The Board of Trustees of the University of Kentucky notes with deep sorrow
the death of
ALBERT DENNIS KIRWAN
seventh president of the University of Kentucky, on Tuesday, November 30,
As each individual is diminished by another's death, so an institution is diminish-
ed by the death of one of its members. When that individual is a person of Dr.
Kirwan's stature, the diminishment is painfully apparent. Others will teach his
classes and carry on his research but no one will ever replace him for he was
unique and few men possess all those traits of character which set him apart
from and a little above his fellowman.
A scholar and a gentleman in the truest meaning of those words, Dr. Kirwan
followed well the precept that "we are here to add what we can to life, not to get
what we can from it". He gave generously of himself at all times and the Board
of Trustees recognizes the personal sacrifices which he made when he assumed
the presidency of the University of Kentucky in 1968 at the Board's request. He
filled an urgent need at that time and, to quote him, he "held the fort" well.
Rochefoucauld could have been describing President Kirwan when he wrote, "It
is only persons of firmness that can have real gentleness". Ab Kirwan was a
kind and gentle man yet a man of strong convictions and quiet courage. He ac-
cepted his own physical frailty without complaint and never used it as a means
of shunning responsibility.
A man with a wry sense of humor and a raconteur par excellence, President
Kirwan drew people to him from every walk of life. He was respected and
esteemed by all segments of the University community and his absence from
this institution he loved so well and to which he gave so much will be keenly
felt by all those whose lives he touched.
Modest and unassuming, Ab Kirwan always deprecated the importance of his
many roles at the University but the long shadow which he cast will linger always
to remind those he has left behind that a great man lived and worked here.
Therefore, in recognition of the great debt which this institution owes to a beloved
man, the Board of Trustees of the University of Kentucky meeting in statutory
session on Tuesday, December 14, 1971 orders that this memorial to Dr. Kirwan
be spread upon the Minutes of the meeting and copies thereof sent to Dr. Kirwan's