Steely Library receives congressional papers

Congressman Ken Lucas, who served on the Board of Regents at Northern Kentucky University, donated his congressional papers to NKU during a ceremony held in the W. Frank Steely Library on Jan. 22.

Lucas retired this year after serving three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represented Northern Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District.

“I have a lot to be humble for,” Congressman Lucas said. “Much of the success in politics has to do with timing, and I’ve been fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time. I have had a fortunate life. I am thankful for everything.”

According to Michael Thomson, chair of the Political Science and Criminal Justice Department, Lucas has a unique perspective being a Democrat in a Republican-controlled Congress while serving under a Republican president.

“NKU is not only Ken’s home area, Ken also had a long term relationship with the university. We should be the only place where Ken’s papers reside,” Thomson said.

In recognition of Lucas’ 23 years of service as a regent at the university, Lucas had a building named in his honor, the Lucas Administration Center. He is the only regent in NKU history to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the university.

The collection of memos, correspondence and notes will be available to researchers in the Schlachter Family Archives located in Steely Library.

“The library will store, organize, catalog and preserve the papers,” said Associate Provost for Library Services Arne Almquist. “The library is working to build a collection of political papers of northern Kentucky politicians. This will be a resource of growing importance to historians and political scientists as the collection develops.”

Lucas, a Grant County native, introduced a plan to extend the life of Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds while serving in Congress. Lucas also secured $100,000 for NKU’s Urban Learning Center in Covington, an adult education center operated by a partnership of NKU, the Covington Community Center, Thomas More College, Forward Quest of Northern Kentucky and Covington Independent Schools.

Prior to his election to Congress, Lucas served as Boone County Judge-Executive. During this time in office he founded and directed the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation. He also served as the Boone County representative to the Northern Kentucky Area Development District and the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force.

“The papers are important because they provide primary documentation of congressional activities, particularly as they relate to the northern Kentucky region during the period that Mr. Lucas was in office,” said Almquist. “Mr. Lucas’ papers will be in demand.”