2010 Inaugural Class
Read press release here.
View images of the ceremony here.

Chester Bailey
An alumnus of Pikeville College, Chester Bailey received numerous awards for his dedication as an educator, which included 25 years as principal of Pikeville Elementary.
 
Bailey also taught and served as principal in the Pike County School System for 12 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Pikeville College and master’s degree and Rank I from Morehead State University. Bailey was a member of the First Baptist Church, Pike County Retired Teachers Association, Kentucky Association of School Administrators, associate member of the State Committee for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a Kentucky Colonel and a Korean War Veteran. A recipient of the Principal with Principles Award, Bailey was named Community Trusting Principal, Principal of the Year, Kiwanis Citizen of the Year, honorary alumni of Pikeville High School and was inducted into Hellier School’s inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2007. The library at Pikeville Elementary is named in his honor. 
 
Most mornings, Bailey could be seen in front of Pikeville Elementary, welcoming students as they arrived, a personal touch that endeared him to many. In 1994, during a surprise dedication ceremony, then-Lt. Governor Paul Patton dedicated the “Circle” in front of the school as Bailey Boulevard.

Georgia Bailey
Renowned storyteller Georgia Maynard Muncy Bailey could always be counted on to share a tall tale, delighting students young and old. One of 15 children, she was enthusiastic about learning and practiced her teaching skills on her siblings on Brushy Creek. 
 
When Bailey was 18, she moved to Pikeville to work as a nanny for C.H. Farley, then-superintendent of the Pike County School System, and to attend Pikeville College. After Bailey completed one year of college, Farley asked her to become the primary teacher at a one-room school on Brushy Creek. She fell in love with teaching and went on to teach at several Pike County schools before retiring from Mullins Grade School as head librarian.
 
Bailey received her bachelor’s degree from Pikeville College and master’s degree from the University of Kentucky. She was active in community service and served on the board of directors of many organizations including the Pike County Retired Teachers Association, AARP, Delta Kappa Gamma, the Hillbilly Square Dancers, Pike County 4-H, and was a member and deacon of the Pikeville First Presbyterian Church. Bailey, an active member of Pikeville College’s Alumni Association, enjoyed volunteering at the college’s annual Phonathon and at the Bears’ tailgate parties.
 
Although she retired from teaching as a profession, Bailey remained a teacher for life and educated children as an Appalachian storyteller. “I’m a children’s person,” Bailey told a reporter. “I feel like telling tales gives them a vision of who they are – it’s us, it’s our place – and it gives them a sense of the past and present.”

Kaye Baird
From the traditional classroom to her Sunday school class, Katheryn Roberts Baird (Kaye) embodies the spirit of teacher and servant leader. 
 
A native of Prestonsburg, Baird received bachelor’s degrees from Pikeville College and Union College. She served as an educational assistant and kindergarten teacher at Pikeville United Methodist Church and a first grade teacher at Central Elementary in Clark County before taking on administrative roles in the field of education. Baird served on the Pikeville Independent School Board of Education for six years, on the Kentucky State Board of Education for four years, and was chair of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. Baird has also been inducted into the Union College Hall of Fame for Educators. She is a member of the Presbyterian Homes and Services of Kentucky Board and the Christian Appalachian Project Board as well as an elder in the First Presbyterian Church in Pikeville where she serves as a Sunday school teacher, vacation bible school teacher and director, member of the chancel and bell choirs, program leader of the Ladies Circle and chair of the Christian Education Committee. Baird is also an active civic leader with memberships in the Pikeville Junior Woman’s Club and Model City Day Care Center Board. Active in the Girl Scout organization, Baird serves as a leader of Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes, is the service unit chairman member of the Wilderness Road Girl Scout Board of Directors and has received the “Thanks” badge. She and her husband, William Jesse Baird III “Bill,” have three daughters and eight grandchildren.

Glenn Brown
When former students talk about Glenn Brown they do so with a smile. Brown taught for 34 years in the biology department at Pikeville College before retiring in 1999.
 
“He truly felt a sense of accomplishment when he looked at each of them (students),” recalls Brown’s daughter, Katrina Briggs. “You could see it in his face. He beamed with pride like each of them were his own child.”
 
Brown was twice awarded the college’s William Wade and Helen Record Walker Teaching Excellence Award. He was named an Outstanding Educator of America and an honorary alumnus of Pikeville College. In addition to his outstanding service to the college, Brown was involved in numerous church and community activities, including service as an elder in the Christian Church, the Lion’s Club, Jaycees, Boy Scouts, 4-H Council, P.T.A., Pike County Cooperative Extension board, the American Cancer Society and the Ray of Hope Foundation.
 
