May 3, 2023
W. Lawrence Patrick to receive honorary degree from UK
W. Lawrence Patrick (center) shown with (from left to right): UK President Eii Capilouto, Sarah Geegan, Liz Spencer, Deborah Chung, UK Provost Robert DiPaola, Zixue Tai, Brandi Frisby and Erin Hester after receiving his honorary doctorate at the May 2023 commencement ceremony.
This Friday, the University of Kentucky will present broadcaster and media broker W. Lawrence Patrick with its highest honor during the May 2023 Commencement Ceremonies.
Patrick, a UK College of Communication and Information alumnus, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during the 9 a.m. ceremony Friday, May 5, at Central Bank Center at Rupp Arena.
Patrick is recognized for his monumental accomplishments in spearheading the developments of the radio and television industry in the United States and beyond during times of rapid change and volatile transformation. Besides his impeccable professional achievement, Patrick’s contribution to the academic community and educational mission of broadcasting has been equally impressive.
After completing a bachelor's degree in telecommunications (the predecessor of the Media Arts and Studies program) at UK, Patrick went on to earn a master's degree from the University of Tennessee, a doctoral degree from Ohio University and a juris doctor from Georgetown University.
Patrick has owned or operated over 100 radio and 85 television stations in his career. His distinguished professional career in broadcasting started in Lexington, as the news producer, director and producer at Lexington-based WKYT. Among his multiple roles in shaping the broadcasting industry, Patrick also serves as managing partner of Patrick Communications LLC with offices in Wyoming and Maryland since 1984.
In his numerous leadership roles, Patrick served as chairman of the board and lead independent director of ION Media Networks (2005-2008), chief operating officer of Gilmore Broadcasting of Kalamazoo, Michigan (1983-1986), and senior vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington, D.C. (1979-1983).
Patrick’s service to the educational, academic and social service mission of broadcasting media ranges from the past president of the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) to the past president of the National Association of Media Brokers (NAMB) and past chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation (NABLF). His contribution to the education of broadcasters was recognized in the Distinguished Education Service Award by BEA in 2005. He also served as chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters Political Action Committee (NABPAC) for six years and is a director on the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Board.
Patrick is as an active supporter of the UK College of Communication and Information and its School of Journalism and Media, where he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2017. He is chair of the John Bayliss Foundation, which has given more than $1.2 million in scholarships to hundreds of students pursuing careers in radio. His philanthropy has extended beyond his industry with the funding of schools and clinics in Africa and Native American communities, and serving as vice chair of the Yellowstone Park Foundation and board member of the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Maine.