MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information regarding recent news, notes and accomplishments from Murray State University for the week of Jan. 8–12.


In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Murray State is hosting several events Jan. 14–15, including the annual MLK Jr. Day of Service, with the overarching theme of “Living the Dream: Embracing Inclusive Excellence.”

“This event exemplifies one of the key components of our Community Pledge and that is, ‘creating an atmosphere of positive engagement,’” said SG Carthell, senior director of diversity initiatives at Murray State. “My hope is that we will see an outpouring of support for Dr. King’s legacy and his principles of service to our communities.”

A candlelight march and vigil will take place Sunday, Jan. 14. All who wish to attend are encouraged to line up for the march at 5:30 p.m. outside Pogue Library. The march will begin at 5:45 p.m. with those in attendance making their way to Elizabeth College and the MLK Jr. monument at that time. The evening will also include reflections and a reading of Luther’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Then, on Jan. 15, the MLK Jr. Day of Service Community Project will begin with an item collection for the campus/community-wide Bring Back Initiative. Students are encouraged to consider bringing back items for donation upon returning from winter break. All donated items will support local service agencies.

Collection for the Bring Back Initiative takes place from 8 to 10:15 a.m. in the Curris Center’s Banquet Room 1. Items collected from the community project will then be sorted from 10:15 to noon before being delivered to local nonprofit organizations.

In addition to the community project, the Community Breakfast & Keynote will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the banquet room. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to RSVP using the university calendar or via email by Jan. 11. The breakfast will feature a keynote presentation from Rev. Donna Hawkins, ’77, ’79, pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Paducah and graduate of Murray State.

For more information about events and activities during the 2018 MLK Jr. Day of Service or to RSVP for the Community Breakfast & Keynote, please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 270-809-6836 or


The Hutson School of Agriculture at Murray State partnered with Beck’s Practical Farm Research in 2017 to collaborate in industry-wide research efforts.

“One of our goals within the Hutson School of Agriculture is to utilize our farm laboratories to assist our students and regional agriculture,” said Dr. Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture. “This practical farm research takes our partnership with Beck’s to the next level. It allows us to work with this great company on research trials that are educational for our students and that will provide impactful information for regional agriculture.”

Beck’s Hybrids is a family-owned and -operated seed company that serves farmers in 11 states, including Kentucky. In 2017, they began working with Murray State to study a wide variety of topics, including current soybean and corn research. This research was conducted on the University’s farm sites by agriculture students.

The collaboration was organized by Jason Robertson, farm manager for the Hutson School of Agriculture, to help the college fulfill its goal of using available resources to support regional agriculture.

“Murray State students and farm employees get hands-on experience with not only the day-to-day work needed for these projects, but they also learn how to set up research projects and work with industry partners,” Robertson said. “The Hutson School of Agriculture uses the plot research for teaching purposes as well. More often than not you’ll see our staff agronomist, Dr. David Ferguson, somewhere on the farm giving his classes hands-on experience with aspects of crop production and gleaning the first-hand knowledge provided by our research plots.”

In addition to collaborating with the University on various research projects, Beck’s Hybrids is a prime sponsor for Murray State’s regionally- and nationally-competitive crops and soils teams.

“Beck’s Hybrids has been a long-standing partner with Murray State agriculture, having hired graduates and interns as well as providing much-needed sponsorships for our Soil and Crop Judging teams,” Brannon said.

Learn more about Murray State’s research with Beck’s Hybrids by visiting


Applications for general scholarships for the 2018–19 academic year at Murray State are due Jan. 16 at 4:30 p.m. CST. The application can be accessed on the Financial Aid tab in students’ myGate accounts. Please note that filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to receive scholarships for undergraduate students.

For more information about scholarship opportunities and deadlines at Murray State, please visit


Donna Jones Baker, a a Murray State alumna, will serve as the keynote speaker for the MLK Luncheon hosted by the Paducah/McCracken County NAACP on Jan. 15.

Baker, who works as the president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, plans to discuss the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and modern race relations, according to J.W. Cleary, president of the local NAACP.


A Murray State alumna recently received the Cap Gardner Award from the city of Owensboro in recognition of exemplary service. The award was given to Bailey Bennett, who graduated with a degree in engineering technology in 2010 and now works as a city engineering technician in Owensboro.

Students, faculty and staff participate in the 2016 Annual MLK Jr. Day of Service Community Project, sorting items for the campus/community-wide Bring Back Initiative.
Students, faculty and staff participate in the 2016 Annual MLK Jr. Day of Service Community Project, sorting items for the campus/community-wide Bring Back Initiative. The 2018 project takes place Monday, Jan. 15, and students are encouraged to bring back items for donation upon returning from winter break. All donated items will support local service agencies.
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