Home » Kentucky State University receives largest-ever donation: $1 million from Diageo North America

Kentucky State University receives largest-ever donation: $1 million from Diageo North America

FRANKFORT, Ky.Kentucky State University recently received the largest lump-sum donation in its history after a gift of $1 million from Diageo North America. 

Diageo announced earlier this year that it was partnering with 25 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) around the country to create an innovative program to develop future leaders and shape a more equitable future. An Associated Press story reported that Diageo was giving four grants of $1 million, one grant of $500,000, another $500,000 to support programs across the colleges and 20 grants of $250,000. 

The $1 million gift is the largest in the Kentucky State University Foundation, Incorporated’s history. The funds have been used to establish the Diageo Endowed Student Scholarship Fund to benefit the students of Kentucky State University. The intended purpose of the scholarship is to assist deserving students attending, or incoming to, Kentucky State University that display financial need.   

The grant coincides with the Together Thorobreds 135th Anniversary Giving Campaign, which has a goal of $3.5 million over the course of the campaign. With the grant from Diageo and generous donations to kick off the campaign from students, Kentucky State University Board of Regents Chairperson Dr. Elaine Farris and Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II, the University has reached 36 percent of this specific campaign goal. Even students are chipping in, as Kentucky State student Jacob Lilly was the first of many students to give to the campaign, lending a hand to future Thorobreds. 

For 135 years, the College on the Hill has been a beacon of access to education and cultural significance in Frankfort, the commonwealth’s capital city. 

As part of its 135th anniversary, Kentucky State is hosting “Our History: Kentucky State University at 135” May 18 at 11 a.m. at David H. Bradford Hall in Carl H. Smith Auditorium. The event will serve as the debut of Kentucky State University’s history book, written by Dr. John Hardin. Books will be available for $86 and Hardin will be on hand for signing. Limited seating will be available for the event and COVID-19 precautions will be in place to ensure the health and safety of University guests. 

The event will also feature a panel of members of the university community who have been witness to Kentucky State’s history. This conversation will feature members sharing firsthand perspectives of the institution’s growth and challenges, with a special focus on the school’s increasing academic preeminence, the development of the campus, and growth in campus diversity, athletics, and more.