This year is quite a milestone in the history of the Caney Creek Community Center, as it marks the 95th anniversary of the Center’s founding by Alice Lloyd. The CCCC serves as the umbrella organization for both Alice Lloyd College and The June Buchanan School. For 95 years, the Center has served as a beacon of hope and learning for the residents of the Appalachian mountains.
Mrs. Lloyd and her mother, Ella Geddes, moved to Kentucky in 1916 from Boston, Massachusetts. In 1917, they relocated to Caney Creek at the request of Abisha Johnson, a local man who wanted Mrs. Lloyd to teach his children. He graciously offered the land for the school to be built upon, and provided a cabin for Mrs. Lloyd and her mother. Thus began the Caney Creek Community Center, which provided not only educational services, but also information and assistance in the areas of health care, hygiene, and agricultural improvements.
Mrs. Lloyd began writing appeal letters to her friends “back East” on her Oliver No. 9 typewriter. She was soon joined by June Buchanan, and the two would go on to charter Caney Junior College in 1923; this institution would become Alice Lloyd College upon the death of Mrs. Lloyd in 1962 and began offering four-year degrees in 1980.
The campus itself is a living testament to the work of Alice Lloyd, June Buchanan, and Ella Geddes. Buildings across campus—even the city of Pippa Passes itself—are named for the poetry that these women loved so much. Additionally, the road signs on the campus reflect the ideology of the Purpose Road Philosophy, which continues to be taught to this day at Alice Lloyd College. Roads named Action, Duty, Courage, and Service all serve as a daily reminder to students that their actions shape who they are and, in turn, their influence upon the world.
It is impossible to measure the impact that Alice Lloyd and the Caney Creek Community Center have had on this area of Appalachia. Our graduates serve as doctors, lawyers, educators, and much more throughout Kentucky and its surrounding states. Many return to their home communities to improve the quality of life in those areas. However, everyone who has been a part of the Caney Creek Community Center shares a common bond: service to others. As espoused by the Purpose Road Philosophy, world service should be a focus of all great leaders. As Alice Lloyd said, “The leaders are here!” Her words have certainly rung true these past 95 years, and will undoubtedly continue to do so well into the future.