Donovan Trust Maintains Legacy of Benefitting Our Campus

Monday, March 12, 2018

When we think about the legacy of the University of Kentucky, an institution that’s been serving the Commonwealth for more than 153 years, we are reminded that our progress today was made possible by the impact and innovation of those who came before us. That’s what it means to be part of a collaborative community, unyielding in its commitment to serve Kentucky.

It is the time of year we celebrate and contribute to that legacy.  In 1963, an endowment was created as a permanent trust, by former UK President Herman Lee Donovan. The Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Memorial Endowment serves to continuously improve the campus in fresh, new ways.

The Donovan Trust states that:  "no part of this endowment ever be spent for ordinary recurring expenses of operation or maintenance, but that it be spent for what are so frequently thought of as the luxuries of an institution, such as beautiful books, for the promotion of musical programs, for acquiring beautiful pictures, for the production of flowers and shrubs, or for any investment that will promote an appreciation of the lovely and beautiful in the environment in which students live and study.”

Decades later, the Donovan Trust maintains its legacy of making our campus more beautiful, interesting and inviting for all members of the UK community.

Over the past few years, the endowment has funded the purchase of a 4’ X 7’ Photographic Art Installation in the Wethington Building, Asian musical instrument ensembles and Balinese shadow puppets, and art that shows the beauty of the nervous system to be hung in the lecture hall of Introduction of Neuroscience. In addition, last year the College of Fine Arts received funding to hold a series of interactive music performances and presentations revealing the important, but often unrecognized, relationships between culture and other facets of civilized society. The Sports Medicine Research Institute received funds to create the “Hero Tribute Wall,” a structure that will honor the world’s most elite tactical athletes, the U.S. military.

You can find descriptions of recent projects which have received funding here.

Faculty, staff and students at the University of Kentucky are invited to submit proposals for the 2018-2019 academic year. Awards may range from $1,000 to $15,000. Applications must be submitted by April 13, 2018.  Community members who are interested can find instructions for submitting a proposal here.

Projects must meet the purposes stipulated in the Trust as follows:

“…for the promotion and creation of an atmosphere and environment of culture, refinement, and gentility to encourage the growth of the students into gentlemen and women whose education may reflect the influence of such an atmosphere and environment; and, to enrich the educational opportunities by providing increased stimulus to the students to cultivate and develop into men and women with an appreciation of the qualities of beauty and loveliness…”

The Advisory Committee for The Donovan Trust will consider all eligible proposals. In some cases, the Advisory Committee may request a more detailed proposal or request the applicant to make a presentation on the project. Applicants will be contacted if additional information or a presentation is necessary.

I hope many members of the UK family will take part in this great tradition.


Eric N. Monday