President Kitts shares personal stories

Andrea Belk
Kenneth Kitts may be UNA’s president, but he is like everyone else, with several stories to tell. Besides being a professor of political science, he has also been a high school football announcer, tuba player and a potential agent for the CIA.

by Life Editor Tyler Hargett

Kenneth Kitts may be UNA’s President, but he is still like everyone else, with several life stories to tell. He recently sat down with The Flor-Ala to share five of his personal stories.

1. Kitts played tuba in high school.

During his four years at Tuscola High School in North Carolina, Kitts was a tuba player for the Marching Mountaineers band.

He started with the trumpet, but began playing tuba after the band needed a player for it.

During summers, he attended band camp. He said the band’s practice field was an asphalt parking lot, which was not helpful in hot August weather.

Kitts played a few more times after high school at different events.

He said he has not played the tuba for around 10 years, but would love the chance to play at UNA for the Pride of Dixie marching band.

2. The CIA recruited Kitts after college.

After Kitts received his bachelor’s in political science from Appalachian State University, he met with CIA recruiters.

“As graduation neared, I was thinking about government jobs,” he said. “Federal law enforcement, like FBI, appealed to me. “

Kitts conducted an interview with the CIA in Washington, D.C., and took an exam.

Kitts said, despite how far he got, he decided to pursue his master’s degree. Soon after, he became a college professor in political science.

He has since attended CIA conferences and taught CIA courses. He said he would like to teach one at UNA one day if his schedule permits.

3. Kitts was a football announcer for nearly 10 years.

In 2001, while Kitts was teaching at a nearby college, Latta High School asked him to be a football game announcer.

Kitts said the high school was small.

“A lot of players would also be in the marching band,” he said. “So, you’d have football players who would take off their jerseys and be out there with a trombone marching with the band at halftime.”

Kitts also did some announcing for the school’s pep rallies and homecoming.

He said he stopped announcing around 2010 after work and family made it harder to attend home games.

4. Kitts researches World War II submarines.

Kitts said his interest in WWII submarines comes from his father, who served in the U.S. Navy during that time.

Kitts’ said his particular interest was in the USS Bullhead, the final U.S. Navy ship enemies sunk during the war. His father almost served on the vessel.

“I always found that part of my father’s life, and his story, really fascinating,” he said.

Kitts has met with several relatives of victims of the sinking.

“It’s just kind of affirming and nice to be able to connect with those people and help them connect with the memories of their loved ones,” he said.

5. Kitts and his wife are fans of “The Walking Dead.”

Kitts said there is not much time for him and his wife to watch television in their home, but they never miss “The Walking Dead.”

“The show is very well-written, and there’s a lot more to the show and the plot than you would think,” he said.

Kitts said the show could make a good political science course.

“There’s no government, there’s no political system, and, yet, they still have to make decisions,” he said. “That’s Political Science 101.”

Kitts said his wife did not see the first season with him, but eventually began watching it.

“I think that she got tired of hearing me talk about how good it was,” he said. “So, probably to humor me, she agreed to watch an episode or two in season two. All of a sudden, she said, ‘This is good.’”

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