Alumni Awards and Recognition

Distinguished Alumni Dinner 

The Office of Alumni Relations hosts the annual dinner each April to honor the alumni who have made a meaningful contribution to their profession on a local, state and national level. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor granted by the Murray State Alumni Association, recognizing alumni who have excelled personally and professionally. Previous Distinguished Alumni award recipients include Pulitzer Prize winning journalists and renowned authors, research scientists and physicians, executives, educators, military leaders and Emmy Award-winning broadcasters.

Nominations are accepted each year until Dec. 15. Complete the nomination form online.

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients by Year

2022

  • Nancy Gibbs Becker, '63

  • Harold G. Doran, '75

  • Robert "Bud" Foster, '83

  • Steven Rudy, '00

  • Dr. Alissa Young, '89, '93

2021

  • Melissa Collins, `99

  • Bonnie Higginson, `75, `78

  • Alan Stout, `78

2020

  • Capt. Steven J. Blivin, '86

  • Janet Lomax-Smith, '76

  • Dr. Robert McGaughey, III, '65, '69 (posthumously)

  • Dr. Denise Rutherford, '84, '85

2019

  • Dr. Jay Akridge '82

  • Bill Beard '71

  • Felecia Dixon Henderson '83

  • Maj. Gen. Paul Johnson '80

  • Ernie Vande Zande '71 (posthumously)

