Dalton McCown is from neighboring Letcher County, Kentucky. His “academic pursuits first” policy has allowed him to garner an impressive collection of accolades including being selected as a Kentucky Governor’s Scholar and attending both the University of Pikeville and University of Kentucky medical professional education programs. However, Dalton strove for more. He wanted to be educated at an institution that wanted to know him and, after attending the June Buchanan School, he knew just the place. He states, “I knew Alice Lloyd College was for me when I took my first walk along the Purpose Road. I had toured other colleges and being a Governor’s Scholar would’ve given me full-tuition at almost every public university in Kentucky, but of all the places I went, this one was different.”
When asked what made ALC different, Dalton responded, “The people here are cut from a different fabric, they breathe a different air, they want to know you and most importantly, they want to help you.” Dalton cited his personal relationships with mentors, professors, and even like-minded students all as reasons for not applying to any other college or university. Further saying, “I knew what I wanted for undergraduate education, and the Purpose Road Philosophy not only exemplifies that but encourages it.”
Dalton wants to be a rural physician and come back to the mountains to help the people who helped him. He believes it’s only right to support those who have assisted him this far. He quotes his late grandfather’s saying, “You dance with who brought you.” His ultimate goal is to research substance abuse treatment methods and aid in the fight against the opiate epidemic that Eastern Kentucky currently faces. He says, “I know they say it takes a village to raise a child but I have so much more than that here in Pippa Passes; I have a home.”
His family has also been a major influence in his life. His father, a carpenter, has taught him the value of labor and in order to achieve what he wants in this world, he will have to work hard for it. His mother is the director of nursing at a local hospital and has encouraged him to pursue his passion of saving lives by obtaining a medical degree. Dalton’s sister, Kaci, has continually motivated him to be the good in the world by not only setting the good example but living to be that example. He speaks fondly of his family saying, “My family is everything to me. I have parents, grandparents, and neighbors who’ve given me the world. I would not be the person I am today if it were not for them and those like them.”
The motivation from his family has led Dalton to pursue his goal by double majoring in Biology (Pre-Medicine) and English. While strongly focused on his studies, Dalton also manages to stay involved in campus affairs such as being Vice President of the Allied Health Club, participating in the ALC Theatre Club, and working as a teaching assistant in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics department. He also enjoys intramural basketball and utilizing Alice Lloyd College’s newly built Campus Center weight room. Recently, Dalton was also recently inducted into the Duncan Leadership Institute.
In the classroom, Dalton continues to strive academically. He has made the President’s list every semester, and competed and won several competitions on campus. He won the first annual Great Caney Hackathon, placed in the top every year he has competed in the annual Mongiardo Speech Competition, and recently won the De Fillips essay competition. His love for English has inspired him to begin authoring a novel and he frequently enters writing competitions on campus.
Dalton summed up his beliefs by saying, “I’ve managed to find a place where people want me to succeed, a college that wants to help me do it with little to no cost to me, and a family to inspire me. I can’t fully express my gratitude to donors, faculty, and staff, who make this experience possible. They invested in me and when I come back to the mountains after medical school, their investment will pay off. That is my goal, my purpose.” Assisting students to achieve their goal and thus fulfill their purpose continues to resonate among the Appalachian Mountains as the mission of Alice Lloyd College.