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Dr. Telly Sellars returning home to deliver SKCTC commencement speech

It will be a homecoming for Dr. Telly Sellars when he returns to his beloved Harlan County Friday, May 8 to deliver the keynote address during the 50th commencement and awarding of degrees at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. The service will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held in the gymnasium at Harlan County High School. A total of 650 students are eligible to receive diplomas, certificates and degrees.

A native of Lynch, Dr. Sellars grew up at Southeast and fondly recalls at the end of the school day walking to the Cumberland campus where he would observe the education process and mingle with the college students. He also enjoyed an occasional game of pool in the grill area. He often travelled with his parents, longtime college employees Charles Red and Mitzi Sellars, to student programs and off-campus registration events. Charles Sellars served the college for over 35 years as the dean of student affairs while Mitzi was a professor, teaching in the nursing program.

My definition of college was shaped by those who worked at Southeast and by those who supported the community, Dr. Sellars said. Being exposed to the inner-workings of a community college taught me many things and made me want to pursue a career in higher education.

Today, he serves as the coordinator of counseling at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville. Prior to that posting, he was the director of admissions at Spalding University in Louisville.

As one of the states top-ranked tennis players during his high school years at Lawrence County High School, he earned a scholarship to Methodist College in Fayetteville, N.C., receiving a bachelors degree in 1998. He would then attend Eastern Kentucky University receiving a masters degree in Student Personnel Services in Higher Education. He would also earn his doctorate from Spalding in Leadership Education.

In demand as a speaker, Dr. Sellars regularly lectures before attendees of regional and national conferences and before faculty and staff of colleges and universities and other development convocations across the nation.

I am honored to be able to return to my home and speak to the graduates of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, an institution I have much respect as well as love, he stated. I am sure it will be a wonderful experience to return to the area and reconnect with many old friends, while, at the same time, attempting to do my best to encourage those among the graduating class of 2015.

SKCTC President Dr. Lynn Moore made note of this, the colleges 50th commencement, calling the event a much-anticipated occasion. She stated that the graduates have worked hard to better themselves. We are eager to honor our graduates and commend them for their resolve in finishing the job. I am sure each one will appreciate hearing the inspiring remarks from Dr. Sellars. I would like to invite all of the communities from across our service area of Bell, Harlan and Letcher counties to come together on the evening of May 8th to applaud the work done by the graduates.

Dr. Sellars lives in Jefferson County; he and his wife, Heather, are the parents of three daughters.