UPIKE Alumnus and Former Trustee Supported Students Through Giving

Bob and Carol Sparks

Dr. Bob Sparks and his wife, Carol

The service-driven legacy of Pike County native Dr. Bob Sparks will soon live on in the lives of scholarship recipients at the University of Pikeville (UPIKE).

For former UPIKE Trustee Dr. Bob Sparks (PC '62), pursuing a life of service to others began early. After graduating from Belfry High School and briefly attending Eastern Kentucky University on a basketball scholarship, Bob was called into military service.

Upon his discharge from the military, Bob received a basketball scholarship to attend Pikeville College. After graduating with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry and mathematics, Bob continued his education at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. He practiced dentistry for 41 years in Carlisle, Kentucky, serving alongside his lifelong friend and fellow Pike County native Dr. Leon Riggs.

Bob was a civic leader in his community, having served on the board of directors for the Deposit Bank of Carlisle and as chairman of the board for the First Christian Church. He was also an active Rotarian for more than 50 years. Bob also contributed to the health and quality of life of his community through his service on the Nicholas County Board of Health. He chaired the Nicholas County Recreation and Park Board while planning and fundraising for East End Park, which has been enjoyed by thousands of children since its opening in the 1970s.

His humanitarian involvement also led Bob to join the efforts of the Economic Development Authority Board, where he worked to bring industry and jobs to his community. Bob is also remembered in his community for his work with the Carlisle-Nicholas County Housing Authority Board, on which he successfully procured funding for low-income apartments to be made handicap accessible.

Known for his tireless passion, empathy for others and love of family and Eastern Kentucky, Bob's legacy continues in the many projects he moved forward as well as the scholarship established in his memory at UPIKE. The scholarship will be first awarded in fall 2019 to two undergraduate students.

You, like Bob, can leave a lasting legacy at UPIKE. Contact a Planned Giving Officer at (606) 218-5230 or plannedgiving@upike.edu to learn more.