1971 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"I've always had the idea that if you put enough limbs on your tree there will be some time during your life that they'll help you climb a little higher."
Adron Doran was born in 1909 in a three-room tenant farmhouse in rural western Kentucky, where he lived with two great aunts. He walked five miles to school each day, and was responsible for building fires in the schoolhouse stove-a job that paid seven cents a day. When he was older, Doran sang and preached at revivals to help finance his college education.
After receiving both bachelor's and master's degrees from Murray State University, Doran served as principal, coach, and teacher of three rural high schools for 15 years. During this time, he was elected to four terms as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, serving three sessions as Speaker. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1954, Doran was named president of Morehead State University. The college had only 698 students and had recently lost its accreditation. By the time he retired in 1977, Morehead had regained its accreditation and regional status and had 7,500 students and $80 million in new buildings. As head of the first institution of higher education in Kentucky to racially integrate its classes and housing, Doran received the Lincoln Key Award. Morehead was also the first school in the Ohio Valley Conference to have integrated athletic teams.
Doran served as a minister of the Church of Christ and co-authored the biography of Hall Lourie Calhoun, titled The Christian Scholar.
Looking back over his career, Doran once said, "I always had the idea that if you put enough limbs on your tree, there will be some time during your life that they will help you climb a little higher."* Deceased