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2006-12-06 Interview with Joanne B. Hogue, December 6, 2006 CC001:2007OH035CC10 00:27:08 History of Kentucky's Community Colleges Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College Joanne B. Hogue; interviewee John Klee; interviewer 2007OH035_CC10_Hogue 1:|14(12)|42(2)|64(11)|86(3)|104(5)|127(2)|145(16)|171(5)|196(12)|231(11)|255(8)|272(12)|305(1)|331(1)|369(4)|388(4)|416(13)|444(2)|464(5)|482(7)|520(14)|549(2)|581(6)|607(13)|635(9)|657(6)|689(8) audiotrans CommuColl interview KLEE: The following is an unrehearsed interview by John Klee for the Community College System Project of the University of Kentucky. I'm speaking with Joanne Hogue at Southeast Community and Technical College. Today is December 6th, 2006, and we're having the interview here at the community college. Ms. Hogue, tell me a little bit about your personal background. Where were you born? HOGUE: I was born in Benham, Kentucky. That's just up -- the next little town up. KLEE: Yes. Your parents? HOGUE: Well, my father was originally -- he came from North Carolina, worked in the coal mines for a while, and then he established a dry cleaning plant. And my mother was from Tennessee, a rabid UK fan (laughter -- both) and -- KLEE: So they came here to Benham to work in the coal mines. HOGUE: For years, right. KLEE: And so you were raised in that community? HOGUE: Mm-mm. KLEE: When the -- HOGUE: Well, I was raised primarily -- I've lived in Lynch, and I lived in Cumberland. I don't think I ever lived in Benham. KLEE: Okay. You've lived in Lynch and in Cumberland. So where'd you go to school, then, elementary and high school? HOGUE: Well, I went the first three grades -- oh, at high school? KLEE: Well, elementary. Start with elementary. HOGUE: The first three grades I went to Lynch. The next year I went to Benham. And then I came to Cumberland (laughter -- Klee), and that's where I roosted the rest of the time. KLEE: I see. So what was life like in those -- these communities, when the coal mines were still strong? HOGUE: They were booming. There was a lot going on down here at that time, not compared to now, of course, but it was a good place to live. KLEE: When you got out of high school -- HOGUE: I went to Berea College. KLEE: Did you? Okay. HOGUE: And then I went to Indiana University for my master's. KLEE: I see. And what did you get your master's in? HOGUE: Business. And then I came here. KLEE: Did you -- right out of -- you came here right out of college to work? HOGUE: Well, let's see. After I got out of college -- I got married. And I met my husband at Berea. And then we went to IU. And then we moved to Memphis. Then my husband decided -- he was teaching at a little college there. I've forgotten the name of it. Rhodes, I think, was the name of it. And he decided he wanted to be a CPA. So we came back to Louisville and lived there until he got his CPA. Then he decided he wanted to work for himself, and we landed in Cumberland. KLEE: I see. He hadn't -- did he know this area before he -- HOGUE: No. He was from Casey County. I met him in college. KLEE: Okay. And how did he -- he adjust to the area okay or liked it? HOGUE: He likes it. KLEE: And there was a new college opening up. When did you first hear about a college here? Do you remember any of the talk or -- HOGUE: You mean -- KLEE: This one. HOGUE: This one? KLEE: Southeast. HOGUE: Well, I know that everybody in town -- it was a real -- you know, it was a real enthusiastic time when people found out that we were going to get a college. I think there was a little bantering back and forth. The people in Harlan wanted the college there. Mr. Newman, who was the head person at Benham, which was still operational then, donated the land. It was -- I believe -- I think -- let's see, I've got the acreage down here somewhere maybe. KLEE: Yeah, I think you had it up here. It was over 100 acres, I know. HOGUE: Yeah, 120 plus. And he's the one that the building was named for, of course. KLEE: That's right. Was there anybody -- any other individuals in the community that stand out as, you think, leaders in that -- HOGUE: In getting it -- KLEE: To get the college here? HOGUE: I don't really remember that. I know there was some wrangling around about it, of course, but I didn't know that I was going to be working there or I would have been more interested. (Laughter -- both) KLEE: How