The Morehead State University Foundation has announced the establishment of the Sylvia Handley Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund will be used to aid undergraduate female students from Kentucky.  

Sylvia Handley (65) graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduation, she spent a few years in Eastern Kentucky before moving to Florida and beginning her lifelong career in the public school system there.

When Handley visited campus a few years ago, for her class’s 50th Reunion at Homecoming, it had been decades since she had been on Morehead State University’s campus. As an LGBTQ student from Ashland, Kentucky, in the 1960s Handley faced many challenges and was apprehensive about coming back to the region.  

Upon returning, she was surprised by the progress MSU has made to be inclusive of all student populations, including the establishment of the Hobbs Endowment for Equality Scholarship program, creation of Spectrum (an LGBTQ student organization), and other LGBTQ support and diversity initiatives. 

Due to her positive homecoming experience, her appreciation for MSU was renewed and Handley established a scholarship fund to benefit MSU students.  

“I was surprised by how different MSU was and how the attitudes of people had changed. I felt like giving back and starting a scholarship was the right thing to do,” she said. 

Handley retired from Dade County Public Schools in Florida and now resides in Orlando with her partner. 

This scholarship fund was established as part of the Soar to New Heights Scholarship Campaign. 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