Campus News

Bill Gatton Memorial to Take Place June 16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 13, 2022) — The University of Kentucky will hold a memorial service for Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 16. The event will be livestreamed via YouTube at this link: and will remain available after the ceremony.

Gatton, a native of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, died on April 18 at the age of 89. He graduated from UK in 1954 and owned several car dealerships, as well as interest in several real estate and banking ventures.  

During his lifetime, Gatton donated more than $70 million to UK. He made the lead gifts toward the renovation and expansion of the Bill Gatton Student Center and the Gatton College of Business and Economics building. Earlier this year, Gatton gave $5 million to create scholarships for first-generation, medical and Gatton Academy students.

Gatton served on the UK Board of Trustees and was appointed as a lifetime honorary member by Gov. Steve Beshear in 2015.

“Bill Gatton was a Kentucky original. He was a son of our state. He believed deeply in the potential of this place and all of us as the inheritors and keepers of its promise,” UK President Capilouto said. “It is an incredible loss that we mourn, but an incredible legacy that we have been given the gift of celebrating and carrying forward.”

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.