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MSU to honor 2022 Alumni Hall of Fame inductees, Founders Award winner and other alumni award recipients at Homecoming 2022

During MSU's 2022 Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 20-22, the MSU Alumni Association will honor its inductees for the 2022 Alumni Hall of Fame, the 2022 recipient of the Founders Award for University Service and the honorees for the Rising Eagle, Eagle Spirit and Notable Alumni awards.   

“We are so excited about this year's class of honorees," says Allison Caudill, executive director of alumni relations and development. "We know that MSU has produced some outstanding graduates and it's always one of the highlights of Homecoming to get to celebrate these deserving individuals through these award recognitions."  

MSU invites alumni and friends to attend the Homecoming Alumni Awards Presentation at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, in Button Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. A review of this year's award recipients is below.   

FOUNDERS AWARD FOR UNIVERSITY SERVICE   

Established by the MSU Board of Regents in 1978, the Founders Award for University Service recognizes individuals who have given superior service to Morehead State University throughout their time as a University employee or volunteer.   

Madonna Weathers, winner of the 2022 Founders Award for University Service

MADONNA WEATHERS (CLASS OF 1971, 1972, 1982)  

Madonna Weathers of Morehead came to MSU as a student and the community quickly became her home. Upon her graduation in 1971, she began working as a graduate assistant in the office of student housing and promptly advanced to the associate director of student housing. She spent 13 years in this position before transitioning from the director of residence education to the director of student support services and then the director of student development. In 2002, Weathers assumed the role of Vice President for Student Life. In this position, she oversaw the dean of students, student organizations, intercollegiate athletics, multicultural student services, public safety, student counseling, housing, wellness and financial aid. She also served multiple terms on MSU's Staff Congress, was co-chair of the University's Campus Giving Campaign in 1999 and 2000 and served on the MSU's SACS Self Study Steering Committee from 1998 to 2000 and on multiple SACS accreditation visiting teams.  

Weathers was a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Southern Association for College Student Affairs, the American College Health Association, Mid-America College Health Association and the Kentucky College Health Association. Weathers retired from MSU in 2016 after serving the University for 44 years. She remains actively involved with MSU as a proud and loyal Eagle during retirement.  


ALUMNI HALL OF FAME  

The Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have achieved excellence in their profession, community service, or education at the local, state, or national level. Alumni must have graduated from Morehead State University 10 years prior.   

2022 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee Colonel James Bailey

COLONEL JAMES BAILEY (CLASS OF 1971, 1972)  

Colonel Jim Bailey of Lexington is a retired colonel from the United States Air Force (USAF). He graduated from MSU in 1971 before completing a master's degree the following year. During his time in the Air Force, he served as a master navigator, electronic warfare officer and accomplished commander in airborne and satellite surveillance. Multiple awards for superior and meritorious service highlighted his USAF career, including the National Reconnaissance Office Gold Medal of Distinguished Performance as Commander, Satellite Operations Group.  


2022 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee Brett Wright

BRETT WRIGHT (CLASS OF 1975, 1976)  

Brett Wright of Clemson, South Carolina, is dean emeritus of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences at Clemons University. He graduated from MSU in 1975, completing a master's degree the following year. Wright entered active duty with the U.S. Army in 1976 as a 2nd Lieutenant after being commissioned through MSU's Army ROTC. During this time, he served as an armor officer and air cavalry pilot for almost 12 years. Following active duty, Wright earned a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 1985. He has dedicated nearly four decades to academia, conducting and publishing research in parks and wildlife. He has been with Clemson University since 2002. His work has allowed him to create and become the founding director of Tigers United University Consortium. This four-university consortium is dedicated to saving the remaining populations of wild tigers.  



NOTABLE ALUMNI  

Notable Alumni recognition honors individuals who have demonstrated success in their career fields and/or are making a difference in their communities or profession.  

2022 Notable Alumni Award Winner Allen Balogh

ALLEN BALOGH (CLASS OF 1971)  

Allen Balogh of Ormond Beach, Florida, is an award-winning historical-fiction novelist, past vice president of Bizjet Inc of Palm Beach, a Learjet company, and retired educator. Balogh has authored multiple novels on the age of piracy and was a 2021 inductee into the International Pirate Hall of Fame. He is a popular lecturer and historian on the Golden Age of Piracy, inspired by exploring the ships of the 1715 Spanish Fleet off the east coast of Florida. The Florida Writers Association awarded his novel, "Goat with the Glass Eye," the Bronze Historical-Fiction Award and his other books, sold via national outlets, have been reviewed by such renowned authors as James Patterson.  


2022 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee Dr. Aaronda Wells

AARONDA WELLS (CLASS OF 1993)  

Aaronda Derossett Wells, M.D. of Stanville is a board-certified pediatrician in Pikeville. Wells has cared for Eastern Kentucky's children for over 20 years in her physician practice and as the senior pediatrician at Judy's Place for Kids Child Advocacy Center. For 20 years, she has served as an associate professor of pediatrics at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine and a volunteer faculty member of the Pikeville Family Practice residency program. Wells has been an advocate for not only the well-being of her patients but has been a leader in the efforts to protect the abused and disadvantaged children of the area. Wells received the One with Courage Award for her work with child abuse victims. The governor also presented her with a Legendary Child Advocacy Center Partner Award for service to the center and the region's children.  



RISING EAGLE AWARD  

The Rising Eagle Award is given to a recent graduate of the last 10 years who has demonstrated early career and/or community service achievement.  

2022 Rising Eagle Award Winner Austin Casebolt

AUSTIN CASEBOLT (CLASS OF 2016)  

Austin Casebolt of Pikeville is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in New York City. Upon graduation, Casebolt began his art career at Daviess County High School by entering the classroom. Soon after, he would pursue his Master of Fine Arts at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City. He has exhibited his work throughout the nation. Casebolt currently maintains an independent art practice while managing operations at High Noon Gallery, located on the Lower East Side. Named to the Board of Trustees of The New School in 2021, he joined the ranks of leaders who envision and chart a course for the future of the world-renowned design school and liberal arts college.  



EAGLE SPIRIT AWARD  

The Eagle Spirit Award is given to exceptionally proud and active Eagle alumni. Recipients regularly demonstrate Eagle Pride through recruiting potential students, positively representing MSU, attending MSU events and encouraging active support of MSU among their peer groups.    


2022 Eagle Spirit Award Winner Clyde James

CLYDE JAMES (CLASS OF 1965)  

Clyde I. James of Morehead is a graduate of Morehead High School and MSU. He has served Morehead State University loyally for over three decades. During this time, James held numerous positions as an MSU employee. Even after his retirement, he continues to be a goodwill ambassador for the University, serving as a member of the Alumni Board of Directors (19 years) and Executive Committee (7 years), including a term as president. James has established a scholarship that supports students studying music in the strings program. He enthusiastically supports students, faculty, staff and alumni by being a constant in the MSU community.  

 

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