October 15, 2014 | By: Katie Pratt
Lexington, Ky.

A longtime extension educator and a former home economics faculty member and administrator are the newest members of the University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences Hall of Fame.

The school is part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and each year it honors alumni who have positively impacted their profession, communities and the school. Peggy Hurt Powell and the late Pauline Park Wilson Knapp will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at UK’s Hilary J. Boone Center.

Peggy Powell served UK Cooperative Extension for over 42 years before retiring in July as the Montgomery County family and consumer sciences extension agent. With the exception of serving 21 months as a program specialist for the UK College of Home Economics, Powell spent her career serving the people of Montgomery County.

“Peggy Powell has played a significant role in Family and Consumer Sciences Extension for more than 40 years,” said Ann Vail, director of the school. “Through her work, she has influenced many individuals and families across the commonwealth. Her contributions and service to others serve as strong examples to which others can aspire.”

During her extension career, Powell served in many prominent roles including vice president and president of the Kentucky Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and president of the Kentucky chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi. She was named Extension Educator of the Year by the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in 2010.

For Powell, community work didn’t stop when the extension office was closed. She was very active in numerous organizations within the county. In 1994, the Mount Sterling-Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce named her its Woman of the Year.

A native of Lancaster, Powell received her bachelor’s degree in home economics education in 1968 from Berea College and a master’s in human development and resource management in 1980 from UK.

Knapp was an internationally known expert in child development and family relations who received her bachelor’s degree from UK in1924. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology from Columbia University in 1935 and 1948.

Knapp was particularly interested in early childhood education. She started the first child development center in Georgia in 1928 and a nursery school at UK in 1930 that continues today as the Early Childhood Laboratory.

She transitioned into administrative roles as her career progressed, serving as chair of the Department of Family Life and then dean of women at the University of Alabama and dean of the University of Georgia School of Home Economics.

Knapp served 15 years as president and director of the Merrill-Palmer School in Detroit, a school she attended as a child and for which she worked as a family counselor in the 1930s and 1940s. Under her leadership, Merrill-Palmer transitioned from a school to an institute. Knapp ended her professional career as distinguished professor of home economics at Eastern Kentucky University. She received an honorary doctorate from Wayne State University in 1961 and from EKU in 1973. Knapp died in 1991.

Contact: 

Kim Henken, 859-257-3887