Each year during Homecoming selected Bereans are recognized for their professional accomplishments, contributions to the community, and commitments to the mission of Berea College. This year, Bill Daugherty ’76 received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Dr. Kathy Bullock and Keith Bullock, members of the Teaching Faculty and General Faculty, respectively, were presented Honorary Alumnus Awards.
Distinguished Alumnus Award – William S. Daugherty ’76
William S. Daugherty graduated from Berea with a bachelor’s in agriculture in 1976 and went on to a distinguished career in the natural resources industries. Beginning his career in the financial and investment sectors, Daugherty entered the oil and gas sector in the early 1980s.
In 1984, he founded Daugherty Petroleum, which would later become NGAS Resources, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed company focused on oil, gas, and natural gas in the Appalachian Basin. After merging NGAS with a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2011, Bill and his business partner founded BlackRidge Resource Partners, an oil and gas prospect generation firm, and BlackRidge Stables, a thoroughbred racing and breeding company. The latter owns interests in several horses, including 2014Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome and last year’s Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia.
During his long career, Daugherty has served on numerous boards and maintained affiliations with many associations. Currently, the Kentucky Governor’s Official Representative of and Vice Chairman to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, he has enjoyed tenures with the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Kentucky Energy Council, the Kentucky Oil & Gas Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Eastern Kentucky University Foundation, and the Unconventional Resources Technology Advisory Committee of the Department of Energy.
Daugherty was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from EKU during the school’s 2008 commencement, for which he also served as the keynote speaker. Over the years, Bill and his wife, Zella, have also remained active in their support of Berea, attending numerous events and hosting events at their home in support of the New Opportunity School for Women. In 2017, student broadcasters at WBER interviewed Daugherty at his home. After the interview, the pilot flew the students in his helicopter back to Berea after visiting his Derby-winning horse.
Honorary Alumnus Award – Keith Bullock
When Keith Bullock embarked on a journey from Washington D.C. to Berea, Kentucky in 1991 with his wife Kathy, neither knew the impact they would have on this unconventional liberal arts college, nor did they know, Keith said, the impact Berea College would make on them.
In 1993, Keith Bullock took over as head resident in Bingham dorm, where he oversaw 80 male student residents as well as supervising student resident assistants and janitors, and effectively running the dormitory facility. During this time, he also served as the College’s bus coordinator where he handled scheduling of all College bus usage and advised and purchased the replacement bus on the college’s behalf. In the two decades he spent in this role, Bullock was able to connect with countless Berea College staff and students.
Beginning in 1999, Bullock began serving as chaperone for international tours and programs where he chaperoned for concert choir tours to China, Spain, and Italy, as well as courses in Jamaica and Zimbabwe. This led to his position as the administrator for summer international study programs to Ghana and West Africa. Bullock successfully completed nine programs of summer study, and he oversaw and completed all travel arrangements and on-site administrative tasks. In this role, he worked closely with onsite coordinators and faculty in the development and implementation of summer courses.
Currently, Bullock serves as the coordinator of the Black Male Leadership Initiative. This initiative is an adapted mentorship program for coaching African-American male Berea College students to aid in successful completion of college study. Bullock has doubled the number of participants in the program, increased retention rates among African-American males, and strives every day in further building relationships toward this ongoing work.
In all that Bullock has been involved in during his 26 years at Berea, his love and passion for music runs as deeply as Kathy’s. Bullock has been a member of Berea College’s Concert Choir, faculty and staff choir, and Black Music Ensemble. His strong tenor voice has performed at numerous Berea College sporting events, and he has served as a guest singer for the National Anthem at a Lexington Legends game and Cincinnati Reds game.
Honorary Alumnus Award – Kathy Bullock
Though she completed her bachelor’s degree at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and earned her master’s and Ph.D. in music theory at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Kathy Bullock’s dedication to music education and student development at Berea College have earned her this year’s Honorary Alumnus award.
After joining Berea College as a music professor in 1991, Bullock began directing the Black Music Ensemble, an 80-voice choir of African-American sacred music. BME has traveled all over the United States and to Ghana performing Appalachian and African-American gospel music.
In addition to academic advising and coordinating performances for various faculty and student programs, Bullock has rooted herself in bringing music and culture alive to Berea’s students, faculty and staff. She designed and taught courses in the music and literature of West Africa, Jamaica, and the West Indies, affording students study-abroad opportunities in Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Jamaica. She also assisted in creating and implementing staff training and development on interracial issues and concerns.
Bullock’s strong leadership in and out of the classroom earned her the Berea College Seabury Teaching Award in 2016—the highest honor awarded to a faculty member for teaching excellence. In addition, her unwavering support of students earned her the Black Impact Award in 2013 from the Berea College Black Student Union, an award given by students.
Bullock currently serves as the chair of the College’s music department and her research in sub-African and African-American music and culture, and influences of/connections in the African diaspora, has afforded her the opportunity to give numerous presentations, performances, lectures, and workshops throughout the United States, Europe and Africa. She and her husband, Keith Bullock, have not only given of their energy and efforts throughout their careers, but go above and beyond in their connection to Berea’s students and alumni, and are highly visible at various events on campus from chapel to sporting events.