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2007-03-29 Interview with Pat Lake, March 29, 2007 CC001:2008OH131 CC 53 00:46:34 History of Kentucky's Community Colleges Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Henderson Community and Technical College Owensboro Community and Technical College Pat Lake; interviewee Adina O'Hara; interviewer 2008OH131_CC53_Lake 1:|12(8)|29(3)|44(4)|54(7)|67(5)|80(9)|91(12)|106(4)|115(4)|124(2)|133(1)|146(7)|167(7)|176(4)|197(1)|231(6)|249(2)|262(4)|271(3)|280(2)|293(3)|301(12)|319(11)|333(4)|341(3)|357(10)|374(6)|411(10)|427(1)|439(3)|448(12)|469(2)|495(4)|521(9)|536(9)|549(9)|579(6)|615(7)|624(4)|640(5)|671(6)|698(12)|714(13)|737(8)|749(5)|768(10) audiotrans CommuColl interview O'HARA: This is an interview with Dr. Patrick Lake at his office in Henderson, Kentucky at Henderson Community College for the Community College Oral History Project, and the subject is Henderson Community College and his role here. The date is March 29, 2007. [Pause in recording.] O'HARA: Dr. Lake, the University of Kentucky's Northwestern Center, Center in Henderson opened its doors to students in September of 1960 and then the 1962 Community College Act authorized the UK Board of Trustees to transform its existing extension campuses, including Henderson, into community colleges. What was your role or what is your role in the operation of Henderson Community College? LAKE: My role now-- O'HARA: Um-hm. LAKE: --is president of the college. I've been, uh, president and CEO here since January of 1986, and, uh, responsible for, uh, the, uh, all of the different, uh, academic and instructional activities here. O'HARA: And you, we, we mentioned this earlier, but you are the third president of Henderson Community College which is very unique because it's, it's got a history over forty-five years. And you've been here for the longest period, and, and the fact that the tur-, the turnover is so minimal at this campus says a lot about the, the loyalty that you have-- LAKE: Well, thank you. O'HARA: --at Henderson-- LAKE: Um, this is--Henderson's a, uh, very interesting, uh, community, and, um, being from Ashland, uh, moving west to Louisville in 1972, uh, I didn't know much about Henderson as a community. And, uh--(clears throat)--when, uh, my predecessor announced his retirement and this position became, uh, available, I did take, uh, an extensive look at, at, at Henderson and, you know, a strong history of support for, uh, education and, uh, the, uh, quality of the students that were leaving the--graduating from the high schools. Uh, but, uh, the culture in Henderson is a very, uh, uh, a lot of good history here. Um, John James Audubon spent, uh, about eight or nine years living and working in Henderson and doing his artwork. Uh, W. C. Handy, the father of the blues, has ties to Henderson. Uh, several governors of, of, uh, Kentucky--most notably, though, A. B. Happy Chandler is from Henderson. O'HARA: And he was critical in getting the college established here. LAKE: Yes. Yes, he was. Um, Governor Chandler, uh, is from Corydon, a small community in Henderson County just, uh, south and west of here, and, uh--(clears throat)--I learned fairly recently that as a young man, a boy, worked, uh, what is now on the property of Henderson Community College. Back then, it was a farm, and, uh, they raised tobacco on this property and, uh, other crops. But tobacco was the big cash crop, and as a boy, he would work, uh, here on, uh, on this site. O'HARA: How interesting. LAKE: Uh, harvesting the tobacco crops as a young--when he was, like, eight or nine years old. Uh, so there is, there is a tie. Uh, this is a very, uh, well-kept secret, I think, in terms of Kentucky, the Henderson area and, uh, I just, uh, felt attracted to it as a good place to work and, uh, raise a family. And, uh, I think fortunately, uh, Dr. Arnold, my predecessor, did a good job of hiring, uh, uh, a wonderful, uh, very professional dedicated group of faculty and staff here, and, uh, so my transition and acclimation was fairly smooth and, uh, you know, I've been here ever since. O'HARA: Well, when you arrived in January of 1986, it was a matured campus, would you say? How, um, how many buildings were in existence? Can you describe the landscape? LAKE: Uh, when I came here in January of '86 we had, uh, four buildings. We had, uh, the administration building that we're in now which is the original, the first building that was building nineteen--opened in 1960. Uh, we had the Hartfield Library and student center and then we had an arts and science classroom building. Since then, we've added, uh, two key buildings; uh, an academic technical building and a fine arts center, uh, that is heavily used by not just the college but by the community and in the process of building, uh, the Sullivan Technology Center, uh, which is scheduled to be completed about a year from now. Uh, we will also gain