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Mason and Rosemary Combs Family Scholarship Endowment established  

embedded-news-mason-rosemary-combs.webpThe Morehead State University Foundation announced the establishment of the Mason and Rosemary Combs Scholarship Endowment.  

Jack Cunningham and his wife, Mary Combs Cunningham (Class of 1977), created this generous endowment named in honor of Mary's parents, Mason and Rosemary. Mary's husband Jack was instrumental in the creation of the fund, which he did to honor not just Mary's love for MSU, but her parents' dedication to ensuring their children were provided the opportunity for higher education.  

In 1973, Mason and Rosemary, who lived in Pineville, sent their oldest child, Mary, to MSU. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in clothing and textiles and soon after, two of her brothers, John Mason Combs (Class of 1980) and David Lawrence Combs (Class of 1983), followed and earned bachelor’s degrees in business.  

embedded-news-combs-family.webpWhile studying at MSU, David met his wife, Teresa Ann (Lane) Combs (Class of 1983). Teresa received a bachelor's degree in education. David and Teresa later encouraged their children to follow the MSU family tradition. Their son, Mark David Combs (Class of 2014), received a bachelor's degree in business, and their daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Combs (Class of 2022), received a bachelor's degree in legal studies.  

“My brothers and I are very proud of our Kentucky heritage and especially our MSU legacy," Mary Combs Cunningham said. "My parents worked very hard to ensure my brothers and I received a college education. MSU was the perfect fit for us. We are proud to be MSU Eagles and are excited to be able to help future generations receive their education."    

The scholarship supports first-year students from Bell County, where Rosemary resides. If there’s not a student from Bell County who qualifies, a student from one of the surrounding counties of Knox, Whitley, Clay, Leslie, or Harlan counties may be considered.  

Mason and Rosemary's dedication to their children started what is now a multi-generational MSU legacy. A graduate of The Citadel, Jack served on The Citadel Brigadier Foundation Board and has seen the impact of privately funded scholarships firsthand through this experience.  

“I wanted to do something special to honor my wife and her parents," Jack said. "I feel fortunate to be able to assist with the creation of this endowment. The gift of education is something that will make a difference for years to come and offering this scholarship to students from Bell County will honor the family's rich history in southeast Kentucky."   

Jack and Mary now reside in South Carolina, but Kentucky is still close to their hearts. They annually bring the Bluegrass State to South Carolina by hosting a Kentucky Derby party. This year, they invited several MSU alums from the Beaufort area to join them. This annual event is their way of bringing a little Kentucky tradition to their friends and other MSU alums who call South Carolina home.  

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, right: Mason and Rosemary Combs made sure to send their children to MSU. Their family established the Mason and Rosemary Combs Scholarship Endowment in their honor.

Photo, left (left to right): Mark David Combs, Teresa Ann (Lane) Combs, David Lawrence Combs, Sarah Elizabeth Combs, Mary Combs Cunningham and John Mason Combs are all part of an MSU family legacy. Mary and her husband, Jack Cunningham (not pictured), established the Mason and Rosemary Combs Scholarship Endowment in honor of Mary's parents.

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