Given to the University of Kentucky by the class of 2005, historical marker #2169 commemorates the "Kentucky Kernel." Preceded by several earlier student newspapers, the first Kentucky Kernel was published on September 16, 1915. By 1923, it had become an eight-page weekly newspaper, and, after a varied publication schedule, it became a daily newspaper in 1966. Although it was originally university-centered, by the 1960s the Kernel increased coverage of issues beyond the campus. It was established as an independent newspaper in 1972 and became one of Kentucky’s highest-circulating newspapers and the recipient of numerous awards for journalistic excellence. The paper was housed in several campus locations before moving to the Grehan Building in 1951.
The Grehan Building is the home of the school of Journalism and Telecommunications, the Department of Communications, and the Kentucky Kernel. Communication and information studies have played a key role in training professionals in these fields since the 1890s, when the first courses in journalism were offered. The College has had leadership by visionaries such as Enoch Grehan (1869-1939), one of the university's first journalism teachers, who was instrumental in establishing the university's current daily newspaper and in fundraising for the construction of the Grehan Building. The building was completed in 1951 and named in honor of Enoch Grehan.
The UK Senior Challenge Historical Marker Project, administered by the Kentucky Historical Society, began in 1994 as a way for the graduating senior class to leave a memorial to the university. Every year since then, the UK historical marker committee has decided on the topic, raised the money, and written the text for the markers.