KYCO class of 2023 gives back to UPIKE

The University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO) class of 2023 has set a record level among students in the college. A remarkable 71 percent of KYCO’s newest students chose to make a financial gift to the university. The yearly gift from students at KYCO has evolved into a tradition of giving that helps to advance the UPIKE mission.

KYCO’s mission is centered on serving the underserved in Central Appalachia and other rural areas. The caliber of optometry student at UPIKE reflects a spirit of service and giving to others. 

“Growing up, I have always been taught that your greatness is not what you have, but what you give,” said Alyssa Miller, KYCO class of 2023. “After only a few short weeks of being in Pikeville and a student at KYCO, I already feel like the university has given me so much. I was joyful to return a small financial initiative that will continue to help my class or future classmates be successful.”

Shelby Gelhaus, KYCO class of 2023, said giving to the institution is a way to show students support for their educational journey. 

“In order to support the next generation of students, it all starts with giving back now,” said Gelhaus. “Since KYCO believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, it only felt right to give. I know they will continue to believe in future students as well.”

The class of 64 students from 24 different states is forming a legacy of leadership that will continue to grow with each new class.

Dean of KYCO Michael Bacigalupi, O.D., MS, FAAO, FNAP, said students immediately embrace their role as not only optometry students but as members of the UPIKE family.

“I’m very thankful to the class of 2023 for understanding that they are part of a whole university community here at UPIKE,” said Bacigalupi. “Their commitment really contributes to UPIKE’s continued growth and success.”