Road Trips: Cardens keep giving it the old college try

Courtesy of the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer

Suzi Bartholomy, 691-7293,    

When David Carden was a kid, he often went to work with his dad, Goldman, at Kentucky Wesleyan College.

“I liked being here,” David Carden said Friday morning in the office of Roy Pickerell, sports information director at KWC.

Goldman Carden retired after 37 years in the facilities department of the college. For the past 17 years, David Carden has been a member of the same department. Since 1966, six members of the Carden family have worked at KWC, including David Carden’s mother, Eva.

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Photo by Jenny Sevcik, Messenger-Inquirer/, 691-7294 David Carden, who is part of the maitenance crew that works at Kentucky Wesleyan College, loads a ladder in an elevator at Kendall Hall on Friday as he prepares to go into the attic of the building to check an electric breaker.

“There has been a Carden working here since I was a freshman in 1971,” said Pickerill, who in 1975 was named sports information director and holds the record of the position at KWC. “I basically knew all the Cardens.”

“Uncle Ray spent his life here,” David Carden said. “He was a big influence on me. I saw that he liked his job but never planned on it to play out like this.”

“I find it interesting that one family could serve an institution for so long,” Pickerell said.

There are many faces in any business that contribute to its success, and the Cardens have played a part in the success of KWC, Pickerell said.

A well-run facility, which includes free-running drains to reliable air-conditioning and heating units, are important to a campus, Pickerell said.

David Carden, 45, had worked in manufacturing before joining KWC. “I hope to be here until I retire,” he said. “I like coming to work.

“I do what is asked of me whether it’s helping with snow removal or replacing a light bulb,” Carden said. 

He’s not part of the housekeeping staff, but he said he’s proud of the fact that when visitors come into the buildings, they remark at how clean they are. 

“The atmosphere is what keeps me here,” Carden said. “I have great co-workers.”

“The people I work with are more than colleagues, they are friends,” Pickerell said. “David and his family are very special.”

Suzi Bartholomy, 691-7293,    

Top photo: Photo by Jenny Sevcik, Messenger-Inquirer/, 691-7294 With his toolbelt in tow, David Carden walks down a hall at Kentucky Wesleyan College’s Woodward health & Recreation Center on Friday as he prepares to look into any maintenance issues on his daily work order at the college.