Alumni Business Directory seeks to highlight former hilltopper owned businesses

BOWLING GREEN Ky.-Walk into a local business in Bowling Green, and there’s a good chance that the owner was a Western Kentucky University Hilltopper at some point.

The WKU Alumni Association rolled out a website known as the Alumni Business Directory, designed to make sure that Hilltopper connection doesn’t end on the hill.

“During Covid-19 when many businesses were shut down, particularly our small businesses, we recognized the need of our alumni to have fellow alumni help them out, so that’s where the idea of the alumni business directory was born,” said WKU alumni association executive director Anthony McAdoo.

The directory exists to get to the heart of the dilemma, to raise awareness that many small businesses are owned by WKU alumni, but it’s not just alumni. Any former student who has completed at least one semester is eligible, like Bike Rack Bistro co-owner Patrick Folker.

“I’ve always said that the community of Bowling Green is like a family. When family is in need, other family members step up. Bowling Green and Western is just like that,” Folker said.

Folker said being located close to the campus really gets the wheels turning on business.

“It’s just great to be a part of western and the surrounding community,” Folker said.

Even though business are starting to re-open, the WKU alumni association is still set on making the business submission list even longer.

“There’s a great connection between WKU and the Bowling Green community. When individuals realize how many alumni-owned business there are around town, they’re surprised. The more you think about it, the more it makes sense,” McAdoo said.