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CU Breaks Ground on New School of Education Building

CU Breaks Ground on New School of Education Building 1
Groundbreaking for the Campbellsville University School of Education included the following from left: Dr. David Morris, Otto Tennant, Pat Burkhart, Dr. Michael V. Carter, Dr. Jay Conner, Dr. Brenda Priddy, James Achterhof, Ken Koehler, Freddie Hilpp, Alex Montgomery, Terri Cassell, Mayor Brenda Allen, Kenny Bennett, Paul Osborne, Dr. Ralph Tesseneer and Dr. Frank Cheatham. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “Teaching is the profession that creates all others,” said Dr. Brenda Priddy, dean of the Campbellsville University School of Education, as CU’s oldest educational program began its new home.

Ground was broken yesterday for a new 14,000-square-foot building that will house the School of Education with over 500 students, 14 faculty members and four staff.

A check for $250,000 was also received from James Achterhof, director of the Richard Van Lunen Foundation that has pledged $750,000 toward the building.

Achterhof said that the Van Lunen Foundation furthers Christian education, and “We are really pleased to be a partner with Campbellsville University.”

“Think of all of the teachers who will go out and be the future dispensers of salt of the earth,” he said quoting from scripture. He urged the faculty, administration, staff and students to stay dedicated to Christ.

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said the foundation’s lead gift “means so much to us.”

“Thank you for believing in teacher education,” he told Achterhof who was presented with a resolution of appreciation to the foundation.

Carter and Priddy discussed the history of CU’s education program – the oldest one that began in 1907.

“Education has always been at the heart of this institution,” Carter said.

Priddy pointed out that two of the earliest professors in the Russell Creek Academy Normal School (earliest name of Campbellsville University) were Garnett Graves, chief instructor, and Maude Wade, who were both on the Board of Examiners in Taylor and Green counties.

“The program at that time had a reputation for the excellence in teacher preparation as graduates received top grades on Kentucky Department of Education licensing exams,” she said.

“Today, that tradition has continued as the School of Education has consistently maintained a 90 percent or better pass rate on teacher licensure exams,” Priddy said.

She thanked those attending including superintendents and teachers from other school systems. She also said the late Jean Pennebaker, a friend to the School of Education, was “here in spirit.”

Dr. Dave Morris, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, which met earlier in the day, said he was a product of teachers and, “Teachers are special people.”

Today, the School of Education has 19 programs including: P-5 elementary education; 5-9 middles grades education; 8-12, English, math, biology, chemistry and social studies; P-12, art, music, health, physical education and special education; P-12, English as a Second Language endorsement;

Master of arts in education, master of arts in special education, gifted education endorsement, director of special education and the new Rank I program.

The new School of Education building will feature the Dr. Beulah Campbell Children’s Literature Collection Room, six classrooms, an auditorium, dean’s suite, 20 offices, a student lounge, faculty work room, and conference room. Naming opportunities are available for each of the rooms and furnishings.

Dr. Beulah Campbell, an alumnus of CU who attended in 1935-36, was honored with a resolution of appreciation.

CU Breaks Ground on New School of Education Building
Dr. Beulah Campbell, third from left, receives a plaque from Campbellsville University President Michael V. Carter in honor of her contributions to the Campbellsville University’s School of Education for the Campbell Children’s Literature Collection Room. At Carter’s right is Dr. Dave Morris, chair of the CU Board of Trustees. Beside Campbell is from left: Joe Woosley, Campbellsville Mayor Brenda Allen, Cindy Woosley and Shannon Clark. (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)

Campbell’s educational experience ranged from teaching in a one-room school in Taylor County to serving as a professor of education at Appalachian State University from 1956 to 1981.

She has been widely known for her knowledge of and work in children’s literature, has been recognized by numerous professional organizations across the country and has received an honorary doctorate of public service degree from Campbellsville University.

Campbell is a major donor to the School of Education building, and the building will house her collection of children’s literature and materials that she donated to the institution.

During the groundbreaking, Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs, said, “We stand on the shoulders of the fantastic leaders of CU. It takes the past to get to today.”

Dr. Jay Conner, a member of CU’s Board of Trustees and chair of the Advancement Committee, gave the prayer for the groundbreaking, and Benji Kelly, vice president for development, welcomed those attending and introduced special guests including Paul Osborne, chair of the Board of Trustees’ building and grounds committee, Ken Koehler, architect, and Freddie Hilpp of Hilpp Construction who are constructing the building. Pat Burkhart, CU trustee and chair of the academic committee, gave the closing prayer.

The School of Education also has an innovative student teacher exit program, a partnership with regional administrators and teachers that includes: evaluation of students’ professional portfolios, mock employment interviews and a mini job fair.

The School of Education also sponsors the Excellence in Teaching Program, Future Educators of America Regional Conference, FEA Summer Camp, Minority Recruitment Programs titled Pathways to Teaching and Outdoor Classroom Institute.

CU recently received a $2.8 million grant called the Kentucky Alternative Certification in Special Education (KACSE).

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has accredited Campbellsville University.

Members of the buildings and grounds committee of the Board of Trustees also include: Terri Cassell, Alex Montgomery, Dr. Ralph Tesseneer and Kenny Bennett, all of Campbellsville, and Mary Frances May of Columbia.

For giving opportunities, contact Kelly at (270) 789-5211 or

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,405 students who represent 98 Kentucky counties, 25 states and 36 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and eighth in the South for “Great Schools, Great Prices.” CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.