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KSU president offers $2,000 to student for internship

By Linda B. BlackfordLexington Herald-Leader

Kentucky State University's interim president is giving again.

Last month, Raymond Burse donated $90,000 of his salary to help the school's lowest-paid workers.

On Friday, Burse interrupted football practice and handed an envelope to senior Deshon Floyd. Inside was a letter from Burse offering to pay $2,000 so Floyd could take part in a psychology internship in New Zealand. Floyd already had raised $3,000 for the trip.

It was Burse's way of kicking off Pay It Forward Frankfort, a 100-day campaign to encourage random acts of kindness on campus and throughout the city.

"As a top psychology student on this campus, you deserve it," Burse told Floyd, according to a news release. "Pay it forward."

At first, Floyd was speechless.

"This is a great place to be," the university reported Floyd as saying. "This is such a great university. I never would have dreamt this."

Floyd is majoring in criminal justice and psychology.

The Pay It Forward Frankfort campaign is coordinated by Shannon Brogan, an associate professor of speech communication, and Irma Johnson, Kentucky State's regional stewardship and community service coordinator. Burse said he read about Floyd in The State Journal, and after he was approached by Brogan and Johnson, he decided to help Floyd.

Officials said it was a coincidence that Floyd opened the envelope on Aug. 15, his 22nd birthday.

Floyd graduated from Frankfort High School and plans to pursue a doctorate in psychology.

Officials said participants in the 100-day campaign are encouraged to use a common hashtag (#payitfwdfrankfort) on Instagram and other social media sites to share photos of their acts of kindness.

Burse, who stepped in as interim president in June after President Mary Ann Sias retired, made national headlines and appeared on CBS This Morning after his salary cut was announced.

He was Kentucky State's president from 1982 to 1989, and later became a vice president and general counsel at GE. He has said he will be interim president for a year or as long as it takes to find a new leader.

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