Crowded into an office on the sixth floor of Faculty Hall, professors, Murray State officials and community members gathered to watch as one of the highest honors in Kentucky was awarded to one of their colleagues Thursday.
Brian Clardy, assistant professor of Humanities and Fine Arts, is now the newest Kentucky Colonel at Murray State.
According to the Kentucky Colonels website, colonels are unwavering in their devotion to faith and family, proud, yet humble and leaders who are not ashamed to follow their country. The mission of the order is to reach out and educate children and to provide support for those in need.
“I am profoundly honored to be receiving such a prestigious award,” said Clardy of the colonel honor.
Clardy reminisced about seeing the award presented on television when he was a child.
“I remember thinking how cool that would be,” he said. “All I have to say about it is that dreams do come true.”
Dave Shinall, reporter for WKMS, nominated Clardy for the award. Gov. Julian Carroll commissioned Shinall about 28 years ago.
Shinall said the award is for people who have significantly serviced the commonwealth of Kentucky.
“I nominated Dr. Clardy because of his dedication to education young people,” Shinall said.
The Order is an independent non-profit corporation and are financed by voluntary contributions from Kentucky Colonels according to their website.
Clardy now belongs to an order including other well-known colonels like Muhammad Ali, Betty White and Johnny Depp.
To apply for a colonelship, applicants must be at least 18 years old and be nominated by an established Kentucky Colonel.
Story by Mari-Alice Jasper, Assistant News Editor