University of Kentucky Receives $13.5 Million for Student Center

University of Kentucky Receives $13.5 Million for Student Center

The University of Kentucky has announced a $13.5 million pledge from the Bill Gatton Foundation in support of an expansion of the Gatton Student Center.

The project will increase the facility's space by 9 percent and provide the UK community with up to three hundred and fifty additional dining seats in its main cafeteria, a seasonal exterior dining terrace, an additional food-serving station, and a dishwash return. The additional 34,500 square feet will include a second and third floor to be used for student support services.

The single largest donor in UK history, Gatton has provided nearly $60 million individually and through his foundation, which he established in 1985. The university estimates the total philanthropic impact of Gatton's giving at more than $71 million, with several of his gifts having been matched by the Commonwealth of Kentucky's "Bucks for Brains" program.

"In my more than fifty years at this institution, I've had the honor of engaging with alumni and donors from near and far — but none like Bill Gatton," said Mike Richey, the university's vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement. "Our promise as the people's university — a hundred and fifty-five years in the making — is reflected in his unmatched generosity and inspires us to renew our commitment to it."

(Photo credit: Pete Comparoni)

"Bill Gatton Gift Allows Expansion of Student Center That Bears His Name." University of Kentucky Press Release 02/21/2020.