Courtesy of SKCTC

Dr. Ed and Sue Godbey pose at Southeast’s graduation last May where he was the commencement speaker.

SKCTC receives gift from Dr. Ed and Sue Godbey

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College has received a substantial gift from two longtime friends and supporters. Dr. Edsel T. (Ed) Godbey and his wife, Sue, a coal miner’s daughter and retired teacher from Perry County, recently contributed $50,000 to the Sue Godbey Scholarship.

Established in 2005, this endowment helps promising education majors from Bell, Harlan, Letcher or Knox counties who plan to return and teach in one of these counties.

According to SKCTC President Dr. Vic Adams, “We are so grateful to the Godbeys for supporting not only Southeast, but also our future teachers. Our children are our region’s hope, and we vitally need outstanding teachers in our communities who are committed to their success.”

At the age of 29, Dr. Godbey became the founding president of the college — then called the Southeast Center of the University of Kentucky — in 1959. This young leader understood the importance of community and of partnerships, and he worked hard to enlist the help of citizens throughout the region. Although he left in 1962 to become associate director of the UK community college system and later moved to Atlanta for an executive position with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Dr. Godbey kept close ties with Southeast, providing advice and assistance in many areas.

“I sought his assistance on a regular basis when I was president,” says Dr. Bruce Ayers, president emeritus. “From grant proposals to accreditation studies and strategic planning, when we needed help, I knew we could always call on Ed Godbey.”

In 2000, the Godbeys established a charitable remainder trust of nearly $600,000, naming the college as beneficiary. While their contributions are large, the couple says their intentions are simple: paying it forward.

“Our hearts are in these hills,” says Dr. Godbey. “And in my mind, that’s what you should do. You put your money where your heart is.”