Senate President Robert Stivers announces endowment for EKU

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 10:39 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2023 at 11:25 PM EDT
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MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) - On Tuesday, Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers announced a $1.5 million endowment to pay for scholarships at EKU-Manchester.

The idea came after hearing issues with affordability regarding higher education.

“One of the things we have heard from many parents and friends and relatives is we don’t have that last 500 or 750 dollars to make the tuition or pay the fees for the books,” Stivers said.

The endowment will pay $50,000 to $60,000 in scholarships for students to attend the university.

“Having this endowment, the ability to have 50,000 to 60,000 dollars a year that can go straight to those students to serve as many students as possible is going to provide as much opportunity as we can,” EKU President David McFaddin said.

Stivers said the $1.5 million is the principal endowment which will not be touched, and the interest is what will be paid every year in perpetuity.

So far, $890,000 has been raised thanks to community support.

“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,” Aaron Thompson, the president of the council of postsecondary education, said. “To become a part of that industry that helps Clay County build itself out economically.

Thompson said this endowment will help ensure EKU will continue to provide affordable and accessible education to a low income area.

Thompson also said this endowment also helps keep people in Eastern Kentucky and help build back the economy and let people know Southeastern and Eastern Kentucky matter.

“If you can educate people here, businesses will come and then we are going to create a better economic output for the mountains,” Thompson said.

McFaddin believes the best way to raise the remaining $610,000 is by sharing the impact of the fund on students.

“Hearing from students, hearing the difference that can make is gonna get us across the finish line,” McFaddin said

McFaddin said he hopes to wrap up fundraising by mid-2024 and start awarding scholarships from this fund in the fall of 2024.