Dr. Deborah Jacobs seemed to be moving a world away in 1991 when she packed her bags,
fresh off earning her doctorate at Louisiana State University, and moved to Pikeville,
Actually it was about 875 miles away from her hometown of Alexandria, La. She didnt
know what to expect, but what she quickly learned was eastern Kentucky was a lot like
The region here was very reminiscing of Louisiana, said Dr. Jacobs, who will retire
this summer after 23 years of service to Big Sandy Community and Technical College.
The people of eastern Kentucky were so polite and welcoming. The place grew on me.
But home is where the heart is, and Dr. Jacobs plans on moving to Baton Rouge, La.,
where she plans to garden year round.
Ill miss the many friends I have here, but I look forward to being near my family
in Louisiana. I also look forward to reading things I want to read, instead of things
I have to read, she said, chuckling.
Dr. Jacobs, who is a professor of English, was instrumental in the tremendous growth
of the Pikeville campus, including the opening of the state-of-the-art facility in
downtown Pikeville in 2000.
Times sure have changed since we started here in Pikeville, she continued. What hasnt
changed is how welcoming and eager our students are to learn.
She said the most rewarding experience of being a professor is running into former
students and hearing them say how much you have helped them.
Its humbling to know you played a part of their success, said Dr. Jacobs.
Dr. Nancy B. Johnson, Provost at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, said its
difficult to see faculty members who have dedicated years of service to the institution
and students retire.
Buildings dont make an institution, she said. People do. The work of dedicated faculty
members like Dr. Jacobs have played an important role in our growth as a leading institution
of higher learning in eastern Kentucky.
Dr. George D. Edwards, President and CEO of Big Sandy Community and Technical College,
presented Dr. Jacobs with a commemorative photograph of the Pikeville campus signed
by her colleagues during a retirement celebration on Thursday, March 20, at the Pikeville
campus of BSCTC.
Dr. Jacobs commitment to our college and our students has been unmatched, he said.
We wish her the very best in her retirement.