Morehead State to receive additional money for the Craft Academy

The Craft Academy at Morehead State University logo

MOREHEAD, Ky. (MSU) – The Morehead State University Foundation received a commitment from Dr. Joe and Ambassador Kelly Craft, of Lexington, for an additional $3.5 million over the next five years. This brings their total support for the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics to just over $10 million.

The gift will be used to ensure the sustained excellence of The Craft Academy – a STEM+X Residential High School for gifted and talented students in Kentucky- made possible through the Craft’s generosity as well as appropriations from the Kentucky General Assembly.

- Advertisement -

The Academy was recently named to the Jay Matthews Public Elites List of schools for 2019, distinguishing it as one of the top-performing high schools in the nation. The Jay Matthews Challenge Index is the oldest high school ranking system in the country, beginning in 1998 in both Newsweek and The Washington Post.

In 2019, the Craft Academy graduated its third class with an average ACT score of 31. Thirty-five of 50 graduates attained a score of 31 or higher.

“I am grateful for the Crafts’ continued commitment to providing high quality STEM+X educational opportunities to academically gifted and talented students from Kentucky. Their commitment will be forever impactful to the lives of the students and to the future of our state,” said Dr. Jay Morgan, MSU president.

The Craft Academy opened in August 2015. The Crafts initially pledged $4 million in support of the Academy, which was the single largest cash gift in the history of the University.

The Craft Academy offers a unique, project-based STEM+X curriculum that enriches students’ educational experiences and develops competencies in entrepreneurship and innovation, design and creativity, and civic and regional engagement.

Students live on the Morehead State University campus in Grote-Thompson Hall, which was remodeled with meeting and social areas, the addition of a makerspace, and enhanced 24/7 staffing. Counselors and advisors also are available.

Students are selected based on ACT and SAT scores, academic grades from their first two years of high school, interest in advanced STEM careers, responses to application essay questions, interviews by the Academy selection committee and recommendations from teachers and others who could attest to the student’s preparedness for the program.

A Hazard native, Joe Craft is Chairman, President and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners LP, a diversified natural resource company, and is a dedicated philanthropist who supports education, free enterprise initiatives and social services throughout the Commonwealth.

Ambassador Craft is a native of Glasgow and was previously the United States Ambassador to Canada, the first woman to hold the post. She currently serves as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

Additional information may be obtained by calling the MSU Foundation at 606-783-2599. Information about the Craft Academy can be found online at

Previous articleAsylum-seeking Mexicans are more prominent at US border
Next articleTruck driver dies after getting pinned between semi and pickup
Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at You can also follow Tom on Facebook and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.