Each year, HCC honors a past student with its Distinguished Alumni Award. This year Henderson Community College is proud to posthumously honor Ms. Judy Jenkins. Judy’s colleague, Chuck Stinnett, has kindly let us use an abridged version of his words to recognize Judy:
In 1963, Judith Ann Greenfield was a newly minted, 19-year-old just out of the University of Kentucky Northwest Center (now Henderson Community College) and was looking for a summer job before going to U.K. to study English literature. She applied for a job as a temporary secretary at the chamber of commerce here but flunked the shorthand test; the chamber director informed her that The Gleaner was looking for a summer reporter—and she got the job. By summer’s end, when it was time to leave for U.K., Judy decided to stay at The Gleaner and work another year. “I’d fallen in love with journalism,” she explained years later.
She met and married Ron Jenkins, and the young couple spent a year working at The Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro, then Ron and Judy returned to The Gleaner. Judy went into public relations for a while, but she “badly missed the newspaper.” In 1973, she returned to The Gleaner for good.
During her career, she earned numerous awards from the Kentucky Press Association — among them, eight first-place awards for best columns, including a first-place award for best sports story — and other organizations, including seven Barry Bingham Sr. Awards from the Kentucky Psychiatry Association for her reporting on mental illness.
HCC is proud to honor outstanding alumnus Judy Greenfield Jenkins.