On February 22, members of UK’s giving societies gathered on campus in the historic Alumni Gymnasium to observe the 148th anniversary of the University’s founding. President Eli Capilouto noted that on this date in 1865, the institution was officially begun which later became the University of Kentucky. The President reflected on the vision which gave birth to that school, and also looked ahead to extending UK’s Kentucky Promise into the future.
“We have a precious legacy that we must nurture and pass along to the next generations,” he shared in his remarks to the assembled luncheon guests. “We have embarked upon a journey that is exciting, and because of what we are doing, across this Commonwealth there will be a brighter tomorrow.”
Deirdre Scaggs, Associate Dean of Special Collections for the UK Libraries, recalled the words of another UK President speaking on Founders Day in 1950. President Herman Donovan ’14 said, “The University of Kentucky is not the creation of one man or of a few men. It is the result of great effort and sacrifice of many hundreds of men and women who have toiled through the years to build an institution of higher education for the youth of our state.”
President Capilouto shared his vision for the future of the University, and detailed the campus transformation which is in progress, and which is not dependent upon state funding. New residence halls are currently under construction, and plans are moving forward for the modernization and expansion of the Gatton College of Business & Economics, the construction of a new science building, and renovation of Commonwealth Stadium, all with gifts and other private funding.
“As we approach the University’s 150th anniversary in 2015, it’s wonderful that we are advancing in new ways the hopes and dreams of our founders and many others who have worked to build the University of Kentucky through the decades,” observed Mike Richey ’73 ’79, Vice President for Development and Chief Development Officer. “And we are very grateful for the generous private support from increasing numbers of UK alumni and friends in this noble endeavor.”
Guests at the Founders Day celebration included members of the University’s Fellows Society at the Commonwealth, Presidential, Patterson and Bowman levels. Also present were members of the Society of 1865, the University’s group of donors who are making planned and estate gifts.