Futrell Endowed Professorship in Agricultural Science

Futrell Endowed Professorship in Agricultural Science

By Alex Pologruto | May 15, 2023

Futrell family

Mr. and Mrs. Ray and Jewel Thomas Futrell pictured with their son, Tim Futrell.

MURRAY, Ky. – The Ray and Jewel Thomas Futrell Endowed Professorship is the first establishment of an endowed professorship to support the agricultural science program in the Hutson School of Agriculture at Murray State University. The generous gift comes from the Futrell’s son, Tim Futrell of Trigg County, to memorialize his parent’s love of education and dedication to agriculture.

The major gift will be matched through the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s Endowment Match Program, also known as Bucks for Brains. Thanks to an appropriation from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the program matches public money with private gifts to fund endowed faculty positions in the STEM-H fields. This collaboration is critical to advancing Kentucky’s research presence into national prominence. This program encourages donor investment by doubling their gift commitment.

Ray Futrell graduated from Murray State in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. He was in the Pre-Med Club, President of the Trigg County Club and was also a member of the Biology and Chemistry Clubs.

Jewel Thomas Futrell graduated from Murray State in 1945 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and began teaching at the young age of 19 years old in a rural one-room schoolhouse during World War II.  

Mr. and Mrs. Futrell both grew up on their family farms and eventually each owned their own farm. Ray Futrell farmed in Trigg and Todd counties most of his adult life and served 32 years as Trigg County Property Valuation Administrator. He was also a longtime director of Shady Lawn Nursing Home, Inc. Jewel Thomas Futrell taught elementary education for 32 years in the Trigg County Schools.

Mr. and Mrs. Futrell always encouraged the importance of education and agriculture. 

“I want to honor my parents and recognize their love for Murray State,” said Tim Futrell. “I hope that future students can have the same success in life that my parents enjoyed. Educators at every level, especially in college, should be supported and honored. That’s what I hope this new endowed fund will help to accomplish.”

“The Ray and Jewel Thomas Futrell Endowed Professorship in Agricultural Science will provide resources to support the recruitment and retention of excellent faculty,” said Dr. Brian Parr, interim dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture. “I am very thankful for this important investment in our faculty that will undoubtedly have a positive and perpetual effect on our students!”

With the University’s Be Bold: Forever Blue & Gold Centennial Campaign underway, Dr. Tina Bernot, executive director of development adds: “A pillar of our campaign is to have a transformational impact on teaching and learning. This gift will help us meet our goal of enhancing our high-quality academic programs as we work toward securing gifts to establish an endowed faculty position in every department on campus. We are incredibly grateful to Mr. Futrell for this generous gift in honor of his parents.” 

To make a gift to the University and help support the Be Bold: Forever Blue & Gold Centennial Campaign please call the Murray State Office of Development at 270-809-3001 or visit murraystate.edu/giving.

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