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MSC announces 2021 Distinguished Alumni and Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, ceremony honoring 2020 and 2021 recipients, November 6

September 13, 2021

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Murray State College has selected two-time NJCAA All-American softball player Ivy Amador as the 2021 inductee to MSC’s Athletic Hall of Fame and long-time MSC Farm Superintendent and Johnston County Commissioner Buddy Parks to be honored as MSC Distinguished Alumni for 2021.

Both Amador and Parks, along with the inductees from 2020, will be honored at an awards banquet on November 6, 2021 as part of MSC’s 2021 homecoming festivities. The 2020 honorees were announced late last year, but a celebration of their accomplishments was postponed due to COVID concerns. Inductees will be recognized and a luncheon in their honor held in the ballroom on Murray State College’s campus in Tishomingo. Cost of the luncheon event is $25 per person, and the public is invited to attend. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the luncheon will be at 11:30 a.m. 

“At Homecoming, we look forward to welcoming graduates and former students back to campus.  It’s a wonderful time to honor alumni for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the history of Murray State,” said MSC President Joy McDaniel.

Buddy Ray Parks, the Distinguished Alumnus for 2021, enrolled at Murray State College in the mid-1950s to pursue an agriculture degree after working in the oil fields of southeastern Texas. While at MSC, Parks was selected by then MSC President Clive Murray to work part-time in the college’s farm operation and as the farm grew, Parks soon became the MSC Farm Superintendent, a position he held for 25 years.  Parks, and his wife Ola Mae, lived at Murray’s Farm House for many years, raising three sons, all of which attended Murray State College and then graduated from Oklahoma State University with agriculture degrees. In 1982, Parks was appointed by Oklahoma Governor George Nigh to be Johnston County District 2 Commissioner, a position he held until 1990. He and his family, who also started and ran Parks Realty and later Parks Auction Service, have continued to support the programs of Murray State College, especially the MSC Foundation.

Murray State College’s 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Ivy Amador played softball at MSC from 2016 to 2018 and was a two-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American, a two-time National Fast­Pitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American, and a two-time member of the NFCA South Regional Team. Amador became the first softball player in MSC’s history to be recognized as an NJCAA All-American in back-to-back seasons. During the 2017 season, Amador lead the team with 57 runs and 23 stolen bases from the lead off position and in 2018 she led the team with 11 homeruns, 26 stolen bases, 85 hits, 17 doubles, 5 triples, and 67 RBI’s. In 2018, she also hit .509, which ranked 3rd in NJCAA Division II. During her impressive career at Murray State College, Amador had 27 doubles, 21 homeruns, 100 RBI’s, and 49 stolen bases. 

In addition to her accomplishments on the field, Amador was highly successful in the classroom, obtaining a cumulative GPA of 3.55 during her two years at Murray State and graduating with an Associate of Science degree in May 2018, After Murray State, she received an athletic scholarship to play softball at Southeastern Oklahoma State University where she started and played two successful seasons, graduating in May 2020 with bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance. 

Honored alongside Parks and Amador will be the 2020 Distinguished Alumnus Gilbert O. Sanders, Ed.D., a 1965 graduate of Murray State College and licensed psychologist with decorated service in both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army, and the 2020 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee the late Guy S. Berry, a leader on Murray State College’s 1968-69 men’s basketball team that finished fourth in that year’s National Basketball Tournament and won the National Invitational Tournament. The following year, Berry led the Aggies to a top-five ranking nationally and a second National Invitational Tournament championship, where Berry was named most valuable player.

Tickets for the November 6 event honoring Parks and Amador, Sanders, and Berry, must be reserved by October 20, 2021. Contact Jordyn Frazier at jfrazier@mscok.edu or call 580-387-7142 to reserve tickets and for any questions.