UK grad impacts future generations of students with a bequest for scholarships

Jack Denton ’49 had a career with New York Life Insurance Company which spanned over 50 years.“It’s amazing how many lives can be transformed by the foresight and generosity of one person,” observes Mike Richey ’73 ’79, UK Vice President for Development. “As a result of a philanthropic decision Jack Denton ’49 made several years ago, students are pursuing their academic dreams at the University of Kentucky today. And because of the endowed scholarship that Jack funded for perpetuity, his generosity will impact students forever.”

John W. (Jack) Denton grew up in rural Mason County and served in the U. S. Army during World War II. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1949 and taught high school until 1954 when he joined New York Life Insurance Company for a career which spanned over 50 years. For most of his tenure with the company, he held various management positions, often heading up major regional offices in different U.S. cities.

Jack Denton died in 2010, and was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Enid Goodpaster Denton, originally from Fleming County, and their only child, John Louis (Jackie) Denton, who died in an automobile accident while attending the University of Kentucky.

“I had the privilege of knowing Jack and working with him and his attorney to establish a bequest in his will to create the Enid and Jack Denton Endowed Scholarship Fund to assist deserving students from Mason and Fleming Counties,” Mike Richey shares. “Jack valued his education at the University, and wanted to make sure that young people from his home area could have the same educational opportunity which he had experienced.”

The scholarship was funded with a bequest of nearly $650,000, and over the past two years, it has provided substantial grants to 10 different students.

Mike Richey notes further, “Through these student recipients and many others to come in the future, Jack’s transformative gift will not only have a positive impact on individual lives, but it will also benefit the Commonwealth. We are deeply grateful for Jack’s generosity. A bequest to the University of Kentucky is a wonderful way to extend the memory and influence of individuals like Enid and Jack Denton. Bequests comprise the cornerstone of our philanthropic efforts on behalf of the University.”