The Morehead State University Alumni Association announces inductees for the 2021 Alumni Hall of Fame and the recipients of the 2021 Alumni Awards. These individuals will be honored as part of the 2021 Homecoming celebration in the fall, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15 and 16.
“We are honored to recognize this elite class of MSU alumni,” said Mindy Highley (Class of 1991, 1993), assistant vice president for the Office of Alumni Relations and Development and executive vice president of the MSU Alumni Association. “We are proud of their successes and we look forward to sharing their stories as part of our Homecoming celebration.”
The Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes those individuals who have achieved excellence in their profession, community service or education at the local, state or national level. Traditionally, the honor would not be given for a single achievement but rather for a collective impact in their profession or community. Alumni must have graduated from Morehead State University 10 years before nomination and must be responsible, respected citizens of good character in their communities and professions.
2021 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees
Tom Clay (Class of 1983) of Flatwoods is a retired business manager with Kentucky State Resort Parks and investigator with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. He was the Kentucky Outdoor Press Association president for 20 years and a statewide outdoor syndicated radio host for “This Week’s Outdoor Adventures” for 25 years. Previous honors include being named Kentucky Water Conservationist of the Year from 1998-2000, an Ambassador to Kentucky in 2010 and being inducted to the Greenup County Kentucky Hall of Fame in 2019.
Gary Kidwell (Class of 1965, 1973, 1986) of Vanceburg is an accomplished educator, athletic director, coach, umpire, newspaper writer and sports announcer. During his time in Lewis County, he helped establish the county’s little league baseball program and revived the Lewis County High School football program. In addition to receiving many honors at state and national levels, he was named to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2011 and to the National High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2013.
Ramona Justice Vikan (Class of 1998) of Pikeville is the program and functional leadership director at TACG LLC, a premier consulting and professional services company supporting the public sector. She manages work with the United States Air Force and the Department of the Navy. She graduated from the 2014 Leadership Dayton program in Dayton, Ohio, and was named one of Dayton Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” that year. Additionally, she received the inaugural Outstanding Community Board Service Award from the Dayton Chamber of Commerce in 2019 and served a four-year term on the board for Dayton Art Institute.
2021 Alumni Awards
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. Alumni must have graduated from Morehead State University and must be responsible, respected citizens of good character.
Nathan Blum (Class of 2012) of Port Orange, Florida, is the senior director of sales at NASCAR based in Daytona Beach, Florida. Blum began his career in sales as a student in MSU’s Office of Athletics and has risen to his current role through sales experience with programs in the AHL, MiLB and NBA.
Eagle Spirit Award
The Eagle Spirit Award is given to an alumnus who is an exceptionally proud and active Eagles. 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. Recipients must be responsible, respected citizens of good character.
Amber Philpott Hill (Class of 2003) of Lexington is an award-winning news anchor at WKYT-TV and a proud Eagle committed to her community and her alma mater. She continues to give back to MSU through her past service on the Alumni Board of Directors and has served as master of ceremonies at the Annual Spring Gala for several years. She continues to promote MSU in Central Kentucky and beyond.
Learn more about Homecoming 2021 at alumni.moreheadstate.edu/homecoming or call the Office of Alumni Relations and Development at 606-783-2033. For more information on alumni awards, visit alumni.moreheadstate.edu/awards.