did you come to be employed here? HOGUE: Well, they just asked me. KLEE: Oh, really? And what were your -- who was -- who talked to you about -- who gave you the job interview? HOGUE: I do not remember. I do not remember. Ed Godbey -- I'm not sure whether or not I worked while he was here, but I know that I worked when Dr. Clark, Dr. Falkenstein, Dr. Luster, and on down the row. KLEE: And what were your responsibilities here? HOGUE: I was teaching in the Business Department. KLEE: What kind of students did you have then, as far as -- were they mostly interested in going on to school? Were they -- HOGUE: It was a mixture. A lot of them, when they got through here, that was it. But as time went on, more and more of them started going to college. KLEE: I see. What was the -- any of these supervisors you worked for, the directors at that time, do any of the -- do any of them stand out in your mind? Clark or -- HOGUE: Well, Dr. Clark stands out, because he's the one, I guess, that hired me. KLEE: What kind of person was he? HOGUE: He was a good person. And Ed Godbey, he had -- there was some -- maybe he came from the same area as my husband. He kind of stands out in my mind, but I don't know. KLEE: How many -- HOGUE: We had a woman director eventually. KLEE: Oh, did you? (Chuckle -- Klee) HOGUE: Director. I still call them directors. KLEE: Right, instead of presidents, sure. (Laughter -- Hogue) You were on the first faculty then here. HOGUE: Uh-huh. KLEE: How many -- I mean, I know you don't know exactly, but approximately how many faculty members did you have here? HOGUE: Oh, I don't know. KLEE: Any of the names of those fellow faculty members -- any of those come to mind? HOGUE: Oh, let's see. [Sounds like Mickey Bowen], he taught biology. [Sounds like Dave Hughes] taught math, I think. I'm not sure about that. Let's see, I guess [sounds like Anne Carr] was not here at that time. She -- but she's taught here for years. KLEE: Who's that? HOGUE: [Sounds like Anne Carr]. She came later on. I've gone blank. KLEE: Well, that's fine. If any of them come to mind, let me know. Did they have division chairs? Or was everybody -- was it just one faculty? HOGUE: I believe that at the beginning it was just one, and then that came later on. KLEE: Was there an academic dean at that time? HOGUE: No. KLEE: Can you remember any of those people as it came along? Were there any academic deans that stand out in your mind that you worked for? HOGUE: Not really. KLEE: What about the -- HOGUE: One person that stands out in my mind, but she came way on down the road, was Vivian Blevins. She was probably -- she was the first female director. KLEE: Director. HOGUE: I keep calling it director. KLEE: Right. HOGUE: Which it really was. KLEE: So that would probably be in the '80s, wasn't it? Yeah. HOGUE: Yeah, right. KLEE: Back before Bruce Ayers? HOGUE: Right. KLEE: And why does she stand out? HOGUE: Well, she turned out to be a good friend. We had a lot of fun together and went on trips together, that sort of thing. KLEE: I see. Kind of interesting. Did she face special challenges being a woman in the system at that time? HOGUE: I don't think so. She was a very forthright person; she was a go-getter. And she ended up getting what she wanted most of the time. KLEE: Yeah. Tell me about the UK connection, the fact that this was a branch of the University of Kentucky. What did that mean to you as an instructor? And what did it mean to students? HOGUE: I think that that was one of the most important things about this school, the connection to UK. And (cleared throat) at the beginning, I don't think that many of the students went on to school. But of course, as time went by, they went on to -- not only to UK, but all over. I think that's one of the best things that -- KLEE: That's fine. HOGUE: -- has ever happened to this area. KLEE: So it was important to the students that there was an association. HOGUE: Right. KLEE: It would give it some kind of respect. HOGUE: Right. KLEE: And what about you as an employee? Was that an important thing or how did it work out? HOGUE: It wasn't important, you know, in getting the job. But I'd rather have been working for UK than some little college somewhere. KLEE: Sure. What was the community like in those early -- you said it was bustling. How did the community look on this community college? HOGUE: Well, I think they were proud of it. Some of