ownership of another building and downtown that we're presently leasing in about a year. So, uh, the campus has grown. You know, the physical facil-, the physical plant certainly has grown. We have about 120 acres of, of land here; uh, plenty of space for growth. O'HARA: And, um, the 120 acres that the campus sits on, that was the original deed that the college foundation, um, bought? LAKE: Correct. O'HARA: Um, and, uh, now how, how long have you been, has your, has the college been offering classes downtown? Has that been something that's been going on for a long time? LAKE: No. Uh, we're leasing space in a facility that was originally, uh, a manufacturing, uh, facility, what, what is now known as Gibbs Die Casting, uh, which is now just about a half a mile from the campus here, but it's original plant was located in the first industrial park in, uh, the eastern part of, uh, Henderson. And--(clears throat)-- we started leasing that space, uh, about five years ago so that we could, uh, have more space to offer some of the more technical skill, trade related, uh, types of training that we don't have suitable space for on campus. We, we, in 1992, began a rec-, a journey seeking state funding support for creating a technology center, uh, on our campus to be able to offer classes in industrial maintenance and welding and electricity and so on, but we just didn't have the space here to do. And, ironically, we were one of the first colleges in the state system to st-, you know, seek or have the vision for a technology center, and unfortunately, uh, with the way the state's economy and the political landscape has gone, uh, one of the last to be funded for a technology center, if not the last. Um, we, we had a major gift campaign, uh, our Partners in Progress major gift campaign that started in 1993. Uh, as part of that campaign was to seek local funds that would help attract state funding support for a technology center, and, um, it became clear, uh, that we had, we had maybe 1.2 million dollars in private funds--(coughs)--for that, uh, campaign objective, uh, but not enough to do the job right. And, uh, we, we reached the point where we had to make a choice. Do we just continue to sit on the sidelines and watch this unfulfilled need go by or do we use the private money to try, in some way, start offering, uh, training in those critical areas. Uh, so-, and sought, uh, advice from our, uh, college board of directors and our foundation board of directors, um, and, and, uh, consulted with the, uh, uh, individuals and organizations who had earmarked their, their private money as part of that major gift campaign to, uh, the technology center. And basically, put the question to all of those people, What do you want to do with the money? Do you want to let it sit here and wait or do we want to try and find suitable space off campus and start offering training using that money? And, and the, the outcome was we need to go ahead and do something now, and we, uh, used the private money to set up a lease agreement, uh, with a building downtown that, that was an original manufacturing plant. Some of the money was used to renovate it. O'HARA: Um-hm. LAKE: Uh, make it suitable for training, and, uh, some of it was used to set up two technical, new, two new technical programs that we still have in place today; one in industrial maintenance and one in agriculture technology. And so we've been there since, uh, the funds have been, uh, supplemented with grant funds from the department of labor. We, uh, partnered with the chamber of commerce and set up a, uh, tri-county business and industry training consortium. Uh, they have, we, we wrote and secured, uh, a three million dollar grant with the U.S. Department of Labor to help set up the consortium and to [buzzing sound] start training that all the consortium members had in common. O'HARA: A lot of collaboration. LAKE: Absolutely. Absolutely. O'HARA: Critical. LAKE: So-- O'HARA: With this collaboration, it sounds like you all have achieved a lot in, of growth in that area, in the technical field. Has there, um, has the Henderson Area Technology Center that, that's, I believe, located near the high school or at the high school, has that played any role in the past or in the current, um-- LAKE: Well, the Hender-, the technology center at the high school in Henderson County, uh, was not a full-fledged, uh, part of Kentucky Tech, um, in that it only offered, uh, courses at the post-secondary level. It did not lead to anything but maybe an apprenticeship certificate, um, at night, and, uh--(clears throat). About the time that, uh, KCTCS was established, uh, the local, uh, school officials were able to secure, uh, state approval to separate their technology center from Kentucky Tech and have full control over it. Uh, since then, uh, with the enrollment, uh, experience in Henderson County, uh, the, uh, technology center, particularly the, the