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Former music student remembered with memorial music award
MSU scholarship has been created to honor Daniel Milam.

MURRAY, Ky. — One short year ago Daniel Milam’s life was cut short. A tragic auto accident took the Murray State University music student’s life at the age of 24.

While studying at MSU, Milam was an active performer and a young man who showed excellence in both music and life. In honor of that excellence and in remembrance of Milam, the department of music has established the Daniel Milam Excellence in Music Award through gifts made to the MSU Foundation by faculty members and Milam’s family and friends.

The awards will be distributed to qualifying full-time or part-time students majoring in music on an as-needed basis. The award may be used for books, housing, fees, travel or other special project expenses.

Milam received a posthumous bachelor of arts degree in May 2013 from Murray State. Milam grew up in Memphis, Tenn., and graduated from Overton High School. As a music student at MSU, he constantly looked for opportunities in his chosen field. He performed in choral ensembles on campus and was selected for leading roles in productions such as Dido and Aeneas and The Magic Flute. He was also an active member of MSU’s Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia chapter, a fraternity for men in the music profession.

Milam traveled to Germany through the Murray State Study Abroad program, studying opera at the International Performing Arts Institute.

He took his talents to a community audience by becoming involved in Murray’s Playhouse in the Park, acting as “Seaweed” in Hairspray and music director for its production of Big River.

Lisa Cope, executive director of Playhouse in the Park, remembers Milam well. “The first thing everyone noticed about Daniel was his huge, infectious smile,” Cope said. “What we all quickly learned is that the smile was the outward manifestation of all the fabulous things going on inside him — joy, love, humor, creativity, music. People were immediately drawn to him and he was genuinely interested in each person. He had that unique gift of making everyone feel they were the most important person in the room.

“The thing I love most about this award is that it recognizes students who are ‘outstanding in life,’” Cope continued. “That phrase describes Daniel perfectly. He was indeed the most outstanding young man I have known. This award is an ideal way to honor a life that was well lived.”

To make a gift to the Daniel Milam Excellence in Music Award, send a check to the MSU Office of Development, 200 Heritage Hall, Murray, KY 42071. Checks should be made payable to the MSU Foundation denoting the Daniel Milam Excellence in Music Award in the memo section.

Donors may also give securely online at www.murraystate.edu/givenow. For more information on the fund, contact Tina Bernot, the director of development for the MSU college of humanities and fine arts at 270.809.3250 or cbernot@murraystate.edu.

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