A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKU student leaders to celebrate Earth Day with day of service to honor President Mearns Saturday

Northern Kentucky University student leaders celebrate Earth Day with a day of service in honor of President Geoffrey S. Mearns and his wife Jennifer.


On Saturday, April 22, students will beautify the campus by spreading mulch, painting, planting and cleaning. The Student Government Association and Northern Kentucky Leadership Institute partnered to hold the inaugural day of service event.

In January, Mearns announced he would leave NKU to become the 17th president of Ball State University in Indiana.

Mearns goes to Ball State after spending nearly five years as the president of Northern Kentucky University. He led an advocacy campaign to garner additional state support for the university, in an effort to address a historic funding disparity. The multiyear educational efforts resulted in an additional $5.1 million in funding for the university.

Additionally, Mearns secured the largest single capital investment in Northern Kentucky’s history, via a $97 million appropriation from the state for the institution’s health innovation center.

“The Mearns’ have been serving this university for five years, showing us what it truly means to be a campus that is On the Rise. We want to show our appreciation and NKU pride by continuing their service,” said Will Weber, NKU Student Body President. “I encourage all students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and all proud NKU community members to sign-up and join us.”

Mearns will continue to serve as president through Spring Commencement, which takes place May 7. The Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents named Gerard “Gerry” St. Amand as interim president while the search to find a permanent replacement for Mearns is conducted.

Check-in for the Earth Day event starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves and dress for outdoor work. The schedule is below:

Saturday, April 22nd 2017

*9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Sign-In at the Student Union Ballroom
*10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Planting/Outdoor Projects in front of the Student Union
*12:30 p.m.- 1:30 p.m. Free Lunch in the Student Union Ballroom

The day of service event will take place rain or shine. In case of rain, volunteers will help with University Housing projects indoors.

Northern Kentucky University

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