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Remembering Nancy Sinclair: She embodied LWC mission

Nancy Whitlow Thompson Sinclair, Green Co., KY (1947-2016)

By Venus Popplewell

COLUMBIA, KY - Longtime Lindsey Wilson College staff member Nancy C. Sinclair, who "embodied the Lindsey Wilson mission," died Sunday, November 20 after a long illness.

A nearly 30-year employee of the college, Sinclair served three Lindsey Wilson presidents in various capacities, most recently as executive assistant to President William T. Luckey Jr.

"Nancy Sinclair was a daily living example of the Lindsey Wilson mission," Luckey said. "She embodied the Lindsey Wilson mission because she always put students at the center of her work, and she also constantly looked for ways to lift up our students. She was one of those rare people who made everyone around her better. In so many ways, she was the conscience of this college."

Sinclair came to Lindsey Wilson in December 1987 to work in the college's Development Office as assistant to George Kolbenschlag, who was the college's first full-time public relations manager.

"I very quickly learned that Nancy was the one I needed to go to for help," said Kolbenschlag, who retired from LWC in 2004. "She knew just about everyone on campus and was much-respected. We became friends and colleagues early on. ... She was great colleague and unafraid of telling me when she thought I was wrong, which is a most valuable attribute in a colleague and friend.

"I count her among the top few most capable, trustworthy and dependable colleagues and friends I have known."

Sinclair spent all but three of her first 24 years at LWC in the Development office. She was also Development Office administrative assistant, office manager, director of stewardship and office manager, and director of information services for development and office manager. She also served more three years in Student Accounts, first as director of student accounts then as director of student accounts/business office supervisor. Since 2011, Sinclair was executive assistant to the president.

During almost three decades of service to LWC, Sinclair knew almost all of the college's donors as well as their family members. Sinclair worked behind the scenes on numerous events including homecoming, Founders' Day, the Fall Trustee Luncheon and commencement ceremonies.

"Nancy was always one of the first people to arrive on campus each day, and she was one of the last people to leave -- and she also took work home with her," said Chancellor John B. Begley, who served as LWC's sixth president from 1978-97 and then worked with Sinclair when he moved over to the development office. "She loved this college -- its students, its donors, its alumni and its employees -- as much as anyone I know.

"Her commitment to the Lindsey Wilson mission and her quiet behind-the-scenes work helped this college soar and reach new heights."

Sinclair was also known for taking a personal interest in LWC students by providing advice, counseling and mentoring that has helped scores of young people achieve their dreams of earning a college education.

Nancy Carol Whitlow Thompson Sinclair was born Aug. 1, 1947, to Everett and Nora Whitlow, who preceded her in death on May 5, 1988, and on May 18, 2004, respectively.

She married Jimmie Thompson in January 1970, and he preceded her in death on October 21, 1979. To this marriage were born three children, all of whom survive: James Bradley (Cindy Young) Thompson of Green County, KY; Amanda Thompson (Christopher) Wells of Adair County; and Andrea (Ty) Corbin of Green County.

She married Edward T. Sinclair on May 23, 1986, who survives. Also surviving are three stepchildren: Bryan (Christy) Sinclair of Georgia; Travis Sinclair of Florida; and Joseph (Chasity) Sinclair of Somerset, Ky.

Other survivors include: a sister, Elizabeth "Liz" (Billy) Parson, and three brothers, Morris (Nancy) Jeffery and Rodney (Karen) Whitlow, all of Green County.

She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Tyler Anne, Whitley Gage and Madilynn Grace Corbin, Reilly Elizabeth and Greyson Banks Wells, Zane Tyce Edwards and Harlee Blayne Thompson; three step-great grandchildren: Tristan, Zachary and Alexander Sinclair; and one great-grandchild, Abram. She is also survived by a number of other relatives and friends.

Before coming to LWC, Sinclair worked for newspapers in Green and Larue counties.

Sinclair was a member of Hodges Chapel United Methodist Church, where she served as treasurer; and she was also secretary for the Summersville (KY) Sanitation District. A graduate of the former Greensburg (Ky.) High School, Sinclair attended Spencerian Business (KY) College.

In 2011, the Lindsey Wilson National Alumni Association named Sinclair an Honorary Alumna of the college, an honor that has been bestowed to fewer than 50 friends of the college. In 2016, the Lindsey Wilson Student Government Association named Sinclair a "A Remarkable Raider," an annual honor given to an LWC staff or faculty member who exemplifies the LWC mission. Venus Popplewell is Director of Public Relations, Lindsey Wilson College

This story was posted on 2016-11-22 11:24:50
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Prof. Curt Lee lights candle in memory of late Nancy Sinclair

2016-11-23 - Begley Chapel, 302 Lindsey Wilson Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Mariah Stearns, Lindsey Wilson College.
Assistant Professor of Religion Curt Lee lights a candle in memorial of the late Nancy Sinclair during a campus prayer vigil in her honor on Wednesday, November 23 in the John B. Begley Chapel. - Mariah Steans

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