Terry McBrayer

Portrait of Terry McBrayer. Contributed by MSU Communication and Marketing.

Morehead State University is mourning the passing of alumnus, attorney and long-time public servant Terry McBrayer (59), who died Sunday, Oct. 11, at 83.  

As an MSU student, McBrayer earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1959 before enrolling in law school at the University of Louisville (UofL). On his way to graduating from UofL law school in 1963, he gained an interest in politics and volunteered to help with John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential election campaign.   

McBrayer returned to his hometown of Greenup, Kentucky, where he started his law practice that eventually grew into the eighth largest firm in the Commonwealth. He decided to run to represent Greenup County in the Kentucky House of Representatives and won the election, serving from 1966 to 1972. While there, he served in the leadership roles of House Speaker Pro Tempore and Majority Floor Leader. In 1995, he was elected chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party and was an active member of the Democratic National Committee for more than 15 years.    

McBrayer later went on to be a founding fellow of the State Capital Group, a network of more than 145 independent law firms in every state capital and countries worldwide.   

Morehead State recognized McBrayer’s accomplishments by inducting him into the MSU Alumni Hall of Fame in 1966 and later awarding him an honorary doctorate in 1975. In 2018, McBrayer donated $100,000 to establish the W. Terry McBrayer Scholarship Fund and MSU announced the creation of the W. Terry McBrayer Presidential Lecture Series in Government and Leadership.     

He is survived by his children, Sarah McBrayer Savarie and John Lawton McBrayer; his sister, Judy McBrayer Campbell; and his five grandchildren, Alex McBrayer, Mina McBrayer, Odin McBrayer, Beatrice Savarie and Lucy Savarie.