Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Schools

June 9, 2014

90-year-old switchboard operator is jewel of BSCTC’s Pikeville campus

PIKEVILLE — What was simply two long-time friends bumping into one another at a local department store turned into an opportunity of a lifetime for Cora Nunn.

That was 10 years ago, and Nunn, 90, shows no sign of slowing down at Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s Pikeville campus.

“I sure am glad I ran into [Randy] that day,” Nunn said, smiling. Randy Roberts is the Pikeville campus director and director of institutional advancement, and Nunn has known Roberts since “he was about this high,” she said, placing her hand on her knee.

Nunn’s encounter with Roberts was not unusual. “I’d see Randy from time to time, and I always enjoyed the conversation,” she said. “This time, he asked me if I was interested in going to work.”

She applied and was later hired. Prior to coming to BSCTC, Nunn dabbled with retirement for 12 years.

It wasn’t a good fit.  “I tried hard,” she said, “but there’s only so many books you can read. I needed to do something. I tried to loaf and loafing was not for me.”

Nunn found her place at BSCTC. As a switchboard operator, she is often the first person to greet visitors, students and prospective students.

“It’s important because I want to make sure they have what they need and connect with the right people here at the college,” said Nunn. Last month, she was honored with an Ambassador award from BSCTC President and CEO Dr. George D. Edwards.

“It’s a rewarding job, and I find tremendous joy in knowing that I help students find their path in life,” she said.

Roberts said employees like Nunn demonstrate what is great about eastern Kentucky.

“She’s a great worker and a friend to not only me, but all of our employees,” he said. “Her desire to work and live life to its fullest inspires me and my coworkers each day.”

Over her seven decades in the workforce, Nunn has experienced many changes. The biggest, she said, was computers.

“I’ve learned enough about them to get by,” she said, chuckling. “When I first worked on a computer, they were big and fit in an entire room. Now, you practically have one on your phone.”

Nunn doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

“We have a lot of work to do here, and I plan on being a part of it,” she said.

Roberts agrees.

“She’s a remarkable lady that represents a fine educational institution,” he said. “I’m proud to call her a friend, a fellow employee and a role model.”

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