post-secondary part, has pretty much, uh, evaporated. O'HARA: Because you all serve that need now? LAKE: Exactly. O'HARA: And that's your role. LAKE: We have, we had a good partnership. I mean, it was a, you know, uh, positive partnership with, uh, that particular operation, and they approached us about three years ago to take ov-, uh, take over their two apprenticeship programs. O'HARA: Oh, so you've incorporated those into your programs here? LAKE: We have. We have. One in industrial maintenance, the other was in machine, tool and dye technology. There was a strong tool and dye base, uh, here in Henderson, but unfortunately because of the, uh, global economic situation and especially with tool and dye industry, the tool and dye makers here have been really hit hard economically and so the, uh, number of students in the tool and dye apprenticeship program has pretty much dwindled down to nothing. And, uh--(clears throat)--that industry's not capable of supporting the apprenticeship program, and, uh, so we've deactivated it effective this year. O'HARA: Interesting. So, um, so the real needs for technology programs came from the community, it sounds like? LAKE: Oh, yes. O'HARA: Very much. LAKE: Yeah. O'HARA: They told you what they needed. And you-- LAKE: Historically that's been the case. In fact, uh, one of the things that's not known about Henderson Community College is that the first associate degree in nursing in Kentucky-- O'HARA: Um-hm. LAKE: --started at Henderson Community College-- O'HARA: In about 1964, '65? LAKE: Um-hm. O'HARA: I do recall that in my research. LAKE: Yeah. O'HARA: This was the first nursing program. LAKE: Yeah, we have a very strong, uh, nursing program. Uh, in fact, our, all of our Allied Health Programs here are very strong. We're very proud of our, our role there. Um, obviously healthcare programs are going to be in big demand because of the baby boomers, uh, maturing, uh, and the population demographics being what they are. Healthcare programs are, are really going to be critical in terms of the quality of life-- O'HARA: Um-hm. LAKE: --uh, in every community of our country and, uh, you know, we're trying to, uh, grow and develop healthcare programs here that will be responsive to, you know, our local community. O'HARA: And there's always the, ne-, need for more nurses. It, it appears since, since the program was first started, um, you know, the nation's just crying for--(laughs)--more nurses in particular and other healthcare professionals now. LAKE: Right. O'HARA: Well, you mentioned the, uh, the, uh, fine arts center, and I've heard great things about your fine arts center. So, um, because cultural and economic benefits, um, are important to community college development, many of the community colleges would bring lecturers or, or speakers in from the state and national level to provide these type of cultural benefits to the community. But you, um, were able to actually establish a whole center that serves the college and the community. What could you tell me about some of the programs that you offer? LAKE: Uh, uh, uh, uh, I think a key to the success of our fine arts center is that, uh, the college role has been to manage the facility and, and, and developing programs collaboratively with, uh, different groups in the community like the Henderson Area Arts Alliance, the Ohio Valley Art League, um, Henderson County Public Schools. Um--(clears throat)--the facility's, uh, vision, uh, was really a community-based one. They needed and wanted a facility where they could have, uh, a, a suitable place for the visual and performing arts, a place to have community-based meetings, and, uh, the second day on, in, in, when I, uh, when I came to Henderson, my second day on the job I was approached by a, uh, well-to-do person in the community who just showed up unannounced and, and let me know in no, no, no, uncert-, uncertain terms that, uh, the community needed a civic auditorium or a civic, uh, uh, arena or some kind of facility that would be fairly diverse. And, uh, we, we responded by creating a planning group and, and took a look at, uh, other, other communities and what they had and what their experience was; what worked, what didn't work and, uh, secured state funding support to build a facility here that would be, a, very, fu-, a functional, uh, flexible and would, uh, you know, follow suit with the dream that the people here in the community had. And so, um, programmatically we have, uh, each year served, uh, oh, anywhere from forty to fifty thousand people a year using this facility for one function or another. About twenty thousand on the average would be patrons of, uh, the performing arts. The Arts Alliance has, uh, been a wonderful partner here. Uh, they have been the presenter. They've taken the resp-, taken on the responsibility of putting together the annual series of-- O'HARA: Oh, great. LAKE: --performing arts events