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EAST LANSING, MI -- Kathryn Kesler of Hastings, MI, was chosen as the 2015-16 recipient of the Donald and Valera Murray endowed scholarship through the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation Inc., at Michigan State University (MSU). The $4,000 scholarship is named in honor of Donald Murray, a former MSU Extension dairy specialist, and his wife Valera.

Kesler, the daughter of Mike and Marge Kesler, received the award based on her academic achievements, involvement in extracurricular activities and interest in pursuing a career in the dairy industry. She is currently a senior majoring in animal science with a concentration in the production animal scholars program and on schedule to graduate in May. Kesler aspires to practice production animal medicine.

At MSU, Kesler is a member of the MSU Honors College and routinely made the Dean’s List. She is a member of the Block and Bridle Club, participated on the MSU Dairy Challenge and competed on the MSU Livestock Judging Team. Kesler is a board member of both the Michigan Junior Chianina and Maine-Anjou breed associations. She has worked on 1,000-, 5,000- and 10,000-head commercial dairy operation, and for a 100-head commercial beef herd.

The Donald and Valera Murray endowed scholarship was created in 2007 to recognize Dr. Murray’s leadership role in establishing the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation. He guided the Foundation and served as its secretary from its beginnings in 1957 until he retired in 1972. The first Murray endowed scholarship was awarded in 2008.

The Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation awarded $95,000 in scholarships to 33 MSU students pursuing dairy industry-related programs of study for the 2015-2016 academic year.

For information on making contributions to honor members of the dairy industry or to support student scholarships, please contact the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources External Relations at 517-355-0284. To learn more about the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation, contact Dr. Miriam Weber Nielsen in the MSU Department of Animal Science at 517-432-5443.

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