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Forsyth, Gearheart Communications honored at KCTCS gala

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) recognized two benefactors of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) during the 14th annual President’s Gala and Benefactors’ Awards Dinner on November 9 at the Lexington Center.

William “Bill” Forsyth, center, is recognized by Big Sandy Community and Technical College President/CEO Dr. George D. Edwards and KCTCS Founding President Dr. Michael B. McCall at the 14th annual President’s Gala and Benefactors’ Awards Dinner on November 9 at the Lexington Center.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) recognized two benefactors of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) during the 14th annual President’s Gala and Benefactors’ Awards Dinner on November 9 at the Lexington Center.

William “Bill” Forsyth and Gearheart Communications were among the 34 individuals, businesses and foundations honored for their philanthropic and voluntary support to KCTCS and BSCTC.

“The generous support of our benefactors make the dream of a college education a reality for many of our students,” said Dr. George D. Edwards, president/CEO of Big Sandy Community and Technical College. “We are proud of our strong relationships in the communities we serve, and we do not take lightly our responsibility for training the leaders and workforce of tomorrow.”

Forsyth, the husband of the late Melissa Forsyth, made a generous contribution to have the library on the Prestonsburg campus named the Melissa M. Forsyth Library in honor of his wife. Melissa Forsyth served as director of libraries at BSCTC for many years and passed away earlier this year.

“Melissa’s vision of a library was much more than just a room of books and a place where students study – it was a place of opportunities and where lives changed through the power of learning,” Bill Forsyth said. “She believed that libraries that served rural areas were essentially de-facto museums and, often times, the only place where historic documents of a region could be stored and displayed properly. She also was fond of how the Prestonsburg campus library was adjacent to the art gallery, which featured the works of local artists throughout the year. Preserving art and culture was very near and dear to Melissa’s heart.”

Gearheart Communications, based in Harold, Ky., has been a longtime supporter of the college. The auditorium on the Prestonsburg campus is named in honor of the Paul and Elaine Gearheart. Their granddaughter, Heather Gearheart, accepted the Benefactors’ award at the gala.

For the past three years, Gearheart Communications has sponsored the Big Sandy Idol program. Its support of the program allows the BSCTC Fine Arts department to host school-based talent competitions at all high schools in Floyd, Pike, Johnson, Martin and Magoffin counties and an annual regional competition at the Mountain Arts Center each March.

The support of the program also has resulted in 20 scholarships for deserving students who earn a spot on the Big Sandy Singers, an elite group of BSCTC students that promote the college at various concerts and events throughout the year.

To learn more about giving opportunities at BSCTC, contact Kelli Hall, director of advancement, at (606) 886-7382 or email kelli.hall@kctcs.edu.


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