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Tresia Swain Memorial Scholarship established, first recipient announced

Tresia Swain PictureThe Morehead State University Foundation has announced the establishment of the Tresia Swain Memorial Scholarship Fund, a fund to benefit Morehead State University students.   

Swain (Class of 1980 and 1986) grew up in Fleming County. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, certification in remedial reading and a Master of Arts in K-12 Education, from Morehead State. Swain spent 27 years as an educator, first serving as a teacher and then principal of Rowan County Middle School for 15 years. She was the leading force in the inspired design of a new middle school facility that opened in 2011, six months before her retirement.   

As an educator, she was known for her supportive nature and her inspirational leadership. Swain believed that every child should be provided all the resources necessary to thrive in a compassionate and uplifting educational environment. Education was her lifelong passion and a responsibility she carried with her every day. She touched thousands of lives during her days as an educator.   

Swain passed away on July 18, 2020, at the age of 68. Her husband, Adrian, established the Tresia Swain Memorial Scholarship through the MSU Foundation to remember her and support future students at MSU. He has personally committed more than $26,000 and thanks to the contribution of several family and friends, the endowment will be valued at $30,000.    

“I am thankful to be able to create this endowment in Tresia’s memory,” Adrian said. “She was passionate about education and a scholarship endowment will allow her passion to live on through the lives of the students it helps along the way.”    

The scholarship will be awarded annually to juniors or seniors majoring in elementary or middle grades education with preference given to students from Rowan County.   

Jessica Purdy is the first recipient of the scholarship. Purdy is a junior from Morehead majoring in early elementary education.    

“This scholarship will allow me to reach not only my educational goals but achieve my future career goals as well,” Purdy said. “I hope to be the elementary school teacher who remains optimistic and passionate towards what I do every day. I hope to inspire kids to be the best that they can be.”  

Students interested in applying to 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