and raising the money to, you know, pay for the cost of those performances. Um, our role, again, was to help manage the facility and the technical support and the ticket sales and so on. Um, but in addition to the performing arts, you know, we have, uh, a very strong visual arts program. Ohio Valley Art League is, uh, a group of volunteers in the community, and they have a number of art exhibits that they have, uh, either here at the college or, um, at the public library or at the Audubon Museum. Uh, so they kind of try to, you know, move things around. Uh, they were responsible for our, our art sculpture that is at the fine arts center, uh, near the, uh, front entrance which is of fairly unique, uh, significance in that the artist is Don Gummer, and the title of the sculpture is The Optimist. And that sculpture was put in place, uh, a day or two after 9/11. O'HARA: What timing. LAKE: Yes. And, uh--(clears throat)--Mr. Gummer is a native Kentuckian who's from Louisville but now lives in New York, and everybody probably knows his wife wh-, it's an actress by the name of Meryl Streep. O'HARA: Oh my goodness. LAKE: And, uh, when the sculpture was dedicated shortly after 9/11, uh, his last words in his speech was, "Fear and hate have no match for love and optimism." O'HARA: Very appropriate. LAKE: And those words are inscribed on the foundation of the sculpture. Uh, so the, the visual arts has been quite strong. Uh, the, uh, the college, of course, has art exhibits as well, and we, we have our, our own with our art program. But we have, uh, a regional, uh, college and university art exhibit where we invite artwork from, uh, the neighboring colleges. Um-- O'HARA: How involved do the students get in the cul-, the fine arts center? Do they-- LAKE: It varies. Uh, you know, we, we try to set up programs. Uh, this year, for example, we have a number of, of what we call arts focused programs where, uh, things are presented on stage, uh, you know, kind of like black box theatre where the seat--the chairs are on the stage, and, uh, we'll have, uh, different, uh, performing groups come on campus in the afternoons. Uh, we'll open it up to the communities that we serve. Uh, they had--the last one was on Sunday afternoon at four o'clock in the afternoon, I think. We have, uh--(clears throat)--a, uh, community chorus that is college-based, and, and, uh, they put on, uh, one or two programs a year. And they're collaborating with, uh, the local, uh, uh, theatrical group and, uh, putting on Once Upon a Mattress, uh, in, later, uh, it's next month, I believe, in April, so, you know, very diverse programming. Uh, but we also use this facility for community meetings and for educational and training opportunities as well. In fact, the first year we opened this building, uh, which was in '94 I believe, uh, at Christmas-time, one, one of our largest employers rented the entire building to--during the Christmas break--so that they could do some, uh, training in robotics. O'HARA: Interesting. Wow. LAKE: Yeah. O'HARA: So it's multifunctional? LAKE: It is very multifunctional, and, uh, we're just very proud of the use of it. I can understand, being a policymaker, that they, they could see a fine arts center as being unnecessary and frivolous, but, uh, this was, this was a, a need that was profoundly, uh, clear from the beginning that was community-based. And, uh, this whole region of the state has a real rich tradition of supporting the arts and, uh, uh, manifested, I think, in this fine arts center. They've had, uh, their programming's been very diverse for the performing arts where we've had bluegrass, we've had jazz. We've had, uh, the Louisville Orchestra and the Evansville Philharmonic. We've had, uh, Broadway plays. O'HARA: Wow. LAKE: Uh, you know, a number of key performers have been here. Burt Bacharach, uh, Marvin Hamlisch, the Kingston Trio-- O'HARA: It's a magnet. (laughs) LAKE: --Ricky Skaggs, you know, it's just been very diverse. Merle Haggard's been here. Fortunately he did, he behaved himself. O'HARA: (laughs) Well, it's definitely served the, the community, and, and definitely the community college's role is to provide those types of, of cultural activities in cooperation with the community. It's a very important service. LAKE: Absolutely. O'HARA: Purpose. And you all have done it very well. Um, were there-- as far as other student activities, um, are there any intramural sports or, um, anything like that or--I'm trying to think--I know back in the early sixties what I've found was that some campuses did have for a very short period of time some programs; even Henderson, uh, when I interviewed Charles Shearer. LAKE: Yes. O'HARA: I had a great interview with him, and he, he surprisingly-- LAKE: Delightful man. O'HARA: --told me that-- LAKE: Delightful man. Got his start at Henderson-- O'HARA: Yeah. LAKE: --Community College-- O'HARA: Yeah. That they had a basketball team for