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Creation Date



Built - 1967
Dedicated - October 14, 1967
Cost of Construction - $1 million
Gross Square Feet - over 54,000
Architects - Lee Potter Smith & Associates

Namesake: Lawrence Wetherby born Jan. 2, 1908 in Middletown, Kentucky to Samuel and Fanny (Yenowine) Wetherby. His father was a doctor and a farmer. Wetherby attended the University of Louisville where he obtained a degree in law. He went on to serve in the Jefferson County court system. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1947 and became the forty-eighth governor when Gov. Earle Clements became Kentucky's U.S. senator. Wetherby went on to serve Kentucky in the state senate from 1966 to 1968. Upon leaving public service, Wetherby obtained a position at Brighton Engineering where he became a vice-president. He died March 27, 1994.

History: The Wetherby Administration Building was constructed to provide a larger space for the administrative units of WKU. The building opened in September 1967 and housed the offices of the President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Graduate School, Undergraduate Instruction, Registrar, Admissions, Public Affairs, Student Affairs, Business Affairs and the Computer Center. It is a four story building and contains sixty-nine offices, work spaces and conference rooms.

Park City Daily News:
Administration Building, photograph, Aug. 6, 1967
Construction Bids High; All Rejected, Oct. 8, 1965
Construction of Western's New Administration Building, photograph, Oct. 30, 1966
Hightower, Paul. "It's the season," photograph, Dec. 7, 1972
New Administration Building, photograph, Sept. 26, 1965
Tightrope Walker, photograph, Oct. 30, 1966
Two Building Projects Underway at Western, Oct. 30, 1966 - Wetherby & Florence Schneider Hall
Union Employees Return to WKU Construction Jobs, May 4, 1967
Upsy-Daisy, photograph, Oct. 30, 1966
WKU Exec Building, photographs, Aug. 6, 1967
Western University's $1 Million Administration Building, photograph, Jan. 22, 1967
Work Halted on 3 WKU Projects, June 16, 1967
Work Resumes on Western Projects, June 20, 1967

Other Sources:
"As High As It Goes," Louisville Courier-Journal, photograph Feb. 13, 1967.
"Building Boom at Colleges Keeps Growing," Aug. 21, 1966
"Occupied in September, 1967," Central City Times-Argus, photograph, 1967
"Western President Reveals College Plans for Future," Jan. 6, 1965

Functional Design Keynotes Administration Building
Modern and functional design keynotes the new Lawrence Wetherby Administration Building

The rectangular, four-story structure provides the University with office space for all of the school's major administrators.

The building, constructed at a cost of slightly over one million dollars, houses the office of the president, vice president for academic affairs, vice president for administrative affairs, dean of public affairs, dean of students, dean of men, dean of women, registrar, director of admissions, the business office and computer center. Also included are mailing rooms, a loading deck [sic], concessions areas and a service elevator.

The structure not only fulfills present physical requirements but has been designed to meet any increased needs in the future.

The completely air-conditioned building contains a total of 54,000 square feet of floor space, including 69 offices, work rooms and conference rooms.

The new structure is named in honor of Lawrence W. Wetherby, former governor of Kentucky.

Wetherby was born Jan. 2, 1908 in Middletown. He graduated in 1929 from the University of Louisville.

Showing an interest in young people, Wetherby served as attorney for the Jefferson County Juvenile Court from 1933 to 1937, and from 1943 until 1947 he was judge of the Juvenile Court of Jefferson County.

Wetherby was elected lieutenant governor in 1947, and served until 1950 at which time he succeeded Earle C. Clements as governor. He served as chief executive until 1955. He is past secretary of the Kentucky State Democratic Central Executive Committee and a member of both the Kentucky and Louisville Bar Associations.

Wetherby is married to the former Helen Dwyer. They have three children: Lawrence Jr., Suzanne and Barbara.


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