News

March 19, 2013
Contact: Michele Sparks, Director of Communications (859) 257-0040
For Immediate Release

University of Kentucky Board Accepts Gifts Totaling $16.4 Million

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees accepted gifts and pledges totaling $16.4 million at its meeting on March 19, including nearly $15 million from donors contributing toward the $65 million expansion and renovation of the Gatton College of Business and Economics building.

The college recently celebrated the milestone of surpassing the halfway point in its fundraising efforts for the project as it announced the public phase of the 'Gatton United' campaign. In all, some $34 million in private funds has been donated or pledged to date.

The board accepted pledges of $5 million each from Don L. Jacobs, Sr. of Lexington, Ky. and Naples, Fla., and Howard L. Lewis of Solon, Ohio. Jacobs is a retired businessman who has lived and worked in Lexington for more than 40 years. Lewis is chairman, CEO and founder of Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Kentucky in 1970 and is a member of the Gatton College Hall of Fame.

The board also accepted a pledge of $4 million from the William E. Seale Family Foundation of Annapolis, Md., to support the Gatton College campaign. Seale, who earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1963, his master’s in agricultural economics in 1969, and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics in 1975 from UK, created the William E. Seale Family Foundation in 2006 to support higher education.

In addition, the board accepted a gift of $500,000 from the Haymaker Foundation, Inc. of Lexington, as well as a pledge of $400,000 from Geoffrey H. Rosenberger of Pittsford, N.Y., to support the Gatton campaign. Tim Haymaker is a Lexington businessman who has been a longtime supporter of the university. Rosenberger, who earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in business administration in 1976 from UK, has now committed a total of $650,000 toward this project.

The Gatton expansion and renovation will allow for enrollment growth of more than 50 percent and faculty/staff growth to support the additional students, as well as incorporating state-of-the-art technology throughout the building.

This project is part of UK's overall capital improvement plan (House Bill 7) recently approved by the Kentucky General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear. No state tax dollars will be used in any of the UK construction projects, which include the Gatton College, a new science building on campus, and improvements to Commonwealth Stadium and UK's football facilities.

The design phase of the Gatton expansion and renovation project is underway with construction expected to begin later this year. The timetable calls for completion of the project by the fall of 2015 or early in 2016.

The board also accepted a gift of $500,000 today to the UK HealthCare Patient Care Facility Fund and a pledge of $1 million to the Markey Cancer Center, both from Jacobs.

The $500,000 gift to the UK HealthCare Patient Care Facility Fund will be used for the enhancement of the Don and Cathy Jacobs Health Education Center and the new hospital pavilion. The $1 million pledge to the Markey Cancer Center will support faculty recruitment, pilot grant funding and shared resources facility support.