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MSU Foundation Scholarship honors family descendants of MSU founders Frank and Phebe Button

Many scholarships established through the MSU Foundation honor special individuals. Oftentimes, these honorees have a deep history with the University. However, none have a historical significance quite as unique as the Fred and Helen Morrison Memorial Scholarship.  

This scholarship’s connection to MSU dates back to Frank and Phebe Button, MSU’s founding family. The scholarship was established in honor of the late Fred and Helen Morrison. Helen (Harber) Morrison was the granddaughter of Dr. Frank Button and great granddaughter of Phebe Button. Dr. Button and his mother, Phebe, were the founders of the original Morehead Normal School. Dr. Button was the first principal of the school serving from 1887 until 1892. He stepped away for a short period of time to care for his mother. He returned in 1896 and continued to serve as principal until 1911 when he left to serve rural schools in Kentucky. In 1922, the school became Morehead State Normal School and Dr. Button returned to serve as president from 1923 to 1929.  

Helen Harber, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Harber, was born in Versailles in 1914. She grew up in Lexington and attended the University of Kentucky. During college, she met her future husband, Fred Morrison, who was a young accounting student at the time. After Fred’s graduation from the University of Kentucky, the couple married and began a life together. Fred served as a Major in the Army Air Force from 1942 until 1945.  Upon his honorable discharge from the service, Fred rose to a prominent position as partner of Arthur Young & Co., in Cincinnati, Ohio. This firm is now known as Ernst and Young, one of the four largest accounting groups in the world.  

Helen's surviving family members indicate Helen always felt a strong connection to Morehead, having spent many summers there with relatives, and she never forgot her husband's roots as “a boy from Kentucky” who benefitted from a good education. After she died in 2015 at the age of 101, her heirs contacted MSU to follow her wishes and set up a scholarship that would honor her husband and help young individuals from Eastern Kentucky interested in pursuing degrees in accounting or finance.   

Lakeisha Bradley, a freshman from Salyersville, Kentucky, is the current recipient of the Morrison Scholarship. Bradley is a graduate of Magoffin County High School and is majoring in accounting. After graduation, she plans to become a certified public accountant (CPA) and work in Lexington or the surrounding area.   

“I am very honored to receive this scholarship. Being selected as the recipient is a reminder that hard work pays off,” Bradley said. “Not only is this scholarship helping me afford college and pursue my educational dreams, it is pushing me to stay motivated and work even harder to excel in my studies. This scholarship is truly a blessing and I couldn’t be more thankful.”   

The scholarship is a one-time award and is not automatically renewable, but recipients are encouraged to reapply in subsequent years after their award. Preference will be given to previous recipients who have maintained good academic standing with the University.   

Morrison Scholarship recipients must be full-time MSU freshmen or sophomore students from the University’s 22-county service region who are majoring in accounting or finance. The recipients of the award may reapply annually. Students interested in applying for this scholarship, along with other privately funded scholarships managed by the MSU Foundation, should visit the online scholarship application at   

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

Photo, left to right: Helen Harber Morrison pictured with her grandfather and MSU founder/president emeritus Frank Button and her brother Overton Harber.