PIQUA — Edison State Community College honored Dr. Kenneth A. Yowell with a naming ceremony for his many years of dedication to the College. The ceremony was held Friday, Sept. 9 at the Piqua campus.
Throughout the event, college and community leaders echoed words of gratitude toward Yowell’s ongoing commitment to helping build a solid foundation and lead the college to its sustained successful state.
A commemorative wall display including an etched glass portrait of Yowell was unveiled following words from current Edison State President, Dr. Doreen Larson; Edison State Board of Trustees Chairman Darryl Mehaffie; Vice Chairman Tom Milligan; Edison Foundation Chairman Stan Evans; former Board of Trustees member and Edison Foundation Board emeritus member Ann Baird; and State Rep. Richard Adams.
“I am grateful and honored to receive this recognition,” said Yowell. “If the home is where the heart is, then a good part of my heart is here at Edison. I spent more than one-third of my life as Edison’s President.
“From my first day here, I was driven by the belief that Edison must be an inviting and welcoming place for students and community members alike. Many physical changes required many enormous efforts by many people. The real value was the enhanced learning opportunities for thousands of our students. The bottom line for me was and always was successful learning and service to the community.
“I am proud of this campus that we built. I am proud of the evolution of the Darke County campus. I am proud of the many community partnerships that have developed. I am, however, most proud of the efforts focused on fundamental reason of the college’s existence, and that is learning.”
The new official name of the atrium, which is situated between the Robinson Theater and gymnasium, is the Dr. Kenneth A. Yowell Atrium.
“The atrium is a special place to me, and anyone who has been here before knows that this is the crossroads of the college,” said Yowell. “Anything important that happens, begins here, whether it’s Holiday Evening, whether it’s an event in the Robinson Theater, an athletic event, or commencement, it all begins here.”
Yowell began his tenure in 1988, retiring after 23 years of serving as the president of Edison State. As the college’s third president, Yowell established the Business and Industry Center, the Edison Foundation and opened a second campus in Darke County.
He was instrumental in dedicating the North Hall, Robinson Theater, Emerson Center and the Thomas Edison Gallery. Under his leadership, the college joined AQIP, became members of the Continuous Quality Improvement Network, and expanded the nursing program.
The Edison State Community College Board of Trustees, the Edison Foundation Board and Edison State President Dr. Doreen Larson, made the naming ceremony possible.