The Opportunity to do More–Russell Abner

Russell Abner, a recent EKU graduate from the class of 2009, explains how his extraordinary experience at Eastern has led him to be a supporter of Eastern Further’s effort to start a women’s leadership scholarship. Here is Russell’s story:


I first stepped foot on Eastern Kentucky University as a sophomore attending Casey County High School, located in Liberty, KY. After being selected to participate in a program committed to helping high school students explore higher education possibilities in areas with weak economic climates and students who were potential first-generation college students, I would spend the next few years leading up to my college days learning about all the many opportunities EKU has to offer. From the moment I joined the Upward Bound Program, I knew the ╩╗Campus Beautiful╩╝ would eventually become my second home.


For me, Eastern became a place of adventure. As a freshman summer student attending my bridge-year of Upward Bound (just before my first full semester at EKU), I was afforded the opportunity to visit another country for the first time in my entire life, where I stood atop the tallest free-standing building in the world. I became a philanthropist; as a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity, I helped to coordinate events that led to us raise over $3,000 in the fight against paralysis for the Christopher Reeves Foundation. I added direct support to a D-1 basketball programs journey to an Ohio Valley Conference championship, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament as a student manager and practice player. As a member of the Student Government Association, we helped build a brighter future for the next generation of Colonels, while developing skills that I still use today. And last, but certainly not least, I became an educator as a student advisor for the program that helped me find Eastern as a high school student. I got to afford those same opportunities I was offered, to the next generation of potential higher education students.


Without Eastern Kentucky University, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It sounds absolutely crazy, but…traveler, philanthropist, participant in D-1 sports, serviceman, and educator all in a span of one college career, those are things I wouldn’t have got out of any other university; it’s all because EKU gave me a chance to be all those things.


I fully support Eastern Further because I absolutely feel like it will do the same for someone else as EKU has done for me, and that is to offer someone the opportunity to do more! This scholarship is a wonderful way to help produce more and more successful and confident women at Eastern Kentucky University. Go Colonels!



Categories: Alumni Spotlight


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