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Denise and Bryon Jacobs

Assistant Professor of Business Denise Jacobs first set foot on the Purpose Road in 1982, and she has been a member of the Alice Lloyd College family ever since. Denise graduated in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration and went on to get her MBA at Morehead State. She continually believes that the mission of Alice Lloyd College changed her life forever.

“I don’t think my siblings and I would have been able to attend school, were it not for Alice Lloyd. We were able to get Academic scholarships and made it through with no debt, which was at one time unheard of for working-class families in Appalachia. The opportunities here are very limited.”

One of Professor Jacobs’ greatest motivators is creating further opportunities for students like her. After acquiring her MBA, Denise returned to this region to continue the tradition of ALC graduates serving their mountain communities.

“ALC was willing to help me out if I was willing to work hard and improve myself in the process. Those lessons really stuck with me. I’ve always found work ethic to be a very noble and honorable trait. It gives one the confidence and dignity needed for success.”

Professor Jacobs lists a strong work ethic as one of the most admirable qualities she finds in her husband of 30 years, Byron Jacobs. Denise and Byron met during the days as undergraduates on the Purpose Road, and have since raised three bright children: Brynnan, Colton, and Connor

Denise, Brynnan, Colton, Connor, and Byron Jacobs

Between working full time and raising a family, organization and efficiency come out in everything Professor Jacobs does. She also channels these skills into the community outreach program known as Power-Up for Nutrition that she directs at ALC saying, “I tend to be very left-brained, and I think that can be a good thing when it comes to organizing efforts to give back what has been given to us. Some of the kids at Jones Fork Elementary here in Knott County are food insecure. They were saving snacks from lunchtime at school to take home and share with their younger siblings because they don’t always have food at home. We noticed some kids at church were doing the same thing during youth group events as well, and I knew something could be done.”

Professor Jacobs and her colleagues in the Joe Craft School of Business give out over 30 bags of food to elementary students that are food insecure every weekend. Denise also rallies support for the Power-Up for Nutrition Program from the students she sponsors through the ALC chapter of Phi Beta Lambda. In addition to their philanthropic efforts, Professor Jacobs has made it her mission to sponsor Phi Beta Lambda students on trips to Chicago, Washington D.C., and California.

When she isn’t organizing efforts to better our Appalachian region, Professor Jacobs enjoys “cozy mystery” stories and travel to historic sites, including Colonial Williamsburg. The Revolutionary War, she says is of particular interest to her and her family. Denise is also something of a baker, her family particularly enjoys the sweet desserts she creates. 

With bounteous grace and commitment to a life of service, Professor Jacobs is a reminder of what it means to graduate from Alice Lloyd College. Students, like Mrs. Jacobs, emerge from their time on the Purpose Road as charitable citizens who remain faithful to the mission of the school and their fellow man.