2018

  • Dr. Florence Jones '75

  • Dr. Tim Miller '66 '67

  • Joe Owens '65

  • Patricia Summerville, Esq. '72

2017

  • Dr. Jesse D. Jones `64 `10

  • Earl Brown `86

  • Amy Watson `89

  • Dr. Vishwas Talwalkar `89

2016

  • David Beck `77

  • Bill Cunningham `66

  • Dennis Jackson `66

  • Janice Harper-Smith `63 `68

2015

  • Lucretia McClenney `72

  • Holly Bloodworth `85

  • David Dill `90

2014

  • Dr. Eddie Wells `62

  • Dr. E.L. Lancaster `70

  • Jack Wolf `71 `73

  • Steven Powless `77

2013

  • Timothy M. Adams `82

  • Dr. Jeffrey D. Armstrong `81

  • Dr. Charles L. Johnson `56

2011

  • Dr. Kenneth Atwater `77 `78

2009

  • Michael Hamilton `75

2008 

  • MG Mark Graham `77

  • Col. Lyle Cayce `78

2007

  • W. Dwight Armstrong `71

  • Judge Jerry Brown `54

  • Kris Robbins `81 `88

2006

  • Anna M. McHargue M.D. `56

2005

  • Dr. Don I. Tharpe `74 `75

2004

  • Rex Geveden `83 `84

2003

  • Harold Ford `49

  • Loretta Shearer M.D. `60

  • Dr. James Gnatt `71

2002

  • David E. Alexander `75

  • Lana Garner Porter `65 `72

2000

  • Dr. Ed Cupp `64

  • Arthur Fields `67 `68

  • Stephen A. Williams `72

1999

  • George Allbritten `55

  • Nick King `71

  • Scott Smith `84 `85

1998 

  • Edward G. Mcfarland M.D. `78

  • Dr. Donald W. Oliver `67

1997

  • Pamela Graham Anderson `80

  • Dr. Ricardo Artigas `72

  • Dr. Jimmy Clark `63

1996

  • Mac Anderson `68

  • Arthur Bauernfeind `60

  • Dr. Martha Ross Redden Ozer `66 `68

1995 

  • William Hutson `74

  • Dr. William Wiles `53

1993

  • Richard Hurt M.D. `66

  • Jerry Shroat `63

  • A.B. Waters `41

1992

  • Dr. Walter Bumphus `71

  • Tony DiPaolo `67

  • Ruby Krider `38

  • David Reed

1991

  • Thomas D. Hutchens `61

1990

  • Jackie Hays Bickel `79

  • Dr. Patrick I. Brown `65

  • Henry Earl Jones M.D. `61

  • Carl Mays `63

1989

  • Dr. Ted Callicott `49

  • Dr. John C. Snider `61

1988 

  • Dr. Wanda Durrett Bigham `56

  • Dr. Douglas C. Harris `61

  • Frank C. Miller M.D. `58

1987

  • David L. Armstrong `66

  • Thomas B. Logan M.D. `61

  • Dr. Jerry Pritchett Thornton `69

  • Jude Deveraux (Jude Gilliam White) `70

1986

  • Jerry Don Crutchfield

  • Charles W. Mercer M.D. `56

1985

  • MG Bobby F. Brashears `56

  • LTG John I. Hudson `71

  • BG (ret.) Mary Opdyke Marsh `51

  • Dr. Joseph Prince `59

  • Jerry Shields M.D. `56

1984 

  • Robert G. Burton `62

  • John Mack Carter `48

1983

  • Lewis R. Applegate Sr. `39

  • Dr. Roy L. Pruett `44

1982

  • Alex Harvey `64

  • Bill Morgan `50

  • John C. Quertermous M.D. `38

1981

  • Dr. Ray Mofield `43

  • Ed Norris `50

  • Dr. Gene Wells Ray `60

  • Dr. Gayle Douglass Rayburn `61

  • Tom Rickman `65

1980 

  • Charles W. McDowell `62

  • Dr. V. Jacque Voegeli `56

1979

  • Dr. John W. Hall II `58

  • Thomas Wheeler Johnson M.D. `47

  • Dr. Charles Howard Story `61

1978

  • Pat M. McCuistion `39

1977

  • Frank Ellis `35

  • Dr. June August Ellis `40

  • R. William Taylor `50

  • Samuel Rayburn Watkins `43

  • Harry W. Wilson Jr. `35

1976 

  • Dr. Van Bogard Dunn `46

  • Dr. L. J. Hortin `46

  • Dr. Donald M. Prince `48

1975

  • Dr. Dorothy White Harkins `43

  • Dr. Joe Morgan `35

  • William Harold Riddle `42

1974

  • Marion E. Burks `35

  • Martha Robertson Ellison `45

  • Dr. Robert Cecil Gentry `37

  • Dr. James Hocker Mason `34

  • Dr. Richard Max Shackelford `36

  • Harry Lee Waterfield `32

1972

  • Dr. Adron Doran `32

  • Max Hurt `27

1971

  • John Fetterman `48

  • Dr. J. Paul Hogan `42

  • Joe Torrence `36

1964

  • Dr. Forrest C. Pogue `31

1962 

  • Gene G. Graham `48

Top 22 Under 40 

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 nearly a century of difference-making since Murray State's founding in 1922. The 22 finalists were featured on the Murray State Young Alumni and Murray State University Alumni and Friends social media channels. Profiles of the class of 2021 are featured at the Young Alumni page.

Top 22 Under 40 Recipients by Year

  • Rebecca Ballard, '02

  • Jonathan Burdon, '10

  • Forrest Carver, '09

  • Caroline Cash, '11

  • Elizabeth Cawein, '07

  • Taylor J. Clements, '11

  • Rebecca Lynn Cunningham, '14

  • Curtis Dame, '10 and '12

  • Samantha Erwin, '11

  • Jessica Evans, '13 and '15

  • Andy Gibson, '16

  • MarTeze Hammonds, '06 and '08

  • Eli Hooten, '09

  • Dana Howard, '05 and '09

  • Ashley Ireland, '05

  • Chad Lampe, '06 and '08

  • Stephanie Miller, '10 and '12

  • Walter Powell, '14

  • David Schmoll, '11

  • Ronald Sickles, Jr., '11

  • Garis Stroud, '16

  • Noah Zipko, '13

Golden Horseshoe Award

Established in 1987, this award honors alumni whose dedication to Murray State has contributed to the continued growth and excellence of the University through university-held positions and/or exceptional volunteer support. The honoree’s name is added to the Golden Horseshoe plaque in the Easley Alumni Center.

