The 2015 Homecoming Queen and King Court includes (front row, from left) Kristin Henson, Victoria Mohon, Kevyn Cunningham, Katie Granstaff and Laken Kanipe, and (back row, from left) Alex Hopewell, Landon Gibbs, Nathaniel Payne, Sawyer Lawson and Blake Th
Grand Marshall of MSU Parade Cindy Hutson
MURRAY, Ky. -- With the 90th anniversary of the agriculture program at Murray State University, MSU has selected alumna and philanthropist Cindy Hutson to serve as the 2015 Homecoming Grand Marshal for the traditional parade.
Hutson graduated from Murray State in 1990 with a major in exercise science and a minor in business. She married 1977 alumnus Dan C. Hutson II in 1986, and utilized her business skills to join him in the agriculture business. The couple went on to expand the Hutson Co., a family bulk fertilizer business that Dan Hutson's grandfather and father began. What started as the Hutson Co. grew to encompass Hutson Ag Equipment and Hutson's Grain.
Along with the ownership of Hutson Properties LLC, in 1996 the company acquired its first John Deere dealership. Cindy Hutson served as director, secretary and treasurer beginning 1998. By 2008, the franchise had grown to the fourth largest in the United States with a total of six dealerships. After acquiring another dealership, Hutson sold the seven dealerships in 2010. Today, she is the sole owner of Hutson Properties.
Agriculture remains close to Hutson's heart. She donated a 160-acre farm to MSU in 2010 in memory of her late husband. The Calloway County farm, located three miles from campus, is currently used as a research and laboratory facility for faculty and students.
To commemorate the family's leadership role in the local agricultural community, the school of agriculture at Murray State was renamed the Hutson School of Agriculture in 2011. "Murray State University's School of Agriculture leads to our family's success," Hutson said. "MSU has always been important to Dan and myself. I wanted to give back to the university that gave my family so much."
Hutson's philanthropic efforts extend beyond Murray State. She is heavily involved with fundraising efforts for the American Cancer Society in her hometown of Paducah, Ky. In 2014, Hutson was the winning contestant in the society's Dancing With Our Stars' event, raising over $64,000 for the American Cancer Society. She then served as the event chair in 2015 and the event raised a record $263,892 under her leadership.
"What's so endearing about Cindy is that she doesn't want to be placed on a pedestal," Tom Dolan, community manager for mid-south division Relay for Life, said. "She is purely a generous and kind person who doesn't expect recognition. She gives to the community out of the goodness of her heart."
Hutson says she is eager to serve as the Grand Marshal during the Homecoming Parade, which begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, and progresses down Main Street. "It's a wonderful," Hutson said. "I feel incredibly privileged for the opportunity."
Murray State Homecoming Court Selected
Murray State University will be celebrating its 2015 Homecoming Oct. 9-10. One of the event's special traditions is the crowning of the Homecoming Queen and King.
Students selected for this year's Homecoming Court include Victoria Mohon, Katie Granstaff, Laken Kanipe, Kevyn Cunningham, Kristin Henson, Landon Gibbs, Alex Hopewell, Sawyer Lawson, Nathaniel Payne and Blake Thomas.
Victoria Mohon is the daughter of Mimi Morgan Vogler and John Mark Mohon, both of Greenville, Ky. She is a senior agriculture education major. Mohon is active in Alpha Gamma Delta and the Collegiate FFA. A Dean's List student, Mohon received the Alpha Gamma Delta 4.0 Award twice.
Katie Granstaff is the daughter of Lara Hill and Danny Granstaff of Symsonia, Ky. A senior, she is majoring in Spanish education K-12 and secondary English education. Granstaff is active in several organizations including the National Council of Teachers of English and the Baptist Campus Ministry. A Dean's List student, she is a member of Alpha Chi honor society and participated in Study Abroad in Chile.
Laken Kanipe is the daughter of Tammy and Sandra Kanipe of Clay, Ky. She is a senior occupational safety and health major. She is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, the Panhellenic Council and the Campus Activities Board. She has been nominated for the Greek Woman of the Year award at MSU.
Kevyn Cunningham is the daughter of Howard and Kendra Cunningham of Kevil, Ky. She is a junior accounting/agribusiness major. Cunningham is a member of the equestrian team and Alpha Gamma Delta. A Dean's List student, Cunningham is a member of the Order of Omega.
Kristin Henson is the daughter of Greg and Tracey Henson of Hickory, Ky. She is a senior public relations major. Henson is active in Sigma Sigma Sigma and Campus Outreach. She is a Dean's List student.
Landon Gibbs is the son of David and Sharon Gibbs of Washington Court House, Ohio. He is a senior horticulture/agronomy major. His campus activities include the Honors Student Council and a photography internship. A Dean's List student, Gibbs is the recipient of the Sigma Xi Student Research Award.
Alex Hopewell is the son of Chet and Kelly Hopewell of Owensboro, Ky. He is a senior occupational safety and health major. Hopewell is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, the Student Government Association Judicial Board and the American Society of Safety Engineers. He is a member of the Order of Omega.
Sawyer Lawson is the son of Chad and Monica Lawson of Murray. He is a senior finance/financial advising major. Lawson is an active member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and serves as a middle school mentor through West Kentucky Mentoring. He is a Dean's List student.
Nathaniel Payne is the son of Sally Payne and Jeff Payne, both of Owensboro, Ky. He is a senior business administration major. Payne is active in Alpha Sigma Phi and was the Outstanding Alpha Sig of the Year 2015, and is in the Racer Band and the Student Government Association.
Blake Thomas is the son of Damon Thomas and Carrie Thomas, both of Mayfield, Ky. He is a senior occupational safety and health major. Thomas is a member of Alpha Sigma Phi, the American Society of Safety Engineers, the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the Emerging Scholars Institute.
The 2015 Homecoming Queen and King will be announced at the football game in Roy Stewart Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 10.