Dr. Frances Helphinstine
Dr. Fran Helphinstine (63) was recognized at a home basketball game on Jan. 19. Jim Shaw, MSU vice president for university advancement, accepts a check symbolizing her contribution.

The Morehead State University Foundation has announced the establishment of the Frances L. Helphinstine Scholarship Endowment, a fund to assist students studying English at MSU. 

Dr. Frances “Fran” Helphinstine (63) came to Morehead State as a student in 1959 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and English and later a Master of Arts in English. After graduating, she held teaching positions at high schools and eventually returned to MSU as an instructor of English.  

Later, Helphinstine earned a Ph.D. in Renaissance and Dramatic Literature from Indiana University Bloomington in 1978. She taught undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, the English Renaissance, 17th Century British literature and drama, and graduate courses in Shakespeare, drama and bibliography. She also served as the graduate program coordinator.  

Helphinstine served as scholarship advisor for the Epsilon Theta Chapter of Chi Omega for nearly 30 years. In her free time, she enjoys doing research on performance theory, major features and trends in contemporary prize-winning drama, and other related topics. She has received National Humanities Council grants for continued studies with other scholars. After more than five decades as a professor of English at MSU, Helphinstine retired in 2018. The University honored her with the 2018 Founders Award for University Service.  

Much like her career has impacted MSU students, Helphinstine hopes that this scholarship endowment will have a lasting impact on students studying English. “Someone else was always looking out for me from the very beginning,” she said. “I’m just honored to be able to give back to Morehead State University because it has given so much to me.” 

This scholarship endowment was established as part of the Soar to New Heights Scholarship Campaign. For more information on this scholarship, or to establish a scholarship, contact MSU’s Office of Alumni Relations and Development at 606-783-2033, email giving@moreheadstate.edu or visit alumni.moreheadstate.edu/give