Dr. Raymond Burse most recently served as President of Kentucky State University from August 2014 until May 2016. He served as Vice President and General Counsel for GE Appliances and Lighting from May 2002 until August 2012, and as President of Kentucky State University from July 1982 to April 1989. Dr. Burse has a long and impressive record of achievement in academics, athletics, and community service.
The youngest of twelve children, he was born on June 8, 1951, in Hopkinsville, KY. After graduating tenth in a class of 325 students from Christian County High School, Dr. Burse declined several football scholarships and elected to attend Kentucky's Centre College in Danville, KY, where he majored in chemistry and mathematics. At Centre College, he was a member of the American Chemical Society and the Black-White Coalition. He also served as vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa and founder and three-year president of the Black Student Union. Active in student government, Dr. Burse served as an advisor to the President of Centre College and as treasurer of the "C" Club.
At the end of his college career, Dr. Burse's achievements were recognized by three distinct honors: he was named to Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities; he won the Fred M. Vinson Honor Award; and earned the coveted Rhodes Scholarship. Dr. Burse spent two years at Oxford University, England, where he majored in organic chemistry and participated in basketball, track, crew, and rugby. He earned three "Blues," one in rugby, becoming the first black American and only the sixth American to achieve such distinction.
In 1975, Dr. Burse returned to the United States to attend Harvard Law School. He is the recipient of the John W. Davis Award from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. After receiving his Juris Doctorate, he returned to Kentucky to practice with Wyatt, Grafton & Sloss, now Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, Attorneys-at-Law, prior to his first tenure as President of Kentucky State University.
Dr. Burse and his wife Kim, currently reside in Prospect, KY. He has three sons, Raymond Jr., Justin, and Eric.