Harry Lee II is one of three new MSU Board members appointed by Gov. Beshear.
Waterfield and Murray State University: Legacies of Tradition that hold Value
Two names appeared in print together this week that brought smiles and hope to many West Kentuckians. Harry L. Waterfield, Jr. was appointed to the Board of Directors of Murray State University (MSU).
The names of Waterfield and Murray State go back to the roots of a family of legend in West Kentucky as well as the foundation of a great university in Ky.
After the good fathers of Clinton, Kentucky told the search committee from Frankfort in 1922 that Clinton had all the colleges that they wanted, thank you very much, higher education in the Purchase never was the same. The state of Kentucky soon after took up the offer of $100,000 and land from the city of Murray to build a Teachers Normal School (college). History proved to be a harsh judge for Clinton. It lost the three colleges it had. Murray’s Teachers College grew into Murray State University.
The point of mentioning Clinton is not so much the early tie into how Murray became the location for MSU, but rather the legacy of how one family, the Waterfields, stood by MSU for over 70 years.
Harry L. Waterfield, senior work as an editor of the Hickman County Gazette newspaper for most of his early professional life. From this platform, he moved into statewide politics as Lt. Governor under Gov. Happy Chandler in 1955.
All through his life, he fought hard to push the agenda for higher education in his beloved Jackson Purchase and West Kentucky.
The legacy of Harry Lee, the father, was his love and ambition for making West Kentucky a modern progressive region for embracing good job opportunities.
The legacy of Harry Lee, the son, will be his devotion to building a national insurance corporation to greater heights during the first part of the 21st Century. This effort will be on a parallel track of passion for him in his constant work to better higher education in Kentucky.
Both father and son have had a deep personal love for West Kentucky and Murray State University. This will be a good thing as the challenges of this next decade will test the resolve of MSU’s leadership to keep the university moving forward through troubled budget times.
Harry Lee Waterfield II grew up in Clinton, Kentucky (Hickman County) and Frankfort, Kentucky (4 years), but has spent his adult life in Frankfort. He is President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Investors Heritage Life Insurance Company and Investors Heritage Capital Corporation (formerly Kentucky Investors, Inc.).
Harry Lee graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1965. He served five years as an officer of the National Association of Life Companies, the last of which was Chairman of the Board. He received the Association's Poindexter Award in 1990.
He was one of three founders of the National Alliance of Life Companies and served as the first president of the organization, a position he held two years. In 1995, he received that organization's first Governor's Award.
Currently he is an Advisory Director of the Whitaker Bank, Frankfort, Kentucky; a member of the Board of Trustees, Murray State University Foundation, Murray, Kentucky; a member of the Board of Trustees, Lees College Foundation, Jackson, Kentucky. He recently served as a member of the Board of Regents, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky serving as Vice Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Finance and Administration Committee from July 2000 thru January 2005.
He is Past President of the Frankfort/Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Frankfort, and Vice Chairman of the Frankfort Tourist and Convention Commission. He is a former Board member of Junior Achievement of Frankfort, the Kentucky State Fair Board and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. He is a former member of the Kentucky Air National Guard. In 1975, he was named one of Kentucky’s Five Outstanding Young Men.
He and his wife, Lee, have two sons, two daughters, five grandsons and a granddaughter expected in October, 2010.
Harry L. Waterfield II brings sound corporate business practices and good common sense to the MSU Board of Directors. His leadership in team building and for tackling the hard fiscal and management decisions will surely be needed in the 2011-2014 budget cycles.
West Kentucky wins in having a native son return to help the university remain as a major economic engine for moving the entire region into the 21st Century.