Following Brown’s death in 2004, his family and friends established a scholarship at the college in his memory.

Jean Coleman
Pikeville College established the Jean Coleman Endowed Professorship in Education in 2001 to honor Minerva Jean Justice Coleman’s commitment to the profession and to recognize teaching excellence. It was a fitting tribute to the woman who says, “If I attained any level of success in teaching for 30 years, I owe it all to Pikeville College for making it possible for me to attend classes while working to support myself and my family.”
 
Coleman, who entered Pikeville Junior College in 1947, recalls the “pleasure” of planting potatoes on the Francis Farm on a cold day in February in 1948. She taught school, including three years in a one-room school house, while earning her associate and bachelor’s degrees from Pikeville College and achieved a master’s degree from Morehead State University by attending classes part time at Pikeville.
 
She and her husband, Burlin Coleman, have been active in community, civic and church activities and their interest and involvement were critical in the establishment of the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine. The Colemans are the parents of a son and a daughter, both of whom are medical doctors.

Alcie Combs
A leader in education for many years, Alcie Ann Howard Combs served at both the local and state level. In 2000, she received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Pikeville College for her special efforts to provide quality educational opportunities for all people and for her commitment and leadership in the church, community and region.
 
A member of the Pikeville Independent Board of Education from 1978-1990 and from 1992-1996, she was the chairperson of the board between 1980 and 1990. Combs also served on the Kentucky State Board of Education from 1996-2004. Combs is a past member and still attends the Kentucky School Boards Association’s annual conventions and regional meetings and the National School Boards Association’s national conventions. Formerly on the board of directors at Pikeville Medical Center, Combs is an active member of the Pikeville United Methodist Church and previously served on the Kentucky Conference of The United Methodist Church’s Council on Finance and Administration and Uniting Planning Commission.
 
A native of Clintwood, Va., Combs earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and married Donald Combs. They had three sons, each of whom, like their father, became an attorney. Combs, her sons, and their families, all live and serve in Pikeville.

Alma Culton
One of the best-remembered teachers by former students, Dr. Alma Culton touched a tremendous number of lives in her 34-year career. A well-known and respected professor of religion, she loved Pikeville College and dedicated her life to students.
 
A native of Manchester, Ky., Culton attended college in New York and upon graduation joined the Army during World War II. After leaving the Army, she obtained her graduate degree from Wheaton College.
 
Culton never married or had children, and a niece said she considered each student “her” child and responsibility. Known to have had high expectations of those students, they described her as “tough but fair.” If one survived the classes, they were forever influenced and remembered Culton.
 
She also remembered them.
 
After her retirement, Culton moved to Lexington and later Danville, but returned to Pikeville as often as possible to visit friends or to attend college functions.
 
Her niece noted, “Despite the long and interesting life that Alma lived, her most precious possessions were the boxes (and boxes) of memorabilia of her time at Pikeville and the many memories she created while there.
 
“Before Alma’s death, dementia had taken over her mind. However, it was a mystery to family that she didn’t often recognize us or visiting friends, but she could always tell stories of Pikeville College and the wonderful times she had there until the very end of her life.”

Rediford Damron
Veteran educator Rediford Damron served the college in many capacities over the years, including as academic dean, vice president and acting president. He also taught in seven different fields and directed the teacher training school.
 
A graduate of Pikeville High School, Damron attended Pikeville Junior College and the George Peabody College for Teachers before receiving a bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University, a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky and an honorary doctorate from Pikeville College. His other posts and experience include instructor and supervisor in the Pike County School System, member of the American Association of Academic Deans, Southern Association of Teacher Education, National Education Association and the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers. He was selected as a Pikeville College Outstanding Alumnus in 1974 and received the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1976.
 
A sailor in the Navy during World War II, Damron was instrumental in helping veterans returning from the war adjust to college. 

James T. Dotson Sr.
James T. Dotson Sr. has devoted much of his life to educating the youth of Pike County, a career that began in 1940. He spent more than four decades in the classroom, as an elementary and high school principal and supervisor of instruction before becoming superintendent of Pike County Schools. A graduate of Pikeville College, Dotson is a World War II veteran and a recipient of the Purple Heart.
 
Dotson received his master’s degree and Rank I from Eastern Kentucky University and, in 2005, Pikeville College recognized Dotson by granting him the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. He has served as president of the Eastern Kentucky Educational Development Corporation and president of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents. Dotson was a member of the Board of Control of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association and the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators.
 
