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Andy Prefontaine receives Doctor of Humane Letters at 2022 Spring Commencement

Andy Prefontaine HeadshotMorehead State University will award alumnus and long-time MSU supporter Andy Prefontaine an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at MSU’s upcoming 2022 Spring Commencement Ceremony in recognition of his humanitarian and philanthropic contributions to society, both in the United States and internationally. 

Prefontaine is the founder and CEO of Family Leisure Inc. and an entrepreneur who started home, property and advertising businesses. In addition to owning nine Family Leisure retail stores across the south and Midwest, he is also the founder and CEO of Sierra Advertising and owner of Pendelton Pike Properties, Watson’s Properties and Watson of Minnesota Properties.     

“Morehead State University gave me the opportunity I was looking for, launching me in the right direction, which led to a great career and a wonderful life,” Prefontaine said. “I’m forever thankful for my alma mater and, with great appreciation, accept this honorary doctorate degree.”  

As a student, he was a member of the MSU ROTC program’s first commissioned graduating class and served as the last president of the Aquila Club before the social organization became the national fraternal organization Pi Kappa Alpha. After he graduated from MSU in 1971, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.    

His desire to pay it forward led him to work with Sister of the Holy Cross in a Vietnam orphanage that only took in blind and visually impaired children. He would regularly donate money and gifts to the orphanage and children. Prefontaine was recognized for his business success, charitable giving and University support when inducted into the MSU Alumni Hall of Fame in 2016. He also serves as a member of the MSU Foundation Board of Trustees.     

In 2018, Andy and his wife, Debbie, continued their generous support to ensure that same success is within reach for future generations of students. They contributed $750,000 to create the Andy and Debbie Prefontaine Scholarship Endowment. The proceeds from the endowment will provide scholarships to assist in recruiting and retaining current and future Eagles.   

In honor of their charitable commitment, two spaces in the renovated Adron Doran University Center (ADUC) are named in their honor: the Prefontaine Tower and the Prefontaine Pub. Prefontaine Tower is located at the northernmost entrance of the ADUC expansion. The Prefontaine Pub is one of ADUC’s dining options and student hangouts located on the first floor just past the tower entrance.     

Commencement ceremonies for spring and summer 2022 graduates will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Academic-Athletic Center (AAC) on the campus of Morehead State University. The ceremony schedule is as follows: 

  • 10 a.m. - Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences & Elmer R. Smith College of Business and Technology 
  • 1 p.m. - College of Science & Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education 

For more information on 2022 Spring Commencement, visit