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During the final convocation of the 2024 spring semester on Tuesday, April 23rd, Alice Lloyd College celebrated the legacy of ALC alumnus, Mr. Raymond B. Preston with guest speaker Mr. Scott Davis. During the event, the Cushing Hall Auditorium, where Mr. Preston did his work-study, was named in his honor.

The convocation began with an address from ALC President Jim Stepp. Following the invocation and National Anthem, President Stepp welcomed the crowd and congratulated this year’s graduates before providing updates on numerous campus projects. Chancellor Stepp then took the floor to tell stories of Mr. Preston’s walk along Purpose Road before introducing guest speaker Mr. Davis, who is a friend of the Preston family and serves as the Administrative Manager for the Raymond B. Preston Family Foundation.

Mr. Davis spoke highly of Mr. Preston saying that he was a complex person who, above all else, was wise, compassionate, and always filled the room with his presence. Mr. Preston held the Purpose Road Philosophy in high regard and exhibited the six pillars of the philosophy: Conscience, Duty, Action, Interest, Courage, and Consecration. 

Mr. Raymond B. Preston left his Appalachian home in Johnson County, Kentucky at 16 searching for the key to his future success: an education. His first stop was Alice Lloyd College where he began his path to a higher education and learned the Purpose Road Philosophy and the meaning of hard work. Mr. Preston went on for a brief stop at the University of Tennessee before settling at Western Kentucky University, where he earned his BS in Chemistry at age 19. 

Mr. Preston served as a Lt. Senior Grade in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II and worked briefly for General Chemical Company afterward before he and two partners founded PB&S Chemical Company in 1947. Mr. Preston was called back into active service in 1951 during the Korean War, and returned to Henderson, Kentucky after his discharge where he grew PB&S Chemical into one of the nation’s top ten distributors by 1989, when he sold the company.

Mr. Preston became the chairman and majority owner of Ohio Valley National Bank in 1987 and formed the Raymond B. Preston Family Foundation in 1990. The Raymond B. Preston Family Foundation provides funding to programs within the areas of education, arts, and civic engagement. The Foundation has generously supported Alice Lloyd College and the June Buchanan School to help provide a quality, character-based education to Appalachian students.

Chancellor Joe Stepp and President Jim Stepp joined Mr. Davis on stage to present a plaque naming Cushing Hall Auditorium in honor of Raymond B. Preston, a friend to Alice Lloyd College.