LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 19, 2012) — The University of Kentucky Alumni Association is unveiling UK’s newest landmark, Wildcat Alumni Plaza, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 20. Located off Avenue of Champions, directly across from Memorial Coliseum, a 7-foot-tall, 9-foot-long intricately detailed bronze wildcat sculpture is the focal point of the new Wildcat Alumni Plaza. Friday's event is open to the public, but it is contingent on the weather.
“This is a long-held dream of the alumni association, to be able to present to the university, to alumni, to students, to all of Kentucky, a gift from the association that will be with us forever,” says Cammie Deshields Grant, president of the UK Alumni Association.
The plaza is in a high visibility area that allows easy access for both walking and vehicle traffic, and will be a place where many memorable photographs can be taken connecting students, alumni, and families to UK.
Stan Key, executive director of the UK Alumni Association, hopes this will become a location where the UK family can gather to show pride in the University of Kentucky for years to come. “The new Wildcat Alumni Plaza will be a gathering place for students, alumni and friends of the university,” he says. “We at the UK Alumni Association are proud to add this new tradition to the University of Kentucky’s rich history.”
Construction of the Wildcat Alumni Plaza began in November 2011, but plans for this new landmark have been underway for several years. After forming a committee of representatives of the association, the student body, Student Affairs, Purchasing and Athletics, as well as a UK architect, an outside architect, and alumni association staff and officers, Matthew Palmer, an artist from Friday Harbor, Wash., was unanimously selected to create the regal wildcat sculpture for the plaza. Palmer has 20 years of experience, including sculpting both the University of New Hampshire wildcat and the Texas State bobcat.
The UK Alumni Association funded the $300,000 cost of the project with funds from the association’s credit card investment fund. No membership dues or gifts paid by alumni went toward the project’s expenses.
Those interested in leaving their legacy near this new campus landmark may purchase a brick paver to be installed in the plaza. All net proceeds from paver purchases will go to the UK Alumni Association Scholarship Endowment Fund to help generate scholarship awards for deserving UK students.
The UK Alumni Association fosters lifelong engagement among alumni, friends and members of the association, and supports the mission and goals of the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association visit www.ukalumni.net.
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