Campus News

UK Community to Observe Thank-A-Donor Day Sept. 26 in Recognition of Charitable Support

photo from 2016 Thank a Donor Day
2016 Thank-A-Donor Day. Photo courtesy UK Philanthropy.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2017) – University of Kentucky students, faculty and staff will soon have an opportunity to express their appreciation to the 48,373 donors who made 99,961 gifts to UK last year.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, the university community will be invited to sign a large, mounted banner thanking donors for their generosity as UK Philanthropy sponsors its annual Thank-A-Donor Day at Wildcat Alumni Plaza. Students, in particular, will be asked to write a personal thank you note on the banner or make a short video recording their gratitude, said Anne Lichtenberg, director of annual giving.

Days following the event, photos of Thank-A-Donor Day will be posted on UK Philanthropy’s Facebook ( and Twitter (@UK_Philanthropy), said Lichtenberg. The university community is asked to support the day by using hashtags #ThankUKyDonor and #UKyDonorDay on their own social media posts.

The signed banner will be hung across the front exterior of the William B. Sturgill Philanthropy Building located on Rose Street during Homecoming week. The thank-you video will be shared with UK’s donors during the Thanksgiving season. 

“In particular, I am grateful for the strong loyalty our donors have for UK,” Lichtenberg said. “We have some loyal alumni and friends who have supported UK every year for nearly 50 years. And whether our donors are making their first gift or their 50th gift, their philanthropic support impacts areas across the university, including scholarships and professorships, building construction and renovations, research opportunities for students and faculty, and patient-centered health care.”

Vice President for Philanthropy Mike Richey concurred on the recognition day’s importance.

“UK’s donors play an integral part as they affirm the aspirations of our students and faculty and support the ongoing mission of education, research, health care and service,” Richey said. “Philanthropy represents the best of humankind. It promotes the welfare of others while encouraging people to give generously and selflessly to worthy organizations and causes such as UK. Thank-A-Donor Day is a meaningful way for the UK community to demonstrate its appreciation to the 48,373 donors who immeasurably advance this university.”

For the past three years, hundreds of students and members of the UK community filled every spot of the banner with expressions of gratitude. Among previous year’s messages were:

•            “Thank you for funding my dreams!”

•            “Thanks for making UK amazing!”

•            “You are a hero to us! Thank you!”

•            “Thank you! You helped make this possible for us!”

“Because of UK’s donors, students have been provided support through scholarships and much improved educational facilities,” said Rachel Hughes, a philanthropy student intern in Annual Giving. “On this special day of the academic year, Thank-A-Donor Day stands as a reminder to all students that we are the beneficiaries of these philanthropists’ generosity and their belief in us and our academic success.”

In case of rain, the Thank-A-Donor Day banner signing will be moved inside to the White Hall Classroom Building lobby. 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue