On the evening of September 21st, Alice Lloyd College held its 16th Annual Alumna and Alumnus of the Year Banquet. This special event provides the College an opportunity to recognize two of its outstanding alumni and celebrate their lives of service and leadership. Family and friends were among attendance at the banquet, which was hosted inside the College’s beautifully restored Cushing Hall.
This year’s honorees were Ms. Lora Dean Bradley and Mr. William R. Hughes.
Lora Dean Gayheart Bradley is originally from Knott County, Kentucky. For the past fifty years, her home has been in Franklin/Springsboro, Ohio, where she and her husband, John, worked and raised their family. Lora Dean is a graduate of Hindman High School and, in 1955, earned an associate’s degree at Caney Junior College. She also received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehead State University in 1961 and a Master of Education degree from Miami University in 1980.
Lora Dean served as an elementary and middle school educator for thirty-six years. Although she retired from the teaching profession in 1991, her passion for helping others to learn has inspired her to volunteer hundreds of hours tutoring remedial reading, English as a Second Language, and assisting the Warren County Adult New Readers Program.
Her kind heart and seemingly endless desire to serve has also benefited youth at the local YMCA, where she volunteers. On Wednesday evenings, she can be found at the First Baptist Church in Franklin, assisting with the children’s AWANA Club. She faithfully strives to instill values and character in young people as she familiarizes them with Bible stories and helps them memorize scripture. In 2010 Lora’s church bestowed an “Award of Distinction” upon her in appreciation of her many contributions and service throughout the years.
Lora Dean is a member of numerous educational organizations, including the Ohio Educators Association, the National Educators Association, and the Ohio Retired Teachers Association. She is also a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, a sorority for women educators. Having served as president of that organization twice, she is currently responsible for overseeing its scholarship program, which is available to nine area high schools.
In her community, she is known as “the gardener,” and is admired and appreciated for her landscaping and cultivating talents. She is very much a family person with great love for her two children, David and Kara, and her grand-daughters, Cory and Taylor. John, her devoted husband of forty-eight years, passed away in 2004. He was also an alum of Caney Junior College.
Lora frequently finds herself speaking to others about ALC and the opportunity it provided her. Throughout the years, she has warmly welcomed members of the Voices of Appalachia to her church and her home, helping to provide meals and lodging for ALC students. She is also an active member of the ALC Ohio Alumni Chapter and helps plan meetings that provide an opportunity for Caney alumni to enjoy fellowship and continue their involvement and support of the College.
William R. “Bill” Hughes is originally from Floyd County, Kentucky, and currently resides in Auxier. He is a graduate of Martin High School and, in 1950, earned an associate’s degree from Caney Junior College. Bill then taught school for one year before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force, serving from 1951-54. Following his military career, he attended Ohio University where he received a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Education degree. Later, he completed coursework toward a Ph.D.
For forty-two years, Bill impacted many lives while serving as an educator. He taught and was a principal at Laurelville (OH) High School prior to becoming Superintendent of Schools in Racine, Ohio. In 1961 Bill returned to Caney Junior College where he would raise his family while serving the institution in a number of capacities, which included: Registrar and Dean of Students (1961-68) and Dean of ALC/Academic Dean (1970-75). In 1976 Bill returned to Floyd County to serve as principal of Prestonsburg High School (1976-79) and principal of Martin Elementary School (1979-92).
Bill has received numerous awards and recognition throughout his career, including the Scholarship Award from Princess Elkhorn Coal Company, a Doctoral Fellowship at Ohio University, Outstanding Personality of the South (1967 & 1971), Who’s Who in American College Administration, Outstanding Educator of America, and the Kellogg Fellowship in Junior College Administration.
Educational organizations and societies in which he has been involved include: the Ohio Education Association, National Education Association Phi Beta Kappa, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, American Council on Education, Kentucky Education Association, Kentucky Association of School Administrators, Floyd County Retired Teachers Association, and Kentucky Retired Teachers Association.
Bill has also faithfully served his community and region through other organizations, such as the Martin Kiwanis Club, past President of Big Sandy Mended Hearts, current Board of Trustees Chair for the Floyd County Public Library, member of the ALC Alumni Board of Directors, and Branch and District President of the Martin, Kentucky Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Grateful for the opportunities ALC provided him, Bill said, “Like so many others, ALC encouraged me to grow and go on to help others. Since I was eighteen years old, Caney Junior College/ALC has been a part of my life in one way or another, and it always will be.” Three generations of Bill’s family have had the privilege of attending ALC.
Bill enjoys spending time with his doting wife, Alicia, and he is proud of his eight children: Jeani, Leila, Mike, Mark, Brenda, Matthew, Valerie, and Todd; and his fourteen grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, and the diverse accomplishments in their lives.
President Stepp spoke about the lives of each honoree and presented them with a Certificate of Appreciation. Each of them also received a lovely Boston rocking chair with a special inscription.
Reflecting on this special occasion, Teresa Grender, ALC’s Director of Alumni Relations, said, “I consider this event to be a highlight among those that the Alumni Office coordinates. The alumni we recognize each year have devoted their lives to serving others and living their lives with purpose. Lora Dean Bradley and Bill Hughes are remarkable individuals, and it is a privilege to recognize them in this way in the presence of their loved ones and members of ALC’s administration.”