Q&A with CPE Chair Lucas Mentzer, Part 1
September 07, 2021
Lucas Mentzer, of Lexington, serves as chair of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. He has nearly 20 years of experience in information technology at the state, national and global level and holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Centre College.
This Q&A is the first in a multi-part series. Upcoming topics include affordability, strategic planning and more.
What is your higher education story, and does that motivate you to serve on the Council?
My higher education experience absolutely motivates my service to the Council! I was blessed to come from a family that believed strongly in higher education. My father grew up in a small rural town in northern West Virginia where higher education was unheard of for most people. He was instilled with a passion for learning that he and my mother passed on to me and my sisters. I remember he used to tell us that education and the money it brings does not buy you happiness. It buys you freedom -- the freedom to determine what you want your life to be like.
I knew early on that higher education was on my path. I was excited to be accepted to and attend Centre College here in Kentucky. The liberal arts education I received only strengthened my ability and desire to learn. Through my time at Centre, I was able to travel abroad, which allowed me to see parts of the world I would never have experienced and interact with people from a variety of backgrounds.
I’ve seen firsthand the barriers that higher education can break. I’ve seen families lifted out of poverty from the results that higher education provides.
Throughout my working career, I have continued my travels. Some of the people I’ve met have benefited from higher education, while others have not had the opportunity. These experiences solidified for me the criticality of education. I’ve seen firsthand the barriers that higher education can break. I’ve seen families lifted out of poverty from the results that higher education provides. I strongly believe that obtaining higher education is the single greatest thing an individual can do to improve the course of their life. This motivates me to work hard to make higher education accessible and affordable for every Kentuckian.
Last Updated: 9/26/2021