One of nine children, Dotson grew up in the Pike County community of Simmers, now known as Kimper, and has served as pastor of the Blackberry Interdenominational Church for 52 years. He and his wife, Evelyn, are the parents of five children and have nine grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Lois Esham
In addition to being an outstanding professor, Lois Parsons Esham served as the chairperson for the division of science and mathematics and as an associate dean at Pikeville College. She is a three-time recipient of the college’s William Wade and Helen Record Walker Teaching Excellence Award.
 
Esham, a Betsy Layne native, earned a bachelor’s degree from Pikeville College, a master’s degree from Morehead State University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. She received the American Cancer Society’s Educator of the Year Award and was twice awarded the Student Government Award for Teaching Excellence. 
 
After retiring in 2001, Esham learned to play the mountain dulcimer and belongs to the Winchester Dulcimers, a group that performs for local churches, nursing homes, schools and other community organizations and provides lessons to those who want to learn to play the instrument.

Dixie Gibson
A longtime teacher at Johns Creek School, Dixie Howard Gibson was known throughout the state for excellence in the classroom. An alumna of the college, her teaching methods sparked the interest of The University of Kentucky, prompting the school to send education students and student teachers to observe Gibson in class.
 
A 1937 graduate of the Pikeville Junior College, Gibson received a bachelor’s degree from the college in 1963. 
 
Gibson came from a family of educators, with several of her Howard siblings becoming teachers. According to family history, the siblings made a pact, with each one helping the next one financially to graduate from college.
 
Besides teaching, Gibson enjoyed cooking, quilting and raising a garden. She, along with her husband, Sid, also ran the family store on Lower Johns Creek. The couple had three children and four grandchildren.

Doug Hinkle
A graduate of Pikeville Junior College, Paul Doug Hinkle served in many roles within the Pikeville Independent School System, including as teacher, principal, director of pupil personnel and as a member and chairman of the board. A former trustee of Pikeville College, Hinkle, who has been named an Outstanding Alumnus at Pikeville College, and his wife, Judith, are active members of the Pikeville College Alumni Association Board of Directors.
 
Hinkle served in the U.S. Army for three years before earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Morehead State University. In addition to his service to the Pikeville Independent School System, Hinkle was a principal in the Martin County School System.
 
A leader in the insurance industry, Hinkle is a former president of the Walter P. Walters Insurance Agency and the retired president and CEO of Acordia of Kentucky. 
 
Hinkle is member, deacon and Sunday school teacher at Pikeville First Baptist Church. A member and past president of the Pikeville Kiwanis Club, Hinkle has been named Kiwanian of the Year. Additional honors include Pike County Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year and Pikeville High School Distinguished Honorary Alumni. Hinkle has served on the Advisory Board of Prestonsburg Community College, Board of Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky, Board of Directors of Flat Top Insurance, Board of Directors of Matewan Banks and several insurance company boards. He and his wife have one daughter and two grandchildren.

Judith Hinkle
A graduate of Pikeville College Training School, Pikeville College Academy and Pikeville College, Judith Walters Hinkle is a true PC alumna. Her ties to the college date back to its beginnings with her grandmother, Elizabeth Syck Walters, who was in the first graduating class in 1894. Hinkle taught in the Pikeville Independent School System for 27 years.
 
She is a member of the Pikeville First Baptist Church and Harmony Sunday school class, Pikeville Medical Center Board of Directors, Pikeville College Alumni Board of Directors and Pikeville Woman’s Club. 
 
Hinkle’s father, Walter P. Walters, believed in the mission of the college and thought Eastern Kentucky was a better place because of the institution. She believes as her father did, saying, “Pikeville College continues to provide students with an opportunity for an education they otherwise might not have had.”

Quentin Howard
A retired teacher and administrator, Quentin R. Howard authored two books and served as editor of the literary journal, “Wind.”
 
Howard, who counted educators among his family members, started teaching at Johns Creek Grade School in 1941, shortly after graduating from Pikeville Junior College. The United States’ entry into World War II interrupted his life, but upon his return home after the war he enrolled in Morehead State University where he received his bachelor’s degree.
 
He started teaching at Johns Creek High School in 1948 and remained there as a teacher and administrator until his retirement. During his time at the school, Howard’s piece, “Of Buttons in Kentucky” was published by the Christian Science Monitor.
 
After retirement, Howard devoted his time to the Pike County Retired Teachers Association, the Red Cross, publishing “Wind” and writing essays on nature and Appalachia.

William McKinley Justice
William McKinley Justice was an educator and well-known regional poet who taught in the Pike County School System for 40 years. His connection with Pikeville College began at a young age during a chance meeting with then-college President Dr. James F. Record. Justice traveled the country for many years, speaking and fundraising on behalf of the institution.
 
