Nearly ten years ago when Mary Lynne and I
joined this special community, we quickly understood:
The University of Kentucky is a promise: • A promise to prepare students for what’s
possible. • To patients, who turn to us for healing
and hope. • To families, across this state, to turn
the tide of death from drug use and disease… to renew and empower communities.
UK is a promise. A promise to Kentucky. It’s not simply the name we bear; it’s
the covenant we keep… as the University of, for, and with the Commonwealth.
Today, we are called to embolden that promise for a new generation of students and communities.
Our time is now. In 2018, we announced an ambitious 2.1-billion-dollar
campaign, designed to dream anew about what’s possible.
To date, nearly 1.4 billion has been raised — by you and those like you — who care
about this place and believe in its promise. We need you now, more than ever, to show the
world what Kentucky can do. Students are coming to UK and succeeding in
record numbers. Scholars are combatting health disparities
from heart disease to diabetes, and shaping industries from equine to energy.
We’ve transformed campus with new classrooms, research labs, health care facilities, athletic
venues, and living spaces. But, to fulfill our promise, we must construct
new spaces for students to build community. Because of you, more students can now attend
college without the burden of debt. But, together, we must fund millions of dollars
in unmet financial need… the gap that represents unmet potential for the next generation.
With a sense of dogged determination, we will grow our endowment from 1.5 billion to 2.1
billion dollars… What will that mean?
• Another 250 million dollars for scholarships, empowering students to earn college degrees.
• Named professorships and departments to draw more faculty visionaries to our community.
• Continued revitalization of our campus, while honoring our past by renovating historic
landmarks like Memorial Coliseum. But our work doesn’t stop at the doors of
our campus. We have a wildly audacious goal for the Commonwealth:
to reduce cancer mortality rates by half. This is our moonshot.
This is what Kentucky can do. The University of Kentucky has been my life’s
work and passion. I’ve been in every county of the Commonwealth
and everywhere Kentuckians gather, there is us,
the University of Kentucky, the people’s university… and this promise of being the
University of, for and with Kentucky is a promise that is now ours to keep:
The promise that we will educate more students… enhance life… and shine a light on what’s
possible…on a brighter future for all Kentuckians. Our promise is 155 years in the making, and
each day, building on the work of those who came before us, we must renew this commitment.
That’s the power of our campaign… to achieve what Kentucky can do.