Estate gift from lifelong fan and alumnus to benefit Murray State Racer Athletics22 Jun 2017
MURRAY, Ky. — A generous estate gift in the amount of $530,000 from the late James R. “Jim Bob” Kevil will directly benefit Murray State Racer Athletics. Kevil, a Murray State alumnus and long-time supporter of the athletics program, passed away in August 2015 at age 76.
“Jim Bob Kevil was an outstanding supporter of Murray State and its athletics program. He very rarely missed a game, and we could always count on him for unconditional support,” said Allen Ward, Murray State director of athletics. “This extraordinary gift is another example of Jim Bob’s dedication to the success of our program. We miss Jim Bob dearly, but his impact on our program lives on. We will always be grateful for his tremendous generosity.”
Kevil, who was born and raised in Princeton, received a Bachelor of Science in Business as well as a Bachelor of Science in History/Political Science in 1962 while also receiving a Masters of Arts in Education in 1965.
Col. George F. Barber, Kevil’s cousin as well as a fellow Murray State alumnus, recalled that Kevil’s recognition and appreciation of Murray’s close-knit campus community as a student provided a foundation toward a personal, lifelong relationship with the University.
Kevil extended the same care and attention shown to him by Murray State faculty and staff as a teacher and assistant principal for students at Caldwell County High School. Kevil also served as vice president and trust officer at Farmer’s Bank & Trust Co. in Princeton.
Most supporters of Murray State athletics remember Kevil as a deeply rooted fan, friend and advocate of coaches and players, particularly with the football and men’s basketball programs. Kevil was a longstanding season ticket holder of both sports, regularly attending home games as well as road contests such as the Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament.
Barber recalled that some of Kevil’s favorite coaches included former basketball coach Billy Kennedy and former football coach Houston Nutt. One of Kevil’s favorite Murray State moments took place in 2010 when the 13th-seeded Racers delivered a thrilling one-point win over fourth-seed Vanderbilt University, thanks to a game-winning jumper by Danero Thomas. A picture of the buzzer-beating shot signed by Kennedy remained in Kevil’s house for years.
“Jim Bob had a close association with Murray State and derived such enjoyment in being associated with the athletics program,” said Barber. “He had a very strong appreciation and connection with the coaches and players with a great deal of respect for them and their values. He felt that Murray State was one of the places he’d like to leave something with and positively impact.”
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