Geography in the Bluegrass Day


The University of Kentucky Department of Geography invites you to our 47th Annual Ellen Churchill Semple Day, a celebration of the Geography Program, our history, our present students and faculty, our alumni and friends, and the achievements of all.

Ellen Churchill Semple, 1863-1932

Schedule of Events, Friday April 26, 2019                     

  • A Friday Afternoon Address by Dr. Karl Raitz, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky, W.T. Young Library, UK Athletics Association Auditorium, University of Kentucky at 2:00pm.
  • A reception and awards dinner at the Lyric Theater in downtown Lexington to celebrate our 75th Anniversary

Ellen Churchill Semple was born in Louisville in 1863, and is considered one of the century's foremost geographers. She entered Vassar College at the age of 15 and received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from there. Her academic home was literally spread across the world; she was a keen believer in experiencing places and people as a means of better understanding them. Ms. Semple was a dedicated researcher and a profuse writer. She was named a charter member of the Association of American Geographers, and was elected the association's president (and first woman president) in 1921.

Semple Day is our annual spring celebration of the Geography Department at the University of Kentucky. Come and reacquaint yourself with the Department and University, and enjoy the day’s highlight: an afternoon lecture by a distinguished visitor. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the department are all welcome. This event provides a chance to catch up with friends (and make new ones), a venue for a brief program of awards and recognitions, and a convenient departure point for post-Semple celebrations in one of the many new restaurants and watering holes in Lexington’s vibrant downtown social scene.

2019 marks our 75th Anniversary as a Department, and we will celebrate with 'Extended Semple Day'. Please check back for updates!

We welcome new friends at this event! Please see the details in the menu at left or contact the Geography Department's office for more information about joining us at Semple Day.

Past Speakers

  • Sarah Elwood, Professor, University of Washington [2018]
  • John Paul Jones, Professor, University of Arizona [2017]
  • Jennifer Hyndman, Professor, York University [2016]
  • Michael Brown, Professor, University of Washington [2015]
  • John Kupfer, Professor, University of South Carolina [2014]
  • Sarah Whatmore, Professor, University of Oxford [2013]
  • Trevor Barnes, Professor, University of British Columbia [2012]
  • Karl Zimmerer, Professor, Penn State University [2011]
  • Lynn Staeheli, Professor, University of Edinburgh [2010]
  • Carol Harden, Professor, University of Tennessee [2009]
  • Jamie Peck, Professor, University of Wisconsin (Madison) [2008]
  • Amy Glasmeier, Professor, Pennsylvania State University [2007]
  • Craig Colten, Professor, Louisiana State University [2006]
  • Nuala Johnson, Reader, Queen's University of Belfast, UK [2005]
  • John Antenucci, Founder and CEO, Plangraphics [2004]
  • Sallie Marston, Professor, University of Arizona [2003]
  • Sally Horn, Professor, University of Tennessee [2002]
  • Victoria Lawson, Professor, University of Washington [2001]
  • Eric Sheppard, Professor, University of Minnesota [2000]
  • Richard Walker, Professor, University of California, Berkeley [1999]
  • Susan Hanson, Professor, Clark University [1998]
  • Ron Eller, Director, Appalachian Center, University of Kentucky [1997]
  • David Harvey, Professor, Johns Hopkins University [1996]
  • Gurney Norman, Professor, University of Kentucky [1995]
  • B. L. Turner, II, Professor, Clark University [1994]
  • John A. Agnew, Professor, Syracuse University [1993]
  • George J. Demko, Professor, Dartmouth College [1992]
  • Anne Buttimer, Professor, Universite d'Ottawa [1991]
  • Saul B. Cohen, Professor, Hunter College [1990]
  • Harm J. deBlij, Professor, University of Miami [1989]
  • Sam Bowers Hilliard, Professor, Louisiana State University [1988]
  • Risa Palm, Professor, University of Colorado [1987]
  • Melvin G. Marcus, Professor, Arizona State University [1986]
  • Chistopher L. Salter, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles [1985]
  • Julian V. Minghi, Professor, University of South Carolina [1984]
  • Barry C. Bishop, Asst. to the President, National Geographic Society [1983]
  • Grady Clay, Editor, Landscape Architecture [1982]
  • Peirce Lewis, Professor, Pennsylvania State University [1981]
  • Michael P. Conzen, Professor, University of Chicago [1980]
  • Cotton Mather, Professor, University of Minnesota [1979]
  • Marvin Mikesell, Professor, University of Chicago [1978]
  • Preston James, Maxwell Professor, Syracuse University [1977]
  • Langdon White, Professor, Stanford University [1976]
  • John Fraser Hart, Professor, University of Minnesota [1975]
  • Preston James, Maxwell Professor, Syracuse University [1974]
  • J. R. Schwendeman, Professor Emeritus, University of Kentucky [1973]
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