a couple of years and-- LAKE: And he was the coach. O'HARA: Yeah. LAKE: He was the coach. O'HARA: So I didn't--I know that sort of dwindled off, but I didn't know if there were still any, um, you know, intramural, um, type of activities for the students to partake in whether it be sports or, or obviously other-- LAKE: Other kinds of things. O'HARA: --kinds of things-- LAKE: That ebbs and flows on year to year, it just depends on the students and their needs and their interests. Um, when I came here, there was a strong intramural program. I mean, it was truly intramural. Uh, they would have, uh, set up, uh, an intramural basketball program using facilities in the local schools. Uh, they always had, uh, a, uh, faculty and staff softball team that would play the students, uh, each, uh, fall. Occasionally, there were volleyball, uh, organized volleyball activities. Um, most of the activity now has been, uh, organizational in nature. Uh, we have a lot of ver-, you know, a good student government. We have, uh, a history club, uh, the, uh, Henderson--the, uh, nursing students have, uh, a club. Uh, so there's several of those kinds of, uh, organizations that are fairly active. We have an academic team that competes with, uh, other two- and four-year schools, an academic challenge team. O'HARA: Um-hm. LAKE: And, uh, we've been, uh, uh, uh, a player or participant, uh, in that arena for several years now. There's a school paper called The Hill, uh, that has, uh, been selected as the best two-year college newspaper, uh, for, like, ten or eleven years in a row. Uh, the local advisor is very proud of his, uh, students and their achievements, and they do a really, really great job, uh, with that. So, um, we have, uh, a number--we have a, uh, uh, several new, uh, student organizations. There's a non-tradit-, traditional student group that's trying to evolve, and, uh, like other colleges, uh, in the, in the state we're taking, uh, the, uh, cultural diversity strategic objective very seriously. And our, our director for cultural diversity has helped create what we call Unity Coalition made up of, uh, fa-, faculty, staff and students who want to work together in terms of promoting cultural diversity. Uh, so it, you know, it's a lot of different activities, uh, around here that, uh, keep the people busy and-- O'HARA: It sounds like it. LAKE: --interested, yeah-- O'HARA: And creates an active, um, college campus environment there. LAKE: For a community college, uh, I think we're above average. If you talk to our students, uh, you'll get, uh, I think the typical perspective. Well, we don't have a basketball team. We don't have football. Uh, there's nothing to do here, but we're a commuter institution and, uh, as opposed to being residential, and I think as a commuter institution where most of our students are working-- O'HARA: Um-hm. LAKE: --if you look at what we have in the way of opportunities for extracurricular opport-, uh, activity, it's, uh, very much above average. O'HARA: And probably more than they have time to--(laughs) LAKE: Right. Right. O'HARA: --become engaged in-- LAKE: Right. O'HARA: --if you really ask them that. Well, how is the, um--when you first came how was the relationship with the regional universities, um, Murray State, um, Western, as far as getting your students transfer credit? Um, what-- LAKE: Um, um, um, really noth-, nothing any different than what I experienced in Louisville at Jefferson Community College. Um, the, the challenges and the, uh, experiences were the same. O'HARA: Okay. LAKE: Uh, on paper, you know, should be not a problem, but occasionally, you know, you experience a wrinkle, uh [buzzing sound] with, uh, transferability and it would really be a matter of communication. O'HARA: Has that improved, um, since the change in governance structure-- LAKE: No. O'HARA: --and the creation of KCTCS? LAKE: No. O'HARA: Still, still the same? LAKE: No. When the KCTCS was established they, they, uh, Council on Post-Secondary Education fostered the, uh, block transfer arran-, agreements, and all that was supposed to--of course, it is state law. Any of our classes sh-, are to transfer. O'HARA: Um-hm. LAKE: Um, but it's, it's the universities have not really embraced it as aggressively as I think they should. I think ultimately, uh, we'll have a show-down of the policymakers will say, okay, we're going to have common course numbering and common titles. O'HARA: Between the two-year and the four-year? LAKE: Yes. Yes. And, uh-- O'HARA: Is the block, the block transfer that CPE has been trying to institute over the last seven years-- LAKE: They've just paid lip service to it than them. O'HARA: It's just on paper? LAKE: Um-hm. Universities have not, uh, um, as a whole--sure we have some that have been, uh, very good at following the, in, in the spirit and intent of the block transfer. (clears throat) But, uh, we have others where they've just, uh, not