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Long-time Richmond attorney Michael Ray Eaves was sworn in as the newest Eastern Kentucky University regent on May 3, 2021, at a specially called meeting of the EKU board of regents. 

Appointed by Gov. Andy Beshear, Eaves is a partner in Eaves, Olds, Bohannon, and Floyd law firm in Richmond and has been a member of the Kentucky State Bar Association since 1979. Born in 1953, Eaves earned his bachelor of business administration degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 1975 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Kentucky in 1979. His wife Ava, also an EKU graduate, retired from Baptist Health Richmond as a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. Mike and Ava have two children; Morgan, who is an attorney working with the Commonwealth, and Jordan, who works in the restaurant business in Louisville. 

In addition to the full-time practice of law, since 1979 Eaves has been involved in the formation and operation of a local bank, and residential and commercial real estate development in Madison County. During his years in Richmond, Eaves has participated in numerous volunteer and charitable organizations including the founder and primary sponsor of the Pro-Am Golf Classic to benefit the Pattie A. Clay Hospital Foundation (now Baptist Health Richmond). 

The Eastern Kentucky University cheerleading team was honored for its first-ever national championship. Both the All-Girl and Coed cheerleading teams took first place in their respective divisions in the 2021 UCA College Virtual National Championships. The EKU All-Girl squad won the All-Girl Division I title, while the Coed team won the Small Coed Division I championship. "We are proud of each of our cheer squads for representing EKU so well on a national stage," EKU Vice President and Director of Athletics Matt Roan said. "These teams have navigated a challenging year with great determination, effort, and skill. Congratulations for coming out on top!"

Eastern President Dr. David McFaddin provided an update for what Eastern’s post-pandemic normal will look like in Fall 2021. 

The president reiterated the University is planning much more “normalcy” for the fall semester. “We have resumed in-person admissions activities, restrictions are easing on student housing and programming, and we are planning to welcome our next freshmen class to campus with a redesigned and reinvigorated ‘Big E Welcome’,” McFaddin said. “Along with many of our traditional experiences that have become hallmarks of the EKU experience, the Exceptional Eastern Experience (E3) team is planning new and innovative programs for this upcoming year. A signature concert during the Big E welcome, new pre-game tailgating and post-game student/community events in Powell Plaza, a Halloween Bash, comedians and food trucks will help headline a calendar of events and student/community engagements that will far exceed anything ever done before.”  

McFaddin said Eastern’s employees have worked tirelessly planning for its “next” normal and have moved student experience to the forefront of University planning for the foreseeable future. 

EKU’s second annual Giving Day was a smashing success, McFaddin said. “Our second EKU Giving Day resulted in the engagement of more than 1,800 donors shattering the initial goal of 1,000 in 24 hours. To those who gave and advocated for giving, a sincere thank you for supporting this campaign and leading by example,” he said. “I am happy to report that we had 100 percent participation from the Board of Regents, Foundation Board, President’s Council, Council of Deans, head coaches and so many more. I consider this a significant turning point for the philanthropic culture of our institution. This is further supported by the EKU Foundation endowment standing at just over $87 million dollars, the most ever in history.”

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is June 17.