Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) launched a $1.5-million fundraising initiative to establish a scholarship for students attending the EKU Manchester Regional Campus in Manchester, Kentucky. The fundraising goal, along with a $100,000 gift from East Kentucky Power and its 16 Owner Member Cooperatives, was announced yesterday at the EKU Manchester Regional Campus.
“As an institution, serving the people of Eastern Kentucky is the driving force behind our work,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “This scholarship fund will go directly to students pursuing higher education at our EKU Manchester Regional campus. It is our mission as the School of Opportunity to break down barriers to education—whether it be financial or geographical. The generous donors investing in this fund are helping make higher education even more accessible.”
In the 1980s, Clay County community leaders dreamed of what would become the EKU Manchester Regional Campus. There was a clear need in the community to provide a college education without requiring students to leave the region. This vision was realized in 2009 with a state-of-the-art facility and academic programming. The Manchester Campus Endowed Scholarship Fund is a continuation of that vision.
“Senate President Robert Stivers has been an instrumental partner in the development of the Manchester Campus Endowed Scholarship Fund. His commitment to the people of Eastern Kentucky and his understanding of the transformational impact higher education has on the region will be felt by generations of EKU students and their families,” said McFaddin.
“Any business knows you must invest in your people to be successful. By the same token, a community has to invest in its people to experience a similar, successful outcome,” said Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, District 25. “I'm thrilled to be at this pivotal turning point for Manchester and the surrounding region, partnering with EKU and other businesses who value this community, the community I love and remain committed to seeing flourish.”
Dr. Aaron Thompson, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, said this endowment will help ensure EKU will continue to provide affordable and accessible education to a low-income area.
“People are willing to coalesce around us to create scholarships and processes for young people and not-so-young people to be educated here and stay here,” said Thompson. “To become a part of that industry, that helps Clay County build itself out economically. If you can educate people here, businesses will come and then we are going to create a better economic output for the mountains.”
The EKU Manchester Regional Campus has led to more than 7,000 students beginning their education at EKU—2,700 of those being first-generation college students. Academic offerings range from general education requirements to programs in high-demand fields such as K-12 education, healthcare and criminal justice.
To make a philanthropic contribution to the EKU Manchester Campus Endowed Scholarship Fund, visit go.eku.edu/give-Manchester.