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Sara Walter Combs Receives Leadership Award


Sara Walter Combs receives a Leadership award from Mike Huckabee and University of the Cumberlands president Dr. Jim Taylor at UC’s 6th annual Leadership event on Tuesday, April 5.

Williamsburg, Ky. - Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee spoke to a crowded auditorium of 3,000 University of the Cumberlands (UC) students, staff and faculty, as well as friends from across the state of Kentucky, during the University’s 6th annual Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership event on Tuesday, April 5. Held in the O. Wayne Rollins Center on UC’s campus, Huckabee’s speech, “Leadership in a Free and Strong America,” highlighted not only the economic crisis in America but the moral issues behind the problem and the moral solutions to work towards change.

The Center, that sponsors internationally renowned speakers recognized for their character and leadership, provides a keynote speaker yearly at UC to help raise the visibility of the University’s values.

At this year’s program UC honored eight individuals who have been instrumental in demonstrating exceptional leadership in a free and strong America. These individuals were chosen because they demonstrate the essentials of leadership not only in their business lives but in their personal lives as well.

Sara Walter Combs was one of the honored guests to receive a Leadership in a Free and Strong America Award for her patriotism and drive for excellence to her family, community and nation and for serving as a role model to others by taking active steps in the development of a Free and Strong America.

Born in Louisville, KY, Judge Combs resides in Powell County at her farm, Fern Hill, where she and her late husband, the well-known and beloved former Governor Bert T. Combs, made their home.

Currently, Judge Combs is serving her 18th year on the Kentucky Court of Appeals for the First Division of the 7th Judicial District.

Judge Comb’s background is filled with academic excellence being named the valedictorian at both Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville and the University of Louisville where she obtained a B.A. in French, she was recipient of a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and achieved the rank of second in her class at U of L Law School.

Judge Comb’s professional experience includes teaching at both the high school and university levels as well as the practice of law where she became the sole proprietor of her own small law office in Stanton.

Judge Combs made history as being the Commonwealth’s first woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She was elected the chief judge of the Court of Appeals in May 2004, was the first woman to serve as chief of an appellate court in Kentucky, and was the first chief judge of the Court of Appeals from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky.

She was re-elected as chief judge by her current colleagues and served a total of six years as chief judge.