Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with William "Bill" Gorman, December 5, 2006

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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KLEE: The following is an unrehearsed interview by John Klee with Mayor Bill Gorman of Hazard, Kentucky. The interview is part of the Community College System history series for the University of Kentucky. The interview is being conducted in the mayor's office here in Hazard, Kentucky, on December 5, 2006. Mayor Gorman, tell me a little bit about your personal background.

GORMAN: Well, I grew up in general business, graduated from city schools of Hazard, went to Bowling Green Business University, which is now Eastern -- Western Kentucky University -- or College. And I grew up in banking, insurance, coal, real estate.

KLEE: Gee.


GORMAN: Cable television. And I built the first commercial television station in Eastern Kentucky.

KLEE: Well, tell me about what Hazard was like when you were growing up.

GORMAN: Well, Hazard was a very compact, small town. And my first job in Hazard, I delivered papers when I was six years old on Main Street of Hazard, and I learned to count early. So -- but anyway, it's -- of course, it was a -- always been strong in education, and it's a strong medical center, it's a -- back in those days they had two local newspapers, and in 1948 they built the radio station here.

KLEE: So you were in Hazard schools. You graduated in what year?

GORMAN: 1943.

KLEE: '43.

GORMAN: Went into the Service and came back and went to college.

KLEE: Yeah. Now, what was -- you said that Hazard was even a regional 00:02:00center then, for this part of the mountains.

GORMAN: Hazard's always been a regional center. And of course, it's because of its location. We're furthest away the largest, biggest town, to be the biggest town.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And it's -- we've been very, very fortunate to have a very strong educational school system in Hazard.

KLEE: What do you associate that with? I mean, what caused that?

GORMAN: Well --

KLEE: Were there some people here locally that were ----------(??) in that?

GORMAN: We've always had people who are greatly interested, from either the legal profession, the medical profession, whatever, that have strengthened the school systems. And we've had real strong superintendents. We've had real good principals. And back in the early days, most of the teachers that taught in the Hazard City Schools, about 1912 or1913, were brought on from some other area, and 00:03:00they always created a strong educational system for this community. The Hazard High School this year is rated number seventh in the state.

KLEE: Gee.

GORMAN: And so we're very pleased with this, yes.

KLEE: That's wonderful. Oh, yeah. You were saying that they brought in a lot of school teachers. I guess the importance of that was to bring in fresh ideas and different perspectives and --

GORMAN: Well, for instance, I had two aunts. One was from Madisonville, Kentucky, and the other one was from Cynthiana, Kentucky. They came to Hazard as school teachers in 1912, '13, '14.

KLEE: Yes, sir. Was the economy fueled primarily by coal in that time period?

GORMAN: Well, coal has always been probably our number one economy. And of course, we have coal, oil, timber, and gas. And so we've got a 00:04:00mixed economy based on those four resources.

KLEE: Uh-huh. You came back here, and as you said you went into a variety of different paths, and I kind of interrupted you. You said you founded the first television station in Eastern Kentucky.

GORMAN: Right.

KLEE: Tell me what that is.

GORMAN: At that time, it was WKYH Television, Channel 57, and it was now WYMT, Channel 57. We built it in the '60s.

KLEE: Uh-huh. And how long did that association last?

GORMAN: Well, probably close to 20 years. And we sold in 1985 to Kentucky Central Broadcasting, and -- which is now Gray Television.

KLEE: Why did you decide to go into the television business?

GORMAN: Well, the greatest problem in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky has been the fact that we have had border-to-border county politics. 00:05:00And what we need and what we needed was a media that would reach all the people of the mountains, to where that they could have general knowledge of what was going on. And I think we've achieved that.

KLEE: You said that one of our biggest problems -- your -- the biggest problem here was border-to-border politics. Explain that a little further.

GORMAN: In other words, most counties -- most of the counties that make up Appalachia, about 40- 42, something like that, most of these counties had a county newspaper and later a county radio station. But there was no cross communications beyond the county borders, and I think that is one of the things that held back the development of the mountains for the last 200 years.

