Murray State University is an approximately 10,000-student four-year public university in western Kentucky. Having recently adopted the moniker "Kentucky's Public Ivy University," the school has strived to maintain a strong academic reputation and has been rewarded by its high marks among other regional public universities in U.S. News & World Report and other college ranking publications.
Murray State, as it is most often referred to, is particularly renowned for its basketball program, which has made several appearances in the NCAA Division I tournament in recent years. Its athletic teams are known as the Racers, with the exception of the baseball team which is known as the Thoroughbreds. All of its athletic teams compete in the Ohio Valley Conference, which has seven other regional public universities in its conference roster. Its students newspaper, The Murray State News, has been awarded two Pacemaker awards in the last decade, the highest award given to collegiate newspapers.
An aggressive building campaign on campus has resulted in the construction of the Regional Special Events Center, a new science building, an upcoming Student Life & Wellness Center, and a complete overhaul of its main dining facility, Winslow Cafeteria. Its president is F. King Alexander, son of its previous president, Kern Alexander.