Founders Week - A Time to Celebrate our University

More than three-and-a-half years ago, when Mary Lynne and I arrived on campus, we felt a stirring sense of place and the people who define our campus family. We are united by a common thread of devotion to the University of Kentucky – commitment manifest in our shared thirst for knowledge, discovery, engagement and healing. It is the same passion that links us to the countless individuals who shaped this special place for the last 150 years.

As the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Agricultural and Mechanical College, our founding mission was to, “teach such branches of learning as are related to the agriculture and mechanical arts, including military tactics, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in several pursuits and professions of life.”

Though we have grown since that time, and our mission has evolved to include rich and promising pursuits, we remain Kentucky’s cornerstone of teaching, research, service and health care.

This year, we mark an historic occasion for the University as we celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of our establishment. In February – thanks to the work of the UK 150 Committee – we will host “Founders Week,” a week of events to celebrate the legacy of those who established our campus, nurtured its early work, uphold and sustain its mission today, and those who will carry forward our future.

On behalf of the faculty, staff and students who serve on the UK 150 Committee, I want to personally invite you to three campus-wide programs that are part of a weeklong series of events:

  • Monday, February 23, at 10:00 a.m. – The University Convocation featuring University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall;
  • Thursday, February 26, at 3:00 p.m. – University Address by President Emeritus of University of California Mark Yudof, at Singletary Center Recital Hall; and
  • Friday, February 27, from 7:00 - 11:00 p.m. – Blue Tie Bash, at Rupp Arena.

These are just three of the many events organized during Founders Week. For a full list of the week's events including festivities for students, faculty, staff, donors and UK Athletics events, visit the Sesquicentennial website at Information will continuously be added to the website as it becomes available, and the UK150 Committee will share additional information via email as we approach Founders Week.

In addition to finding resources related to the anniversary, members of the campus community can also download sesquicentennial logos from the website, and all visitors to the website are welcome to share their memories of the university via the website's “submit stories” tab.

This is a special time for the University of Kentucky. I want to thank the planning committee for their hard work over the last year. They have reached into the depths of our past, unearthing a profound history that can inspire us as we balance on the hinge of history.

I look forward to sharing in this special celebration with all of you. See you during Founders Week.


Eli Capilouto