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2017 Honorees

Alumni Hall of Fame

Dr. Gary Mathern (78) is a professor of pediatric neurosurgery at UCLA and works at the Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA in Los Angeles. A renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and “super specialist” whose success stories have been covered by national news outlets and TV programs, he treats infants and children with intractable epilepsy and performs some of the most radical surgical procedures for some of the rarest brain conditions and diseases.

Larry Wilson (65) is a retired MSU Bowling coach and faculty member with the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Wilson coached the MSU bowling teams from 1972 until his retirement. He helped guide the women’s team to national championships in 1989, 1998, 2000 and 2002, and the men’s squad to runner-up and third place finishes in the national tournament in 2003 and 2005, respectively. The University Lanes were renamed Larry Wilson Bowling Lanes in his honor in 2008.

Scott Wojahn (79) is a singer, composer, musician, conductor and music producer. In 1990, he co-founded Wojahn Bros. Music in Santa Monica, California, a music production company specializing in producing music for the world’s largest advertising brands. He has also produced music for notable artists like Shawn Colvin, Vince Gill and Buddy Guy.

Athletic Hall of Fame

Charles Byrd (06) was an All-American cornerback and kick returner for the MSU Eagle Football team from 2001-04. He was named to the All-Pioneer Football League following the 2002, 2003 and 2004 seasons. He helped lead the Eagles to three consecutive Pioneer Football League South division championships. Byrd has spent the last nine years as assistant strength coach for the New Orleans Saints.

Rebekah Kendall (07) is the all-time leading goal scorer for the Eagle Soccer team. While scoring 30 career goals from 2004-07, which tied a program record, she also holds school records with 11 match-winning goals and 284 career shots. She also holds multiple single-game program records, recording four assists in one game and eight points in one match on three different occasions.

Nick Nighswander (74) played offensive lineman for the Morehead State Football squad from 1970-73, where he was a three-year starter, two-time team captain and Team MVP in 1973. He was also an All-OVC selection in 1972 and 1973. Following his career at MSU, he played two seasons with the Buffalo Bills before becoming a high school football coach in Northern Kentucky for 10 years.

Founders Award for University Service

Dr. David Saxon (64) is a former professor of biology at Morehead State who recently retired from the University after nearly 50 years of service. After earning both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from MSU and a Ph.D. in Physiology from Southern Illinois University, he began teaching anatomy and physiology classes at MSU in 1967. He later moved on to teach pathophysiology, cell biology and histology for the Department of Biology and Chemistry while also serving as an academic advisor for students in the pre-med program.

He has earned numerous accolades for his teaching and service at the University like MSU’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the MSU Student Government Faculty Member of the Year and MSU Greek Life Faculty Member of the Year. As a five-time recipient of Professor-in-The-School Fellowships, he worked with secondary biology teachers in Eastern Kentucky to develop activities to improve overall instruction and knowledge retention.

He also served as liaison with Northeast AHEC (Area Health Education Center), St. Claire HealthCare and MSU for the “Letters From Home Program,” which includes formally recognizing students accepted to medical school and encouraging them to return to the region to practice medicine. In this role, he also aided in collaboration between AHEC, St. Claire and other regional facilities to provide experiential opportunities to pre-med students.
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