KLEE: And the reason it was held back is because each county was in it for themselves?

GORMAN: No cooperation, even within the county.


KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: In other words, the -- one of the advantages that we have in Hazard and Perry County is we have an excellent record of working together. In other words, the city water system covers 10,000 people in Perry County, and it would not have happened if it hadn't been for the county judge and the fiscal court and the city commission and everybody working together.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And so the main problem in Kentucky is cooperation among Kentuckians.

KLEE: (Laughter) Yes. Tell me -- in the early '60s, what were you -- you were involved in television. You had -- were you involved in radio too?

GORMAN: No, I've never been in radio.

KLEE: What was the first you heard of the University of Kentucky doing something in Hazard or your first connection to a community college?

GORMAN: Well, I go way back. Bert Combs was a great friend of my 00:07:00family. My uncle was Dewey Daniel, and he was president of the Peoples Bank, and he was chairman of the Republican party in Kentucky during the Eisenhower years, and he was a great believer in strong education. Now, if you will look at a map that I showed -- I drew this map out, oh, 15 years ago, that you only have, east of I-75 -- except in the Lexington area, you only have one four-year college in Eastern Kentucky. Of course, that's Morehead. Now, the only problem that we had is our kids -- we had a lot of small schools in the mountains, but we didn't really have a state-supported school at all.


KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: Well, back under Bert Combs and previous governors, the University of Kentucky started the Community College System. Well, during that time, Happy Chandler built the first community college, if I remember correctly, over at Southeast over at Cumberland. Well, then there was others spread out across the state. Well, Archie Craft, who was a senator from Letcher County, had convinced Bert Combs that the community college should be at Stuart Robinson, which is in Letcher County. Well, we talked to Bert about it, the governor, and we told the governor that to have a community college 25 or 30 minutes away from another really didn't make too much sense, but Bert had made his commitment to Archie Craft and he wouldn't change.

KLEE: Uh-huh.

GORMAN: So Willie Dawahare -- and Ned Breathitt was elected governor. 00:09:00Willie Dawahare, who was a previous mayor of Hazard, we invited Ned Breathitt to come and speak to Civic Night. We had about 400 people. Well, in that afternoon, before we had Civic Night, we took Governor Breathitt up and we interviewed him on TV and told him what the problem was with the Community College System. Well, we asked Governor Breathitt if he would let the University of Kentucky make the decision, rather than people in politics.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: And we put Ned Breathitt on tape stating that he thought that it should be the University's decision, what is best for Kentucky.

KLEE: Uh-huh.

GORMAN: And that's how we got the community college in Hazard, Kentucky.

KLEE: Well, how were you -- who was working for you at the university level? Or did they --

GORMAN: Oh, we had a whole lot of friends down there.

KLEE: Uh-huh.

GORMAN: There was a Dr. Robert Johnson, he posed the question, said -- 00:10:00asked the governor if the University could make the decision or whether it should be local politicians.

KLEE: I see. Dr. Johnson from UK was here at the station.

GORMAN: He was vice president of the University, and we had dinner with him at the La Citadelle about a day before Governor Breathitt got here.

KLEE: Uh-huh. Who else was at UK, do you remember?

GORMAN: Dr. Oswald?

KLEE: Uh-huh. Right.

GORMAN: And I think -- I had a telethon for the University, Hazard Community College, and we raised a lot of money.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: And Dr. Oswald allowed me to have four tickets to UK football games. Well, two of them are about just right next to the governor, (laughter) and I've had those for 40 years.

KLEE: Forty years. (Laughter)


GORMAN: Yeah. But anyway, we're very fortunate that we were able to work with the presidents of the University of Kentucky in the development of the Hazard Community College.

KLEE: Now, you mentioned this Dr. Johnson and then Willie Dawahare and yourself, working through the television and a local leader, was there -- what about in Frankfort? Was there -- were there important people here in the area or were there other community people that really had a hand in this?

