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BSCTC holds reception for retired Prestonsburg Community College employees

Leo Weddle witnessed many of the changes that occurred on the Prestonsburg Community College campus in his nearly three decades of service.

But its what you cant see with the naked eye thats remarkable.

This college has practically meant everything to this region, said Weddle, who spent 28 years as a psychology and sociology professor at Prestonsburg Community College. So many careers and dreams started on this campus.

On Friday, Big Sandy Community and Technical College welcomed employees of Prestonsburg Community College to its Prestonsburg campus for a reception prior to its annual Homecoming and Alumni Celebration.

This college has opened so many doors to the people of eastern Kentucky, said Weddle, who retired in 1994. Just imagine if this institution was not here to provide an affordable choice for a college education.

This year, Prestonsburg Community College, which consolidated with the Mayo Technical School to form Big Sandy Community and Technical College 10 years ago, is celebrating 50 years. The Mayo campus is celebrating 75 years of service to the region.

Although the campus has changed, the philosophy of providing a quality and affordable college education, close to home is very much the same, said Weddle.

It was much different when I started here, he continued. I remember when it was just one building.

The current BSCTC campus in Prestonsburg features the Johnson Administrative Building, the first built on the campus, the Pike, Campbell, Student Center, Post-Secondary Education, and the East Kentucky Science Center and Planetarium.

Its amazing to see the progress here, Weddle added.

Donna Hall graduated for the Mayo Technical School in June of 1964 and was hired a month later in the business office at Prestonsburg Community College, where she spent six years.

Her son, Douglas, attended Prestonsburg Community College, and her granddaughter, Emily, is a freshman at BSCTC.

This college has provided much more than just an education, it has provided hope to so many, she said. So many students have embarked on their path to success here. Its great that students have an option to get a college education close to home at such an affordable price.

Dr. Nancy Johnson, provost at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, told those who attend the reception that their work has paved the path of progression the college enjoys today.

The faculty and staff here today lead with their heart and put the students first, just as you did, she said. We do everything we can to provide great opportunities for our students.

Etta Cantrell, a professor and learn on demand coordinator at BSCTC, played trivia with those in attendance.

Her questions included: What was the first purchase made by Founding Prestonsburg Community College President Dr. Henry Campbell?

Eight pianos, said a member of the crowd.

Dr. Campbell, who had a passion for music, purchased eight pianos and had eight learning studios in the Johnson Administrative Building.

Another question was who was Dr. Campbells first hire? The answer: Head Librarian Robert Wallace.

The first graduating class of Prestonsburg Community College (1966) was an easy answer among guests.

One question, which got a collective laugh from the crowd, was what instructor was conducting class outdoors when the class ended abruptly when he fell out of tree? The answer was Joe Isbell.

The last question was who was the founding father of the Prestonsburg Community College Coonpeckers Society? The answer was Walter Frazier.