Golden Horseshoe Award Recipients by Year

2022

  • Mr. Tab Brockman (’81)

  • Ms. Pamela Stocks Butler (’79, ’81)

  • Dr. Melvin Henley (’61, ’64, ’90)

  • Chief Jeff Liles (’90)

  • Mr. David Moss (’01, ’10)

  • Mr. Ronny Pryor (’79, ’83)

  • Dr. Jack Rose (’65, ’67, ’71) - posthumously

  • Mrs. Janice Rose (’67)

  • Mrs. Betsy Shroat (’63)

2017

  • Donna Herndon '64

2015

  • Dr. Robert McGaughey III '65

2014

  •  Richard McClintock `66

2012

  • Dr. Arthur J. Bauernfeind `60

  • Jim Cash `63

  • David Dill `90

  • Betsy Hudson Flynn

  • Cindy M. Hutson '90

  • Sue Hutson

  • Dr. Charles L. Johnson '56

  • Mrs. Marlene Johnson '57

  • Dr. Jesse D. Jones '64

  • Jerry Shroat '63

  • Heidi Shultz '92 '93

  • Dr. Jane Wells '60

2002

  • Dan Farris '74

2001

  • Olen F. Martin '49

  • Mancil Vinson '49

2000 

  • Eldon Heathcott `59

  • Brent Yonts `71

  • Jan Convington Yonts `71

1999

  • Joe Dick ' 49

  • J. Glenn Doran

  • Bob Jackson '85

  • Joe Pat James '57

1998

  • Richard Blalock `74

  • Hal Houston `58

  • Bill Morgan `50

1997

  • Janice Weaver

  • Freed Curd '59 '61

  • Mike Hamilton '70

1996

  • Jim Frank `50

  • Jeff Green '76

  • Richard Lewis '60

1995

  • Charles Leroy Eldridge '51

  • J. Marshall Gage '60

  • Virginia Strohecker

1994

  • Bill Cherry '51

  • Adron Doran '32

  • Bailey Gore '51

1993 

  • James Davis '40

  • Wilson Gnatt `41

  • Pat McCuiston '39

  • Dan Shipley `54

1992

  • Owen Billington `36

  • Marilyn Reed Buchanon `73

  • LeRoy Offerman `39

  • Thomas O. Walker `47

1991

  • L.J. Hortin `43

  • George E. Long II `68

  • William Ray Mofield `43

  • Rubie E. Smith `33

1990

  • William Ben Humphreys `50

  • Emma Sue Gibson '43

  • L.D. Miller `37

  • Forrest C. Pogue `31

1989

  • Robert G. Burton `62

  • J.D. Rayburn `35

1988

  • James W. “Bill” Carneal '40

  • Lochie Broach Hart `47

  • George R. Sheridan `47

  • Richard H. Stout '60

  • Harry Lee Waterfield `32

1987 

  • Evelyn Linn Allbritten '26

  • Sid Easley `62

  • S. Jack Gardner `27

  • Max B. Hurt `27

  • Auburn J. Wells `29

Distinguished Professor Award

Established in 1964, this student-nominated award recognizes an outstanding faculty member who has had a profound and positive influence on students, both inside and outside of the classroom. The Distinguished Professor is awarded in a surprise classroom visit, receives a $1,000 cash award, and leads the faculty processional at May commencement. The honoree also will have his or her name added to the Distinguished Professor plaque in Faculty Hall.

