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Susan and Oliver Ramsey establish fund at EKU to promote names of football players on jerseys


The donors who make up the Eastern Kentucky University giving community each support a unique passion. For Susan and Oliver Ramsey, their passion is student-athletes.

No matter the distance or time passed, the Ramsey’s have continued to support EKU football, rarely missing a game in more than 40 years.

“Since the late 70s, we have maintained season tickets within Roy Kidd Stadium,” said Susan Ramsey. “Even with a move to Ohio, then North Carolina and now Louisville, we still support.”

EKU boosters Susan and Oliver Ramsey have rarely missed a Colonels football game in more than 40 years.

The Ramsey’s got connected to EKU athletics through legendary football coach Roy Kidd in 1977. Susan asked Kidd to serve as an honorary chairman of her new fundraiser. In return, he asked the Ramsey’s to get involved with the newly formed Colonel Club.

The rest is history. As this relationship evolved, so would another that would last a lifetime. Former Colonel standout Danny Copeland adopted the Ramsey’s as his family away from home, and really inspired the Ramsey’s to further their involvement with EKU football.

For the past five years, the Ramsey’s have donated to ensure each football jersey contains the last name of the student-athlete who wears it, and not just the number.

“Following coach Kidd’s retirement, subsequent head coaches stopped allowing student-athletes the opportunity to put their last name on the back of their uniforms,” Susan Ramsey said. “The fact that these young men are playing as hard as they do and representing EKU – it was upsetting to know they could not represent their families.”

The Ramsey’s decided to take this commitment even further, committing $25,000 to establish an endowment to fund this program forever. Susan and Oliver are creating a lasting legacy, not just for themselves, but specifically for the current and future Colonels who will proudly wear the EKU football uniform.

“This is for them, their moms and dads, and for Eastern,” said Susan Ramsey.

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Oliver graduated from EKU with a degree in business after serving as a Airman 1st Class in the U.S. Air Force. He has since retired from a long career as an executive with Sherwin-Williams Company.

Susan spent nearly 35 years as an activist and lobbyist on health and rights issues, served on local and state boards for the League of Women Voters, and worked in television doing public policy and cultural programming.

The EKU legacy continued with both their sons Peter and Paul, and daughter Christina, joining the Colonel family after graduating from Model Laboratory School. Copeland eventually fulfilled his promise to Susan, finishing up his degree after a long stint in the NFL – including a Super Bowl championship – while chasing around seven children of his own.

“We are so thankful for the Ramsey Family. Time after time, Mrs. Susan and Mr. Ollie step up for the Colonels,” said EKU Vice President and Director of Athletics Matt Roan. “We are incredibly appreciative of their generosity and support and know their gift will help coach Wells and EKU football continue our pursuit of excellence.”

From Eastern Kentucky University


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