them, I'm sure, were a little skeptical when they found out that we were going to have a college here, because nobody ever dreamed that that would happen. KLEE: Right. How do you think the college has affected the community? Do you have a more educated populace? I mean, is this now a center -- HOGUE: We do. And we have more opportunities, like they have singing groups, choral performances, and that sort of thing. KLEE: Sure. What about community members? Were there any community members that stand out in your mind as being particularly patrons of the college? HOGUE: Well, I'm sure there are some, (laughter -- both) but I -- that just doesn't ring a bell. KLEE: That wasn't part of your -- HOGUE: Right. KLEE: What about your day-to-day activities as an instructor? When you first came here, how many classes were you teaching? What kind of responsibilities did you have? HOGUE: I was probably teaching four or five, probably five. KLEE: Teaching mostly business-type courses. HOGUE: Right. KLEE: What kind of student load did you have? I mean, how many students were in a class? HOGUE: The classes were not big. Probably the typing classes were the biggest ones. KLEE: Were most of the students at that point right out of high school, in the beginning? HOGUE: I think so. There were -- you know, there were several that had been out a while, but most of them -- KLEE: By the time you retired, had that changed? Was there -- were there more older students or -- HOGUE: Yes, because there were more things offered that interested older people. KLEE: I see. Get my notes here. What was -- what about student activities and faculty activities? Did they have -- were there dances and -- HOGUE: Yes. (Laughter -- both) KLEE: Anything come to mind there? Specifics? HOGUE: No, not really. Just usual things that college kids do. KLEE: Were there any special challenges the college had or problems during those years that stand out in your mind? Controversies or anything like that? HOGUE: Well, you know, there's always people that don't get along. Just that -- there were no major deals going on. KLEE: You went through a lot of different presidents. HOGUE: Right. KLEE: Was there a reason for that or? HOGUE: Well, let's see. I don't think so. Ed Godbey, Clark, Falkenstein, Luster, Wilson, Stanley, Blevins, and Ayers. KLEE: Go ahead and repeat those a little louder again. That's a long list. HOGUE: I'm sorry. KLEE: That's fine. You had Godbey. He was the first one. HOGUE: He was the first director. Dr. Clark. Dr. Falkenstein. KLEE: Now, this Falkenstein, was he president when he died here? HOGUE: Yes. KLEE: Okay. He was serving as president. HOGUE: Yes, I had forgotten that. They lived down the River Road from where we lived. KLEE: Is that right? HOGUE: And Dr. Luster. Dr. Wilson. Dr. Stanley. Dr. Blevins, the only female, and then Dr. Ayers. KLEE: Dr. Ayers has served as long as all those put together, I guess, or just about. HOGUE: I don't know. KLEE: Twenty years. HOGUE: He's been here twenty years? KLEE: Uh-huh. HOGUE: Well, I'd say that's probably true. KLEE: Any of those individuals -- as I said, any particular stories stand out about any of them? You said that Ms. Blevins became a personal friend. HOGUE: Yes. KLEE: Were there any initiatives that she tried, in particular, that -- HOGUE: Well, she was always into something. I can't remember them, but she was always pushing, pushing, pushing. Whatever she was into, she was into it 100 percent. KLEE: I see. What about fellow faculty members? Do any of those stand out in your mind, later on? HOGUE: Let's see. [Sounds like Mickey Bowen], [sounds like Anne Carr]. I remember [sounds like Dave Hughes]. He stands out, because he had -- his office was next to mine. KLEE: Was it? Were there other people in the Business Department with you, or Economics? HOGUE: Well, not until years later. KLEE: I see. Did -- HOGUE: My husband taught the economics the first year that I taught, because he had the same degree that I did. And then they got somebody. By then, he was -- you know, he was just up to here around tax time, so he didn't have time to do it. KLEE: Sure, too busy to do things. So you were working at the college and he was running his own business. HOGUE: Uh-huh. KLEE: Accounting business. Did the student load stay pretty constant while you were here? HOGUE: Right, yes. KLEE: The same kind of classes. HOGUE: Yes. KLEE: The same kind of