Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton: A Legacy Like No Other

Bill Gatton

University of Kentucky alum and former trustee Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton bestowed a transformational $100 million gift to the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment through The Bill Gatton Foundation. It is the largest gift to the university in its history.

To honor Mr. Gatton’s parents, Edith Martin and Harry W. Gatton Sr., the college was renamed the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Gatton’s impact on UK exceeds $180 million – making him the university’s single largest donor.


 

A historic gift

In June 2023, history was made at the University of Kentucky when the UK Board of Trustees voted to accept The Bill Gatton Foundation’s gift of $100 million to support the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The first gift from the foundation that serves to carry on Mr. Gatton’s philanthropic spirit and honor his legacy, this contribution stands as the largest gift to any agricultural college in history and the largest gift on record to any public institution in 2023.

 

 

 

Support for transforming Kentucky’s agricultural community

The value of this gift is only made more meaningful by the intention behind it. Raised on a Kentucky farm in Muhlenberg County that his grandparents founded nearly 200 years ago, Mr. Gatton’s roots are firmly planted in the agricultural community of Kentucky. In celebration of those roots and two of the most influential people in his life, his parents, the college now proudly bears the name: the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

 

 

 

Gatton’s homegrown values

Mr. Gatton carried the teachings of his family and his love for Kentucky through each new phase of his life. This gift reflects that meaningful childhood, and the things Mr. Gatton grew to cherish throughout his life.

Divided across four guiding pillars, the foundation’s gift to the college carries the imprint of Bill Gatton and the values he held dear: agriculture and rural communities; educating future generations of Kentuckians; the power of the human-animal bond; a spirit of innovation and a love for the University of Kentucky.

 




The Four Pillars of The Bill Gatton Foundation's Gift

Through the support of The Bill Gatton Foundation, the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment would create a targeted scholarship program that would help educate the future leaders of agriculture in Kentucky, with special consideration given to students with 4-H, FFA and other agricultural backgrounds.

The program would focus primarily on need-based students, students from rural communities and underserved populations, and first-generation students, as part of a commitment to preparing students for lives of meaning and purpose. 

The Foundation's gift also would provide funding for undergraduate student research experiences and support student leadership programs to equip graduates to play key roles in developing their local communities. 

Bill Gatton appreciated the importance of the human-animal bond, and many subject matter experts at UK are eager to address this theme. 

Through the support of the Foundation, the college would partner with UK HealthCare and others to explore this bond and research the care and well-being of companion animals in relation to human health.

The Foundation's gift would allow the college to secure program leadership and hire new faculty, as well as establish a companion animal science minor or certificate program. The college also would create a companion animal Extension program for 4-H students, as well as expand partnerships in veterinary medicine. 

Foundation funding for the 21st Century Capital Projects and New Initiatives Fund would be available on an annual basis for support of capital projects and new initiatives. 

Opportunities would include funding innovative programs in partnership with the state’s agricultural producers, the larger agribusiness community, and the priorities of local communities.

The Foundation's gift would help establish multidisciplinary teams of scientists, students and staff to address contemporary challenges related to agriculture and society.

This funding also would help expand Extension's partnerships to address communities' priorities of substance abuse, economic development, and youth development.




A Tribute to the University of Kentucky's "Bridge Builder"




More About Bill Gatton

The historic groundbreaking event of the new $60 million Martin-Gatton Agricultural Sciences Building took place on Mar. 21, marking what will become the first new teaching facility in nearly 35 years for the college.

University of Kentucky breaks ground on Martin-Gatton Agricultural Sciences Building

The new 60 million, 66,000 square feet Martin-Gatton Agricultural Sciences Building will become the primary teaching facility, center for student success and home to new programs made possible by the generosity of The Bill Gatton Foundation.

Vice President for Land-grant Engagement Nancy Cox, Gatton Foundation Trustee Danny Dunn, UK President Eli Capilouto and Mike Richey, retired VP for philanthropy and alumni engagement. Arden Barnes l UK Photo

Historic $100 million gift will catapult UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Continuing a “legacy like no other,” late UK alum and former trustee Bill Gatton bestowed a transformational gift of $100M to the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment through The Bill Gatton Foundation.

 

UK Board of Trustees name new UK Student Center for Bill Gatton.

Bill Gatton gift allows expansion of Student Center that bears his name

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of President Eli Capilouto, accepted a gift of $13.5 million pledged by The Bill Gatton Foundation to support the expansion of the Gatton Student Center.

University of Kentucky announces largest gift in its history

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced the largest gift in UK's history — a $20 million commitment and lead gift by UK graduate and trustee Carol Martin "Bill" Gatton toward the construction of the university's new 330,000-square-foot Student Center.

 

Bill Gatton: A UK hero for generations to come

Born in Bremen, Kentucky, Gatton’s educational destiny may have been set, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have to work for it. He made and saved money, selling watermelons along the side of the road, so he could afford UK. At UK, he joined the ROTC, left school to become an officer in the Army, and returned to the university — finishing his education in four years.





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May 26—The University of Kentucky announced Thursday that it has received a $100 million gift to the
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Gatton, a Bremen native who made the …


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Messenger-Inquirer Don Wilkins May 26, 2023

The University of Kentucky announced Thursday that it has received a $100 million gift to the College
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a Bremen native who made the donati …


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The University of Kentucky (UK) announced on Thursday that it had received the largest gift in its
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The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has received a $100-million
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The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has received a $100-million
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UK receives record $100M gift

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You have /5 articles left. Sign up for a free account or log in. The University of Kentucky has
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second time this year, the University of Kentucky is getting another
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UK receives $100 million gift from Bill Gatton Foundation

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second time this year, the University of Kentucky is getting another
historic financial gift. This time, it’s going to the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Un...


