He was often called "Mr. Kentucky Wesleyan," and justifiably so, for if anyone embodied the spirit of the dream, of the greatness and potential of this wonderful college, it was Talmage Edward Hocker.
His visions became his legacy in Owensboro throughout several neighborhoods and shopping areas around the city, but nowhere is it more evident than on the campus of Kentucky Wesleyan College. The majestic columns from the Winchester campus that define Hocker-Hall Grove stand as a result of his vision of linking the old with the new.
Talmage Hocker was an educator and an entrepreneur. After graduating from KWC in 1927 (majoring in mathematics and physics), he taught in the Owensboro school system for 16 years. Talmage left teaching to devote his full time to home building and later to the real estate business. He built Wesleyan Park Plaza Shopping Center, which opened in 1964.
Talmage put his visions into action. He played a critical and leading role in getting Kentucky Wesleyan College to Owensboro, and then for the next 40-plus years, investing his time, his energy and his emotion in the success of his vision. He served as Alumni President from 1955-1959 and received the first Alumnus of the Year Award in 1974. Talmage was a charter member of the All-American All-Sports Club.