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MSU mourns death of President Emeritus Dr. C. Nelson Grote

Dr. Nelson Grote and Wilma GroteDr. C. Nelson Grote, age 91, president emeritus of Morehead State University and husband of the late Wilma Grote, passed away Saturday morning, Jan. 19, 2019, at his home in Morehead. 

He was the 11th president of Morehead State University and retired from the University in 1992, after five years of service as its chief executive officer.  

When he assumed the presidency on July 1, 1987, he returned to a campus where he began his career in higher education administration nearly three decades earlier.  It was a move that he said, that brought him "back home." Of his 42 years in education, he served the Commonwealth of Kentucky for 18 years with 16 of those years spent at MSU. 

While MSU president, he served as Kentucky's representative to AASCU, having been elected to the post by state AASCU presidents. He also was an ex-officio member of the Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was named the chamber's 1991 "Man of the Year." Grote also served on the Kentucky Advisory Council of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region IV. 

Grote was a member of the board of directors of the Kentucky Council on Economic Education and as a member of the Jesse Stuart Foundation Board of Directors. He also served on an honorary advisory committee of the Blue Grass Council of the Boy Scouts of America and was on the Endowment Committee for the Appalachian Ministries Education Resource Center. He was a charter member of the Morehead Optimist Club and a lifetime member of Optimist International. 

MSU's Alumni Association conferred "honorary alumnus" status on both Grote and his wife Wilma and inducted the president into the Alumni Hall of Fame. The MSU Board of Regents accorded him the designation of president emeritus and an honorary doctorate at the time of his retirement. 

After his retirement Grote wrote a history of MSU, titled, “A Walk Down Memory Lane.” 

He is survived by three children, Carol Vencill of Lexington; Jan Adam of Seattle, Washington; and Dr. Mark Grote of Davis, California. 

Visitation is Friday, Jan. 25, 12-1:30 p.m. at First Christian Church, 227 East Main Street, Morehead.  

Graveside Services will be Friday, Jan. 25, 2-2:30 p.m., Lee Cemetery, 135 Lee Cemetery Road, Morehead.

A remembrance ceremony will be held Friday, Jan. 25, 3:30-4:30 p.m. at Morehead State University's Adron Doran University Center, ADUC Theater, with presentations by MSU President Jay Morgan, Rev. Don Chase, Mark Grote, G. R. “Sonny” Jones, Jr., and Keith Kappes. A reception will follow from 4:30 to 5 p.m. 

View obituary (will open in a new window).

Picture above: Dr. Nelson Grote and Wilma Grote, source: 1992 Raconteur
Video clip: Far Above The Rolling Campus: A History of Morehead State University