FRANKFORT, Ky. — Frankfort Mayor William May and Kentucky State University President Raymond M. Burse kicked off 100 Days of Pay It Forward Frankfort on August 27 on the steps of Hume Hall at Kentucky State University.

Several of the university’s students and faculty gathered as the mayor, a graduate of KSU, presented Burse with a proclamation to mark the official start of community spirit and random acts of kindness event.

May said that he planned to buy lunch for a resident at a Frankfort restaurant without their knowledge and hoped the favor is returned to someone else.

“And we will continue with the other cheerful events that we sponsor throughout the year,” the mayor said.

Burse, who made national and international headlines last year for cutting his own salary by $90,000 to increase the pay for the university’s lowest-paid workers, announced that he will personally pay the cost of books for five KSU students.

“After what I did last year, I think anything that I do this year would be anticlimactic,” Burse said. “But, being the president of this institution, as you look around at the needs that we have here on our campus, the questions I always ask are, ‘What can we do to help make our students more successful? What is it that I can do to make certain that they have the tools necessary to fulfill their educational objective? What can I do to make the process a much easier one?”

Burse explained that he was inspired by an email he’d received from a student the night before the event in which the student requested books. It was after that note that he decided he would help more than one student.

The president encouraged everyone to “pick out one thing you could do – or two things or even three things you could do — over this next 100-day period to make certain that Pay It Forward continues to be a meaningful endeavor that will make an impact in people’s lives.”

Burse is no stranger to Pay It Forward Frankfort. Last year, he gave Deshon Floyd, a KSU senior from Frankfort, a portion of the money needed for a psychology internship in New Zealand.

The campaign is coordinated by Dr. Shannon Brogan, an associate professor of speech communication at KSU, and Irma Johnson, KSU’s regional stewardship and community service coordinator.

In case you missed it, you can watch the news coverage featured on Lexington’s

Making a Difference: KSU Pays It Forward