MURRAY, Ky. — The Murray State Alumni Association is proud to announce that four outstanding Murray State alumni have been selected as the 2018 recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award. They will be honored during the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on April 27 at 6 p.m. in the Murray Room of the CFSB Center.


Established in 1962, the Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to alumni who have made meaningful contributions to their professions on a local, state and national level. This award is the highest honor an alumnus could receive from the Murray State Alumni Association and stands to recognize alumni who have excelled personally and professionally. Among the recipients of the award are Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and renowned authors, research scientists and physicians, executives, educators, military leaders and Emmy Award-winning broadcasters. Joining them this year will be Dr. Florence Jones, Dr. Tim Miller, Joe Owen and Patricia Summerville, Esq.


An official headshot of Dr. Florence Jones.
Pictured: Dr. Florence Jones

Jones, a 1975 nursing alumna, has served more than 25 years in the healthcare industry and has broken through countless barriers of gender and race throughout her years of experience. Jones has established a reputation for collaborative and inspirational leadership during her career. Among her many professional accomplishments, she also served the U.S. as a first lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps for the United States Army Reserve from 1977–1980. She currently serves as the CEO of Methodist North Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.


An official headshot of Dr. Tim Miller.
Pictured: Dr. Tim Miller

Miller, who graduated in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and in 1967 with a Master of Business Administration, has most recently served as the 12th president of Murray State University and is a highly respected academic leader and professor of accounting. He has spent more than 40 years in the classroom and has personally impacted hundreds of students throughout his teaching career. Miller has received numerous teaching awards, including the Outstanding Teacher Recognition Award in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business (1982), Distinguished Professor (1991), Outstanding Teacher in the Department of Accounting (1998–99) and the Regents Award for Teaching Excellence (2008). He was also recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus by the department of accounting in 2011.


An official headshot of Joe Owen.
Pictured: Joe Owen

Owen is a well-respected lawyer, business owner and real estate developer. Under his leadership as owner and CEO, Guardian Healthcare Providers Inc. has grown exponentially from 160 employees in 2001 to as many as 1,500 more recently. In addition, Owen is a managing member of a Nashville real estate group that is, literally, changing Music City’s skyline with condominium and hotel projects completed, under construction or in the development stages totaling over $250 million. He is a dedicated Racer who serves on the Murray State Foundation Board of Trustees and is an avid Racer football and basketball fan.


An official headshot of Dr. Patricia Summerville.
Pictured: Patricia Summerville

Summerville completed her bachelor’s degree in art in just three years in 1972. She went on to tackle three additional academic degrees, including education, healthcare administration and law. Her career has included teaching art, serving as a hospital administrator and practicing law. Her dedication to Murray State continues to this day as she has made numerous monetary gifts in her name to support the University, including scholarships for students in printmaking and nursing. Summerville has never hesitated to volunteer her time to participate in workshops and lectures as well as to mentor students.


All of the recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award will have an opportunity to speak about their professional experiences and memories of Murray State during the awards dinner. The banquet is open to the public and tickets are available for $50 at


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