Government department introduces student scholarship

Samantha Villanueva
Staff writer

The Laura Ferguson Waterfield Scholarship was put in place this year to assist students who plan on pursuing a career in political science, pre-law or international affairs.

The scholarship is a new initiative only available to sophomore students who are majoring in any of these three areas of study. The winners of the award are set to receive at least $1,000 – about $500 per semester of their sophomore year.

The scholarship is named after Laura Ferguson Waterfield, who was a Murray State Teachers College graduate. Waterfield was a vital part of her husband’s political campaign.

Waterfield was the mother of Henry Lee Waterfield II, a current member on the Murray State board of regents and president/CEO of the Investors Heritage Life Insurance Co. and Investors Heritage Capital Corp.

He said his mother was the perfect person to dedicate the award to because of her passion for politics.

“She was an integral part of my father’s success in farming, newspapers and life insurance,” he said. “She was certainly a big asset to his political career. She was a great campaigner. No one shook hands better.”

Waterfield II’s father served two terms as lieutenant governor of Kentucky. Aside from that, Henry Lee Waterfield I also served six terms in the state House of Representatives – two of which he presided as speaker of the house.

Lillian Daughaday, interim chair of the department of government, law and international affairs, said the scholarship was a great opportunity for her department to make sure sophomore students were positive about their choice in education.

“This will help us assist students who wish to pursue an interest in political science and also cement the interest by showing the support we have to offer them,” she said.

Daughaday said she hopes the scholarship will influence recipients to one day give back to the University.

“We hope to have the tradition of passing on the kindness for our winners,” she said.

Christine Bernot, director of the office of development, said the recipients of the award must meet certain criteria in order to be considered. Students need to fill out an online application (, have a 3.0 GPA both overall and in their major, have completed three hours of core content courses in political science, law or international affairs, have completed or be in the process of completing six hours of courses in their respected majors and be full time students and United States citizens. Financial need is also considered. The scholarship deadline is Jan. 15.

Bernot also said the scholarship connects a direct link from the department to the University’s history.

Said Bernot: “It’s a great opportunity to recognize Waterfield for her dedication to politics in the state of Kentucky by continuing her legacy.”

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