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By Ralph Derickson

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The William T. Young Library endowment last month became the largest book endowment among public universities and second in the nation only to Harvard's.

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Oct. 27, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – The University of Kentucky's library endowment increased by $3.5 million and new endowments in voice and theatre also were established as part of the $8.7 million in new gifts and pledges officially accepted this week by the UK Board of Trustees.

The William T. Young Library endowment -- which last month became the largest book endowment among public universities and second in the nation only to Harvard's, according to a Virginia Tech 2000 survey -- now stands at $56 million.

The total was boosted by a gift or pledge of $500,000 from Carl F. Pollard of Goshen, Ky., a 1960 graduate of the Gatton College of Business and Economics; $2 million from Chris Sullivan, a 1972 UK graduate who created the highly successful Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain; and another $1 million from Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc.  Toyota was one of the original contributors to the UK library fundraising campaign that resulted in the new $58 million William T. Young Library.

All the new gifts are eligible for a Research Challenge Trust Fund match.

A $500,000 pledge from Mrs. Lucille Caudill Little will establish the Lucille Caudill Little Endowment for Theatre to support historical research, productions and other creative activity, and to provide graduate fellowships.

Much of the theatre study and research work will be conducted in the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center created with a previous $1 million gift from Mrs. Little. The library, which is located in the remodeled Margaret I. King Library - North building, officially opened Oct. 2.

A $500,000 pledge by Mr. and Mrs. George L. Lindemann of New York will benefit UK's highly touted Opera Theatre program that has produced such graduates as Greg Turay, an internationally known singer who performs with the New York Metropolitan Opera.

The Lindemanns are fans of Gail Robinson who performed and worked for the New York Metropolitan Opera Company for about 30 years before accepting an endowed chair in voice in the UK School of Music.  Also, the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, which recruits talent from the Mets opera auditions coming to UK on Saturday, Oct. 28, is named in their honor.

Other UK programs to benefit from funding accepted today by the UK Board of Trustees include the Markey Cancer Center's ovarian cancer screening, engineering, behavioral sciences, emergency medicine, the alumni association, education, nutritional sciences, business and economics and physiology.

In other action, the UK Board:

n               Increased to six from five the number of members on the committee seeking a new UK president, and

n               Authorized the approval of a bachelor of science degree program in chemical engineering and a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering at its extended campus site in Paducah, Ky.

The degree program proposals will be submitted to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

The western Kentucky engineering degree program is a joint initiative of UK, Murray State University and Paducah Community College.  The 1996 General Assembly provided $1.4 million to help establish the program.

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