The University of Hard Knocks, a program sponsored through Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, conducts an annual induction ceremony in June to recognize new honorees who have been successful in their career without the benefit of higher education.
Kathy Vance and Merllene Yorkey, both of Elkins, graduated from the University of Hard Knocks on June 4.
Vance has owned and operated Kathy's Decorating and Design, located in Elkins, for the last 26 years. She began working when she was 14 years old, and was able to graduate from Elkins High School at the age of 16. She is an active member of the First United Methodist Church, and is involved in United Way, volunteering with the Mountain State Forest Festival, and Beta Sigma Phi Sorority.
Kathy Vance is presented with her degree from the ‘University of Hard Knocks’ at Alderson-Broaddus College.
Vance was declared the 2001 Business and Professional Women Business Woman of the Year, The Inter-Mountain's 2007 and 2010 Business Woman of the Year, and former recipient of Beta Alpha Beta's Business Woman of the Year.
Yorkey is the president and owner of Yorkey & Associates Inc., a preparation, bookkeeping and payroll service company. She is active with the First United Methodist Church of Elkins, and recently completed a term as president of the board of directors for the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce and is a past board director of the Elkins Rotary Club. She is currently a member of the United Way board, as well. She is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, West Virginia Public Accountants Association and holds a West Virginia insurance license for life and health.
Membership in the University of Hard Knocks is open to anyone who does not possess a bachelor's degree but has managed to succeed financially and professionally. It is awarded through Alderson-Broaddus College.