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History

From humble beginnings

In 1965, Hopkinsville Community College opened its doors. There were 220 students who walked into class on the first day of that September, served by ten faculty and six staff, all in the college's single, distinctively bright-blue building. In a way, they were seeds planted in Christian County's fertile soil. From a current Hopkinsville students perspective, those seem like meager circumstances indeed. However, unsurprisingly, Hopkinsville students, faculty, and staff excelled. In 1966, the student-published literary magazine The Round Table was first produced. Spring of 2017 marked the 51st edition of the publication.

Two years later, students established an honor society (the Alpha Delta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa),  a campus newspaper (Community College Chronicle), and a number of other academic and technical clubs. During these early years, Hopkinsville faculty began the decades-long tradition of offering free classical music concerts and theatrical productions to the community.

HCC's mutually beneficial affiliation with the Army is almost as old as the college itself. In 1972, the college joined seven other regional universities to serve active duty military stationed on Fort Campbell as a part of Eagle University. Expansion to Fort Campbell constituted the college's second service location. 

Through changing times

Under the leadership of long-time president Dr. Thomas L. Riley, within a quarter century, HCC had three buildings and offered classes serving students in twenty diverse fields, from agriculture to nursing, to forestry and office administration. Students could complete courses via television, or on the Fort Campbell or Hopkinsville Campuses. With the installation of the first computer lab in 1983, students completed degrees in the quickly-growing fields of Data Processing and Management Technology, continuing the colleges dedication to providing access to cutting-edge technology for the community.

Beginning his tenure in 1989, Dr. A. James Kerley led the college during a fruitful period of growth. The college's Auditorium Building was completed, increasing to four the number of buildings.  With the guidance of community, business, and technology leaders from throughout the Pennyrile, college employees and supporters began the long process of lobbying for a regional technology center. Their labors paid off in 1992 when the building and a portion of the funding were approved.

The college continued its dedication to improving the larger community. Through Student Support Services, the College For Living program (educating developmentally-delayed adults), the News & Views student newspaper, the HCC Speech Team, the KICCS (Kids In College Can Soar), and Lets CHILL (Children of Higher Intelligence Listening and Learning) programs for area youth, and the Hopkinsville Films series, the college continued its dedication to enriching the lives of students and the broader community.

Carl D. Burnett became interim president in 1998 following Dr. Kerley's departure for Lexington Community College. During his short tenure, the college transferred a number of programs from Madisonville Community College. The transfer included certificate and diploma programs in the following areas: Agricultural Technology, Computer-Aided Drafting, Electrical and Electronic Technology, Industrial Automation Technology, Machine Tool Technology, Manufacturing Systems Technology, and Quality Assurance Technology. In 2000, the college was designated the first fully comprehensive community college in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and HCC named its third president, Dr. Bonnie Rogers.

Into the 21st Century

During Dr. Rogers' five-year tenure, the college added degree programs in Networking, Information Technology, and Practical Nursing, and continued its dedication to enriching the community through the Religion and Philosophy Club's newly-created Speakers Series. By 2004, the college's graduating classes had outgrown the on-campus venue for commencement ceremonies and moved to the James E. Bruce Convention Center. The college entered partnerships with Murray State University and Trevecca Nazarene University to offer degrees on the Hopkinsville campus and at the West Kentucky Regional Postsecondary Education Center.

Upon Dr. Rogers retirement in 2005, Dr. James Selbe served as interim until he was named the college's fourth president in early 2006.  Dr. Selbe's seven-year tenure saw record enrollment at our Hopkinsville and Fort Campbell locations and also at other locations in Christian, Todd, Caldwell, and Trigg counties. In 2012 the college began the Hopkinsville Rotary Scholars program in Christian County, making it easier for high school students from Christian County to attend college. The college expanded its KICCS program to serve children in Trigg County, served hundreds of high school students in its Upward Bound program, and hosted nationally and internationally-recognized speakers on several occasions.

In 2013 President Selbe resigned as college president, and was re-assigned to the KCTCS System Office. Dr. Patrick Lake was appointed as HCC's interim president. He had served as president of Henderson Community College for 25 years before retiring from the position in December 2010.

KCTCS President Michael B. McCall  announced the appointment of the fifth president, Jay S. Allen, Ph.D. in November 2013. Dr. Allen assumed his presidential post in January 2014. During Dr. Allen's tenure, the college celebrated its 50th Anniversary with events throughout the year, including presentations at Fort Campbell and Hopkinsville by Holocaust Survivor Dr. Inge Auerbacher.  The inaugural Breathitt Lecture Series was launched with guest speaker Freedom Rider Joan Trumpauer Mulholland. The Learning Resource Center was renamed for The Rotary Club of Hopkinsville. The college's association with NASA was developed, and led to several near-space, high altitude balloon satellite launches. He oversaw the development and opening of the Todd County Career Path Institute, a partnership with Todd County Schools. Agriculture programs of study were broadened, and the college purchased a farm to serve as a livestock laboratory. Dr. Allen also led the college's BuildSmart initiative, which will result in the first capital construction project on the Hopkinsville campus in almost twenty years, as the Emerging Technologies Center is built.  Dr. Allen resigned in May of 2017 to assume the presidency of Itawamba Community College in his home state of Mississippi.

On May 10, 2017, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) President Dr. Jay Box named Dr. Dennis Michaelis interim president/CEO. Prior to his arrival at HCC, he served as interim at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. He was president of McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas from 1998 until his retirement in 2009. Prior to that, he served as president of Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas and in other leadership and teaching positions in Texas, North Dakota and Kansas. Since his retirement, he has served in interim positions for colleges in Louisiana, Missouri and Kentucky. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Kansas and a master's degree from Ft. Hays State University. He completed the doctorate in higher education administration at Kansas State University.

A search is currently underway for the next president of Hopkinsville Community College, and it is anticipated that a new president will be named by the end of August, 2017.

As we look forward to our fifty-second anniversary, our future is as bright as that of the students we teach.

Hopkinsville Community College is YOUR COMMUNITY college!