MURRAY, Ky. — For the first time, donors have established a faculty fellowship to support the nonprofit leadership studies program, now housed in the Department of Organizational Communication and Leadership within the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business at Murray State University.
The Patricia and Robert Long Endowed Faculty Fellowship will be endowed with a $105,000 donation from the Longs to recognize and support the program director for the Murray State University Nonprofit Leadership Studies Program (NLS). Dr. Bob and Patricia Long, loyal and long-time supporters of the NLS program, wanted to empower the faculty member serving in this critical role and help them ensure that all Murray State students become more effective leaders dedicated to helping people improve the quality of their lives and the communities in which they live.
Dr. Long said the NLS program provides real-world opportunities to apply leadership and management competencies throughout its curriculum.
“Program alumni are champions of philanthropy and nonprofit innovation by virtue of their decision to undertake careers in service to the public good,” he said. “The positive impact of their service is a central reason we are committed to this program.”
“Choosing a faculty fellowship as the structure for our gift was important for us because we believe this program should be able to recruit and retain the best and brightest faculty from across the country to teach and train our Murray State students, so that they can be leaders at both a community and national level,” he said.
Dr. David Eaton, interim dean of the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, said Dr. Long has been an instrumental part of the growth and reputation of the NLS program at Murray State.
“The Patricia and Bob Long Endowed Faculty Fellowship will provide resources to allow for the continued growth of the NLS program and continued opportunities for our students,” he said. “We have been blessed to have Patricia and Bob as part of the Murray State family, and we will continue to be blessed by their involvement through this gift.”
Dr. Michael Bokeno, chair of the Department of Organizational Communication and Leadership, echoed the appreciation for the Long’s support by saying, “I want to express our gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for this gift, and in turn the many doors and opportunities it will open,” he said. “This legacy of support will continue long past Dr. Long’s tenure here.”
The Longs came to Murray in 2008 after careers serving vulnerable children and their families. Patricia was dedicated to strengthening families in the inner-city through the Cooperative Extension Service and building family and community capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean region with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Bob was dedicated to youth and leadership development with the Cooperative Extension Service and innovation in addressing the challenges facing vulnerable children in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
During an extended Kellogg Foundation project on emerging nonprofit and philanthropic studies, the Longs connected with Murray State’s Nonprofit Leadership Program. In 2008, Dr. Long retired from the W.K. Foundation to become the Murray State University Visiting Distinguished Professor of Nonprofit Leadership.
At the time of his retirement in 2020, the Nonprofit Leadership Studies program moved into the Department of Organization Communication and Leadership in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, launching a new era, closely aligned with its curricular foundations in leadership and management. The move included the establishment of the Murray State University Nonprofit Resource Center to provide outreach education and support to nonprofits across the region.
For more information on how to support the growth of the Nonprofit Leadership Studies program, please contact Brian Canerdy, director of development for the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, at 270-809-3123.