A longtime Kentucky lawmaker now has a bronze statue on the campus of Western Kentucky University.
“I can not tell you how much it means to me to have this building and this statue as namesakes.”
Earlier this month hundreds of people were on hand at Jody Richards Hall to celebrate the contributions of the Kentucky state representative who’se career in education began at Western Kentucky University.
“For more than 50 years now this university has been an invaluable part of my life. I have walked this hill as a faculty member, advisor, advocate and devoted fan.”
The longtime legislator got choked up recalling the importance his parents placed on him and his brother Jim getting a college education.
“We went to college through graduate school and never had a debt so I’m very appreciative of that.”
WKU President Tim Caboni highlighted the former speaker’s significant contributions to the university.
“As the commonwealth’s longest serving speaker of the house, he championed higher education reform, the creation of the Gatton Academy at WKU and many policy changes that helped WKU create important programs.”
Still Richards downplayed the honor, choosing instead to focus on those who worked with him.
“This ceremony is not about me at all it’s about the people I’m proud to have worked with and worked for, about students who attend WKU now and will attend a century from now.”
Several alumni and friends made gifts to fully fund the creation of the Richards statue which was crafted by world renowned sculptor Russ Faxon. Faxon has created five other bronze sculptures on the WKU campus.