UK Board accepts $13.5 million gift from Gatton for student center expansion


Champions Kitchen will open to students on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. Pushed-in high-top chairs sit at Champions Kitchen on Friday, January 5, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Rick Childress | Staff

Jacob Eads

The UK Board of Trustees, Friday, accepted a gift of $13.5 million pledged by the Bill Gatton Foundation to fun an expansion to the campus’s student center. 

The expansion to the Gatton Student Center was approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2019 and seeks to increase the facility’s space by 9.1%, bringing the total to 412,500 square feet, according to a release from UK. 

The expansion will result in up to 350 new dining seats in the Champion’s Kitchen, as well as a second and third floor, which will be used for student service and support efforts to be determined at a later date.

The Bill Gatton Foundation was established in 1985 by UK alum C.M. “Bill” Gatton. Gatton’s total philanthropic contributions to UK add up to nearly $60 million