UPIKE’s 2020 Opening Convocation provides a warm welcome to students and a challenge to thrive

For more than a century, the University of Pikeville (UPIKE) has created many opportunities through the promise of education. On September 3, UPIKE celebrated a new academic year on Benefactors Plaza and was live-streamed on Facebook for community members, faculty, staff and students.

UPIKE President Burton J. Webb, Ph.D., and Provost Lori Werth, Ph.D., extended warm welcomes to attendees and those watching live. 

The keynote address was given by President of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) OJ Oleka, MBA, Ph.D.  

Oleka shared a motivating story about how he began his academic journey and focused his remarks identifying with students and inspiring them to continue their education. 

“Fight hard, continue to push and get to the finish and be stronger than you were when you started,” said Oleka. “It is that push that will disrupt the generational challenges that you may face, which is incredibly important and should push you to achieve and thrive.” 

Oleka commented on his challenges and encouraged students to become involved on campus and connect with faculty, staff and fellow students to overcome the obstacles and challenges that students face today.  

“You can succeed, you can thrive, and you can make a difference,” said Oleka. “Encourage yourself and encourage others.”