as, not, they just haven't been as, uh, supportive as they should be. Just recently I had to deal with, uh, transferability of our Kentucky History class to Western Kentucky University. We had two of our students, uh, who were excellent students, uh, came back to visit our, our history professor, and one was told that, uh, both were told that their, their history course here, sophomore level course, wouldn't transfer because it's a junior level course at Western. One was told that in addition, it wouldn't be accepted at all because our history professor had not completed her doctorate degree. Uh, so after several e-mails and, uh, a letter, I did get a letter back from President Ransdell indicating that, that's been addressed and that they are getting credit for it. Um-- O'HARA: But it's sad that you have to do that. LAKE: But that's an example of the kind of challenges, uh, and, and, uh, you know, to be on the positive side, there are some, uh, universities who, uh, recognize the importance of our technical degree programs and have set up what we call capstone programs where, uh, graduates in information technology or infor-, uh, industrial maintenance technology or business administration can have their degree pretty much accepted, those courses would transfer towards a bachelor's in, uh, technology. O'HARA: That's impressive. That--so you've actually had more gain in, in the-- LAKE: Oh, yeah. O'HARA: --technology degree transfer-- LAKE: Yeah. O'HARA: --which I thought would be the more difficult. LAKE: Well, for many years it was, but I think universities are slowly realizing, you know, the academic integrity of the two-year schools and, uh, the viability of being progressive-minded by, you know, recognizing-- O'HARA: Well, that's good. LAKE: --uh, those courses and those programs. Yeah. O'HARA: That's a big change. LAKE: Right. O'HARA: Because some things are still--you know, you look at the history of higher education in Kentucky, and, you know, back in, in the sixties they were having, you know, some of the same issues we still deal with today. But then there's these other areas where there's a significant difference, and that's impressive. LAKE: Right. O'HARA: Well, Dr. Lake, thank you so much for your time. Uh, you've really educated me on both Jefferson Southwest Campus and, and I'll be eager to look at your dissertation. I think that sounds interesting. And then also-- LAKE: I believe there's one on file at Jefferson. O'HARA: I'll have to-- LAKE: There used to be. It's probably been put away somewhere. O'HARA: I'll bet we could find it. LAKE: Yeah. O'HARA: And also about Henderson's rich history and the cultural arts, and I, I was just very interested to hear about the, the new, uh, technology center and the, the new avenues. Now with the new technology center being built right now-- LAKE: Yes. O'HARA: --you're still going to be able to maintain the building downtown? LAKE: Yes, I think so. O'HARA: You're gonna-- LAKE: Yeah. We, we, uh--the new building came along at a time when construction cro-, costs accelerated significantly, and, uh, the owners of the building offering this lease facility to us when we do move, uh, came, I think, at a good time because we're going to have a need for, uh, technical training that might be occasional, uh, to meet peaks in demand; uh, types of training that historically will have their ups-and-downs. Uh, give us an opportunity to have space to, uh, ex-, experiment in terms of training. Uh, I've created a committee to look at, uh, the use of this facility once we move into the Sullivan Technology Center next year. (clears throat) Uh, in terms of the types of uses for that, for that facility downtown, uh, one of the things, for example, is to maybe, uh, explore the viability of setting up, uh, a, uh, incubator space for artists. O'HARA: Hmm. LAKE: As a business--on the business side. Not in terms of-- O'HARA: Like entrepreneurship kind of? Their own little space for--to run their business out of? LAKE: Yeah. Set, set up, uh, opportunities to help, uh, you know, those in the art world who want to promote their art as a business; set up a series of, uh, services for those, uh, emerging, uh, business owners to help them understand, you know, how to operate a business and promoting their art. You know, marketing, taxes and, you know-- O'HARA: The critical stuff. (laughs) LAKE: Yes. Yes. Yes. O'HARA: To survival. LAKE: So, yeah, we're gonna take a look at that, but I think that, uh-- O'HARA: That's unique. LAKE: You know, it just gives us, uh, added flexibility to do some things. Uh, occasionally we'll, we'll get, you know, inquiries about automotive technology or plumbing, uh, carpentry. O'HARA: Um-hm. LAKE: And, uh, th-, those, that's, that building gives us the opportunity to explore, okay, let's set it up and see if there's a real need. O'HARA: So you're going to leave the industrial maintenance program downtown? LAKE: