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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2024) – In an unprecedented collaboration between academia and the fast-food industry, the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) announces that Professor and Chief Academic Officer Frank Romanelli, PharmD, will take a one-year sabbatical to join new pop sensation the DunKings on their nationwide tour. This extraordinary opportunity comes as a result of Romanelli winning the latest and most unique contest ever offered by American multinational coffee and doughnut company Dunkin’.

The DunKings, a boy band composed of celebrities Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and NFL star Tom Brady, was formed as part of Dunkin’s innovative campaign to bring their brand closer to the hearts of Americans through music and entertainment. 

Known throughout campus for his daily coffee runs, Romanelli’s passion for the Dunkin' brand caught the eye of marketing executives during a nationwide search for the ultimate Dunkin’ aficionado. 

In celebration of this partnership and to honor the start of what is being dubbed “Short King Spring,” Dunkin’ is introducing a new coffee size – the Short King. This latest offering aims to pay homage to men under five foot and eight inches tall, celebrating the idea that greatness comes in all sizes. The Short King size will temporarily rename Dunkin’s small iced regular coffee as a nod to those who, like Romanelli, represent the essence of the Short King. 

Romanelli’s excitement was palpable when asked about his upcoming adventure and Dunkin’s latest coffee size. “To say I run on Dunkin’ is an understatement; it’s a part of who I am. Being recognized by Dunkin’ in this way is a dream come true. I have been a Dunkin’ fan for decades—I often wear Dunkin’ sneakers to work, and my 50th birthday cake was Dunkin’ themed. Introducing the Short King size not only celebrates my favorite beverage but also brings attention to the fact that excellence isn’t height-dependent. I’m happy to stand—short and proud—as the face of the Short King movement.” 

Romanelli’s journey with the DunKings will include stops in major cities across the country, where he will promote Dunkin’ and participate in various philanthropic events and coffee education seminars, sharing his love for the brand and its impact on his life and career. 

The sabbatical will take place during the 2024-2025 academic year, with Romanelli returning to his current faculty and administrative roles in the fall of 2025. UKCOP leadership assures the roles will be covered by capable faculty during this time. The College supports this unique blend of academic prestige and pop culture phenomenon as an innovative way to engage with the broader community.

As April unfolds, DunKings tour dates will be announced alongside the debut of the Short King size at Dunkin’ locations nationwide. This spring, Dunkin’ invites everyone to embrace their inner short king by joining the celebration of height inclusivity and, of course, coffee. 

For more information about the DunKings tour and the Short King iced coffee, visit Dunkin’s official website or follow the hashtag #ShortKingSpring on social media. 

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.