UK receives $100 million gift from Bill Gatton Foundation

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second time this year, the University of Kentucky is getting another
historic financial gift. This time, it’s going to the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Un...


UK receives $100 million gift from Bill Gatton Foundation

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second time this year, the University of Kentucky is getting another
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Late University of Kentucky alum and former trustee Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton bestowed a gift of
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Late University of Kentucky alum and former trustee Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton bestowed a gift of
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Bill Gatton Foundation has announced a $100 million donation to the
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University of Kentucky Receives ‘Transformational' $100M Donation From Bill Gatton

Canada Today Layla Nelson May 25, 2023

The University of Kentucky on Thursday received the largest donation in the university's history from
the Bill Gatton Foundation: $100 million to the College of Agriculture, ...


Historic $100-Million Gift Will Catapult University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Date
Posted: May 25, 2023 L-R: Nancy Cox, UK Vice President for Land Grant Engagement and CAFE Dean; Danny Dunn, Bill
Gatton Foundation Trustee; Dr...

Seed Today May 25, 2023


University of Kentucky receives ‘transformational’ $100M donation from Bill Gatton

Yahoo! US Monica Kast May 25, 2023

The University of Kentucky received the largest donation in the university’s history Thursday from
the Bill Gatton Foundation: $100 million for the College of Agriculture, Fo...


University of Kentucky receives ‘transformational' $100M donation from Bill Gatton

Yahoo Canada Monica Kast Thu May 25, 2023

Monica Kast · 3 min read The University of Kentucky received the largest donation in the university's
history Thursday from the Bill Gatton Foundation: $100 million for the ...


UK receives largest donation in university history | Lexington Herald Leader

Lexington Herald-Leader Monica Kast May 25, 2023

The University of Kentucky received the largest donation in the university's history Thursday from
the Bill Gatton Foundation: $100 million for the College of Agriculture, Food and...


Historic $100M gift will catapult UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Agriculture.einnews.com Jake Kratzenberg May 25, 2023

Continuing a “legacy like no other,” late University of Kentucky alum and former trustee Carol Martin
“Bill” Gatton bestowed a transformational gift of $100 million to the UK ...


Good Afternoon Kentucky

ABC 36 Lexington (WTVQ-TV) May 25, 2023

community, lined the route to pay their respects.. The 35-year-old spent four years as a deputy in
scott county, and before that, served eight years in the u-s army.. He's described by those who knew him -- as a
go-getter, and someone who loved his job.. L …


The late Bill Gatton's latest gift to his alma mater is the largest in University of Kentucky history

The Kentucky Lantern Lantern Staff May 25, 2023

LEXINGTON — The University of Kentucky on Thursday announced a $100 million gift, the largest in UK's
history, to the College of Agriculture, Food and Envi...


UK lands $100M donation, its largest gift in history

Louisville Business First David Mann May 25, 2023

One good record-breaking gift deserves another. Late University of Kentucky alum and former trustee
Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton has bestowed a gift of $100 million to the UK College of Agriculture, Food a...


Historic $100-million gift will catapult UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Lane Report May 25, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Continuing a “legacy like no other,” late University of Kentucky alum and former
trustee Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton bestowed a transformational gift of...


UK announces largest-ever gift received in nearly 160-year history

Daily Advent May 25, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — The University of Kentucky announced Thursday the largest-ever gift received
in its nearly 160-year history. The Bill Gatton Foundation presented the $100 million gi...


UK announces largest-ever gift received in nearly 160-year history

Dispatchist May 25, 2023

The University of Kentucky announced Thursday the largest-ever gift received in its nearly 160-year
history. The Bill Gatton Foundation presented the $100 million gift to the UK College of ...


Historic $100 million gift will catapult UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

UKNow Derrick Meads May 25, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 25, 2023) — Continuing a “legacy like no other,” late University of Kentucky alum
and former trustee Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton bestowed a transform...


UK announces largest-ever gift received in nearly 160-year history

ABC 36 WTVQ Mary Clare Carr May 25, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. ( WTVQ ) — The University of Kentucky announced Thursday the largest-ever gift
received in its nearly 160-year history. The Bill Gatton Foundation presented the $100 million ...


HISTORIC $100 MILLION GIFT WILL CATAPULT UK COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT

US Fed News May 25, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky., May 25 -- The University of Kentucky issued the following news release: LEXINGTON,
Ky. (May 25, 2023) - Continuing a "legacy like no other," late University of Kentucky alum and former trustee Carol
Martin "Bill" Gatton bestowed a transform …


UK College of Agriculture lands $100 million gift

Louisville Business First David Mann May 25, 2023

One good record-breaking gift deserves another. Late University of Kentucky alum and former trustee
Carol Martin "Bill" Gatton has bestowed a gift of $100 million to the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
(CAFE) through The Bill Gatton Foundat …


University of Kentucky receives 'transformational' $100M donation from Bill Gatton

Lexington Herald-Leader Monica Kast; Lexington Herald-Leader May 25, 2023

The University of Kentucky received the largest donation in the university's history Thursday from
the Bill Gatton Foundation: $100 million for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The gift is believed to
be the largest single donation to a co …