September 11-12, 2020
We are family.
We are Racers.
Announcing Our Outstanding Parents/Family Members for 2020!
Congratulations on this special recognition! We know parents and family are critically important people in the lives of our students and we welcome the opportunity to recognize all that you have done to support your student and their success.
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Clark Residential College: Beth and Steve Walker
Parent/Family Members: Beth and Steve Walker
Student: Meghan Walker
Nomination from student: “This past year I have served as the president of the Lee Clark Residential College Council. Some parents just let their kids do their own thing, and don't really get involved with their kid's life away from home. My parents have been the opposite of that. We had Clarkstock last year and it's open to the community to come and listen to music, eat some food, and hopefully donate some money to help us give back to the Main Street Youth. Last year my parents, along with a few other parents, drove to campus and helped out to make sure everything went smoothly. They didn't have to do that, but because they wanted to support me and other organizations of Murray, they came. They both graduated from Murray State and they have given back so much since they have graduated, and now they are giving back by helping me help other students. They came to parents' weekend, but not as just parents. This year I wanted to get more families involved like mine, so we did a tailgate before the football game. My hope was for lots of families to come so they could see what kind of community they have in Murray. I got just that, and my parents came and made other parents feel at home. They served food and mingled with families to just be a friendly face. They have been those kinds of people my whole life, and they have truly been what I think Murray State wants their students to be like when they graduate and go on to have families. My dad was a Sigma Chi when he was on campus, and my mom was an Alpha Delta Pi. During their time in Murray they wanted to get as involved as they can, and they have helped me do just that since I've been on campus. Greek life was never my calling, but I found my place in the RCC. They respected that and made sure to help me anyway they could this past year. They've supported me in everything I've done, but the amount of support they have given me while being at Murray State is unmatched. I hope one day to be that kind of parent to my kids who hopefully choose to be Racers.”
Hart Residential College: Kelly Melton
Parent/Family Members: Kelly Melton
Student: Amara Stroud
Nomination from student: “Out of all the people I know who deserve to be named Murray State’s Outstanding Family Member, there is no one more fitting to wear this title than my mom, Kelly Melton. Throughout my childhood, my mom played the role of both mother and father. She filled in shoes that she did not have to fill but chose to as she set her own wants aside in hopes that I would grow to become a confident and strong-willed woman – just like her. As my mom was a friend to everyone, she instilled those same qualities of kindness, acceptance, and love for serving others into my heart. She quickly became involved as a 4-H parent where she helped me to grow as a community servant and taught me to give back to the elders of the community who shaped her into the wonderful woman that she is. As a teacher, I saw my mom step out in blind faith to serve students with unfortunate backgrounds by completing home visits and wellness checks. My mom has willingly spent time and money on buying clothes, groceries, even beds for students within her classroom, school, and community. My mom instilled a great love of reading within me and helped me to develop a reading community service project – Rock and Read – that extends into multiple states. Together, we worked on building soft skills in students who both struggle and excel at reading and elderly community members in nursing homes and long-term units at hospitals by connecting them through reading together. My mom is a fighter. This past June, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 HER2NU+ Breast Cancer. My mom went through 2 rounds of 5 different chemotherapy treatments as well as daily radiation treatments and a double mastectomy. During this time, she still attended everything that I was involved in – plays, events, recognitions. If I was there, so was she. In a time where my mom did not know when she would live or die, she still put me first. My mom has shown the ultimate amount of selflessness as she focused on me more so than she focused on herself. She has been my ultimate supporter in every aspect of my life. My mom, Kelly Melton, truly exemplifies what it means to be an Outstanding Family Member, Community Member, and Mother. I truly believe that no one is more deserving of this title than her.”
Regents Residential College: Jake and Daphne Hoffman
Parent/Family Members: Jake and Daphne Hoffman
Student: Mackenzie Hoffman
Nomination from student: “My mom, Daphne, and step dad, Jake, are the sole reason I chose Murray State University. As I was searching for schools in-state, they suggested Murray even though it was out of state. They loved how safe the campus was and the community I would be a part of both on campus and around town. They were impressed with the outstanding education I would be receiving in both the Hutson School of Agriculture and the rest of campus. From the moment they stepped on campus, they enjoyed how friendly and helpful the professors, students, and other workers were to us and how clean the campus was.
My parents also suggested Murray State to my sister when she was looking for potential universities the following year. She followed me to Kentucky due to how prideful and supportive my parents are to Murray State. They are so prideful, they recommend Murray State to all of our friends who are looking for an amazing education. They love how Murray has been our home away from home these past three years. They are impressed that we are learning so much more than just a degree.
