P.G. Peeples to Speak at SCC February 17 | SCC

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P.G. Peeples to Speak at SCC February 17

PeeplesP.G. Peeples, who serves as the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents Chair and as President/CEO of the Lexington Urban League, will be on Somerset Community Colleges Somerset Campus on February 17 at 12:30 p.m. for a special event.

Peeples was scheduled to speak at SCC during the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast, but was unable to attend due to weather.
SCC is inviting all community members to hear Peeples in this rescheduled event, which will be held in the Citizens National Bank Community Room, located in the Harold Rogers Student Commons on the Somerset Campus at 12:30 p.m. Friday, February 17.

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

We didnt 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.

For more information, call SCC Director for Cultural Diversity Elaine Wilson at (606) 451-6915. The event is free to the public.