MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University will welcome three prominent alumni for the 2017 Presidential Lecture, to take place on Thursday, March 9 at 8 p.m. at the CFSB Center. Supported by the Murray State University Office of the President, Murray State Student Government Association and the MSU Foundation, the event is free and open to the public and will be streamed live at murraystate.edu/streaming.
The title of the evening’s event, “We have a dream. Are we living it?,” will focus on diversity efforts within higher education and include Dr. MarTeze Hammonds, Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton and Dr. Walter Bumphus. Each guest will address the audience, and a question-and-answer session will follow involving each of the three speakers.
“This year, I am pleased to welcome three distinguished higher educational leaders, who are Murray State alumni and have excelled in their respective careers while embracing diversity and inclusion,” said Murray State President Bob Davies. “Their insights, personal and professional experiences and perspectives will be invaluable for our community as our country continues to navigate social tensions while on its way to being one America. This is part of the Marketplace of Ideas, the exploring of critical issues that impact full participation by all in this democracy, that is vital and is the foundation of Murray State University.”
Dr. MarTeze Hammonds is the inaugural associate dean for diversity and inclusion at Arkansas Tech University. A Murray native, Hammonds attended Murray State and earned his Bachelor of Science in Theatre in 2005 and Master of Science in Organizational Communication in 2006 as well as a second Master of Science in Human Development and Leadership (emphasis in college student personnel) in 2008. While earning these degrees, Hammonds was employed as a member of the Murray State athletics department as the inaugural academic counselor and director of CHAMPS/Life Skills. Hammonds has earned numerous honors and awards from areas of academia, leadership, fraternal, volunteerism and the community. On May 25, 2012, the City of Murray proclaimed that May 25 of every year will be forever known as Dr. MarTeze D. Hammonds Day in recognition of young role models.
Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton is CEO of DreamCatcher Educational Consulting Service where she coaches and provides professional development for new college and university presidents. She began serving as president of Cuyahoga Community College in 1992. She retired June 28, 2013 and was presented by the Board of Trustees with the title of president emeritus. A native Kentuckian, she earned bachelors and master’s degrees from Murray State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a graduate of Harvard’s Institute for the Management of Lifelong Education. She holds honorary doctorates from the College of St. Catherine (Minnesota) as well as Youngstown State University, Cleveland State University, The University of Toledo, Baldwin Wallace College and Cuyahoga Community College. Dr. Thornton serves on many corporate and nonprofit boards. She most recently completed her five-year term as a Murray State University Regent and received the Murray State University Diversity Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Dr. Walter Bumphus is president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges and currently serves on Murray State University’s Board of Regents. Bumphus holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication, a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Murray State and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin. In 1992, Bumphus was recognized as a distinguished graduate from both Murray State University and The University of Texas at Austin. Bumphus holds the distinction of being one of the few leaders in the field of education to receive the Association of Community College Trustees Marie Y. Martin CEO of the Year Award, to chair the AACC Board of Directors and to receive the AACC Leadership Award. While he has received a number of accolades for his service to higher education, one of the recognitions he is most proud of is receiving an honorary doctorate in education from his alma mater, Murray State University, that was bestowed upon him in May 2016 to recognize his lifelong commitment, leadership and support of higher education throughout the world.
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