Distinguished Professor Award Recipients by Year

  • 2021: William DeWees

  • 2020: David Ferguson

  • 2019: Steve Lacewell

  • 2018: Susan Edington

  • 2017: John Dressler

  • 2016: Daniel Wann

  • 2015: Winfield Rose

  • 2014: Don Chamberlain

  • 2013: Pat Williams

  • 2012: Steve Jones

  • 2011: Ricky Cox

  • 2010: John Fannin

  • 2009: Charlotte Beahan

  • 2008: David Kraemer

  • 2007: Bonnie McNeely

  • 2006: Celia Wall

  • 2005: Steve Cobb

  • 2004: David Earnest

  • 2003: Janice Hooks

  • 2002: Milton Grimes

  • 2001: Ken Wolf

  • 2000: Bonnie Higginson

  • 1999: Mark Malinauskas

  • 1998: Frank Julian

  • 1997: Rose Marie Bogal-Allbritten

  • 1996: Vernon Gantt

  • 1995: Farouk Umar

  • 1994: Suzanne Keesler

  • 1993: Gene Garfield

  • 1992: Chad Stewart

  • 1991: Tim Miller

  • 1990: Robert McGaughey

  • 1989: Charles Smith

  • 1988: Harvey Elder

  • 1987: William Ray Mofield

  • 1986: Howell R. Clark

  • 1985: John Thompson

  • 1984: Harold Eversmeyer

  • 1983: Charles Homra

  • 1982: Howard Giles

  • 1981: Robert W. Head

  • 1980: George Britt, Jr.

  • 1979: Robert. L. Hendon

  • 1978: Frances Brown

  • 1977: John C. Winter

  • 1976: Rex Alexander

  • 1975: Richard W. Farrell

  • 1974: Robert Alsup

  • 1973: Rubie Smith

  • 1972: E.B. Howton

  • 1971: Karl Hussung

  • 1970: William B. Taylor

  • 1969: Robert Barr

  • 1968: Evelyn Linn Allbritten

  • 1967: Walter Blackburn

  • 1966: Max Carman

  • 1965: Liza Spann

  • 1964: C.S. Lowery

Distinguished Researcher Award

Established in 2002, this award acknowledges an outstanding faculty member for his or her excellence in research. The Distinguished Researcher Award signifies the importance of faculty research and its vital role to the growth of Murray State’s educational environment. The honoree receives a $1,000 cash award and will have his or her name added to the Distinguished Researcher plaque in the Easley Alumni Center. The award is granted in one of the following areas: Arts and Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences, or Science, Technology and Mathematics. For more information on the nomination and selection process please contact the Office of the Provost at 270.809.3744.

Distinguised Researcher Award Recipients by Year

  • 2021: Gary Stinchcomb

  • 2020: Joshua Adair

  • 2019: Alexey Arkov

  • 2018: Randall Black

  • 2017: L. Murphy Smith

  • 2016: Howard Whiteman

  • 2015: Michael D'Ambrosio

  • 2014: Tan Zhand

  • 2013: Glynn Mangold

  • 2012: William Mulligan

  • 2011: Robert Martin

  • 2010: Michael Bokeno

  • 2009: Nicole Hand

  • 2008: Duane Bolin

  • 2007: Bommanna Loganathan

  • 2006: Ramesh Gupta

  • 2005: Daniel Wann

  • 2004: Joseph Fuhrmann

  • 2003: Gary Jones

  • 2002: David White

Emerging Scholar Award

Established in 2008, this award acknowledges a Murray State faculty member who is in the early stages of his or her career and shows professional promise through superior research or creative work. The Emerging Scholar receives a  cash award and also has his or her name added to the Emerging Scholar plaque in the Easley Alumni Center. For more information on the nomination and selection process please contact the Office of the Provost at 270.809.3744.

Emerging Scholar Award Recipients by Year

2021

  • Yousif Abulhassan

  • Cemil Kuzey 

2020

  • Marcie Venter

  • Michelle Panchuk

2019

  • Bikram Subedi

  • Danielle Muzina

2018

  • Urmi Engineer

  • Gary ZeRuth

2017

  • Vladyslav Krotov

  • Diane Nitiham-Tunney

2016

  • Randall Bunker

  • Joshua Ridley

2015

  • Janna Hackathorn

2014

  • Bellarmine Ezumah

2013

  • Kevin Miller

2012

  • Michael Flinn

2011

  • Juyong Song

2010

  • Timothy Johns

2009

  • Alexey Arkov

2008

  • Robin Zhang

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