wednesday, all day: Please share your Rat Race photos from previous years on social media and tag @spaldinguniversity on Instagram, @spaldingu on Twitter or @spaldinguniversity on Facebook. Or email your photos to [email protected].

Rat Race Photo Archive, Library Huff Gallery, all day: A video of photos will be on display.

Thursday, April 22

Modified Running of the Rodents, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: More information to come next week on the details of this year’s socially distant races!

Rat Race Photo Archive, Library Huff Gallery, all day: A video of photos will be on display.


With Spalding University quickly shifting all classes online for Session 5 in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the staff of the Spalding Library has provided crucial support to faculty members who are making the transition.

Instruction and Learning Services Librarian Leah Cover said faculty members have reached out to library staff with a positive attitude, willing to learn ways to adapt their courses to an online format and recognizing how important it is to go online to ensure physical distancing and public safety.

They’ve encountered librarians who are eager to help.

“I think overall people across Spalding have been really flexible and adaptable and positive,” Cover said. “Something that I’ve been saying to people and to myself is that most people know this is a different situation than if someone was planning an online course (under conventional circumstances) and had lots of time to prep. It’s probably healthy for people to have that outlook – that it doesn’t have to be perfect.”

During the week of March 16, the library hosted a Faculty Online Assistance Center with in-person consultations (at a safe physical distance) and virtual support to full-time and adjunct instructors. Since Session 5 began on March 23, the librarians have continued offering a range of virtual services to the campus community.

“Don’t hesitate to reach out,” Cover said. “We’re here.”

In the Faculty Online Assistance Center sessions, Senior Manager of Library and Online Services Mimi O’Malley, Access Services Librarian Brandi Duggins and Cover helped faculty with learning management system issues, electronic resources for courses and access to important web-based technology such as GoToMeeting. O’Malley and her team worked closely with Chief Information Officer Ezra Krumhansl and his information technology team to rapidly ramp up the quick transition.

Dean of Graduate Education Dr. Kurt Jefferson said the library and IT staffs had put forth “heroic efforts” to get Spalding fully online for Session 5.

“Mimi, Ezra and their teams have responded to the unprecedented transition of nearly 75 percent of our in-seat classes to online delivery in ways that would have been unimaginable two weeks earlier,” Jefferson said.

SPALDING LIBRARY WEBSITE | Overview of resources, hours and programs
SPALDING LIBRARY COVID-19 PAGE | Special announcements during this time
UNIVERSITY’S Healthy Together COVID-19 PAGE | Information, updates and resources
RELATED | 5 tips for faculty moving courses online

Cover said she and her colleagues provided several faculty members with instructions for putting their lectures into a video format over Spalding’s learning management systems Moodle and Canvas. Some needed help recording a PowerPoint presentation with a voice-over. Others wanted a PowerPoint that displayed their faces via a webcam.

“Unless you’re familiar with some of these software programs, a lot of it can be overwhelming because there are a lot of options,” Cover said. “The biggest thing has just been talking to people about where they are and what they need and pointing them to what makes the most sense for them.”

Cover said a key part has been to direct faculty to the robust tutorials that are already provided by programs such as Canvas and GoToMeeting.

“We can kind of just point them to those things once they understand the basics, and they’re like, ‘Oh, great, it’s all here. Cool, I’ll figure it out,'” Cover said.

Cover said she thinks the library was prepared for the challenge of helping the campus move online because the staff had plenty of experience working on virtual platforms and helping faculty create online courses. Cover wrote tutorials on the subject several months ago.

She said the Center for Teaching and Learning and Quality Enhancement Plan staff have already been engaging faculty for months on developing and learning methods for delivering curriculum online because it is the “direction higher ed is going anyway.”

“So we should be on that boat and ahead of that curve,” she said. “I’ve been really impressed with the excitement that a lot of people have shown that there can be some really inventive and creative and robust ways to teach online and that it’s not a lesser version of teaching. It just requires a different set of skills and some thinking outside the box – or outside the classroom.

“We have some people at Spalding who are thinking really creatively and doing really great work teaching online. We can rely on that expertise within our own institution.”

That library staff is doing its part to share its expertise.

Cover and her library colleagues have taken satisfaction in knowing they are helping faculty and students navigate the move online.

“I think I can speak for all of us when I say one of my favorite parts of working in the library is getting to work individually to help them trouble-shoot and problem-solve,” she said. “I enjoy being in a position where we can help people figure out ways that work for them.”

Library access: The Spalding Library remains open for in-person visits on a very limited basis, in order to accommodate only the students who have no other access to a computer or the Internet. Students, who must swipe their Spalding ID to enter the building, should not come to the library for any reason other than to use the computers for the time they need to complete their classwork. SEE MORE INFORMATION

The library staff is available for virtual support from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

Spalding University will honor diversity and African-American culture and history during February with multiple events to celebrate Black History Month.

Here a few things for students to see and do:

  • “Marshall” film showing: At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, the Spalding Library, in conjunction with the offices of Student Engagement and Student Leadership and Multicultural Services, will show the film, “Marshall.” The 2017 movie, starring Chadwick Boseman, is a biopic about Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice. The movie will be shown in the lower-level Library Lecture Lounge, and a discussion of the film will follow the conclusion. (Here’s the link to the “Marshall” IMDB page.)
  • “Share Your Love”: During lunch hours on Feb. 14, Student Leadership and Multicultural Services will host an event at the POD dining center where Spalding community members will celebrate what they love about various identities.
  • Book display: All month, there will be a literary installation of books and movies available for checkout on the first floor of the library. The books display will include popular and scholarly works of fiction and nonfiction by African-American authors or about African-American-related issues or history.

In addition, the Global Mixed Gender Basketball league (GMGB site here) – a co-ed professional basketball league started by the rapper Master P – is sponsoring the Balling For a Cause youth basketball camp to celebrate Black History Month at Columbia Gym on Feb. 10 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Louisville community activist Christopher 2X, who does community outreach nationally for the GMGB league, organized the leadership and skills camp, which is for middle school boys and girls ages 11-13 and has the theme of “Celebrating the Black Athlete.” The free camp is invitation-only for players through participating schools and intramural organizations, but anyone is welcome to come watch.