MURRAY, Ky. — Since arriving at Murray State University, Daniel Bell has found communities to call his own in the Hutson School of Agriculture and the University’s ROTC program. Each organization and opportunity has led Bell to this point in time: preparing him to cross the finish line that is graduation.

“My time at Murray State University has developed me mentally and physically to prepare me for my upcoming career,” Bell said. “I have had the opportunity to gain ‘real world’ experience while still having the guidance and mentorship of caring faculty and staff.”

Bell, a senior from Olaton, will graduate this month with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. Following his graduation, he will commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Chemical Corps and relocate to his station in Seongnam, South Korea. After his time serving in the military, Bell hopes to establish a career in the beef management industry.

“I have been exposed to livestock my entire life due to my father’s career as a veterinarian,” Bell said. “He highly encouraged me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in animal science and to enroll in the ROTC program for the development and scholarship opportunities.”

The rest is, in many ways, history.

In addition to the professional development opportunities Bell discovered through the ROTC program, he also found a newfound passion for ultramarathons. In fact, Bell cites one of his greatest accomplishments as competing in the Double Top 100-mile Ultramarathon hosted in Chatsworth, Georgia, in April 2018. The race was long and demanding, pushing Bell to his limits and beyond, but he remained determined to see it through to the end and cross the finish line.

And, 27 hours later, he did just that.

“Throughout the course of the race, I doubted my ability to finish several times but by remaining determined and forcing my uncertainty aside, I finished strong: winning first place and setting a course record,” Bell said. “By not only finishing the race but also beating several seasoned ultra-marathoners, I proved to myself that I could conquer any tasks that I set myself toward.”

Bell plans to apply that same determination as he looks past graduation toward what comes next.

“I feel excited for the many upcoming opportunities I will have available to me thanks to my education,” Bell said. “This milestone means that there are challenges ahead of me that I am now prepared to face and overcome as I test my abilities and grow.”

Commencement services at Murray State will take place May 12 in the CFSB Center with an undergraduate ceremony at 9 a.m. and a graduate and doctoral ceremony at 2 p.m. Tickets will not be required for either ceremony. Use #RacerGraduation on social media to share the commencement experience. Additional information is available at

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