GORMAN: Well, as far as Frankfort was concerned, of course, we had pretty strong representation, and you know, we approached this pretty much from an area standpoint.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And when we did that, with the people working together, people working with people, we were able to build a community college here. And we've had -- all the governors have been very cooperative in seeing the growth of the college here, which is, what, close to 4,000 00:12:00students in these four campuses.

KLEE: Yes, sir. It says here that in '64 is when you all began to start working towards a college, and then in '65, a group got together and actually raised some money in a foundation. What about the property that was chosen? What about that fundraising drive? Was that easy to do? Was it hard? Were there any leaders of that in particular?

GORMAN: Well, you had Dewey Daniel, and you had Blondie Eblen. I think Blondie was chairman of the foundation. And Bill Sturgill lived here then, and he participated in it. And I was trying to think of some of the old-timers, but -- Lewis Hopper and -- but anyway, the -- all the banking organizations and groups were strongly behind it.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: But what we did, we put on a telethon at the TV station. And we 00:13:00raised a whole lot of money -- I've forgotten how much -- and we were able to use that money to furnish a certain amount of money for -- the community college opened at the old Roy -- no, the Broadway School.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: And then we were able to buy the property as -- where the community college sits now.

KLEE: Was there -- the Broadway School was --

GORMAN: It was built in 1912, and they used about $40,000, the way I remember. And of course, I --

KLEE: Rehab it some.

GORMAN: Yeah. To go in there and renovate to start with about 250 students.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: To start the Hazard Community College. And I think Marvin Jolly was the first director.

KLEE: Well, they -- Henry Campbell worked for a year, I think, out of Prestonsburg.

GORMAN: Yeah, Henry Campbell. I remember Henry, and he was president of Prestonsburg Community College.


KLEE: Uh-huh. Do you -- Dr. Campbell, was he cooperative, as far as helping get started here?

GORMAN: Well, what he did, Dr. Campbell is the person that got the community college off the ground --

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: -- and set up the new organization --

KLEE: Right.

GORMAN: -- to make it work. And he did a wonderful job for our people.

KLEE: Uh-huh. Some of the other names of the first advisory board, Marie Turner and Eddie Moore, Goebel Ritter.

GORMAN: Marie Turner was from Breathitt County, Eddie Moore was from Leslie County, and who else?

KLEE: W. R. Smith.

GORMAN: W. R. That's William R. Smith.

KLEE: Yes, uh-huh


KLEE: And Goebel Ritter.

GORMAN: Goebel Ritter's from Letcher County. He used to be coach here in Hazard.

KLEE: Okay. And then L. D. Gorman.

GORMAN: I've heard of him.

KLEE: (Laughter) And who is that in relation to you?

GORMAN: Who, L.D.?

KLEE: Uh-huh.

GORMAN: He's my brother.

KLEE: He's your brother. Okay. And Edith Napier.

GORMAN: Edith Napier was one of my business partners.

KLEE: Okay. So these people represented the various counties that 00:15:00surrounded -- did you get pretty good support outside of Perry County for the college?

GORMAN: Oh, the people, as a whole, all worked together, and they did a good job, and I was very pleased with what we saw.

KLEE: Yes, sir. How did the community -- what did the community want from this community college? What kinds of goals do you think they had?

GORMAN: Well, of course, the only thing was the promise that the University made to the people that we would have a two-year college located here, that one of the great problems of our people has been accessibility to a public school -- public university.

KLEE: Right.

GORMAN: Now, over at -- in Hindman at Alice Lloyd, you know, is 00:16:00private and privately endowed, and at Barbourville. And of course, in Breathitt County they had Lees College --

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: -- which was having, really, financial problems. And -- but as a whole, there was great support for the community college here.

KLEE: What was the importance of the UK connection? How did that help the -- either the fundraising or the community support for this?

GORMAN: Well, of course, the University of Kentucky is the -- if you are not a University of Kentucky basketball fan or football fan, you don't know how the people think. (Laughter) But here the -- it just, I think, expanded the University's influence in the state. And I don't know whether it's better that we're an independent association 00:17:00of the community colleges or whether we would be better off under the University's umbrella. But the -- while we were under the University's umbrella we had great growth and expansion of our facilities, and we did very well. But we've done very well since then too.

