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MSU names College of Education the Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education

Drs. Ernst and Sara Lane VolgenauMorehead State University has renamed the College of Education in honor of Drs. Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau. The new name of the college is the Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education.  

MSU received a $3 million gift from the Volgenaus for the Soar to New Heights scholarship campaign. The Volgenau Scholarship Endowment fund will be invested with the proceeds used to provide awards to students in teacher education. There will also be an annual allocation directed to support students in the MSUTeach Program. This program allows students to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in STEM-based fields within four years while earning teacher certification.   

MSU will transition the Volgenau College to its new name this spring with a formal dedication ceremony planned for the fall semester. Spring 2020 College of Education graduates will officially be alumni of the Volgenau College of Education as designated on their diploma.  

“It has been a wonderful experience working with Drs. Ernst and Sara Volgenau. They are true visionaries and understand the importance of STEM education to our region,” said Jim Shawvice president for University Advancement. Their generous gift will make a tremendous impact on the lives of our students and on education in the Commonwealth.   

The Volgenau family have been visionary leaders in the field of STEM education, business development and philanthropy. Sara Lane Volgenau graduated from MSU in 1957 with a degree in elementary education. Ernst graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and later earned a Ph.D. degree in engineering at UCLA. During his full career in the United States Air Force, Ernst worked on research and development for satellite and other space projects. In 1978, he founded SRA International Inc., an information technology company that was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and named to the Fortune magazine list of Best Companies to work for in America.   

“The Volgenau family has mentioned to me consistently that they believe improving education and the pipeline of STEM teachers will help the economy of Eastern Kentucky, the Commonwealth and the entire nation,” said MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan. “On behalf of our entire University community, we would like to thank the Volgenau family for their generosity, vision and support of our students.”  

To learn more about MSU’s Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education and its programs, call 606-783-2162 or visit    

For more information on the Volgenau Scholarship Endowment, or to establish your own, contact MSU’s Office of Alumni Relations and Development at 606-783-2033, email or visit