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Centennial birthday gift will leave a lasting mark on campus

Morehead State is receiving a special gift from an alumnus to commemorate our 100th anniversary as a public institution.

Over the last 100 years, MSU has served the region as "a light to the mountains" and launched thousands of Eagles into flight on the next steps of their journeys. In recognition of this centennial milestone, philanthropists Ron (Class of 1965) and Diane Cartee have provided a generous contribution to commissioning a bronze Eagle statue that will become a new focal point on campus. This centennial Eagle, featuring a 12-foot wingspan, will represent generations of Eagles flying home to their nest or taking flight into what's next.

“I'm thrilled to be able to do this," said Ron Cartee. "Mascot statues are a fixture across many campuses, and I'm honored to be able to gift one to MSU in honor of the centennial. I'm a proud Eagle and I'm so glad that my family is involved with this project."

The piece will be completed by MSU alumnus and former art faculty member Sam McKinney (Class of 1973, 1992). McKinney is a world-renowned painter and sculptor whose work is featured across Eastern Kentucky and beyond. When approached with the initial concept, McKinney was ecstatic with the idea.

"Morehead State means a lot to me. To get to leave a little piece of myself to the place and region that did so much for me, I'm honored," said McKinney.

The special project was announced at the Homecoming reception held Friday, Oct. 21. The project should be completed within the year and will be officially dedicated at Homecoming 2023.

For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations & Development at or 606-783-2033.

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