Racer Young Alumni

Top 22 Under 40 — Class of 2023

The Murray State University Alumni Association Young Alumni Council announces the Top 22 Under 40 class. We are honoring the most influential, innovative and inspiring Murray State alumni under the age of 40, who have distinguished themselves among their peers and continue to make a significant impact on the world. Why 22? Because everyone does the 40 thing! And, we want to pay tribute to a century of difference-making since Murray State's founding in 1922. 

  • Christian Barnes

    Christian Barnes

    2018, 2019

  • Dr. Becca Parker-Bell

    Dr. Becca Parker-Bell


  • Sarah Burgess

    Sarah Burgess


  • Kristopher Cowan

    Kristopher Cowan


  • Tamela Darnell

    Tamela Darnell

    2008 & 2012

  • Ashley Fritsche

    Ashley Fritsche

    2006, 2008, 2012 & 2019

  • Jennifer Gilkey

    Jennifer Gilkey

    2006 & 2008

  • Dr. Meg Stone-Heaberlin

    Dr. Meg Stone-Heaberlin


  • Edwin King

    Edwin King


  • Luke King

    Luke King


  • Dr. Brie LaJeret

    Dr. Brie LaJeret

    2009 & 2020

  • Sawyer Lawson

    Sawyer Lawson



Distinguished Young Alumni 2024

Nominations for 2024 will open soon. Those that have been nominated for 2023 have been contacted to complete their applications. For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800.758.8510 or email msu.raceryoungalumni@murraystate.edu. Nominations are due Sept. 30 each year.

Nomination criteria

  • Be under the age of 40 as of December 31, 2022.
  • Have earned an associate, undergraduate or graduate degree from Murray State University
  • Exhibit and embrace Murray State University's mission and core values
  • Demonstrate a lifelong commitment to alma mater
  • Have made a significant impact in their industry and community
  • Be willing to submit a head shot and other biographical information to be used for publicity purposes by Murray State University. Nominees will be contacted in early October to submit information needed for the selection process by November 1, 2022.

Young Alumni Network

Through the Young Alumni network, we aim to provide engagement opportunities from networking with other fellow Murray State grads, to assisting in the recruitment efforts of future Racers and even cheering on the Racers at tailgates and watch parties! From near and far, Racer Young Alumni can become active members in their own communities by participating in a local chapter near you, in addition to providing critical scholarship support through giving. There are many ways to be involved in the next generation of Racer spirit as brighter days return to the finest place we know. We are connected. We are family. We are Racers. —Christian Barnes, '18, '19, Young Alumni Network President

Join now

There is no additional cost to join the Young Alumni Network. In order to participate, you only need to be a paid member of the Murray State University Alumni Association ($40 annually for single membership/$60 annually for joint membership).

Join the Alumni Association


  • Graduate of the last decade
  • Under 40 and
  • Have a passion for all things Blue and Gold!


The Murray State University Young Alumni Network serves to support recent graduates with programs and communications that are uniquely tailored to your own needs by fostering relationships, facilitating networking activities and creating a fervent culture of giving among Murray State’s young alumni.


The Murray State University Young Alumni Network seeks to keep our young alumni connected and involved with all things Blue and Gold. Though your time as a student is over, it remains our vision to keep young alumni connected through alumni engagement, student recruitment, university development, and legislative advocacy.


The name of the organization shall be the Murray State University Young Alumni (YA). The governing body of the YA shall be the Murray State University Young Alumni Council (YAC). The Murray State Young Alumni shall be formed as an affinity network affiliated with the Murray State University Alumni Association. Read Bylaws 

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