The Morehead State University Foundation has 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.

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 Chair, 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.

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