KLEE: Yes, sir. So UK is a -- was an honored name, even in even in the '60s. I mean, it was a lot of community support for the University.

GORMAN: Well, the community support here in the Kentucky River has been -- I'm 82 years old, and the first thing I ever heard was a UK ballgame. (Laughter) First one I ever saw, probably.

KLEE: I see. Was there any controversy about where the college was physically going to be located? I mean, I know that -- you mentioned the -- that this Archie Craft wanted it in a whole other community, and you all were able to move it back this way. But as far as locating the initial college --


GORMAN: There was no -- never any question.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: In other words, the site was chosen --

KLEE: Uh-huh.

GORMAN: -- by the University after the offer was made, and so they just moved right into that site.

KLEE: Wasn't any controversy as far as maybe it ought to be located downtown or anything like that?

GORMAN: No, not a bit.

KLEE: Uh-huh. How has the college influenced the community?

GORMAN: Well, what it's done is put a stronger base under this community. And of course, we have gone out and sought industrial development. We've got Trus Joist here. In working with Trus Joist before they decided where the location was going to be, they were going either to Florida -- not Florida, but Alabama or Georgia or West Virginia or somewhere else, and they looked at Kentucky. And when we brought the 00:19:00people in from Trus Joist, we brought in the people from the community college, and we set all these people down, and we told them what we could do in the training of these people to work for Trus Joist. And we have -- we had Sykes here, and incidentally, they're going to come back. They moved out about three years ago and went to India.

KLEE: Yes, I read that.

GORMAN: And then they found out that there was something like 28 dialects in India. (Laughter) There's only one in Hazard and Perry County.

KLEE: That's right.

GORMAN: So they're going to come back here. And -- but then we have, of course, D-J, Incorporated, which is a plastic injection company. And of course, we have Perry Manufacturing, which makes uniforms. And -- but in this community and dealing -- of course, another one that I just failed to mention was American Woodmark.


KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: And American Woodmark hired -- has about 400 employees.

KLEE: Gee.

GORMAN: And -- but what happened is the college and the vocational school have been very, very instrumental in educating the workforce and getting everybody on the same line in order to come in and build the base for the jobs market.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And it's been very, very important, and it will continue to be very important for this city and this region.

KLEE: Is -- do you as mayor and the various city officials -- I guess the college is part of your tour when you're meeting and greeting people that are coming in?

GORMAN: What -- I've been mayor 29 years.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: And during that 29 years, I don't know how many people, but we 00:21:00have one great advantage here, and the advantage is the cooperation between the college and the college units in the four counties and the county and the city.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: Everybody works together, everybody pulls together, and we have been totally successful. When I was elected mayor, John, the city of Hazard had a budget of $900,000.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: Last year -- this year our budget is $21 million. And what it is, it's come -- we have reduced the tax base -- the taxes from 50.1 to 29.1, and yet our income is way up there.

KLEE: Yeah. And you're saying all these units together have made that happen.

GORMAN: They have made it happen, and they continually strengthen what's happening in this region.

KLEE: Do you remember any specific stories? Or were there any specific 00:22:00incidents where you were talking to prospective clients or just some things that relate to the college that come to mind?

GORMAN: Well, the president of American Woodmark came here. And we had a -- this city and the county and the people of the area, they pulled together and we must have had 400 people at the community college to greet this new company.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: And the president of American Woodmark told me, he said, "If it wasn't for the college here and the experience that they were having working with the college and the vocational school, they would be somewhere else." The strongest -- my brother's pretty knowledgeable, and I told him who we were fighting to get this company in Hazard and Perry County -- or Perry County. And he says, "There's no way." He 00:23:00says, "He is one of the strongest individuals in not only Virginia, but West Virginia, and a great influence." But he didn't have the Hazard Community College to help him. (Laughter) And we got it.

KLEE: Right. Well, that's great. Tell me about some of these presidents. Dr. Jolly was president for all the '70s and the first of the '80s. How -- what were your relations like with him and what kind of person was he?

