August 5th doubled as a birthday party and a ribbon-cutting event for Hindman Settlement School. On that date 116 years ago the school opened its doors to bring progressive education to the region.
The Settlement School held a ribbon cutting event to celebrate not only the important day, but a big project that has been in the works for years. “This ribbon cutting has really been a dream in our imagination for a long time,” said Brent Hutchinson, current executive director.
More than 100 community members and guests from across the country, including members of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, came to show support for the grand opening for two newly constructed and renovated facilities, the May Stone Gathering Place and the Mike Mullins Cultural Heritage Center. The latter building is named after the previous executive director.Mike Mullins started the project before he died in 2012. “It was Mike’s dream to have an office that was a good workable space, safe for his employees before he retired,” explained his wife Frieda Mullins.
Although Mike passed, his dream lived on. “For six years we have been planning and working to get to this day. Now we have renovated facilities that are ready for 21st-century use,” said Hutchinson.
Frieda Mullins says her late husband truly appreciated the school. “He was proud of his Appalachian heritage and proud of what the settlement stood for and still stands for,” Mullins said. She says her husband would be happy to see it thriving. “Looking to the future while not taking away from the vision,” Mullins continued.