The University of Pikeville has a new, pro-growth president, who has helped the university log four years of record enrollment.
He's using the university as a way to educate the entire community, not just the students.
We ran into some cross country scholars at the end of the 99 steps, on their way to the inauguration of the University of Pikeville's president, Dr. James Hurley.
"He's not better than anybody," says freshman cross country scholar, Jobeth Bingham. "He makes himself a part of Pikeville, and actually interacts with the people."
"...We engage in the pursuit of excellence, one student at a time," said Dr. Hurley as he began his inaugural speech.
Dr. Hurley went on to praise the students as the reason for his success as an administrator, and for the university's growth, and diversity.
"Today, we are witnessing a communal movement on campus," said Dr. Hurley, draped in UPike orange and black, "Our students are active, and mindful of the world around us."
His vision is one that is putting the university on the map, and using diversity to culturally enrich Eastern Kentucky.
It is also a vision that encourages students to stay in Pikeville after they graduate.
Susan Evans works at Pikeville Medical Center, which has employed several UPike graduates.
Evans would like to see her daughter take a similar path.
"I feel like they're going to grow and offer more, by the time they get to college," says Evans. "She's nine, and I have a two year old, so I look for their future at Pikeville College."
Freshman, Molly Frank wants to stay around after graduation to study at UPike's most well known department, the School of Osteopathic Medicine.
"The osteopathic side of things looks to heal the person as a whole," says Ms. Frank. "And that could help other countries around the world where they can't afford the medical part of healing."
She says the holistic approach to medicine is much like Dr. Hurley's approach to leading this university.
Dr. Hurley, UPike Class of 1999, is the first alumnus ever to become the school's president.