GORMAN: Well, Dr. Jolly is a fine man. He's just -- and he's -- he worked hard, and the college grew under him. And he -- we had great cooperative efforts on behalf of the college on many projects. And of course, Ed Hughes, I think, followed Dr. Jolly.

KLEE: Yes, sir. Uh-huh.

GORMAN: Well, Ed is at the Gateway --

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: -- up in Northern Kentucky. And I got a note from him yesterday.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And Ed, I think, was the dynamo that really started this thing 00:24:00spinning --

KLEE: Right.

GORMAN: -- strongly. And he was fresh with new ideas. He just -- to me, it was -- we were just very fortunate to have Ed for the years we had him.

KLEE: Yeah, it was '85 when he came in. He tried to kind of focus different units of the college as I understand.


KLEE: You say he was a dynamo. How did he -- how did that express itself?

GORMAN: Well, whether you liked it or not, you ended up with Ed's meetings. (Laughter) And you never knew where you were going to be next.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And we were on -- I'm on the college foundation board here.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: And the only thing, if we needed to go to Frankfort or we needed to go to Washington or wherever we needed to go, Ed didn't call you and ask you if you were going, he said, "I'll meet you there." (Laughter) And of course, they had fund drives and all this kind of thing. And he -- Ed worked on people from all over the country and his fund drives 00:25:00and did a wonderful job. And course, he's -- some of the things -- ideas he had, worked, and some of them didn't work.

KLEE: Right.

GORMAN: For instance, a fellow promised a million dollars for a building up at the college, and about that time he ended up in a lawsuit, and he didn't give us any money.

KLEE: Yeah.

GORMAN: He gave us some other stuff. So Ed talked to Mr. Joe Eversole, who was president of First Federal, and he got Mr. Eversole to endow the college through First Federal. Now we have the First Federal building up there --

KLEE: Yes sir. I saw that.

GORMAN: -- that used to be called something else.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: But Ed had that that ability to convince people that we ought to do it.

KLEE: Well, you're on the foundation. The foundation started, I guess, by buying that land for the college.

GORMAN: Probably so.

KLEE: And then it -- I guess it's done a lot of scholarship work. Who 00:26:00are the companies and the individuals in this community that the college depends on for its support? Are there some names that come to mind?

GORMAN: Well, of course, First Federal.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: Peoples Bank. Mr. Leon Holland, who's the president of the bank, and he's also on the foundation board. Tony Whitaker, president of First Federal. And of course, the bank was interested in the Challenger Center there, which is --

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: -- on the ground. And we had this astronaut in town over the weekend at the Challenger Center, and he was talking about what a great program it was. But about everybody in Hazard. You can't sort of put your finger on anybody, because a lot of people in Hazard and Perry County and Leslie County and Breathitt County and Knott County have been very strong in support of the college.


KLEE: Seems to be a lot of cooperative efforts up there. That First Federal building is a kind of a mix between a -- I know it's got a student center in it, but it also has a meeting room for the city. Do you have a lot of meetings up there or events?

GORMAN: Well, we had a party Saturday night up there. They call it the Christmas for Charities, and they must have had 400 or 500 people there. And of course, we have -- we've had 52 or 53 Civic Nights. That's an annual thing that honors the Man of the Year, Young Man of the year, Woman of the Year, Young Woman of the year, and other people. This happens every year and has been going on for 52 or 53 years. We've had every governor except Ernie Fletcher.

KLEE: Yeah.

GORMAN: We've had every Senator and every Congressman, just about, and the public -- and the presidents of the University of Kentucky. And of course, next year the president of Eastern, Joanne Glasser, has already 00:28:00been selected as the speaker. But anyway, we have about 400 or 500 people there at the Civic Night. And then -- but there's -- in that building there's all kinds of different meetings all year long. And of course, we made the Rogers Center, which has an 850-seat theater, which is just next to the high school there --

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: -- available to the college for any event that they have too.

