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UC Honors Outstanding Individuals as Colmon Elridge, III Speaks


Williamsburg, Ky. – On Monday, February 11th the University of the Cumberlands (UC) held a University Recognition Program Convocation in the Gatliff Chapel.

During the ceremony, two individuals were honored with honorary degrees for their success throughout their careers.

Dr. Joe Alan Stepp was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Administration degree. Stepp is the President of Alice Lloyd College and head administrator for The June Buchanan School in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. When he was named Alice Lloyd’s President in 1999, Stepp became the first native Appalachian to assume that role in the College’s history.

Mr. Ron D. Bryant was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Bryant is a noted Kentucky author and historian that is currently the manager of Waveland State Historic Site in Lexington, Kentucky. He is also the Kentucky political history columnist for the Kentucky Gazette in Frankfort, the editor of the Kentucky History and Genealogy Journal, a member of several boards for cultural, historical, and educational institutions; a renowned public speaker, and a teacher of American, Kentucky, and European history for the last 30 years.

The ceremony was closed by Mr. Colmon Elridge, III, Executive Assistant to the Governor of Kentucky. He delivered an inspirational speech on his past and what it took for him to rise above. During his speech to the students and faculty, Elridge, III, discussed several points on what it means to be successful and what it takes to achieve the goals we set for our lives.

With many hilarious and sometimes thought provoking stories about his past, Elridge, III set a fine example of what it means to become and remain successful. He pointed out over and over that you can come from nowhere and become the one everyone looks to for help. You can come from a rough past and be a light for others in the future. He explained that his life wasn’t easy as a kid and as he grew older he went through many obstacles that threw him down over and over, but today he is very successful. He shared stories of his ancestors and how they were born into a rough time of slavery, but came out as successful business men and women.

All in all, he gave a truly inspiring message for everyone in attendance. He let everyone know that no matter what your past may be, no matter where you came from, you can be successful if you’re willing to put the work behind it. His speech went right along with the main focus of the night which was to honor successful people for their valiant efforts and hard work put into their communities and those around them.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article provided by Rhyana Barker, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia and Athletic Services Department Student Assistant