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A Rich Heritage: A Historic Timeline


The West Kentucky Community and Technical College District has a rich heritage of service to the community and the region based on the foundation laid by Paducah Community College and West Kentucky Technical College. Below is a historical timeline:


Dr. Dennis Henry Anderson begins work on the first building of the West Kentucky Industrial College, catering to the needs of African-American students in western Kentucky. The first building was located at what is now 1400 H.C. Mathis Drive.


West Kentucky Industrial College becomes a state-supported junior college.


Paducah Junior College, founded as a private, non-profit junior college, begins operations in the former YMCA building at 707 Broadway.


Reverend U. R. Bell becomes PJC’s first president.

1933 First PJC graduating class of eight sophomores.  

Under second PJC president, R. G. "Dean" Matheson, the Paducah Board of City Commissioners adopted PJC as a municipal college that voters supported with a municipal tax.


West Kentucky Industrial College merges with West Kentucky State College in Frankfort to become the West Kentucky Vocational School. M.H. Griffin is named the school’s first president.

1943 H.C. Russell is named the second president of West Kentucky Vocational School  

M.J. Sleet, father of Pulitzer winner M.J. Sleet Jr., becomes the vocational school’s third president.

1953 PJC affiliated with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).  
1957 H.C. Mathis is named president of West Kentucky State Vocational School.  

Plans are put into motion for the construction of a new PJC campus along what is today Alben Barkley Drive.

1962 Purchase of land and a building from William Carson for PJC.  

PJC moved onto its new campus which included present-day Carson Hall, Rosenthal Hall, and Waller Hall as well as the gymnasium.


PJC joined the University of Kentucky community college system becoming a "new" college – Paducah Community College.


Matheson retires and Dr. Donald J. Clemens becomes the new PCC president. He oversees the construction of the Learning Resource Center and the Students & Fine Arts Center


M.W. Taylor is named director of West Kentucky State Vocational-Technical School.


West Kentucky State Vocational-Technical School moved from its original home on H.C. Mathis Drive to a 30-acre tract of land adjacent to Paducah Community College on Blandville Road (today’s Alben Barkley Drive) donated by the Paducah Junior College Board of Trustees.


Bill Huston is named director of West Kentucky State Vocational-Technical School.


The Purchase Training Center in Mayfield, KY becomes a satellite campus of West Kentucky State Vocational-Technical School.


West Kentucky State Technical School becomes a part of the newly formed Kentucky Workforce Development Cabinet.


Dr. Len O’Hara becomes PCC president when Dr. Clemens retires.


The Allied Health Building opens as a joint project between PCC and West Kentucky State Technical School.


Lee Hicklin is named director of West Kentucky State Technical School.


State-operated technical schools begin using new names to recognize their inclusion in the Workforce Development Cabinet and Kentucky TECH. West Kentucky State Technical School is known as Kentucky TECH – West Kentucky campus.


School officially changes name to West Kentucky TECH.


Deckhand training program moves from Mayfield to a new location on the Paducah riverfront.


West Kentucky TECH is designated as a "technical institute," has its accreditation reconfirmed by the Council on Occupation Education and receives a Kentucky TECH "Flag of Excellence".


Dr. Paul McInturff is named director of West Kentucky Tech.


PCC and West Kentucky Tech join the Kentucky Community and Technical College System as a result of the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997. West Kentucky Tech officially becomes West Kentucky Technical College.


Construction of Crounse Hall on the PCC campus enabled UK to open a baccalaureate-engineering program.


Ground breaking for the new Challenger Learning Center at PCC.


Dr. O’Hara retires from PCC.


Governor Paul Patton appoints West Kentucky Community and Technical College District Board.


Dr. Barbara Veazey becomes the first woman president of PCC and CEO of the West Kentucky Community and Technical College District.


Challenger Learning Center opens. The first floor houses the CLC and second floor will be the home of University of Kentucky Graduate School as well as additional classrooms for engineering, math, and science.


KCTCS Board of Regents approves consolidation of PCC and West Kentucky Technical College.


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