KLEE: I see. That's wonderful. So it's kind of a focus of community events along with -- and I didn't realize that Rogers Center was right there close. I'm going to run through some of the names that are associated with the college, and if you just want to tell me a little bit about them. You mentioned that Challenger Center, and I think it carries -- Edward Clemons is --

GORMAN: Ed Clemons, who -- Ed was the president of Peoples Bank.

KLEE: Okay.

GORMAN: And his family -- or he gave a million dollars toward the 00:29:00building of the Challenger Center and the Clemons Building. And three or four years ago -- it might have been longer than that -- he was killed in a skiing accident.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: He ran into a tree. So if you're going to ski --

KLEE: Be careful.

GORMAN: -- don't be around no trees.

KLEE: Right. (Laughter)

GORMAN: But he was very generous and -- on behalf of the college.

KLEE: Uh-huh. Was he a local that had kind of grown up here?

GORMAN: Grew up in Hazard all of his life and --

KLEE: Supported --

GORMAN: His family's still here, you know.

KLEE: Vernon Cooper was another name associated --

GORMAN: You didn't have to bring him up. He's my first cousin.

KLEE: Oh. (Laughter)

GORMAN: No, Vernon has been very active and very helpful. And he's in bad health now. And -- but we could usually pick his pocket for a little bit.

KLEE: Oh, I see. That's what I was thinking about, like with your foundation work, you knew that with the banks kind of providing a base 00:30:00and then some of these individuals. What about Bruce and Virginia Stephens?

GORMAN: Well, Bruce Stephens and I used to be in business together. He was a lawyer; he was a vice president and general counsel for Kentucky River -- now called Kentucky River Properties, Kentucky River Coal Company.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: And he has been very interested in the libraries and education and -- he and his wife both. His wife's on the Perry County Library board now.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: But Bruce and ----------(??) have given money consistently to the libraries at the college, as well as other things.

KLEE: I see. There was Lewis Hopper.

GORMAN: Lewis Hopper was president of First Federal Savings and Loan.

KLEE: Okay.

GORMAN: And Lewis served on the board for many, many years. And they have -- First Federal gave so much money for the Hopper addition in the building. And of course, later on they provided the money to -- 00:31:00for the naming of the First Federal Savings -- what's the name of the building? First Federal Savings and Loan.

KLEE: (Laughter) What about C. Elvin Feltner?

GORMAN: C. Elvin Feltner was a fellow that -- who had initially pledged a million dollars.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And he ended up -- he was in New York, and he ended up in a lawsuit.

KLEE: Okay.

GORMAN: And it depleted his resources for years.

KLEE: And you used an example of Ed Hughes being able to go find another source and --

GORMAN: That's right.

KLEE: -- work around to do something. On the politician side, the -- you've been mayor for 29 years, and I guess you've been a good friend of the college. Hal Rogers, of course --

GORMAN: We have a part of that building named for Hal, too.

KLEE: I know. I knew you did.

GORMAN: We named it for everybody, (laughter) everybody you could think of.

KLEE: How has he been important to the college?

GORMAN: Well, Hal has always been very strong. He's strong in 00:32:00education everywhere. And anytime we have called on Hal Rogers, he has performed. And he's one of the outstanding people, we think, that's in the Congress.

KLEE: Yeah. On the governors ----------(??), you said every governor's been down here except for Fletcher --

GORMAN: Right.

KLEE: -- at an event. They -- you had Breathitt and Combs that you mentioned, and then Louie Nunn was right there. I guess the building was being built right in that time period. Have there ever been any special challenges that you had to kind of work extra hard with somebody to try to get funding or to get something going?

GORMAN: Well, John, if you promise you won't tell anybody, I'll tell you a secret. Where the First Federal building is now, Ed Hughes and a bunch of us were working on two buildings.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: Now, don't tell anybody this.

KLEE: Uh-huh.


GORMAN: So anyway, we got to talking, and talking to Frankfort, and they said, "No." Said, "Mayor, we're just funding one building." So what we did, we got our architects to put two buildings together, put a hallway in between them, and we got a $14 million grant to build one building.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: Well, to top it all off with -- we thought that was the end of it. Well, the next year, they said, "Now, you applied for two buildings last year, and you got one. Now, what we're going to do, we're going to fund this other building this year." And that's the Clemons Center.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: But anyway, we ended up with three buildings, when we -- we only really were going for two.

