Kentucky Wesleyan College Board of Trustees Chairperson Tom Grieb announces the appointment of Barton D. Darrell as the thirty-fourth president of Kentucky Wesleyan College. Darrell has served as vice president of external services at the College with responsibility for development, admissions, financial aid, alumni relations and public relations functions since October 2013. He is a 1984 graduate of Wesleyan, and he earned a juris doctor from the University of Louisville School of Law in 1987. He served the College as a trustee and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, as president of the Alumni Association and as an adjunct professor of business law.
“In his 11 months as vice president, Bart Darrell has been decisive, focused and results-driven,” remarked Grieb. “He offers tremendous commitment and positive energy, along with great passion for our heritage, and most of all, for our students and their needs. He is a natural leader who acts on his strongly held obligation to help others succeed. Bart has deep roots at Wesleyan that will grow and flower.”
Darrell was associated with the law firm of Bell, Orr, Ayers & Moore in Bowling Green, beginning in 1987. He became a partner in 1991. Darrell has represented school districts throughout Kentucky, including the Daviess County Public Schools and the Warren County Public Schools, where he served as general counsel. He has served as president of the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bowling Green-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, a founding director of the board of the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, chairman of the board for the American Red Cross, a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Volunteer Services, a member of the board of Leadership Kentucky and in numerous other public service capacities. Darrell was also appointed by the governor to serve on Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education for four years and was the vice-chair in 2004
Darrell was named “Kentucky’s Outstanding Young Lawyer” by the Kentucky Bar Association and one of forty “New Leaders for the 21st Century” for Kentucky by the Louisville Courier-Journal, Lexington Herald-Leader and the Shakertown Roundtable. He received the “Gwen Davis Award” from the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association for his commitment to public service and community spirit and the “Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership” by the American Red Cross.
His father, Dr. Bob Darrell, is a professor emeritus of English at Kentucky Wesleyan College, where he taught from 1969 – 2000. The Darrell PLUS Center, which offers tutoring, workshops and individual assistance to students, is named in his honor. His mother, Nelda Peeples Darrell, was a lifelong educator. The Nelda Peeples Darrell Stage in Hager Hall at the Ralph Center on campus is named in her memory. His maternal grandfather, Dr. Cecil Peeples, was a United Methodist minister and the president Lon Morris College, also a Methodist institution, in Jacksonville, Texas, from 1935 – 1973.
“My grandfather was my hero. He led with integrity, vision, faith and enthusiasm, “said Darrell in accepting his appointment as president. “I am deeply honored and humbled to serve, and I am very grateful for the solid foundation laid by Dr. Turner. Together our faculty, administrative team, trustees, alumni and community will build on that foundation.”
A news conference to introduce Barton D. Darrell as president of Kentucky Wesleyan College will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at noon in Rogers Hall at the Winchester Center. The public is invited to attend.