One of EKU's most distinguished military alumni was honored with a memorial bench at EKU's Veterans Memorial, located in the Powell Plaza, on Nov. 7.
Col. Ralph E. Newman, ROTC Class of 1962, began his military career in the Kentucky National Guard in 1956. In 1962, he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer through the Army ROTC Program at EKU. Col. Newman retired from military service in 1992.
Following his retirement, Col. Newman’s second career was to educate, mold and inspire many young men and women in the Grayson West Carter and East Carter Junior ROTC, which he established. In addition to serving as a Deacon at the Oak Grove Church of Christ, he led many different activities where he shared his love of rock climbing, rappelling and kayaking with his church family.
In addition to spending time with his loving family, Col. Newman enjoyed participating in archeological excursions in Jerusalem, serving on several digs.
He was a highly sought speaker at military events and was known for his well-composed and inspiring words. To all who were privileged and blessed to know him, he had a true gift of compassion for all of humanity.
As one classmate recently noted, "He was a man committed to a life of service to others."
He was a charter member of the EKU ROTC Alumni Chapter and served as chapter president for three years. In 2000, he was selected as the ROTC Distinguished Alum, an honor reserved for those special alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professions through excellence, dedication and service.
In addition to his wife, Sandra, and his granddaughter Randa McGuire, who were present to unveil the memorial bench, the event was attended by ROTC classmates and friends, including ROTC Distinguished Alumni Hardy Tribble, Col. (Ret.) Jim Montgomery, Chaplain (Col. Ret.) Robert Vickers; EKU President Dr. David McFaddin, President Emeritus and ROTC Alum Doug Whitlock, Lt. General James Rainey (ROTC Class of '87) and ROTC Distinguished Alum Col. (Ret.) Alvin Miller. Col. Newman's classmates Mr. Larry McKinney, retired from Thomson Consumer Electronics, Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Harve Turner, Col. (Ret.), Montgomery and Major (Ret.) Raymond Welch, all from the ROTC class of 1962, eulogized Newman at the dedication.