Indiana State University Newsroom

Commitment of $250,000 will fund Dr. Lucky Abernathy Scholarship for advanced degrees in Education

January 13, 2020

Dr. Lucky Abernathy and his wife Susan have committed $250,000 to Indiana State University’s endowment to fund a scholarship for students pursuing Master’s or Doctoral degrees in the Bayh College of Education, the Division of University Advancement announced.

“Throughout his career, Dr. Abernathy helped many understand that your starting point and background are irrelevant when compared to your goals and commitment to succeed and serve others,” the Abernathy family said in a statement. 

Dr. Abernathy, who lives in Ridgefield, N.J., was the first in his family to attend college, earning his bachelor’s in Industrial Arts in 1960. After graduation, he returned to his rural Indiana roots to begin teaching before returning to Indiana State to pursue advanced degrees in the Bayh College of Education’s counseling program.

After earning his Ph.D. in 1970, he spent 20-plus years working for The College Board, which administers the SAT and Advancement Placement programs. Dr. Abernathy led the company’s research division.

“The Abernathy family’s strong belief in the value of education motivated this gift to help encourage students to continue their education at the graduate level,” said Andrea Angel, Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation. “Coming from a hard-working farm family in rural Indiana, Dr. Abernathy is one of the many examples of the transformative power of earning a degree from ISU. We are proud to help share his legacy through this scholarship.”

The family hopes that this scholarship will inspire its recipients to “strive to be the inspiration motivating the next generation of inspirational mentor-leaders.”

The Bayh College of Education offers more than a dozen graduate degree programs that have garnered a statewide and national reputation for excellence.

“We work hard to maintain a very positive reputation for these programs,” said Janet Buckenmeyer, Dean of the Bayh College of Education. “For instance, about 44 percent of current superintendents in Indiana are graduates of our program. Nationally, at least 44 current or past university chancellors or presidents have graduated from our programs, including the current Indiana State University president, Dr. Deborah Curtis,”

To learn more about the graduate programs in the Bayh College of Education, visit

Abernathy photo 1: Lucky and Susan Abernathy

Abernathy photo 2: Andrea Angel, Vice President of Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation; Lucky and Susan Abernathy; and Ken Menefee, ISU Executive Director of Planned and Principal Gifts.

Media contact:

Kim Kunz, Executive Director of Stewardship and Constituent Relations

Division of University Advancement

(812) 237-6154 (Office) | (812) 230-6245 (Mobile)

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