No. No. O'HARA: Oh, it will be up here. LAKE: It's going to be an integral part of this, this campus here. Geographically, this campus is right in the center of our three-county service area; Henderson, Union and Webster County. And so, uh, you know, it, uh--having the industrial maintenance here will make it more accessible to people who--you know, there's an industrial park nearby; um, in fact two industrial parks nearby and then, of course, Webster and County, a little more of closer access to our campus here. O'HARA: That'll be exciting. Next time I come out, I'd like to have a tour of your new facility. LAKE: Okay. O'HARA: Great. Well, thank you for your time. Is there anything else you wanted to add? LAKE: Well, uh, thought you might ask about Henderson's, uh, relationship with Owensboro. O'HARA: Oh, I--I meant it. I have a question on that-- LAKE: Okay. O'HARA: --and I forgot to ask that, um-- LAKE: Uh, one of the surprises I had when I came here was that, uh, the college did have a satellite operation in Owensboro. O'HARA: I thought they had, had it, from reading. LAKE: They started it in 1984, and, uh, the--it caught fire; not literally, but figuratively. O'HARA: (laughs) LAKE: Uh, the people in Owensboro, uh, saw the benefit of having their own institution so in, in the legislative session of the spring that I came here, they established and authorized, uh, creating Owensboro Community College which started then, July of '86. So I spent six months with, uh, having a definite, direct connection to Owensboro. O'HARA: Oh, really? LAKE: And our people here, you know, would--had a history of going over and helping set up, uh, with registration of classes and helping getting classes started. Then the, uh, satellite operation got off on its own, uh, in that '84, '85 time frame and then in 1990, their first president left, and, uh, Dr. Wethington asked if I would step in as the interim president and continue my role here at Henderson Community College. So-- O'HARA: Wow. LAKE: For a year, uh, I was the president of two institutions at the same time. O'HARA: I did not know that. LAKE: Um-hm. O'HARA: Pretty demanding, huh? LAKE: It was probably one of the most stressful periods of my career. O'HARA: Besides your doctorate? (laughs) LAKE: Uh, well, I thought the doctorate was, was bad, but maybe it prepared me for these other challenges later. I don't know. Uh, anyway, we, uh, we managed to fulfill the, the, uh, the, the demands, uh, in terms of both schools. In 1996, the gentleman that they had hired that succeeded me left, and, uh, my academic dean, David Brauer, spent another year, uh, ninety, in '96, '97 as the interim president at Owensboro. So we have a, we have a definite linkage, uh, in terms of assisting the growth and development of a sister institution. Uh, very interested in meeting the new president, Dr. Gastenveld, uh, who is an alumnus of Henderson Community College. O'HARA: Interesting. LAKE: A Henderson native and, uh, of course she's coming to Owensboro from Florida serving as the provost for, uh, Valencia Community College, and I look forward to meeting her and hopefully developing a good working relationship. And, and, uh, hopefully Henderson and Owensboro will be good partners in the future. O'HARA: I hope so. Now when, when you first started here in, uh, January of 1986, um, Owensboro, like you said, since '84, you all had been helping them get the new campus. Were you--I know that there has historically, prior to you coming, there had been some competition, I call it; healthy economic competition for resources and assets between the two cities. LAKE: Um-hm. O'HARA: So were you supportive of the new community college in Owensboro when you first came? It sounds like, like you were very cooperative from the beginning. LAKE: Well, it was pretty much a fait accompli. Uh, policymakers were already working on the legislation to create the community college, so I'm a good team player. And, uh, you know, no need to, and I did not see a need to, openly oppose it although there was, uh, some great concern, uh, about the competition of Owensboro negatively affecting Henderson. And, uh, we, uh, we dispelled that quite-- [End of interview.] Continued oral history with Patrick Lake, President of Henderson Community and Technical College since 1986. In this interview Lake details the Henderson community and its need for a community college. He begins by listing some Henderson notables including John Audubon and W. C Handy. He details the campus construction programs offered at Henderson Community and Technical College. He discusses transfer issues between the two and four year institutions as well as student activities and intramurals. He concludes by describing the role of the Sullivan Technology Center in providing vocational and technical programs as well as the role of the Fine Arts building in bringing arts and cultural events to Henderson. insert here