The Board of Regents approved the naming of Murray State’s new building on its Paducah Regional Campus in honor and memory of Harry Lee Crisp, the founder of Marion Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, which grew into Pepsi MidAmerica. The MSU facility will now be known as the Crisp Center.
Pepsi MidAmerica and the Crisp family recently made a $1.3 million gift to support Murray State and its new regional campus in Paducah. Harry L. Crisp II and Pepsi MidAmerica have been longtime supporters of the University.
Harry L. Crisp II served 22 years on the Murray State University Foundation board of trustees, retiring from that position in April 2013. His son, Lee Crisp, president of Pepsi MidAmerica, joined the MSU Foundation board of trustees that same month.
This $1.3 million gift will allow for the completion of the new Crisp Center, support equipment and technology needs, and provide a scholarship endowment for students studying on the Paducah Regional Campus.
“My family and I are extremely pleased to support Murray State University in this manner,” Lee Crisp said. “Murray State University is vitally important to the educational and economic development initiatives of this region and we support the university’s efforts to improve the standing of this area.”
Earlier donations from the Crisp family and Pepsi MidAmerica include generous support of Racer athletics, such as the renovation of the soccer complex, along with the construction of a new facility for women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s tennis. The Crisps were also instrumental in establishing Murray State’s early Paducah campus several years ago.
Interim president Tim Miller, said Harry, Lee and the entire Crisp family, along with Pepsi MidAmerica, have been dedicated and generous supporters of Murray State University for many years.
“This major gift has allowed the university to complete the Paducah Regional Campus and to provide a significant scholarship endowment for students,” Miller said. “We are all deeply grateful for their support and enhancement of Murray State University.”
Pepsi MidAmerica is located in Marion, Ill., and is one of the largest independent Pepsi bottlers in the United States and operates in parts of Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee.