Dr. Bernard T. Fagan - 1989 A Award Recipient
Bio from 1989
Dr. Bernard T. Fagan is a person whose life has been committed to education. In the midst of America’s economic depression, this young man was so determined to become a teacher took the advice of his New York pastor, and migrated south to Asbury. His classmates remember him for his excellent work as lab assistant in chemistry and editor of The Collegian.
With a B.A.degree in chemistry, Dr. Fagan has invested 43 years in the teaching profession. Nineteen years were spent in vocational training for teenagers and 24 years in teacher education at the University of Kentucky. His passion for “hands-on” education was reflected in his graduate studies—an M.A. and a Doctor of Education in occupational education.
Dr. Fagan, quietly but effectively helped shape the course of occupational education for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. During his tenure at the University, every county vocational school between Ashland and Paducah benefited from this Asburian’s passion for the best in teacher education for vocational training.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well, took note of his professional acumen in vocational education. Across the years, this graduate chaired 75 visiting teams for the accrediting committee throughout the United States, Europe, and the Orient.
His own alma mater has been impressed by the keen leadership Dr. Fagan has demonstrated in education. On three occasions, he served on the Alumni Board of Directors and gave leadership as president of this grand academic family. For 28 years he served on the Asbury College Board of Trustees until his retirement in 1988.
Equal to his commitment for vocational training is his loyalty and leadership in the church. Few lay persons have touched his church any more effectively across the years than Dr. Fagan. His pastor describes him as a “light on the hill” as an educator, a citizen, a churchman, and a family man.
Early in his educational career his faith urged him to lead the way in integrating his vocational school in Lexington. His conviction would not allow any person regardless of race to be denied a good education.
In 1939, this distinguished educator received his diploma from Asbury. He will also be remembered for earning a marriage license and taking the college nurse, Esther Wiegand, as his bride.