If there is ever a time where the expression “once an Eagle, always an Eagle” is accurate, it is during Morehead State University’s annual Homecoming Weekend. Last year, thousands of MSU alumni ventured back to Morehead to reconnect with old classmates and friends while showing their love for the blue and gold. 

Current and former Eagles gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony to reopen the Adron Doran University Center (ADUC) following two years of additions and renovations to the building. ADUC’s latest renovation doubled the size of the student center and provided additional meeting spaces, more restaurant-style dining options and lounges, an admissions welcome center and theater, a sports pub and more student-oriented spaces to provide services in a one-stop environment. 

Additionally, MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan announced the launch of a new scholarship campaign to aid students in need across MSU’s service region. The Soar to New Heights Scholarship Campaign has a goal of raising $15 million in three years for the sole purpose of establishing scholarships for Morehead State University students. These scholarships will address the priorities of recruitment, retention and degree completion. More than 90 percent of MSU’s student body receives some type of financial aid and private dollars are critical to meet the needs of these students. 

Elmer R. Smith dedication
Pictured, left to right: Elmer Smith (71) is joined by his wife, Margaret, his daughter, Mia, and his son, Christian, at the dedication ceremony of the Elmer R. Smith College of Business and Technology during MSU’s Homecoming weekend.

Dr. Fran Helphinstine (63), was the recipient of the MSU Founder’s Award for University Service. Helphinstine retired from MSU in 2018 after more than 50 years as a professor of English. She taught undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, the English Renaissance, 17th Century British literature and drama, as well as graduate-level courses in Shakespeare, drama and bibliography. She also served as the graduate program coordinator and as scholarship advisor for Epsilon Theta Chapter of Chi Omega sorority. View video 

Three people were inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. They were: 

  • Ronald Cartee (65) is the co-founder of Cartee Land Management and is the owner of 27 Arby’s restaurants in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. He has raised more than $500,000 for charitable efforts, including Big Brothers Big Sisters and the No Child Hungry Campaign. View video 
  • Julie Riffe (76) is a nurse practitioner with the Huntington Medical Group and is director of Tri-State Medical Missions. She was the first woman to receive an athletic scholarship at MSU and the first woman to run track at MSU. She has traveled abroad on medical mission trips to Haiti, Ecuador and South India. View video 
  • Robert Kelly Wells (95) is the current head men’s basketball coach at the University of Pikeville. He is the winningest coach in school history with a 259-97 record and led teams to an NAIA Championship for the 2010-11 season. View video 

In addition, three alumni were also inducted into the MSU Athletic Hall of Fame. They were: 

  • Nick Atzinger (03) was a five-time individual tournament champion during his MSU Golf career and was a member of the 1999 OVC Championship team. View video 
  • David Hyland (09) played defensive back for the Eagles football team from 2005 to 2008. He holds the school record for interceptions (21), as well as the record for longest interception return (100 yards).  View video 
  • Karen Lutes (04) was a 14-time All-OVC selection in track and field. She was named the OVC cross country runner of the year in 2001 and OVC Athlete of the year in 2000 and 2003. View video 
2018 Hall of Fame inductees
Several Eagles were inducted into MSU’s Athletic and Alumni Halls of Fame during Homecoming 2018. Pictured in the front row, from left to right, are: Hall of Fame Inductee Ronald Cartee (65), MSU Founder’s Award recipient Dr. Fran Helphinstine (63), Hall of Fame Inductee Julie Riffe (76) and Hall of Fame Inductee Robert Kelly Wells (95). Pictured in the back row, left to right, are: MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan, Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee Nick Atzinger (03), Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee Karen Lutes (04) and Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee David Hyland (09).

The MSU Homecoming Parade brought out alumni, students, faculty, staff and the community as it made its way through Main Street in downtown Morehead the morning of Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Prizes were awarded for the best MSU organization and community float. The Elliott County Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary won the community award and the MSU Agriculture Club won best campus organization float.  

Homecoming 2018 Queen & King
Left to right: MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan, 2018 Homecoming Queen Tessa Collins, Homecoming King Cameron Faudere and MSU First Lady Amber Morgan.

Later that afternoon, the MSU Eagle football team defeated Valparaiso with a final score of 24-31. During halftime, fans cheered the candidates for the 2018 Homecoming Court. Tessa Collins and Cameron Faudere were selected as this year’s Homecoming Queen and King. Members of the Homecoming Court were Rylee Stafford, Bailee Pennington, Bethany Pace, Sydnee Bailey, Nick Anderson, Waco Bays, Sayyid Kanu and Peyton Pugh.  

Eagle football
Eagle Football toppled homecoming rivals Valparaiso with a final score of 24-31.

To learn more about reconnecting with MSU alumni and becoming an active alum, contact the Office of Alumni Relations and Development at 800-783-ALUM (2586), email alumni@moreheadstate.edu or visit alumni.moreheadstate.edu.