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Craft Academy recognizes graduating class of 2019

Morehead State University’s Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics hosted its third graduation Saturday, May 11, in Button Auditorium. 

A total of 50 students representing 33 counties from across the Commonwealth of Kentucky were recognized at the ceremony.  

Joseph CraftJoseph W. Craft III of Lexington, president and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners LP, was the guest speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony. He and his wife Kelly are co-founders of the Craft Academy, initially pledging $4 million, the single largest cash gift in the history of the University. The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics opened in August 2015.  

Lori Porter was the student speaker. She is the daughter of John and Brinda Porter. Prior to attending the Craft Academy, she was a student at both Henry County High School and the iLead Academy. 

“Together, we’ve learned what it means to be part of something bigger than yourself. We’ve worked to give our time to the community, pass classes that are harder than anything we’ve ever done before, and supported each other along the way,” Porter said. “Whether you survived civics, SSE, calculus or chemistry, you survived. Words can never encompass the difficulty of the challenges we’ve overcome. But we did it. Together.” 

Craft Academy graduates will attend 17 different colleges and universities across the United States, including six students who will enroll at MSU. 

The Craft Academy offers unique, project-based SLori PorterTEM+X courses that enrich the educational experience and develop competencies in entrepreneurship and innovation, design and creativity, and civic and regional engagement. 

Students are selected based on ACT scores, academic grades from their first two years of high school, interest in advanced STEM careers, responses to application essay questions, interviews by the academy selection committee and recommendations from teachers and others who could attest to the student’s need and preparedness for the program. 

For more information on the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, call 606-783-9025, email or visit

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