wise family

“Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass…

it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” — Unknown


January 20, 2017

Bucket list….been there!! Done that!

By attending the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump.

Our honorable Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky provided seats for us to the inauguration.

My roommate from college and husband Dr. Jim and Kathy Demler attended with us. As part of the inaugural program we were entertained in the Kentucky VIP Inaugural Watch & Pre-Parade Hospitality Suite.

Viewing the inaugural parade in the front row of our seating area 50 yards from the Presidential viewing box was special.

What excitement and electricity. Dodged a few rioters but escaped unscathed.


Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Cuba – September 16-20, 2016

In honor of our veterans and their families serving world-wide, Kentucky Boys State led the way to develop the first ever Military Sister City relationship between Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the City of Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

Campbellsville University hosts the Kentucky Boys State conference and last year was the first for boys from Guantanamo Bay in attendance.

My husband George and I were part of a delegation of forty-two people from the American Legion Post 42. In addition to a Kentucky reception at the home of the commanding officer, Captain David Culpepper we witnessed the pinning ceremony of seven naval officers.

Our group toured Camp X-ray which housed the 9/11 prisoners and refugees for 92 days until Camp Delta was constructed. The behind the scene viewing of the facility which hosted the US Cole, shoe bomber and upcoming 9/11 trials and discussions by the office at the facility were quite interesting. Capping off the trip was the North East Gate and last line to Cuba.

The trip was so great to meet wonderful soldiers from across the country and experience their pride in the job they do.

St. Baldrick – Campbellsville

ST. BALDRICK (stbaldricks.org)  2008-2016

ORGANIZER-DIRECTOR – St. Baldrick Foundation raises money for pediatric cancer research throughout the United States and internationally through “head-shaving” events. Thousands of men, women and children have “shaved for a cure” at local events.

Donna Wise organized the first Campbellsville event in 2008 in honor of her grandson Carter who was diagnosed with a Stage IV neuro-blastoma cancer at 6 months of age.

The Campbellsville event has raised over $360,000 in their nine years of participation under Wise”s direction and hopes to eclipse $400,000 in their 10th and Wise’s last as their event director.

Color to Conquer


To benefit ST Baldrick Foundation Donna Wise along with Katie Irwin, Jenny Jesie and Will Patton organized the Color To Conquer 5k run/walk .

The mission of CTC is to raise the awareness of obesity and diabetes along with the need for increased physical activity in communities and schools thru “color” 5K/Walks.  The events benefit charities with the fundraising.

The first Campbellsville 5K event in 2013 had 455 participants and raised over $9,000 for the ST BALDRICK FOUNDATION.

The Campbellsville Color To Conquer event date for 2017 tba. Find out more at our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ColorToConquer/

Dick Vitale Gala

Dick Vitale Gala, May 20, 2011

The Vitale Gala raises money for the V Foundation in honor of Dick’s good friend, the late Jim Valvano. “Awesome baby” was Vitale’s comments to the 1.3 million raised for pediatric cancer.

Honorees for the 2011 event were: University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach, John Calipari; University of North Carolina’s men’s basketball coach, Roy Williams; and legendary tennis coach Nick Boticelli.

Some in attendance included: ESPN’s Erin Andrews, Villanova’s Jay Wright, UCONN’s Jim Calhoun, Florida’s Billy Donovan, Larry Brown, Gary Sheffield, Vince Carter, Christian Laettner, Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford, and many too numerous to mention.

The 2012 event honored Lou Holtz, Jay Wright and Gary Williams.

To make donations contact www.dickvitaleonline.com.

International Children – Partners in Development


International Children


Katombora, Zambia Partners in Development Basketball Court Construction & Dedication 2007

Former Campbellsville University basketball coach Donna Wise headed a group that provided basketball instruction and literacy studies to Katombora Reformatory School and villages from the surrounding area.

Working with Lonnie Turner of Partners in Development, the group visited with women’s groups in two villages and provided instruction to the Katombora village school. The basketball court built with 450 bags of cement and flanked by two volleyball courts was dedicated during their visit. The Minister of Prisons in Zambia and dignitaries throughout Zambia were there for the ceremony.

Basketball Honors and Highlights

“The greatest gift you can give to a teammate is your push in developing their potential ”  
— Wiz


661-283 career record

  • 2000 NAIA Hall of Fame 2005
  • Eastern Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumnus 2007
  • Campbellsville University Hall of Fame 2010
  • Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame 2011
  • WBCA Josten’s-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award 2011
  • NAIA & KIAC District Coach of the Year 1978,1980, 1981, 1982,1983,1990,1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004 (15)
  • AWSF Basketball Coach of the Year 1983
  • Kentucky Citizens for Sport EquityCoach of the Year 1992, 1997 (2)


  • 20 Tournament and 20 Regular Season Championships and 16 NAIA National appearances including 4 Elite Eight spots in 32 years of coaching including: KWIC Tournament Championships 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 (4)
  • KIAC & NAIA Conference Championships(regular season) 1982, 1983, 1984, DISTRICT 32 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992,1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 (13)
  • KIAC Tournament Championships 1983,1986,1989, (3) NAIA DISTRICT Tournament Championships 1983, 1984, 1985,1990, 1991, 1992, 1993,1994,1995, 1996 (10)
  • MSC Conference Championships (regular season) 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 (7)
  • Tournament Championships 1997, 1998, 2004 (3)
  • NAIA National Appearances 1983, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993,1994, 1995, 1996, 1997,1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 (16)
  • NAIA National Elite Eight Appearances 1983, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2003 (5)
  • NAIA/ AWSF 23 All-Americans with 57 All-American awards
  • Highest ranking NAIA Number 2 ranking 2000

WBCA Josten-Berenson’s Lifetime Achievement Award

The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association recognized longtime Campbellsville University women’s basketball coach Donna Wise with their prestigious Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award on Monday, April 4, 2011 at the site of the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has maintained a professional lifelong commitment of service to the game of women’s basketball. This award is named after the late Senda Berenson Abbott of Smith College who introduced the game of basketball to women in 1893. The winner is recognized annually at the WBCA Awards Ceremony during the WBCA National Convention.

“Looking at the list of previous award winners and their impact on women’s basketball, I am humbled to be placed in that company,” Wise commented on her selection. Names on that list include: Margaret Wade, Delta State; Cathy Rush, Immaculata; and Sue Gunter, Louisiana State who were premiere teams in the resurgence of women’s basketball. The late Kay Yow, North Carolina State University and current Tennessee Coach Pat Summit also are recipients.

Wise spent 32 years on the sidelines at Campbellsville University winning 661 games with only Adolph Rupp, Ed Diddle and Denny Crum with more collegiate wins in Kentucky. Her titles and honors are numerous both athletically and civically.
Over the span of numerous conferences during her career Wise has been chosen fifteen times as Coach of the Year, twice by Citizens for Sports Equity. Her teams captured 20 Conference and 20 Tournament titles making 16 national tournament appearances with 5 elite eight finishes. In 2000 her team reached the NAIA number 1 ranking in the polls.

“The significance of this award is a testimony to those young women who throughout my career were empowered by the experience. Many are now teachers, coaches, doctors, business executives, and mothers and have immersed themselves in community, church and civic leadership opportunities. They carry on those traditions by instilling those values of self-confidence, a strong work ethic, passion and commitment to their players, students, co-workers, and children. They are that big wide base underneath my success with whom I share this award.”