WKU presents posthumous degree to parents of Owensboro student who died in 2020

May 5, 2021 | 12:09 am

Updated May 4, 2021 | 11:33 pm

Photo by Bryan Lemon, WKU


Western Kentucky University made a special degree presentation May 1 to Owensboro couple Douglas and Tresa Wells, parents of Elliott Wells, who died in December.

The Bachelor of Arts degree was awarded posthumously to Douglas Elliott Wells during the evening ceremony of WKU’s Fall 2020/Spring 2021 Commencement.

“Douglas and Tresa, on behalf of all those in the WKU Family, please accept our deepest sympathies,” President Timothy C. Caboni said. “Elliott represented well the Spirit of WKU, and we are so happy you were able to be with us here today.”


Elliott was 22 when he died Dec. 18, 2020, at his home. He was a senior at WKU and had been on the President’s List and Dean’s List while enrolled as a broadcasting and public relations major with a minor in journalism.

Elliot was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, served an internship with WKU Athletics, and wrote for WKU’s student publication College Heights Herald. He played soccer since the age of three and also ran track and cross country. He was on the DCHS soccer state championship team in 2016 and also played for Owensboro United Soccer League and Evansville Soccer Club.

Dr. Larry Snyder, Dean of Potter College of Arts & Letters, said Elliot was “a model student, a beloved classmate and an exceptional contributor to his major programs in broadcasting and public relations. … Beyond his outstanding coverage of Hilltopper athletics, Elliott made the newsroom a better and happier place just by being in it. He was passionate about his craft, a genuine fan of the athletes he covered, and a friend to all of his classmates and colleagues.”

May 5, 2021 | 12:09 am

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