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Kappes to receive 2014 Founders Award for University Service

  • Kappes web 6-14
    Keith R. Kappes

Keith R. Kappes of Morehead will be presented the 2014 Founders Award for University Service during Morehead State University’s Homecoming Banquet Friday, Oct. 3, at the Adron Doran University Center.

Kappes retired from Morehead State University in 2008 after 40 years of service, including 18 as a vice president. He currently serves as publisher of weekly newspapers in Morehead, Grayson and Olive Hill.

“The Founders Award for University Service is the most significant award that we provide to alums of Morehead State,” said Dr. Wayne D. Andrews, president. “Keith served many roles during his tenure and was tremendously influential on the agenda of this university for many, many years. He is a great supporter not only of MSU but of higher education.”

A native of Carter County, Kappes is a two-time graduate of MSU. He joined the staff in 1969 as a writer in the campus news bureau and has held many titles over the years, which encompass MSU’s efforts in fundraising, marketing, legislative affairs, community relations, and other public relations activities, including media. He also has had oversight in other areas including Athletics, Kentucky Folk Art Center, Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, Morehead State Public Radio, Alumni Relations, Publications/Printing and many other outreach efforts. In addition, he served as chief executive officer of the Morehead State University Foundation Inc.

Throughout the years, Kappes has devoted himself to advancing MSU and higher education at the local, state and national levels. He is highly respected statewide for his extensive knowledge of Kentucky’s higher education system’s evolution and for his insight into the workings of the state’s political system.

“I am thrilled and honored to be chosen as a recipient of this award,” Kappes said. “When I helped President Morris Norfleet develop the criteria for this award way back in 1978, I never dreamed that someday I would receive it.”

Kappes’ concern for the University extended into the community and region it serves because of his awareness of the symbiotic relationship between the two.  A voice in the community, he has served on the boards of various organizations, including Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Morehead-Rowan County Industrial Development Authority and the Rowan County Ethics Commission. He has accepted leadership positions in many organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, Morehead Tourism Commission and People’s Clinic Foundation, as well as the Kentucky Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Kappes’ dedication to MSU and the greater Morehead community did not stop when he retired. He has continued to serve on the boards of various organizations.

The Founders Award for University Service was established by the Board of Regents in 1978 and has been presented each year to individuals with records of outstanding service to the University over a sustained period.

“The first recipient of this award was the late W. E. Crutcher, publisher of The Morehead News and several other area newspapers,” said Kappes. “He has been my role model of a newspaper publisher totally committed to the betterment of his community.”

Kappes and his wife, Janet, a retired elementary teacher, are the parents of eight children and the grandparents of 16.

Previous recipients have included W. E. Crutcher, 1978; Linus A. Fair, 1979; Carl D. Perkins, 1980; Dr. Warren C. Lappin, 1981; Dr. Ted L. Crosthwait, 1982; Monroe Wicker, 1983; Lloyd Cassity, 1984; Grace Crosthwaite, 1985; Boone Logan, 1986; Dr. Rondal D. Hart, 1987; George T. Young, 1988; John E. Collis, 1989; Dr. Wilhelm Exelbirt, 1990; Dr. R. H. Playforth, 1991; Dr. Mary Northcutt Powell, 1992; Senator Woody May, 1993; Dr. J. E. Duncan, 1994; Sherman R. Arnett and Harlen L. Hamm, 1995;

 Dr. Adron Doran, 1996; Robert S. Bishop and Martin Huffman, 1997; Dr. Charles J. Pelfrey, 1998; Carolyn S. Flatt, 1999; Dr. Earl J. Bentley, 2000; Mrs. Mignon Doran, 2001; Dr. C. Nelson Grote, 2002; Merl F. Allen, 2003; Dr. John C. Philley, 2004; Dr. Charles M. Derrickson, 2005; Dr. John R. Duncan, 2006; Steve A. Hamilton, 2007; Dr. Marshall Banks, 2008; Dr. Randy Wells, 2009;  Dr. Jack D. Ellis, 2010; Ms. Lucille Caudill Little, 2011; Rocky J. Adkins, 2012; and Clyde I. James, 2013.

MSU homecoming celebration will be held Oct. 2-4. Additional information is available by calling Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations at 606-783-2080; 800-783-ALUM or visiting

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