MURRAY, Ky. — The Murray State University Foundation will receive one of its largest single scholarship endowment gifts for the benefit of Murray State University students from the Bill and Louise Hatley Estate of Providence. This estate gift of nearly $3 million will establish an endowment for student scholarships in engineering technology and technical education programs.
“For many years, I had the honor of helping Mr. and Mrs. Hatley with their estate plans,” said Jason Hawkins, president of First United Bank and Trust Company in Madisonville. “Bill and Louise were caring and giving individuals and provided support for many causes and organizations, including this major gift to establish the Bill and Louise Hatley Endowed Scholarship with the Murray State University Foundation.”
Bill Hatley was a 1948 graduate of Wheatcroft High School, where he was a member of the basketball team, before earning his bachelor’s degree in industrial education and an administrator certificate from Murray State. He also earned a vocational certificate from the University of Kentucky.
Bill worked in vocational and technical education for his entire career. He retired in 1994 from vocational education after 41 years of service in nine counties. Some of his honors include being named Hopkins County Educator of the Year in 1987 and having the Madisonville Health Technology Center’s Hatley Building named for him in 1993. He passed away in 2009.
Louise Hatley was a customer service representative at West Kentucky Bank for 30 years. Both Louise and Bill were active members of White Oak General Baptist Church. In addition, Louise and Bill had significant family farming operations in Webster County. Louise passed away in 2017.
This gift will provide educational support and touch the lives of many students in the years to come.
“We are very pleased to receive this wonderful gift that will help Murray State University students in the important areas of industrial and engineering technology programs,” said Dr. Bob Davies, president of Murray State. “With our new state-of-the-art engineering facility, this gift is perfectly timed to assist students in this region and beyond.”
Bill and Louise were active in many community and charitable causes, and they had a long history of providing annual support to Murray State.
“I had the good fortune of knowing and working with Bill and Louise Hatley,” said Dr. Bob Jackson, president of the Murray State University Foundation. “They were wonderful and generous people and were lifelong supporters of public education — including Murray State University.”
Jackson added, “We are very grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Hatley for their dedication, vision and generous gift valued at nearly $3 million. Bill and Louise have established a wonderful legacy with the Bill and Louise Hatley Endowed Scholarship that will benefit students into perpetuity.”
Jackson announced that the Hatley Farm and two homes in Clay, located in Webster County, will be sold at auction this fall. More information will be forthcoming regarding an auction date and time along with related details.