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Alumnus named to Obama Foundation Fellowship

Dr. Brent HutchinsonMorehead State alumnus Dr. Brent Hutchinson (96) has been named a 2019 Obama Foundation Fellow for his work to improve the lives of people in Central Appalachia and Eastern Kentucky. 

Hutchinson is the executive director of the Hindman Settlement School, which provides educational courses and programs, cultural enrichment and community service programs to people throughout the region. The school’s dyslexia education program specifically addresses the needs of people with the genetic learning challenge, which occurs at higher than average rates in the Appalachian region.  

Hutchinson took the position at the Settlement School in 2012 and has overseen the largest renovation in the school’s 117-year history. In addition, Hutchinson has worked to expand the programs offered at the school to address persistent and emerging needs and interests of the people it serves.  

The Obama Foundation Fellowship was established in 2018 to recognize the work of outstanding civic leaders. As a fellow, Hutchinson will participate in a two-year, nonresidential program designed to increase the effectiveness of the school’s efforts and inspire more people to be civically engaged in Eastern Kentucky. He joins 19 other civic leaders from 10 countries in receiving the honor this year. The fellowship will assist members with access to mentors, coaches, resources and opportunities to help them achieve their goals within their respective communities.  

Hutchinson lives in Hindman with his wife, Gwen (95) and their two sons. He is a member of the Kentucky Advisory Council for Exceptional Children and the Kentucky 4-H Foundation Board, is a high school academic team coach, a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and co-leader of the Knott County Work Ready Community-in-Progress Task Force. He is also actively involved in his church.  

For more information on the Hindman Settlement School, visit

Additional information about the Obama Foundation Fellowship is available at