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We would like to take a moment on #givingtuesday to honor an EKU graduate who spent a lifetime giving back to his alma mater.

On Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, Ronald Ray Noel, loving husband, brother, and uncle passed away in peace at home at the age of 78. Ron was born on January 19, 1941 in Gallatin County. Ron played baseball at EKU and earned a B.A. degree in 1964.

Ron and his wife of 56 years, Sherrie Lou Noel, contributed $1 million to establish the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity and an endowment for the continued success of the Studio, funded the Noel Reading Porch at the EKU Library, provided the principal gift for the sports performance center in the Moberly Building and provided funding for the Noel Research Endowment.

Thanks to this unmatched generosity, Ron and Sherrie Lou are the largest givers to EKU in its history.

In addition to the Studio named in their honor, they have also given to EKU Athletics, the Colonel Club, the Alumni Fund, various scholarships, multiple colleges with many other contributions.

In total, the Noel’s have given nearly $2 million to EKU. Ron’s first gift came in 1989. The donation amount of $25 went tothe Alumni Annual Fund. From that point on, he never stopped supporting the institution that gave him his start. The memorial service program specifically stated this: “Eastern Kentucky University has always been near and dear to Ron and Sherrie Lou’s hearts.”

We are all deeply saddened with Ron’s passing but the Noel’s legacy of generosity will live on for generations to come. And for that, we are most grateful.

In remembrance of Ron Noel, this video was produced by our Development Office: