Former HCTC President Ed Hughes receives Distinguished Service Award
Former president Dr. G. Edward Hughes is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Service Award, the highest award presented by the Hazard Community and Technical College Board of Directors.
It was very fitting that Dr. Hughes received the award in the same facility that was opened during the time he was president -- the First Federal Center. He worked tirelessly to bring that center to the college. Its doors opened in 1999.
Dr. Hughes served as president of the college for 15 years, beginning in 1985. During his tenure, the college enrollment grew eight-fold to over 5,000 students, four campuses and numerous programs were added, and the college received several national awards because of the excellence of faculty and staff.
Former chair of the Board of Director and Perry District Judge William B. Engle presented the recognition to Dr. Hughes, praising him for the growth that he brought about, as well as his commitment, passion, and dedication.
Under the leadership of Dr. Hughes, the College developed a national model for entrepreneurial education and economic development through its Business and Industry Technical Assistance Center (BITAC), and expanded its programs in Allied Health, Sciences. Dramatic increases in external support of the College's programs led to the first endowed Appalachian Regional Healthcare professorship teaching chair in the Community College System, endowed scholarships, and numerous grant-funded programs and establishment of the College’s own fundraising campaign. Through his leadership the College grew to meet the needs of the students by the expansion of the College initial building, The Learning Resource Center Building, establishment of the Knott County Branch, Kentucky School of Craft, the merger of the Hazard Vocational School and Lees College in Jackson, and the University Center of the Mountains. As a result of his vision and leadership, Hazard Community and Technical College grew into an institution of higher education that became noted for its quality education and student services.
Besides service to the college, Dr. Hughes served the community as founding chairman of the board of the Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky, the first rural center in the world and one of 34 such centers. He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and Hazard Lions Club. He was named man of the year in 1988. Under his leadership, the Greater Hazard Area Performing Arts Series became a bright star in the young people in the region.
The award to Dr. Hughes was presented May 1 at the 66th Annual Hazard-Perry County Chamber of Commerce Civic Night. Bill Engle introduced a video created by then WYMT News Director Tony Turner which was a tribute to Dr. Hughes and his leadership. The video aired on WYMT in 2001.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Hughes commented on the vital force WYMT has played in the region. He praised the faculty and staff at the college, saying that he and the employees all did a lot of hard work “for the students.” He thanked his wife, Sarah Hughes, for being his partner ever since moving to Hazard. And, he encouraged all to support the college in any way they could to help the region grow and prosper.
Dr. Hughes conveyed his delight that Dr. Jennifer Lindon is now serving as HCTC president and congratulated her work and the college on its 50th anniversary, which also was celebrated during Civic Night.