administration? HOGUE: I remember one time we took a bunch of students to Lexington, just like a small van full. Some of them -- and one, I won't name her, but in particular, she was just thrilled to death because she'd never been exposed to a town like that. KLEE: Is that right? HOGUE: Yeah. KLEE: Was that a -- were there a lot of students like that that had pretty much stayed in this area? HOGUE: I think -- KLEE: Did you open up -- HOGUE: I think so. KLEE: What about any accomplishments that stand out, either in your career or in the college's, while you were here? Was there anything that you are especially proud of or you think the college can be proud of? HOGUE: That's a tough one. I'd have to think about that for a while. Am I on or off? KLEE: That's all right. We're in no hurry. (Chuckle -- both) Just think about it for a minute. HOGUE: Well, I remember [sounds like Betty Chambers] worked real hard in the Music Department, and that's still a big deal here. KLEE: As far as doing -- HOGUE: They have a community choir that meets here. Now, I'm not sure how -- at what point that started, but it's a big deal now. KLEE: I see. And they give performances and so forth? HOGUE: Right, right. KLEE: Does the community feel comfortable here with the college, as far as coming out for events? And do you still think it's -- there's a source of pride that the college is here? HOGUE: Oh sure, sure. KLEE: What -- as time went on, some of those companies that your father, for example, worked for, began to close down. Did the college take on a more important role at that point? HOGUE: I don't think so. See, the coal industry kind of played out around here. But the community is supportive of the college. KLEE: Well, I was thinking, it's probably a pretty important employer, even. HOGUE: Oh, yes. That's -- they're probably the biggest employer in this area now. KLEE: I see. As you look around this community, from when you were a child until today, what are the most significant changes you think, as far as just physically looking at it and -- a lot less people? HOGUE: Right. As the coal mines began to wither, a lot of people had to leave. But -- KLEE: Have you all lost any landmarks, as far as buildings or -- HOGUE: I don't think so. I can't think of any. KLEE: A lot of the schools, I guess, have closed. HOGUE: Right. The school at Lynch has been closed for years. They had a grade school and high school both. And then the Benham School closed. KLEE: I see. HOGUE: And then it was just Cumberland. There was friction there, of course, when they started mixing up the students from different towns. If you'd been a Bulldog once, you were a Bulldog the rest of your life (laughter -- Klee). And then you had to turn into an Indian. (Laughter -- both) KLEE: That's hard then. HOGUE: Yeah. KLEE: Who were the Bulldogs? Is that Lynch? HOGUE: Lynch. KLEE: And the Indians were Cumberland? HOGUE: Redskins. KLEE: Redskins. HOGUE: Cumberland Redskins. And Benham Tigers. KLEE: Benham Tigers. I see. And they all had to turn into one. HOGUE: Right. KLEE: What about the nature of the students you taught? Did -- were they prepared when they came to your class? Did you have to do extra work? HOGUE: Not really. Of course, there's always some that are going to do the absolute minimum, if that, and they drop out. But I'd say we had pretty decent students. We had some that were outstanding, of course. KLEE: I see. Do you run into students that came back to the area and -- or stayed in the area? HOGUE: I'm sure there are a lot of students that are still here. KLEE: I didn't know if there was anybody in particular that stood out in your mind, some -- one of your former students that -- HOGUE: Mm. KLEE: (Chuckle -- Klee) That's fine. HOGUE: I really can't think of any. But I did have some really good students. Some of them went on to, you know, to get really good jobs. KLEE: Sure, sure. A lot of -- HOGUE: Of course, they move out. KLEE: Yeah. I see. You lost a lot of your better students. HOGUE: Right. KLEE: So as you look back on your career at the college, some -- has -- it's something you're glad you did? Was the work experience usually pretty -- HOGUE: Absolutely. KLEE: -- pretty positive? HOGUE: Right. KLEE: In what ways? I mean, as far as your -- was it good as far as the way you were able to -- for your family life? I mean, did you feel a good personal -- or professional expression? HOGUE: