The Murray State University board of regents officially approved the naming of the MSU Hutson School of Agriculture at its quarterly meeting last Friday. This move represents the first time at Murray State that a school or college has been named for an individual.

The school was named in recognition of the Hutson family’s support of and contributions to agriculture in western Kentucky and the surrounding region, and for the Hutsons’ substantial financial support of the university and, specifically, its school of agriculture. “The new Hutson School of Agriculture is a permanent legacy to a wonderful family that has contributed a great deal to agriculture and Murray State during the past many years,” said Dr. Randy Dunn, MSU president. “Doing this naming — the first for a collegiate unit at MSU — creates a new chapter in our history, and the gifts from Cindy and Sue Hutson are ones that will leave an indelible mark on the university and its future students.”

Cumulative gifts from the Hutson family total $3 million. The family’s agriculture history in Murray and the region dates back to the university’s founding in the 1920s. Nicholas Hutson started a fertilizer and agriculture supply business during that time — a business that was continued and grown by Dan Hutson Sr. and Dan Hutson II.

“I am very pleased that Dan Sr., Dan II and the Hutson family will be honored with the naming of the school of agriculture. We are appreciative to Murray State for this honor and we are extremely pleased that we can be of assistance to this wonderful university that serves our region so well. My hope is that the Hutson School of Agriculture will continue to excel and provide many wonderful opportunities for our students now and into the future,” noted Sue Hutson, widow of Dan Sr.

Her daughter-in-law and wife of the late Dan II, Cindy Hutson, agrees with her, adding, “We are very thankful that we can provide these gifts to MSU to support agriculture, future students and the new Hutson School of Agriculture.”

Most recently, the Hutsons donated a 160-acre research and laboratory farm to the university as a part of MSU’s comprehensive campaign, Hold Thy Banner High: The Campaign for the Students of Murray State University.

“We are deeply grateful to the entire Hutson family for their many contributions to agriculture and their unwavering support of MSU. The Hutson family is synonymous with agriculture in this region and this naming is appropriate as a legacy and testament of their support and dedication,” said Bob Jackson, MSU associate vice president for development and governmental relations and campaign director.

“The opportunity to associate the prestigious Hutson name to our school of agriculture is certainly desirable. Their donation is recognition of the past work of all of our past and present faculty and staff to provide a quality education in agriculture for over 3,200 outstanding alumni and our 770 current students, and we are happy that the Hutson family had the faith to recognize our potential for continued excellence,” said Dr. Tony Brannon, agriculture dean.

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