Justice received a bachelor’s degree from Berea College in 1929 and devoted his life to educating Pike County’s youth, spending 20 of his years as principal at Hellier High School. His published books of poetry include “Tears and Laughter and Other Poems,” “A Man, A Woman, and God,” “Acorns of Gold,” “This Way Lies Peace” and “Take Time to Stroll.” Justice, who won the Southern Award for writing, called Jesse Stuart a friend and his home served as a center for local writers and students. One of Justice’s patriotic poems was read by Adlai Stevenson before the United Nations assembly.
 
When Dr. Record noticed Justice as an elementary student at the Chloe School and saw great potential in him, he urged the pupil to climb high on the educational ladder and declared, “Those who would go far and accomplish a great deal in this world must have plenty of stick-to-it-tiveness.” From that point on, the boy and the older man formed a friendship that would last a lifetime. 
Justice was married to Ibbie Elizabeth Smith with whom he had six children.

Alice J. Kinder
An alumna of Pikeville College, Alice Justice Kinder was a devoted wife and mother, faithful friend, beloved author and poet. Kinder published 12 books and more than 1,000 stories and poems on mountain culture and Christian love and faith, including “Pikeville College Looks to the Hills 1889-1989.”
 
Kinder, who always credited God for her accomplishments, achieved much in life. She received two Kentucky Colonel awards for her writing, the Outstanding Alumna award from Pikeville College and the Woman of Achievement Award from the Pikeville Business and Professional Woman’s Club. Kinder was a graduate of Pikeville Junior College, but lacked one semester finishing four years of college and earning a degree. Her writing helped her to receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Pikeville College. She also received the Distinguished Alumni Literature Award from Pikeville High School. The next year, she accepted the same award in memory of her father, William McKinley Justice.
 
She taught nearly 10 years in the Pike County School System and Sunday school for 33 years at the Grace Baptist Church of East Shelbiana. She was married to Hobart Kinder for more than 50 years and they had one son and one grandson.

Billie Jean Osborne
Founder of the Mountain Arts Center, Billie Jean Blackburn Osborne is a woman of great determination. She taught music and directed award-winning bands for 30 years in Floyd County. Osborne has been honored for her efforts to enrich the lives of others through music, including being named an Outstanding Alumna by Pikeville College and a distinguished alumna at Eastern Kentucky University. Osborne also received a Governor’s Award in the Arts — Community Arts Award — from the Kentucky Arts Council. The Arts Council confers the award upon individuals who make a “positive impact in the community through the arts.”
 
Osborne, the youngest of five children, has ties to the college that extend beyond the classroom. He mother, Liz Blackburn, served as Wickham Hall “dorm mother” during the 1950s and 60s. Osborne credits her success in music to her mother, whom she describes as “tough as a pine knot” for always insisting that her daughter practice the piano for as long as necessary to “get it right.”

John Waddell
John Waddell may be best known as a former superintendent of the Pikeville Independent School System, an office he held for 23 years. He was also a longtime member of the Pikeville College family, serving as an instructor of education and psychology, as registrar, academic dean and provost. A distinguished alumnus, Waddell was honored with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Pikeville College for his contributions in education.
 
Waddell received his bachelor’s degree from Pikeville College, his master’s degree and Rank I from Morehead State University. Waddell and his wife, Barbara Adkins Waddell, have one son, three grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Betty Weddle
Betty Hatcher Weddle taught in the Pikeville Independent School System. Generous in both spirit and in deeds, she has been involved in numerous community and church organizations, including Judi’s Place for Kids and Buckhorn Children and Family Services. A graduate of the Pikeville College Academy, Pikeville Junior College and the undergraduate college, she was a devoted supporter and member of the campus family for many years. 
 
In 2008’s “Pikeville College Alumni: Today,” Weddle wrote of the college and her home town, “I will always have an interest in Pikeville College’s growth and many activities…Pikeville is the place of my birth, and I am proud to be a citizen of this fine city.”

Ruth Wheeler
Ruth Repass Wheeler’s Pikeville College roots run deep. A retired teacher and coach, she graduated from the Pikeville College Academy and Pikeville Junior College. Her parents also attended Pikeville College.
 
As a teacher in the Pike County School System, Wheeler introduced students to cultural activities, literature and the arts. Considered a friend to her students, she loved and adored them as if they were her family.
 
Wheeler might be small in stature, but she stands as tall in her community as she did in the classroom. A longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church of Pikeville, she was devoted to the college and was a familiar face at alumni events.
 
There has never been a better time to be a UPIKE Bear! APPLY NOW
UPike Tigers