Murray State University announces spring 2024 Outstanding Senior recipients

By MSU Public Relations | May 2, 2024

Dahlia Miller, Caleb Coil, and Ellie McGowan

Pictured from left to right are Dahlia Miller, Caleb Coil and Ellie McGowan


MURRAY, Ky. – Murray State University has named Caleb Coil, Ellie McGowan and Dahlia Miller as the recipients of the spring 2024 Outstanding Senior recognition. Students recognized with this honor are known for their academic excellence and professionalism. 

Caleb Coil, the son of Andrew and Marcy Coil of Henderson, Kentucky, will earn a degree in Biology/Pre-Medical with a minor in Chemistry. 

Coil is a Presidential Fellow, member of the Honors College, and founded MEDLIFE, an on-campus organization which assists underserved communities in South America. He has been active in Honors Student Council, on intramural sports teams, and works in the Murray-Calloway County Hospital emergency room. He is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. 

After graduation, Coil plans to attend medical school at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He later plans to complete a residency in either surgery or emergency medicine.

“I have heard it said that Murray State University is ‘big enough to follow any dream, but small enough that you feel like you know everyone.’ Now, nearing the end of my four years here, I have found it to be true for me. The faculty and staff of Murray State amply prepared me for admittance into medical schools, and the multitude of opportunities for developing as a leader and a team player has produced solid friendships with peers and professors. This college community has provided me with so much support, and I thank God for bringing me to a place that makes leaving my Racer Family so hard. Earning the Outstanding Senior Award is an immense privilege. I know many students here deserve such recognition, and I am grateful to have been chosen to receive this honor. Shoes Up!”

Ellie McGowan, the daughter of Mollie and Shawn Tabor, and Lowell McGowan of Fredonia, Kentucky, will earn a degree in Agricultural Business with a minor in Economics. 

McGowan is a Presidential Fellow, member of the Honors College, and has served as Student Regent and Student Government Association President since 2022. She currently serves as Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents chair and was named Ms. Murray State University in 2023. 

After graduation, McGowan plans to move to Washington, D.C. and work for a Congressional Committee while continuing her education at Murray State through the Master of Agricultural Economics program. She later hopes to attend law school. 

“Having the opportunity to be named one of the 2024 Outstanding Senior Graduates is such an incredible honor,” said McGowan. “During my time here at Murray State, the students, faculty, staff, administration and community members have taught me so much about leadership and service. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to serve this campus in a variety of ways and for all the friendships and relationships I have gained. Murray State is truly such a special place and I am honored to be a part of this remarkable Racer Family.” 

Dahlia Miller, the daughter of Jermaine and Maysoon Miller of Pearland, Texas, will earn a degree in Finance/Financial Planning. 

A full academic and athletic scholarship recipient as a member of the women’s volleyball team, Miller has earned multiple honors and awards including the Arthur Ashe award, the Murray State University Diversity Achievement award and is a three-time Ohio Valley Conference Medal of Honor recipient.

After graduation, Miller plans on continuing her education at Murray State through the Master of Business Administration program. She later hopes to obtain her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification.

“I cannot express enough how honored I am to receive such a respected award,” said Miller. “Initially, I was unable to visit Murray State in person due to COVID, but deciding to come here has turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made! The entire athletics department, staffing and exceptional professors in the economics and finance department have provided immeasurable support that has impacted my life in countless ways. I am beyond grateful for the welcoming and supportive community at Murray State, and will always cherish the opportunities and encouragement I have received here. Shoes up forever!”

The spring 2024 commencement ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 11 at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the CFSB Center. Please visit for additional information.

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