WHITLEY CITY —
On Thursday, November 29, Somerset Community College will host a free, public retirement celebration for Gayle Borders, director of the SCC McCreary Center. The event will take place from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the McCreary Center Gallery of Building two, 250 College Street, Whitley City, Kentucky 42653.
Borders was born and raised in Louisville, but relocated to Somerset on November 22, 1963 and has remained an active member of the area ever since.
“I had one year of college out of high school,” said Borders. “Then, I got married and raised a family. I was a stay-at-home mom and I tried to be involved by sewing clothes for others and providing care for children. I also participated in the Somerset Junior Women’s Club.”
As a member of the Somerset Junior Women’s Club, Borders said club members would raise money by catering dinners for other civic clubs, thus developing her love for food and the catering business.
“I jumped into the frying pan head first,” said Borders, who ran her own catering business in the area for just under 19 years.
But, Borders soon realized that the business was taking a toll on her physically and she decided to enroll in college to finish what she’d started years before.
“At age 51, I enrolled part-time at Somerset Community College,” Borders said. “I later transferred to Eastern Kentucky University and received my Bachelor of Science degree in food service administration in 1995 and my master’s in food service and lodging administration from the University of Tennessee.”
“When I started the process of going back to school, I had no desire to teach,” she said. “But, through my work with the Pulaski County Homemakers Association and some teaching I did there, I began to realize that when you love what you’re doing, you want to share it with others.”
Borders then worked in food management and later took a teaching position with Southeast Community College. When the opportunity arose to come back to Somerset Community College as a part of the Hospitality Management program, Borders accepted the challenge. She became acquainted with the McCreary Center and eventually took over as director of the center in 2007.
One of the many things Borders has accomplished during her tenure is the formation of the SCC Culinary Arts program, a proposal she and Dr. Glenda Patton presented to the KCTCS Board of Regents. The center has also seen the erection of a new state-of-the-art building under Border’s tenure.
“When I decided to return to college, there’s no way I could have afforded the time or the cost if it meant going away from home. Being able to get that foundation here, and beginning to see the opportunities that might develop, opened up a whole world to me. And, to come back and be part of SCC as an employee has been nothing short of fantastic.”
Borders plans to travel upon retirement and her first stop will most likely be Coco Beach, Florida, she said. Borders has three sons and one daughter, as well as eight grandchildren.
Somerset Community College is a comprehensive two-year institution of higher education. SCC has campuses in Somerset and London, and centers in Clinton, McCreary, Casey, and Russell counties. For admission and program information, visit our website at