My parents are the sole reason my sister and I are both at Murray State. We both could have attended a two year junior college with full rides. Instead, my parents offered to pay the fees for us to attend a four year university in Kentucky due to how much Murray State won their hearts. They have supported me doing research with Hutson School of Agriculture and presenting my research in San Antonio, Texas. They supported and funded me studying abroad in New Zealand for two weeks with Hutson School of Agriculture. They have supported both of us being a part of Greek life when we joined Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority. They supported my sister when she applied to the nursing program and when she changed her major to social work. They have supported and funded both of us to shoot trap with Murray State Trap and Skeet Team in tournaments in Alabama. They take off work and drive the three hours each way to come to events like Alpha Phi Alpha Step Off, Family Weekend, Homecoming Weekend, football and volleyball games, to move us in each August, move us home each May, and many more events across campus. Without the financial, physical, and emotional support my parents have given my sister and I, we both would not be at Murray State to further our education, and we both would not be able to do so many of the opportunities that have been given to us.”
Richmond Residential College: Amy Hueftle
Parent/Family Members: Amy Hueftle
Student: Jonathan Hueftle
Nomination from student: “Over the last two decades, my mother has committed herself to enhance the lives of everyone within her family. With a degree in special education, she committed her life to helping all students receive a proper education. She has taken even greater measures to guide her own children to higher education. My mother, Amy Hueftle, deserves recognition as an MSU Outstanding Parent for her extreme commitment to education.
No matter what the circumstances, my mom has made sure she reserves time for her family. Throughout all the years of raising me and my younger sister, she was always right there to guide us in our education. Even in a time when she had to balance between her own career and going back to school to earn her Master’s degree in Business Administration, she made sure nothing interfered with her family life. She is my ultimate role model for commitment to family and pursuing education. Without her guidance, I would not have had such a successful transition into higher education.
While my mother never had any previous ties to Murray before I was enrolled, she has fallen in love with the campus just as much as I have. Through every step of the way, she has supported and encouraged my experience as a music major, and every chance she finds to come to Murray for a concert of mine, she does without hesitation. Even during periods when face-to-face contact is limited, my mom still reserves time to catch up over the phone and give me great advice. She has definitely served as an outstanding resource for much success I have had in my entire life.”
Springer/Franklin Residential College: Tom and Luann Castle
Parent/Family Members: Tom and Luann Castle
Student: Blake Castle
Nomination from student: “When I think about why my parents should receive the “Outstanding Family Member” Award, I think about how I would not be here if it was not for them. I owe my parents everything. Growing up, both of my parents have always been there. My mom has been a stay at home mom for as long as I can remember while my dad has always worked to support us. My father was the first and only person in his family to go to college, while my mother unfortunately could not attend due to a lack of financial support. However, both of my parents know the value of a college degree. Due to my parents I am able to attend Murray State and will be able to graduate debt free. They have covered all expenses with the criteria being that I keep my grades up and stay on track. However, during my sophomore year I fell off track. While I surely deserved to be put in my place and be whacked on the head, my parents did neither. Instead they helped me, and to this day I have stayed on track and things have only gotten better.
Both of my parents have been instrumental in my success at Murray State. My dad has taught me most of the things I know when it comes to business and has only reinforced the teachings I have learned. My mom, on the other hand, has helped me through my finance and economics classes, oftentimes already knowing the answer to a question before I had finished reading it. To this day my parents still mentor me and lead me down the right path. Every day I still learn valuable life lessons and wisdom from them. I cannot thank them enough for everything they have done for me. Without them, my life would be very different, and I simply would not be where I am today. They truly are outstanding parents/family members.”
RH White Residential College: Jai and Delane Bracken
Parent/Family Members: Jai and Delane Bracken
Student: Jaila Bracken
Nomination from student: “I believe my parents should receive the “Outstanding Family” award because my parents have gone above and beyond for myself and my siblings. My parents have taught me how to go after my dreams and achieve all of them. My parents had me at a young age and it had taught them responsibility but that did not keep them from going to college and getting their degree. My parents have been through tough situations that they have overcome. It has not been easy but they did it for their family. My parents are far from perfect but they are perfect in my eyes. I am thankful that my parents taught me right and wrong and always for the long talks. It has taught me that I can do anything and accept the outcome of it. They have also taught me to never be afraid to go after what I believe in. My parents have always been involved in and out of our schools; they have both served on different school committees. My parents are not just my parents, they are my support system. They are there before anyone else knows what is going on with me. My dad is a Health care Hero and my mom is an entrepreneur. My dad has been working in the hospital since I was a baby and loves what he does. My mom became an entrepreneur in 2014 at home with us and was able to go to all of the events. Before that my mom had been a full time third shift supervisor at UPS for some years. But she had been missing out on important milestones in our lives. My parents have never put themselves first before making any decisions. I love my parents because of who they are and not for what they have done for me. I have learned that it is not about what all they give to you, it is about the bond you share with your parents. You only get one set of parents so you have to respect them and always love them no matter what. I have never questioned my parent’s decision because I know it was for my own good. My parents deserve this outstanding parents award because they represent what a parent is in today’s society. Every day I wake up I thank God above for letting me see another day and being to have parents that care for me as much as they do.They are the reason I keep pushing myself to be great because that is all they want me to be.”
The Murray State Alumni Association is celebrating Family Weekend 2020 with stories about Racer Legacies! Share stories with us about your current legacy, future Racer or your Racer family tree. Let us all celebrate passing the Racer tradition on to the next generation.