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Buddy Cowgill

Cowgill, Rosenthal, and Young honored for service to Transylvania

Three long-serving members of the Board of Trustees were recognized by the presentation of major awards that salute exceptional service to Transylvania and its programs. The ceremony took place during a Board reception in May at the home of President and Mrs. R. Owen Williams.

Irvin E. Lunger Award

Named in honor of Transylvania’s twenty-first president, presented to Norwood Cowgill Jr. ’65, shown above.

Buddy Cowgill has been an active and valuable member of the Transylvania Board of Trustees since 1990. He currently serves on the Executive Committee, the Committee on Trustees, and the Development Committee. His prior service includes chairing both the Physical Plant Committee and the By-Laws Advisory Committee.

He has backed up his considerable donations of time and expertise with substantial financial support. From 1992-97 he chaired the alumni phase of the $25 million Campaign for Transylvania, which exceeded its goal. He and his wife, Judith King Cowgill ’64, provided a generous lead gift for construction of the Cowgill Center for Business, Economics, and Education. He was a major supporter of the Clive M. Beck Athletic and Recreation Center and has helped endow various scholarships, including the William T. Young Scholarship and the JGK III Scholarship.

“Buddy is always available on behalf of the college—indeed, his commitment is tireless,” said Williams. “Of particular note is his drive to expand the campus. For many years, he has been a one-man acquisition machine for Transylvania. Simply put, we would not be where we are today, and have the opportunities that lie ahead, without Buddy Cowgill.”

Cowgill began his career in real estate, then founded Studio Plus Hotels. After that company merged with Extended Stay America, he resigned to launch Office Suites PLUS, a national chain of high-tech, temporary office centers that has been very successful. He is currently chairman of the board of that firm and continues to be one of the largest apartment owners and managers in Lexington.

Charles and Susan Shearer Award

Named in honor of Transylvania’s twenty-fourth president and his wife, presented to Warren W. Rosenthal

Warren Rosenthal was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1972 and is currently a member of the Development Committee and the Committee on Trustees. He has served as vice chair of the board and as a member of the Executive Committee, the Long Range/Strategic Planning Committee, and Nominating and Governance Committee.

His generous financial support has touched Transylvania in many areas, beginning with his loyal support of the annual fund. He led the way with a donation and fund-raising for the Rosenthal Residence Complex, named in his honor, and he chaired the Campaign for Transylvania. Besides being a major donor to the project, he chaired the fund-raising effort and was a key figure in planning for the Clive M. Beck Athletic and Recreation Center. The Brown Science Center laboratory renovation project and the Charles L. Shearer Art Building also bear his stamp of support. He and his wife, Betty, put forth the $1 million Inauguration Challenge in honor of Owen Williams’s presidency.

“No board member has been more actively involved in the affairs of this college for a longer period of time, or been more generous to the college, than Warren Rosenthal,” said Williams. “In fact, Warren has given so much in the way of time, advice, support, and attention to Transylvania that he truly is in a class of his own.”

Rosenthal retired from the food service industry in 1989 as chairman of Jerrico, Inc., a company he joined in 1948 when its entire holdings consisted of two five-cent hamburger stands called White Taverns and one eight-stool Jerry’s sandwich shop. Upon his retirement, the organization had more than 1,500 Long John Silver’s Seafood Shoppes in 37 states and two foreign countries, plus over 60 Jerry’s restaurants and the beginnings of the now robust Fazoli’s Italian restaurant chain. Today, he is the owner of Patchen Wilkes Farm, a thoroughbred horse operation.

The Transylvania Medal

Presented to non-alums for friendship and outstanding service to Transylvania, presented to William T. Young Jr.

Bill Young’s service to the Board of Trustees now extends over 29 years, beginning with his election to the board in 1983. He has served as Executive Committee chair, vice chair of the Finance Committee, and as a member of the Investment Committee, Development Committee, and Nominating and Governance Committee. He was elected chairman of the board in 2000 and is also a member of the Bingham Board of Trust.

His generous financial support of Transylvania begins with his loyal contributions to the annual fund. He was a major supporter of the Clive M. Beck Athletic and Recreation Center and a lead donor to the new location for the alumni and development office. He has supported many other targeted campaigns and scholarship funds, including the JGK III Scholarship.

“In my two years as president of Transylvania, no one has offered me more careful counsel or more consistently wise advice than Bill Young Jr.,” said Williams. “I am forever amazed at the extent to which Bill makes himself available on behalf of this college. When one thinks of the many other organizations that would love to wrestle him away from us, it is impossible not to reflect on how lucky we are that Bill has chosen Transylvania as the object of his affections.”

Young is chairman of W.T. Young, LLC, the parent company of W.T. Young Storage, a commercial warehousing and real estate development firm. He is a 1970 graduate of Princeton University who went on to earn an MBA from the University of Virginia.

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