World traveler calls Philippi home | News, Sports, Jobs

Submitted Photo Dr Kenneth Yount and his wife Carol are shown in Antarctica, one of the many places in the world that Yount has visited.


PHILIPPI – Dr. Kenneth H. Yount has lived in the community of Philippi for over 50 years and can still be seen often as he goes about his daily activities. Yet few people he meets would imagine the places he has been, the people he has seen, or the things he has accomplished.

Yount explored all corners of the earth, on the seven continents. He traveled to all 50 US states and all provinces of Canada; throughout Mexico; in all but one of Australia’s states, the two islands of New Zealand and the jungles of northeast India and northern Thailand, Africa and much of America from South.

He visited the frozen expanses of the Arctic Ocean to the north and Antarctica to the south, and he made 15 trips to Europe, spanning 500 days and well over half of the 50 countries there.

Throughout these trips he spoke to a crowd of over 100,000 people in India (also broadcast live on Indian TV); delivered the main Sunday morning sermon, in Spanish, in the largest Protestant church in a Bolivian city of over one million people; was appointed on “Poet laureate” of Antarctica after winning a poetry competition organized among 189 expeditionaries there; met the British Prime Minister while studying at Oxford; attended audiences with two different popes, and was invited to the private home of the President of the United States and spent an hour in a one-on-one conversation about US government and politics with the President.

But at the end of his travels, Yount always returns to Philippi, where he and his wife Carol raised three daughters (Catherine Mullens, lawyer, Sarah Ferguson, artist and teacher, and Mary Beth McCloy, pastor, teacher and writer), as well. than 11 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Yount, who was a National Merit Scholar, attended six colleges and universities and graduated with top honors. He worked for the United States government near the Capitol in Washington, DC, and edited two different dailies. He then came to Philippi and became a professor at Alderson Broaddus University, where he also served for five years as rector and vice-president for academic affairs. His fellow deans from a region of five states elected him president of the deans of the College of Appalaches.

He loved to teach and loved his students, and they returned the favor, naming him eight times the Outstanding Professor at Philippi University, including winning the college award. “Outstanding teacher of the year” award in 2012, with a prize of $ 2,000, and being nominated by students five times as their candidate for the Statewide Faculty of the Year Outstanding Professor of Merit program. In this prestigious competition, he was a four-time finalist statewide and, in 2013, was named a statewide finalist, with a prize of $ 2,500. He was also honored on the floor of the West Virginia Legislature for his contributions to education in the state.

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Yount and his wife were exploring South America for the third time, in Ecuador, Chile, the Galapagos Islands and among the giant stone heads of Easter Island. The pandemic slowed their journeys, but Yount made good use of the lockdown time to write eight more books (to add to the four he had previously published). Two of the new ones are out of press, three more are ready for publication, and three more are in various stages of completion. Yount also writes a daily journal that he has kept for 60 years.

While in Philippi, he was President of the Philippi Kiwanis Club and helped raise thousands of dollars which was donated to youth organizations and activities. He has served as a deacon, president of the mission school, and chairman of the Philippi Baptist Church nominating committee, as well as moderator of the larger Union Baptist Association. He has served as the Barbour County Representative on the Region VII Planning and Development Council and the Educational Advisory Boards of Philip Barbour High School and Barbour County.

Of all the great places he’s visited, when asked what’s the best place to live and raise a family, his answer is always the same: West Virginia.

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