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View From The Hill: WKU alum Cliff Todd talks about the new home for the College Heights Foundation being named in his honor

Cliff Todd Center Dedication
Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 4:43 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - It’s a project that’s been several years in the making. Finding a new home for the College Heights Foundation.

The newly dedicated Cliff Todd Center on Chestnut Street preserves the past while looking toward the future as Amy Bingham reports in this week’s View from the Hill.

“One, two, three, yeah”

“This is a highlight of my life. Out of five or six things in my life, this is one of them.”

The new home of WKU’s College Heights Foundation bears the name of 1950 graduate Cliff Todd.

“I am very excited about this spot. First we were gonna renovate the old building and it wasn’t worth doing so we decided to tear it down and build a new one, well that one came in about a million dollars too high. That’s when we switched to here and it’s a blessing.”

“Here” is 1703 Chestnut Street. A home built in 1898 and most recently owned by John and Susan Minton.

The Minton’s generosity combined with Todd’s one million dollar gift means the CHF is well positioned for the future.

“Cliff, in addition to providing financial support, you’re providing a wonderful philanthropic example for generations of Hilltoppers to come.”

Todd, who is 93 years old, says back in the 1940′s his family expected him to go to work, not college. But he found a way to make it happen.

“I made 35 cents an hour in the kitchen and then I got a job in the post office as post master for 45 dollars and I tested dairy cows over two counties, sold shoes on Saturday afternoon down town and worked for a professor.”

With no men’s dorms available, Todd says he lived in a barn pavilion for three years.

“We had to leave doors open for heat and the cows were underneath but it cost a dollar a week.”

After a successful career as an epidemiologist and a private prison executive, Todd reconnected with WKU in the late 90′s and has been impacting students ever since.

“I’m very interested in people getting an education.”

The College Heights Foundation was founded in 1923 and today awards more than five million dollars in scholarship support to more than 25 hundred students each year.

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