2 ½ hours. That’s how long it took Edward Eddy to commute from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri to Manhattan, KS to attend nightly graduate classes from 1974-82. Juggling a family of five and holding a full time job, Edward Eddy did the unthinkable for many, he went on to pursue a doctoral degree from Kansas State University.
“At first I did not actually make a conscious decision to get a PhD,” said Edward Eddy. “In 1974, a couple of friends that were already in the program invited me to enroll in an evening course offered in Topeka, Therefore, I did.”
Prior to pursuing a doctorate degree, Eddy taught in the public school’s system. After eight years, he started working in higher education at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO as a part time assistant director of the Upward Bound Program. From there, he lectured for the Black Studies Department at the University of Kansas and taught part time at other colleges within the Kansas City area. During his time at K-State, Eddy landed his first deanship at Rockhurst University in Kansas City.
“The K-State graduate education division was a user-friendly program,” said Edward Eddy. “They accommodated professionals like me who wanted to get an advanced degree without having to quit my job because I needed to support my family.”
After having a positive experience with a few distance K-State classes, Eddy decided to embark on the journey to pursuing a doctoral degree in the College of Education.
“Generally speaking, the doctoral program was an effective developmental undertaking for me,” said Eddy. “Through it, I gained a wholesome understanding and respect for solid research. I had never before encountered anything that forced me to muster every ounce of intellectual capacity I had.”
Eddy was passionate about life-long learning and from a young age was encouraged by his parents to never stop learning.
“My father was illiterate, but he and my mom valued education, so they pushed me,” said Eddy. “From the minute I was in high school, I knew I was going to college. So getting my doctorate was the ending of the story.”
Being instilled with the idea to succeed, while he was at K-State, Eddy surrounded himself with the right people and created a support system. Mike Holen, former dean of the college of education, Kent Stewart, former professor of education and his wife, helped create the best experience for Eddy.
“I was an average student and an occasionally would rise to the top,” said Eddy. “Dr. Stewart would give exams and announce the scores, so I had to work hard to succeed.”
Eddy recognized that K-State faculty wanted students to be successful throughout the learning process.
“The material was so challenging,” said Eddy. “Dr. Holen was very challenging, but he cared. Instructors really cared and did what they could do to help everyone succeed.”
After eight years of studies, Edward Eddy received his doctorate of philosophy in education from Kansas State University in 1982.
“Eight years after taking that first course; after wearing out my car traveling up and down the Kansas highways; after sitting through countless hours of classes and at considerable expense; after innumerable all-night study sessions and writing dozens of term papers; I earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Administration,” said Eddy.
Eddy went on to work for Chicago State University, North Park University and is currently teaching courses as an online adjunct instructor for Mid-American Christian University.