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Hall of Distinguished Alumni (Ashley T. Judd)

Left to right, Arts & Sciences inductees Steven Beshear, Paul R. Wagner, Alan Lowe, Jim Duff, Ashley Judd, and Interin Dean Christian Brady


On September 28, 2021, the University of Kentucky inducted 27 former students into the 2020 Hall of Distinguished Alumni. The alumni are being honored for their meaningful contributions to the Commonwealth, nation, and the world. The prestigious event, held every five years, was postponed last year due to pandemic restrictions.

The 2020 inductees include MCLLC alumna Ashley T. Judd (’07), who earned a B.A. in French. Ashley Judd of Franklin, Tennessee, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an award-winning actor, writer, humanitarian and activist. Her work as both an artist and advocate began right here on the UK campus. Her film and stage career has spanned 30 years and includes indie gems like “Ruby in Paradise” which won the Sundance Film Festival, and box office smashes such as “Double Jeopardy.” Since 2004, Judd has traveled to 22 countries in her capacity as a global ambassador for nongovernmental organizations such as Population Services International and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. In 2020, Judd was recognized by the United Nations as Global Advocate of the Year. She was the first actor to go on the record about Harvey Weinstein`s serial predation and is a leader of the #MeToo movement and co-founder of Time's Up. Her book “All That Is Bitter & Sweet” was a New York Times best seller and in 2010, Judd earned an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

To read full bios of this year’s inductees, visit

With the addition of the 2020 honorees, the total number of alumni honored to date is 333, since the hall was created in 1965. To learn more about the Hall of Distinguished Alumni and previous inductees, visit