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KYCOM benefactors receive presidential medals

September 01, 2017 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
The University of Pikeville honored three individuals and their families who have provided unwavering support for the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) for more than 20 years. During the university’s Opening Convocation ceremony Burton J. Webb, Ph.D., presented Presidential Medals to Burlin Coleman, Julianne Perry and Jo Ann Strosnider for their service to higher education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“As KYCOM celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, we pause to honor those whose efforts helped pave the way,” said Webb.

Coleman’s leadership in banking, business and civic endeavors has been significant. In 2013, the University of Pikeville announced the Coleman College of Business, honoring Coleman’s servant leadership and philanthropic efforts, which have been transformative throughout the history of the institution. A trustee of the university for many years, Coleman’s interest and involvement were critical in the establishment of KYCOM, which today stands as one of the leading medical schools in the nation in rural medicine. 

Chad and Julianne Perry were tireless visionaries whose generosity and perseverance paved the way for KYCOM. Though many believed it impossible, they gained the support of educators, civic leaders and government officials who helped make the case for a medical school in the mountains. A true Kentucky story and a true Kentucky success, the Perrys’ dream has become a national model for rural medicine, with the medical school recognized for the percentage of graduates entering primary care residencies and among the most affordable private medical schools in the nation.

When the late John Strosnider, D.O., came to Pikeville in 1996 to serve as dean of the new medical school, his wife, Jo Ann, also embraced the mission, the campus and the community with a spirit of service. A devoted wife, mother and now a grandmother, Strosnider knew well the challenges of being married to a physician. She helped start a local chapter of the Student Advocates Association for the spouses and partners of students studying osteopathic medicine. She continues to leave her mark on the heart of the community through volunteer activities.

The convocation address was given by Justin Hall, president of Bit Source and alumnus of the university.

“What you have before you is an opportunity to learn,” said Hall. “You may not get it right the first time. Sometimes it takes many attempts and failures to be successful. Embrace the failures. Learn from them and move on.”


Pictured, from right, Burlin Coleman, Connie Bays on behalf of Julianne Perry, and Jo Ann Strosnider were honored by University of Pikeville President Burton J. Webb during the university’s Opening Convocation.

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