The man who many say was instrumental in spotlighting Maysville’s role in the Underground Railroad will be honored with a scholarship named for him at his alma mater.
The Jerry Gore African-American Heritage Scholarship Fund has been established in recognition of the late Dr. Jerry Gore. A graduate of Morehead State University, and an employee for 27 years, Gore had a profound impact in promoting African American heritage and paving the way for significant change at MSU, according to information from the university’s website.
“He will forever be a part of this area through his involvement with the Underground Railroad,” Mason County Judge-Executive Joe Pfeffer said.
Pfeffer credited Gore and former Judge-Executive James L. “Buddy” Gallenstein with saving and restoring the May’s Lick cabin that was the childhood home of Col. Charles Young, who was among the first African Americans to attend West Point. Gore also enticed tour groups to place Maysville on their itineraries, which has continued even after Gore’s death in August 2016. In fact, a group of those who traveled to Mason County to take in Underground Railroad sites recently dedicated a monument to Gore at his gravesite.
During that ceremony, Gallenstein recalled his experiences with Gore.
“I came out here last night just to look at the monument and I wondered what Jerry would say. He used to say, ‘Momma Hattie caused all this. I stand on her shoulders and she stood on others shoulders’ and now it’s up to us to stand on his shoulders,” he said. “He touched hundreds of lives all across the country. He received numerous awards for his efforts and it’s only fitting this community recognizes him today. He was a teacher of history and a storyteller. We miss Jerry and I hope we’ll be able to continue on with his work.”
Gore often recalled how he descended from escaped slaves and often told the story of his ancestors to visitors to the area.
“He was big in life and he remains big in death,” Pfeffer said.
Not only was Gore an historian and a promoter of the area, but he was a positive influence on the entire community, Pfeffer said.
“He was always so positive about the future,” Pfeffer said.
Gore was a three-time MSU graduate who served the University in a variety of positions for 27 years before retiring as the Minority Student Affairs Director.
Nearly 150 alumni came together to make contributions totaling over $32,000 to endow the scholarship. The endowment will be managed by the MSU Foundation and investment income will be utilized to award a scholarship to an MSU student on an annual basis, according to MSU’s website.
Gallenstein said Gore did not get the recognition he deserved for everything he did for students so the scholarship is a fitting tribute to the man.
“Jerry’s legacy goes on,” he said.