KLEE: Two. But you figured a way to get the two at the beginning.

GORMAN: Well, the thing about it is this, is you know, liars don't figure -- no, what is it? Figures don't lie, but liars figure.

KLEE: That's right. (Chuckle) How has the town shaped the college, as far as the way -- the kinds of things it offers and those kind -- have 00:34:00you had to go to the college and say, "We'd like to have this kind of training going on here, this kind of program."

GORMAN: Well, let me give you an example.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: The -- we have a performing arts series here.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: Now, I was in the broadcast business and entertainment business for, what, 40 years. I don't agree with everything that they bring in here.

KLEE: Sure.

GORMAN: In fact, when you go to something and you have to take out your hearing aids in order to stay in the room -- (laughter) now, that's not me, that's two of my friends. But what has happened is that through this performing arts center working with the city and the college and the community, we're able to -- we've had the Lexington orchestra, we've had the orchestra from Louisville, symphonic, we've had the -- 00:35:00we've had every kind of a show that you can have because the Rogers Center, with the Forum there, is probably the best equipped building and one of the nicest stage arenas and everything that you can find.

KLEE: Yes.

GORMAN: We've had the lieutenant governors' debates there. But the only thing is this, to tie it with the community college, anything that comes up that the community college thinks ought to be held in the Rogers Center or the Quorum [Forum], we have working arrangements with them to where they can do that. And by the same token, if somebody else in the community wants to go to the community college, they have that arrangement.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And the community college, you know, the first building had an auditorium in it that seats about 250 or 300 people. Well, when -- 00:36:00two years ago when they built the Rogers Center, we expanded it to 850 seats. And -- but the college uses it. Everything in Hazard works back and forth.

KLEE: The city actually supervises, then, the actual renting out or the use of that building, the Rogers building.

GORMAN: It belongs to the city.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And we have a pavilion up here that's a city -- Olympic swimming pool --

KLEE: Yes.

GORMAN: -- golf, tennis courts, weight room, all this kind of thing. And the college, if they need that --

KLEE: They use that.

GORMAN: -- they are --, anything they want. They walk with a big stick in this town, John.

KLEE: (Laughter) And I guess -- do you believe they earned that through their performance?

GORMAN: Well, the thing about it is this, it's just a wonderful kind of thing, because whatever the community college needs in Hazard, Kentucky, the community college will get it as long as I'm mayor.


KLEE: I was going to ask you about that. How does the -- what is the relationship to the average citizen out there? Do they feel comfortable going to the college and --

GORMAN: Well, there was 400 up there Saturday night, and they all seemed to be having a good time.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And of course, our Civic Nights, it's the largest auditorium where you can feed people.

KLEE: Yeah.

GORMAN: And you know, it's a good party room or whatever.

KLEE: Well, I was in there. I walked up there before I came down to see you, and the decorations, I think, were still up. That's a nice space.

GORMAN: It's a nice space and a great facility. And we have all kinds of events there that are either college-related -- we have a group called Sacred Winds. And what it is, is the -- Scott Bersaglia, who is at the University of Michigan as assistant band director, and he graduated 00:38:00from Hazard High School and went on to Morehead, I think. Then from Morehead, he got his doctor's degree at the University of Texas, and he was promoted to the University of Michigan, and he's in charge of the field bands during the football games and all this kind of thing.

KLEE: Man.

GORMAN: Well, what he has done, he's organized a group called Sacred Winds. And they come back -- and this is about the seventh or eighth year -- and they put on a concert at the community college.

KLEE: That's wonderful.

GORMAN: And what they do, they have about 40 or 50 players from colleges all over the United States that come and perform for this one concert. And they do it free. And everything's free. Except to the poor people like the city and the banks and a few of us.

KLEE: Have to patronize it or support it. Have you seen a difference 00:39:00from when you were a young man? Of course, you know, you had a choice to make. You had to go to college a pretty good distance away from here.

