UK receives largest gift ever in university’s nearly 160-year history

UK receives largest gift ever in university’s nearly 160-year history
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 4:27 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The University of Kentucky recently received the largest gift ever in the university’s nearly 160-year history.

Late University of Kentucky alum and former trustee Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton bestowed a gift of $100 million to the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment through The Bill Gatton Foundation.

The gift is contingent upon UK Board of Trustees’ approval at its June meeting.

University officials say it is not only the largest to the university in its nearly 160-year history but is also believed to be the largest to a college of agriculture in the United States.

To honor Gatton’s parents, Edith Martin and Harry W. Gatton Sr., the college will be renamed the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Gatton, who passed away in April 2022, was a lifelong philanthropist and supporter of UK. He was a 1954 graduate of the university’s College of Commerce, and he went on to become an incredibly successful businessman, entrepreneur and investor.

Gatton’s impact on the University of Kentucky exceeds $180 million. He is the university’s single largest donor.

UK says a task force of faculty and staff members will be formed to consider how the gift will be used to support the Gatton Foundation’s vision for scholarships, academic programming, infrastructure and research.