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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:

1909

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.

 
1918

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

 
1932

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.  
1936

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.

 
1938

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  
1947

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.  
1961

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.  
1964

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

 
1967

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

 
1972

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

 
1979

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.

 
1985

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

 
1987

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

 
1990

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

 
1991

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.

 
1992

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

 
1994

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.

 
1996

School officially changes name to West Kentucky TECH.

 

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

 
1997

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.

 
1998

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.

 
2001

Ground breaking for the new Challenger Learning Center at PCC.

 

Dr. O’Hara retires from PCC.

 
2002

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.

 
2003

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

 
 

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