University of Pikeville commencements set for May 4

The University of Pikeville will honor the academic achievements of students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Coleman College of Business, Elizabeth Akers Elliott School of Nursing, Patton College of Education, and the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) on Saturday, May 4.

The medical school commencement begins at 9:30 a.m., at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville. The commencement for the College of Arts and Sciences, the Coleman College of Business, the Elliott School of Nursing and the Patton College of Education will be held at 2 p.m., also at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center. A pinning ceremony for the Elliott School of Nursing will be held Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m., in Booth Auditorium, located in Record Memorial Building. Graduates of the social work program will be recognized during a pinning ceremony on Friday, May 3, at 6 p.m., in Booth Auditorium.


Ronald R. Blanck, D.O., will be the keynote speaker for the KYCOM commencement ceremony. Lieutenant General Blanck, (U.S. Army, retired) is a partner and chairman of the board for Martin, Blanck & Associates. The company, formerly Martin & Associates, is a healthcare consulting firm for the private sector and the government. As a graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Blanck is board certified in internal medicine.

Blanck began his military career in 1968 as a medical officer and battalion surgeon in Vietnam. During his distinguished military career, Blanck served as commander of Walter Reed Medical Center, North Atlantic Region Medical Command and Director of Professional Services and Chief of Medical Corps Affairs for the U.S. Army Surgeon General. Other assignments included: Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine, Chief of the Department of Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center, Commander of the Berlin Army Hospital and Commander of the Frankfurt Regional Army Medical Center.

Blanck’s military honors include Distinguished Service Medals, Defense Superior Service Medals, Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service and Army Commendation Medals. He retired after 32 years of service as the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command. After his retirement from the U.S. Army, Blanck joined the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center in August 2000.

In addition to his extensive military career, Blanck’s academic credentials include teaching positions at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and UNT Health Science Center.

Prior to his most recent position at Martin, Blanck & Associates, he had retired as President of UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth in June 2006. As President, Blanck led an academic health center that included the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health and School of Health Professions.

Blanck has been recognized throughout his career for his leadership in health and medicine. As a past governor of the American College of Physicians/American Society of Internal Medicine, he was named a Master by the specialists’ society. Blanck serves as Chairman of the Board for Tenax, Inc., the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and the Board of VetFed, Inc. In addition, Blanck is Past Chairman for the VA’s National Research Advisory Council, the Board of Managers of the Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S., and a past member of the Board of Trustees of Juniata College and the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Blanck has also been honored by the American Medical Association with its highest award for government officials, the Dr. Nathan Davis Award. He continues to be consulted as an advisor on bioterrorism issues and an expert in preparing the medical community to respond to mass casualty incidents or those involving weapons of mass destruction. In addition to his many speaking engagements and advisory positions, he has also chaired task forces on bioterrorism for both the Texas Medical Association and the American Osteopathic Association.

Blanck and his wife Donna have two daughters, Jennifer, who is married to Shane Siegel, and Susan, who is married to Andrew Van Horn.

During the commencement ceremony, Blanck will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

College of Arts and Sciences, Coleman College of Business, Elizabeth Akers Elliott School of Nursing and Patton College of Education

Jean R. Hale exemplifies what can be accomplished with a strong work ethic, a focus on continuing education, volunteerism and a commitment to excellence. Hale has been with Community Trust Bancorp, Inc. for 49 years and has participated in the growth of the Corporation from $18 million in assets to $4.3 billion in assets. Hale assumed her current position as Chairman of the Board in 2005 after becoming President and CEO of Community Trust Bancorp, Inc., in 1999. She is also the Chairman of the Board of the Corporation’s two subsidiaries, Community Trust Bank, Inc., and Community Trust and Investment Company.

During her tenure with the Corporation, Hale has served in various capacities including President and CEO of the Corporation’s bank subsidiary. Hale was somewhat of a ground-breaker within the Corporation. She became an officer of the Corporation at age 28 and began her journey of being the first woman within the Corporation to hold the titles of Vice President, Senior Vice President, Executive Vice President and, at the age of 45, President and CEO.

Hale is very active in economic development and education initiatives. She is currently Chairman of the Kentucky Economic Development and Finance Authority Board, a member of the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board and serves on the boards of Commonwealth Seed Capital, SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region), ARH Foundation and University of Pikeville. She also serves as a member of the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Previously, Hale served as Chairman of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the KCTCS Foundation Board, Chairman of Big Sandy Community and Technical College and numerous other boards associated with economic development and education. She also served as a Director of the Cincinnati Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for six years.

Hale has received numerous recognitions during her career. In 1996, she was named a Pikeville College (UPIKE) Outstanding Alumni. During 2000, she was the recipient of the Governor’s Economic Development Award, the Outstanding Alumni for Pikeville High School Award, and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Woman Award. In 2003, she received the Pike County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Award and was named the Blue Grass Council Boy Scouts of America Citizen of the Year. During 2012, she was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking and the Chamber Advocate of the Year by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Executives. She was recognized in 2013 with the Women Leading Kentucky Martha Layne Collins Award.

A native of Pike County, Ky., Hale is a graduate of the University of Pikeville and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. She continues to reside in Pikeville and considers her greatest accomplishment to be her son, Michael, who resides in Nashville, Tenn., with his wife Heather and the greatest joy of her life, two beautiful granddaughters, Rachel and Claire.

During the commencement ceremony, Hale will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Ronald R. Blanck, D.O.

Jean R. Hale

For more information about commencement week events at the University of Pikeville, call (606) 218-5273.