Dedication ceremony held for naming of Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering, University of Kentucky

Lindsey Piercy, University of Kentucky

September 20, 2023

On Sept. 8, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the renaming of the College of Engineering in honor of Stanley and Karen Pigman and to recognize their indelible impact.

Stanley and Karen Pigman understand the power of an opportunity.

Together, they have been providing opportunities and opening doors for engineering students at the University of Kentucky (UK) for more than two decades.

On Sept. 8, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the renaming of the College of Engineering in their honor and to recognize their indelible impact.

“To see Stanley and Karen’s names precede the college feels quite natural. Over the last two decades, the Pigmans have become synonymous with engineering on this campus,” Rudy Buchheit, Rebecca Burchett Liebert Dean of UK Engineering, said in a speech. “The impact of the Pigman’s generosity is vast and varied. In each philanthropic venture, the Pigmans have worked to, above all else, provide opportunity. Opportunity for education, for research, for connection, for mentorship, for leadership, for giving back. And today is our opportunity to celebrate that.”

Born and raised in Eastern Kentucky, Stanley is also passionate about engineering being an accessible career path for students from the region. At 17, he received a scholarship to study mining engineering at UK.

Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1981, Stanley made a commitment to transform the lives of students for generations to come and to improve Kentucky industries and the lives of the citizens they serve. Today, he, and his wife Karen, continue to live up to that mission.

For their long-standing support, UK President Eli Capilouto recommended the college be named the Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering. It is among five named colleges at the university — in addition to the Gatton College of Business and Economics, the Lewis Honors College, the J. David Rosenberg College of Law and the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The college is also the first at UK to be named in honor of a woman.

“As Kentucky’s university, we have a profound responsibility to advance our state; Stan and Karen Pigman are helping us fulfill our promise. This gift is a continuation of their decades-long generosity that has made education more accessible to students, especially first-generation students, and those from Appalachia,” Capilouto said. “Because of the Pigmans, more Kentucky students — and Kentucky families — will discover what is wildly possible at UK. To memorialize their legacy and express our enduring gratitude, we are proud to name this college in their honor.”

The Pigman's generosity continues to strengthen the academic excellence of UK Engineering by supporting renovation, expansion and need-based scholarships.

For more than 20 years, the Pigmans have financially supported and mentored more than 200 engineering and computer science students through the L. Stanley Pigman Scholarship Program. Today, more than 120 undergraduate engineering students are supported on Pigman scholarships.

The Pigman's gifts are crucial to ensuring engineering students acquire the skills and traits needed to solve unique challenges and ultimately improve the lives of those in the Commonwealth and beyond.

This article was originally published on the University of Kentucky website. Read the entire story and see more photos of the dedication here.

Photo courtesy of University of Kentucky.



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