MURRAY, Ky. — A new scholarship has been established at Murray State University to honor the political contributions of Laura Ferguson Waterfield and to encourage talented students to pursue studies in the department of government, law and international affairs at MSU. The first award will be made in the Fall 2012 semester.
Established by Harry Lee Waterfield II and the department of government, law and international affairs, the Laura Ferguson Waterfield Governmental Studies Scholarship is in memory of Waterfield’s mother. Harry Lee Waterfield II is a member of the Murray State board of regents and has served on the MSU Foundation board of trustees. He is president, CEO and chair of the board of Investors Heritage Life Insurance Co. and Investors Heritage Capital Corp. (formerly Kentucky Investors Inc.).
Laura was married to the late Harry Lee Waterfield, who served as lieutenant governor of Kentucky on two separate occasions. He also served six terms in the State House of Representatives, with two of those as House Speaker.
Laura met her husband while attending Murray State Teachers College in the 1930s. Together, they had three children — RoseGayle Waterfield Hardy, Nancy Waterfield Walton and Harry Lee Waterfield II. Her role extended far beyond that of wife and mother. She was a consummate political campaigner and a gracious hostess for government and civic affairs.
When her husband organized Investors Heritage Life Insurance Company, she became the unofficial human relations officer from 1960 until the time of her death in 1991. She is noted as a key ingredient in shaping the friendly, caring attitude developed by the company over the years. Their son, Harry Lee, remembers that both family and close friends always called his mother “Munny.”
“My family and I are proud to have a scholarship established in Munny’s name,” Harry Lee II said. “She was an integral part of my father’s success in farming, newspapers and life insurance. And she was certainly a big asset to his political career. She was a great campaigner. No one shook hands better. As natives of the Jackson Purchase, my sisters and I are proud of the Murray State University mission to serve the Purchase area. My parents, Purchase natives, were educated there, met there and were always loyal supporters of the university. This is a very special recognition for a special lady.”
The scholarship will be available to assist sophomore students who are majoring in political science, international affairs or public administration.
“Laura Ferguson Waterfield’s life was full of accomplishments and it is a fitting tribute to her memory that now her family has established a scholarship for sophomore students who are pursuing a major in political science, international affairs or public administration. This scholarship benefits the department by helping it attract and retain majors. The students, in turn, find support early in their academic careers for their interest in governmental affairs allowing them to make, as Laura Ferguson Waterfield did, a lasting contribution to their community, state and nation,” said Dr. Lillian Daughaday, interim chair of the department of government, law and international affairs.
Contributions to the Laura Ferguson Waterfield Governmental Studies Scholarship can be made by contacting Tina Bernot in the MSU office of development at (270) 809-3250 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.