News Archive

Annual Unity Breakfast at SCC Friday, January 13

PeeplesP.G. Peeples will be the guest speaker at the annual Somerset Community College Unity Breakfast on Friday, January 13, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Citizens National Bank Community Room, located in the Harold Rogers Student Commons on the Somerset Campus. The breakfast is held to honor the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The public is invited, however, reservations are requested. Call Elaine Wilson, SCC Director for Cultural Diversity, to make your reservation at (606) 451-6915. The event is free to the public.

Peeples, who resides in Lexington, is the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents Chair and serves as the President/CEO of the Lexington Urban League.

The son of a coal miner, Peeples grew up in the small Harlan County coal mining town of Lynch.

We didn't know we were poor until the media told us, he said. My father worked for U.S. Steel, and our houses were provided. Our schools were subsidized by the company, so we had some of the best teachers. My family always had a car, and my father was an outdoorsman, so he had a boat.

Until his senior year, Peeples attended a segregated school. He was the fifth of nine children, and the first in his family to attend college. He and two of his younger siblings attended Southeast Community College, now Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, in Cumberland.

After two years at Southeast Community College, Peeples enrolled at the University of Kentucky where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary and special education. He was one of approximately 50 black students on campus in 1966.

Peeples said being part of such a small group on campus was not intimidating to him because of the experiences he had prior to moving to Lexington. His family, and many others in the Lynch community, sent their teenagers to live with family in other cities and work there during the summer. At age 16, Peeples lived with older siblings in Brooklyn and worked as a messenger in midtown Manhattan. A few years later, he worked at St. Lukes Hospital across the street from the home of the president of Columbia University where he had a front row seat when students took over that home in the turbulent 1960s.

I wouldn't trade my life experiences growing up for anything, he said.

His life experiences, hard work and achievements have earned Peeples a place in the University of Kentucky College of Education Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of numerous awards and even has one named after him. In recognition of his success, the Fayette County Public Schools established the P.G. Peeples Equity Award in 2003. He was the first chairman of the districts Equity Council as well as a leader on the public schools Affirmative Action Council.

Peeples is active in several community and service organizations, some of which include the Kentucky Housing Corporation Board, Bluegrass Airport Board, Bluegrass Community Foundation Board, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation Board, Lexington Chamber of Commerce Board, World Equestrian Games 2010 Board, Fayette County Education Foundation Board, Fayette County Schools Equity Council, Central Banks Advisory Board, and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation.

He and his wife, Wilma, who attended Hazard Community and Technical College and went on to earn degrees from the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville, have two children.

Peeples is an avid UK football and basketball fan. He has two basketball championship rings, one given to him by Coach Rick Pitino and the other by Coach Tubby Smith. His affiliation with the basketball program has led to contributions to the Lexington Urban League from several coaches, including Coach John Calipari.

Somerset Community College is a comprehensive two-year institution of higher education. SCC has campuses in Somerset and London, and centers in Clinton, McCreary, Casey, and Russell counties. For admission and program information, visit our website at somerset.kctcs.edu. The campus address is 808 Monticello Street
Somerset, Kentucky 42501.