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Dr. Joe A. Stepp, president of Alice Lloyd College, has been announced as the recipient of the 2018 Private Individual Award by the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation (EKLF). The award honors individuals whose private service is dedicated to the betterment of the region, and it is one of seven awards presented by the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation each year.

EKLF will recognize award recipients at the East Kentucky Leadership Conference held Thursday, April 26th, and Friday, April 27th, in Hindman, Kentucky. EKLF is an organization with a mission similar to that of Alice Lloyd College, to promote leadership in Eastern Kentucky. For thirty-one years, EKLF has encouraged leadership development, communication and collaboration through the Eastern Kentucky region.

Dr. Stepp is the longest-serving president in Alice Lloyd College history serving for 19 years, and he is also the first native Appalachian to assume the president’s position. Throughout his career as an institutional leader, Stepp has made a significant impact on the field of advancement, especially in fundraising. Under his leadership, the Alice Lloyd College endowment has increased from $12.2 million to $42.5 million and assets have grown from $20 million to $96 million.

Over the past fifteen years, numerous major construction and renovation projects, as well as technology upgrades, have been completed. Some of these projects include restoration of two historic buildings, Cushing Hall and the Commodore Slone Building; renovation of men’s and women’s dormitories; major renovations to the Caney Cottage dormitory in Lexington, Kentucky; renovation of the McGaw Library and construction of a Center for Entrepreneurship and Collaborative Learning. Additionally, construction is underway on a Campus Center Project, a nearly 20-million-dollar project to further develop and expand academic, recreational, and athletic facilities available to the ALC community.

President Stepp has also overseen the expansion of the ALC Business Program to include majors in entrepreneurship and accounting, a minor in entrepreneurship and core concentrations in management, e-marketing, leadership, finance, healthcare administration, e-commerce, and management information systems. He has also added majors in kinesiology, sociology, special education and a dual-degree in nursing. A major in criminal justice is being added this fall, as well as a minor in speech communications and theatre arts. 

During President Stepp’s tenure, Alice Lloyd College has been noted for its character-based education and affordability by several national publications including The TODAY Show, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Fox Business News, Yahoo! Finance, and MSN Money. In recent years, the College has been featured in national media such as Forbes Magazine as one of the 100 most financially fit colleges in America and U.S. News & World Report as the top college in America for graduating students with the least amount of average debt. Through all of this, the College has also remained debt-free.

Continuing the mission that Alice Lloyd began over one hundred years ago, Dr. Stepp is dedicated to improving the lives of those in Appalachia. Although President Stepp has received national recognition through the College, he stays humble and keeps his focus on bettering the students’ educational life. Like Alice Lloyd, President Stepp believes the leaders are here and his life’s work is to continue Mrs. Lloyd’s vision for the children of Appalachia.