GORMAN: You know why I went to college in Bowling Green?

KLEE: I was curious about that.

GORMAN: Well, my parents and my uncles and aunts said he can't come home to supper ever night. (Laughter) In those days, it took about 25 hours to get from Hazard to Bowling Green.

KLEE: Right.

GORMAN: Now it's four hours.

KLEE: (Laughter) Right. Do you see a difference in opportunity for your -- for the people of the community here? I mean, has -- I mean, in health care and -- have you seen Hazard graduates -- Hazard Community College graduates come back and play a role?

GORMAN: Well, the only thing is this, is their influence is so broad. A lot of our kids graduate from Hazard or Perry County Central or the surrounding schools and go to the community college. Or some of them 00:40:00decide to go north to Lexington.

KLEE: Yes, sir.

GORMAN: Or to Eastern or Morehead or wherever.

KLEE: Right.

GORMAN: And usually, you know, if they get homesick, they come back and try again. And then after two years, they go on back to get their other education. But basically, I just think that it's a different world we live in and -- because the opportunities are so great. But now, we've got one thing up here I don't know whether you know about.

KLEE: I probably don't.

GORMAN: The University Center of the Mountains.

KLEE: Yes, I was going to ask you about that. That's something that I know you've -- and other people have pushed for, a four-year college that is really more in Eastern Kentucky. Tell me how that got going.

GORMAN: Well, the thing about it is this, we felt that this access to four-year college was very important. And working with Ed Hughes 00:41:00backing up -- Ed got the president of Morehead, and we had the president of the University of Kentucky, who backed out incidentally, and --

KLEE: Eastern was involved.

GORMAN: Dr. Glasser, yeah. And I think Midway has just entered into this agreement.

KLEE: Okay.

GORMAN: And let's see, there was another one or two, but I understand they have about 25 degrees now --

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: -- that they can offer, maybe more than that. And -- but it's a wonderful thing. They've got 300 or more students, maybe more than that this year.

KLEE: So students, after they finish two years at Hazard Community and Technical College, can go right on and pursue a four-year degree.

GORMAN: Even a master's degree, I understand.

KLEE: Is that right? And how they -- which college is awarding the 00:42:00degree? Are they doing it cooperative?

GORMAN: Well, they -- probably where they're doing their cooperative work.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: And you know, in other words, if they're working on certain courses at Morehead or Eastern --

KLEE: They'd do it with Morehead.

GORMAN: -- or wherever, that -- but this was sort of my idea, John. I was very proud that we were able to do this.

KLEE: Were there any specific challenges that -- any other things that you can -- challenges that you can think of that -- in relation to the college that you faced that had to be overcome or any particular problems that occurred over the years?

GORMAN: Well, you know something? This community, this region, has always reacted to the needs, and we haven't had any problems.

KLEE: I see.

GORMAN: You know, in other words -- it's -- I'm sure they've got 00:43:00problems on campus.

KLEE: Right.

GORMAN: But as far as community relations-type problems, we haven't had any problems.

KLEE: Are there any achievements that we haven't mentioned? You talked about, you know, the buildings that were built and, you know, right at the beginning, getting the college to be located here. Are there any other achievements that I've overlooked and not asked you about that stand out in your mind?

GORMAN: Well, there's bound to be.

KLEE: Oh, I'm sure. (Laughter) Just off the cuff.

GORMAN: The only thing is this is, John, you came in at 1:30. (Laughter)

KLEE: Yeah. We're hard at it.

GORMAN: And if I had known you were coming, I could do a little bit more research, but I just can't think of anything else.

KLEE: Oh, it's been a great interview and I really appreciate it. I may be calling on you again if I find something I need to ask you about, but it's really been a pleasure.

GORMAN: Well, John, it's a pleasure to have you in Hazard. And like I say, you be careful. If you run into Dr. LeRoy Shouse --


KLEE: I'll see him.

GORMAN: -- tell him his -- I've still got his skeleton at the old TV station.

KLEE: Okay. Thank you.

GORMAN: Thank you, sir.