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Anton Reece Commencement 2018 Speaker With Sherry Bell, Acting Dean

2018 CEHHS Commencement Speaker: Anton Reece

Few speakers can captivate, touch, motivate, and challenge varied audiences as West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) President Dr. Anton Reece. For the past 28 years, Reece has spoken to over 600 audiences in New York, Texas, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Arizona. These speaking engagements include corporations, colleges, high schools, youth organizations, churches, and prisons and have provided him with critical material to empower others. All of these are illuminated by his rich style of articulation and homespun humor. Hailing from the Caribbean country of Barbados, Reece draws from his communication roots and skills as a former employee with the Voice of Barbados Radio and a guest anchor for the Caribbean Broadcasting Television news. In addition, he was a regular guest on WPSD TV, WKYX radio, host on Channel 2 Minority Focus, and commentator on various television and radio programs.

Reece is an honors graduate with a BA in broadcasting news and an MA in counseling student personnel from Eastern Kentucky University. He earned a PhD in educational psychology and research from UT. He spent 13 years at UT serving in various roles including coordinator of academic support, director of student activities, associate vice provost of student success, and director of the Student Success Center. Reece has a legacy of trailblazing as the first minority affairs coordinator in the University of Kentucky Community College System in 1990. From 1999–2003, he made history again by becoming the first African American dean of student affairs in Paducah Community College/Paducah Junior College history. In October 2016, Reece achieved a historic appointment as the first African American and second president of WKCTC. WKCTC is a four-time Aspen Institute finalist and currently ranks in the top 10 nationally among the nation’s 1,100 community and technical colleges.

Reece has received many awards, including UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences Educators Hall of Honor recognition, UT Dean of Students Leadership Award, UT Commission for Blacks Outstanding Service Award, EKU President’s Award for Academic Excellence, the EKU Earl Combs Outstanding Student-Athlete, the PCC Presidential Leadership Award, Academic All-American, 1982 Hampton Games International track gold medalist in the triple jump, distinguished speaker awards from many colleges and organizations, and featured in the Success Guide Magazine as an outstanding leader. He was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the profession and as a distinguished ambassador of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences during the commencement ceremonies. He gave all praise to God for his recognition and the opportunity to serve and touch others from all backgrounds of life. Reece is married to Cornelia Reece and has two daughters, Tina and Kiana.