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UPIKE Opening Convocation Aug. 31

August 24, 2017 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
Looking out his window, gaze fixed on the beauty around him, the professor sketches a simple drawing of the mountains. Etched with the Latin phrase Prospiciam Ad Montes – “Look to the Mountains” – and borrowed from the wisdom of the Psalmist, the professor’s words have come to embody the promise of an education for the people of Central Appalachia.

For more than a century, the University of Pikeville has served the people of the region and beyond, creating access and opportunity through learning. As the university begins its 128th academic year, the community is invited to the Opening Convocation on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 11 a.m. in the Health Professions Education Building, seventh floor.

The convocation address will be given by UPIKE alumnus Justin Hall who serves as president of Bit Source. Headquartered in Pikeville, the company specializes in web and software development. In 2014, the company began as a Shaping Our Appalachian Region inspired business focused on training out-of-work coal industry professionals as code programmers. Currently Bit Source offers web, mobile app and game development, as well as augmented reality, virtual reality and digital services. 

Hall attended Pikeville College on an athletic and academic scholarship. He was a four-year starter on the baseball team as a catcher and graduated with bachelor of science degrees in art and communication. Shortly after graduation, Hall discovered an interest in technology, specifically web-related technologies and programming. In 2000, while recovering from back surgery and unemployed, he registered and developed the first website for hillbillydays.com. The site was a project that led Hall, the son of local heritage artist, J.D. Hall, to showcase animation, art and design skills. Shortly after, he moved to Lexington to work as a web and software developer.

For the next 14 years Hall worked with Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, consulting firms, ad agencies and small to medium sized businesses throughout the United States, Canada and Sweden. He worked with companies associated with the kitchen and bath, coal, health and wellness, and sports industries as well as military and government sectors, covering a wide array of technologies and solutions. As he continued to work in the field of web and software technology, Hall’s level of domain expertise began to grow and expand.

In 2016, Bit Source was recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the seven world-changing companies. Bit Source has also been featured on NBC with Megan Kelly, as well as in publications such as Wired, Fast Company, Popular Mechanics, Work The Future, NPR and many others mentioning the coal to code movement which began in Pikeville. Hall was named as one of the 100 Most Creative In Business 2017 by Fast Company. Hall resides in Lexington with his wife Kristen and three children, Logan Paul, Riley Kate and Maggie Mae.

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