Right. My family life was kind of hectic when I first started, because I had four kids. KLEE: Oh, my goodness. HOGUE: And they were young, and it was rough. KLEE: It was quite a challenge. HOGUE: Right. KLEE: And you'd not taught before, probably. HOGUE: I don't think I had. I was thinking about that the other day. If I did, it didn't linger with me. (Laughter -- both) KLEE: I see. HOGUE: I don't think I ever taught in high school. KLEE: You and your husband decided to stay here after you retired? HOGUE: Uh-huh. KLEE: Is -- I mean, you'd seen -- you'd been to school in Berea and Indiana. What attracted you back here to stay here? HOGUE: Well, I guess because there were no CPAs around here, and it was a good place to start. KLEE: I see. HOGUE: Harlan had a CPA, maybe two, I don't remember. But there weren't any here. And of course, we had made a lot of friends here down through the years. KLEE: I see. HOGUE: And they helped, you know. "Why don't you go see him?" KLEE: Yeah, right. So your husband's business was pretty successful over the years? HOGUE: Right. He just recently -- he's been retired, maybe, two or three years. I kept after him and after him (laughter -- Klee), and it was like he couldn't do it. KLEE: Couldn't give it up. HOGUE: But he finally did. But his office is still there, and he gets up every day, and he goes over there. I don't know what he piddles around in. KLEE: So someone took over the office? HOGUE: No. KLEE: Oh, he's got his office still there. HOGUE: His office is there. (Laughter -- Klee) I don't go in it because he probably has every paper that's ever passed through that place. (Laughter -- Klee) A jungle. KLEE: Well, you thought about this interview before you came over. Was there anything that I missed asking you that you wanted to point out? HOGUE: Well, I have just jotted down a few things that are obvious, like that it make possible a college education for a lot of people that otherwise would not have been. And I think it created a new respect for education in this area. KLEE: Oh, okay. Well, let me ask you about that. Has that -- had that been a problem? And of course, you saw that growing up, that people didn't respect higher education or -- I mean, were people urged to -- HOGUE: I don't think it was disrespect. It just wasn't important to them. KLEE: I see. And this creation of this college built that or helped create that. HOGUE: Right, right. And it provided a cultural atmosphere, like plays and concerts. I think I've already mentioned that. And this, I think, is real important. It encouraged older people to enroll, and many of them ended up getting a degree. They would come and take a class or two classes and end up getting an associate degree probably. And it gave access through the library to a lot of people in the community. At that time, we didn't have a city library. KLEE: Oh, I didn't realize that. And I hadn't -- no one had mentioned that before. So the college library was open to the public. HOGUE: Right. KLEE: And was utilized pretty well? HOGUE: Not heavily. KLEE: Yeah, but it was there for them. HOGUE: It was there, if they wanted to. And it utilized people in the area who were qualified to teach but were not teaching. And at that time -- you know, some of them ended up coming here. KLEE: Okay. As instructors? HOGUE: Right. And the nursing program, that was one of the most important things. But that came along later. KLEE: Well, that was fine. I mean, I wanted to explore a lot of those UK years. The nursing program, I guess, was maybe one of the first technical programs and I guess one of the most important. HOGUE: I was trying to remember. But you know, after all these years, and you just -- it grows dim. (Laughter -- Hogue) KLEE: But the nursing program did stand out? HOGUE: Oh, yes, yes. KLEE: Why, I've sure appreciated talking to you. HOGUE: Well, I hope I've helped you. KLEE: You have. HOGUE: I didn't know what to say or how to say it. KLEE: Well, we got about thirty minutes, so that was good. HOGUE: Okay. KLEE: Thank you very much. HOGUE: All right, you're welcome. Oral history with Joanne Hogue, business faculty at Southeast Community College. Hogue discusses her early life in Harlan County, Kentucky; her faculty life at Southeast; and her perceptions of various faculty members, students, and administrators. She concludes with a description of the college’s impact on the community. insert here