The Murray State University Alumni Association has named four Distinguished Alumni for 2014. They are: Eddie Wells; E.L. Lancaster; Jack Wolf; and Steve Powless. Each alumnus was nominated by alumni in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments. To celebrate these men’s accomplishments, the MSU Alumni Association will host the annual Distinguished Alumni recognition dinner on Friday, April 11, at 6 p.m. in the Curris Center Small Ballroom. For reservations call 1.800.758.8510 or go online at www.raceralumni.com.
Eddie Wells graduated from Murray State University in 1962 with a degree in physics and mathematics. After leaving Murray State, Wells went on to study astronomy and other subjects at Cornell University, the University of Texas and the University of Pittsburgh.
After many years of researching numerous celestial bodies, Wells joined the Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md., where he worked for 22 years. While there, he teamed up with a small group of scientists who eventually went on to launch the Hubble Space Telescope. Throughout his career, Wells has made many discoveries including finding a large impact crater on the second largest asteroid in our solar system
E.L. Lancaster is a 1970 graduate of Murray State University and the senior vice president and keyboard editor-in-chief of Alfred Music. His work includes determining the publications for keyboard and overseeing a budget that generates $13 million in annual sales. Before working at Alfred Music, Lancaster served as a professor of music at the University of Oklahoma in Norman for 18 years. Lancaster also studied at the University of Illinois and earned the Ph.D. at Northwestern University.
He has continued to receive many awards throughout his career for his passion and service to the art of music including the Sam Award (awarded for creative thinking), Signature Sinfonia by Phi Mu Alpha national music fraternity and an MTNA Foundation Fellow.
Wolf graduated from MSU with both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics in 1971 and 1973, respectively. He was a successful hedge fund manager with Columbus Partners before retiring to the horsing industry where he began focusing on improving the aftercare programs for retired horses. Wolf founded and serves as the board president of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.
He has been in the racing industry for almost 15 years with much success. Wolf and his wife, Laurie, entered the Thoroughbred industry as owners of successful horses. Harlan’s Holiday, one of their most recognized Thoroughbreds, chalked up a number of wins and also raced in the 2002 Kentucky Derby and the 2003 Dubai World Cup. Wolf was named the Warner L. Jones Horseman of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners in 2013 in recognition of his work not only in producing champion horses, but also his efforts to improve aftercare programs.
Steve Powless graduated from Murray State University in 1977 with a B.S. in business administration and marketing and now serves as the CEO of Computer Services Inc., the nation’s largest provider of dynamic technology solutions for financial institutions and corporations. Powless has grown the company exponentially since he assumed the title of CEO.
He also gives back to the community in a number of way including service as the director of the MSU Telecommunication Systems Management National Advisory Board, director of the West Kentucky Technical Foundation board, and as treasurer and director of the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council.