Derek Glisson Memorial Scholarship surges past $100,000 thanks to tractor pull event

By Abby Hensley | Feb 7, 2023

Pictured from left to right, Dr. Tony Brannon, Robert Swift, Jeanna Glisson and Abby Hensley

Pictured from left to right, Dr. Tony Brannon, Robert Swift, Jeanna Glisson and Abby Hensley

MURRAY, Ky. – Since 2009, the Derek Glisson Memorial Scholarship has enabled 33 students to pursue studies in agriculture at Murray State University, thanks in large part to funds raised by the Derek Glisson Memorial Truck & Tractor Pull, held in 2017 and 2022. This past year’s event sold out the Calloway County Fairgrounds and raised enough funds to push the scholarship over the $100,000 mark. 

Derek Glisson was a junior at Murray State pursuing a degree in Agriculture when he died in a tragic accident on his family’s farm in Calloway County August 20, 2007. He was known as a hard worker and planned to graduate from college and then follow his dream to one day manage his grandfather’s 3,000-acre farm.

Jeanna Glisson, Derek’s mother, said the family started the tractor pull to raise money to memorialize Derek by helping other students who shared his love of agriculture and farming. 

“We have chosen the month of August because it has brought us great joy to do something that helps us remember him and the things he loved rather than dwelling on all that we lost the day he died,” said Jeanna. “Education is a gift that lasts a lifetime, and we are so happy that we can help other young people pursue their dreams in doing the same things that he loved. This past August was our second pull, and our goal was to push the scholarship over $100,000, and we did that!”

Dr. Brian Parr, interim dean of Murray State’s Hutson School of Agriculture, said, “It’s great to see how the generosity exhibited in honor of Derek has helped so many students achieve their career goals and success through a quality education. I am sincerely grateful to Derek’s family and supporters who have made these opportunities possible.” 

The family plans to hold the tractor pull again in the future to continue to help even more students pursue their agricultural studies at Murray State. For more information about the Derek Glisson Memorial Scholarship and how to contribute, please contact Abby Hensley, director of development for the Hutson School of Agriculture, at or 270-809-3131.

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