MURRAY, Ky. — Shirley Trail Lanier established an annual scholarship at Murray State University to benefit students pursuing a Bachelor of Integrated Studies degree at the University’s regional campus in Paducah.

The Shirley Trail Lanier Scholarship consists of $1,000 to be awarded annually to students pursuing integrated studies degrees on Murray State’s Paducah campus. Preference will be given to students declaring a field of study in communications but all integrated studies students on the Paducah campus are eligible for consideration and are encouraged to apply.

“The Bachelor of Integrated Studies program is a unique degree completion program for returning adult students,” said Dan Lavit, executive director of the Center for Adult and Regional Education at Murray State. “Students are able to select their emphasis from many areas of study, use prior college credit and even possibly turn work experience into credit. This scholarship is a wonderful opportunity for adult learners to stay in Paducah and finish their degrees at Murray State.”

Lanier is a long-time advocate for education and a professed life-long learner. After earning her associate degree from Paducah Community College in 1986, she joined the first cohort of students in Murray State’s integrated studies program and pursued an emphasis in organizational communication. She ultimately graduated magna cum laude in 1996. Since graduating, Lanier has served in a variety of professional roles, including entrepreneur, independent contractor, educator, social media manager and market/legal research strategist. She retired from the United States Enrichment Corporation in Paducah after 26 years and continued working at Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation before founding her own company, Lanier Strategies. She currently serves as a certified chaplain for Baptist Health Paducah and as a substitute school teacher for Paducah Public Schools.

Lanier created the scholarship in honor of her grandchildren — Elizabeth, William and Emma Lanier — and to leave a legacy demonstrating her love for the community and her commitment to education and lifelong learning.

“As a working mother who put myself through school, I was extremely interested in completing a bachelor’s degree when the Murray State integrated studies degree opportunity came knocking,” Lanier said. “Earning my bachelor’s degree has been a gateway to greater success in my professional world in addition to improving my marketability and financial stability.”

Visit to learn more about the Bachelor of Integrated Studies program. For more information about the Shirley Trail Lanier Scholarship, visit

Those interested in making a scholarship contribution to afford opportunities to Murray State students can visit to make a secure gift online or call toll-free at 1-877-282-0033 to give.

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