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Passing Lane: July 2015

By wmadministrator

Two of the Most American-Made Cars Driving Out of Kentucky

Two cars manufactured in Kentucky have been named “most American-made” on a list from Cars.com. The Toyota Camry and the Chevrolet Corvette have claimed the No. 1 and No. 7 spots, respectively, in the annual Cars.com American-Made Index.

This marks Toyota’s return to the American-Made pinnacle for the first time in three years and the fifth time overall that Camry has been ranked No. 1 on the index.

According to Cars.com, the “American-Made Index rates vehicles built and bought in the United States. Factors include the percentage of parts considered “domestic” under federal regulations, whether the car is assembled in the United States, and U.S. sales. Models with domestic-parts content ratings below 75 percent are disqualified, as well as models built exclusively outside the United States or models soon to be discontinued without a U.S.-built successor.”

The Toyota Camry, America’s best-selling car for 13 consecutive years, comes out of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Inc. in Georgetown, Ky. alongside the Camry Hybrid, Avalon and Avalon Hybrid. TMMK, Toyota’s largest manufacturing facility in North America, also builds engines and employs more than 7,500. The plant built its 10-millionth vehicle in 2014 and will begin adding the Lexus ES to its lines this fall – the first Lexus to be manufactured outside of Japan. The addition of Lexus is the hallmark of a $360 million investment in the plant that also adds 750 new jobs.

General Motors began production of the Corvette at the Bowling Green plant in 1981, and the facility has remained the exclusive home of the Corvette for over 30 years. Known around the world as America’s sports car, the Corvette is the world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car, with more than 1.6 million assembled. Earlier in 2015, GM announced that it will invest $439 million to expand operations at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant, including facility upgrades and a new paint shop.

Union College Joins Bonner Leader Program

Beginning this fall, 20 community minded Union College freshman will get more than $10,000 in renewable scholarship aid packages through a partnership the 136-year-old Barbourville school has forged with the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation Inc. of Princeton, N.J.

To qualify, students must demonstrate strong interest in community service; commit 10-15 hours per week to the program; have a minimum grade-point average of 2.5: and arrive early for orientation. Participants will have access to engage in on leadership development and social justice trainings, plus opportunities to travel to other campuses with Bonner students from other areas.

“This is a great opportunity for our college to build upon the foundation of service Union has committed to the people of this region dating back to the 1960s,” said Jodi Carroll, director of the school’s Center for Civic Engagement.

The program could add 300 hours per week of student-initiated service, Carroll said. Other service programs at the private, 1,200-student liberal arts college include Common Partners and U|SERVE.

Bonner Leader Program is one of largest, oldest and most successful models for service-based scholarships. It supports 3,000-plus students at 60 U.S. campuses who could not otherwise afford to attend college.

Students accepted receive an $8,000 scholarship, a $1,175 AmeriCorps Education Award and a $1,500 stipend. This aid may be combined with federal and state financial assistance and, in some cases, other scholarship programs at Union.

Students interested in the Bonner Leader Program can apply online at unionky.edu/BonnerScholarship or by contacting Carroll at (606) 546-1278.

Gatton Made Lifetime Honorary Trustee on University of Kentucky Board

Recognizing Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton’s unmatched decades of support for education excellence in Kentucky, especially to his alma mater, Gov. Steve Beshear last month made him a lifetime honorary member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees.

A current car dealership and former bank system owner, Gatton is the single largest donor to UK in the school’s history. His recent $20 million contribution for the construction of a new university student center, in addition to generous support for the renovation and expansion of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, bring his total philanthropy to UK to more than $45 million, with a total gift impact of nearly $57 million.

He also provided the founding donation for the creation of the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University, which has been named the best high school in America for three years, and he was the lead donor to the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University.

Gatton was appointed to a six-year UK trustee term in 2009.

“Bill’s support for excellence in education at all levels is simply unparalleled,” Beshear said in June. “A native Kentuckian and a proud UK alum, he has never forgotten that education played a key role in his success, and he’s devoted his life to ensuring others have those same opportunities. By designating him an honorary trustee, his wisdom, counsel and guidance will continue to be an immeasurable benefit to the board as it governs one of our leading educational institutions in the commonwealth.”

After growing up in Muhlenberg County and earning degrees from UK and Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in the mid-1950s, Gatton entered the car dealership business and later banking in the Owensboro area. A a longtime resident of Kingsport, Tenn, he was the subject of a Lane Report cover story in March 2012.

“Bill Gatton’s lifelong commitment to his alma mater as a leader, trustee and philanthropist without peer has transformed the University of Kentucky – for generations of students and their families and for the commonwealth that we serve as the state’s flagship institution,” said UK President Eli Capilouto.

UofL School of Dentistry Ranked No. 2 in the Nation

University of Louisville School of Dentistry ranks No. 2 among its U.S. peers, according to Graduateprograms.com, a website that uses student evaluations to rank programs throughout the nation.

Current students and recent grads contacted via scholarship entries and social media rate schools on 15 areas, including academic competitiveness, workload and faculty accessibility. UofL School of Dentistry received an 8.94 composite score on a scale of 1-10.

UofL ranked No. 4 on the list last year. This year, UofL scored greater than 9 on a 10-point scale in career support, education quality and program value, and greater than 8.5 in faculty support, network quality and use of technology. UofL scored above 7 in all 15 areas.

The No. 1-ranked program is Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif.

“It is gratifying to know that students at the UofL School of Dentistry value their experience in the program, even if it is from a limited sampling. In any case, we will persevere to continually seek to improve the quality of our educational programs and develop the empathy and skills of the professionals we educate,” said John Sauk, D.D.S., dean of the UofL School of Dentistry.

“The dental program at UofL is top notch and has one of the best curriculums in the country. Even though the program is rigorous and the workload is high, you are surrounded by wonderful faculty, staff and classmates that make this graduate program an excellent choice for pursuing a career in dental medicine,” according to comments by second-year student Giselle Neukirchner.

“I chose UofL because of the family atmosphere, the faculty and the staff. My overall impression of the student body was very positive and I wanted to give positive feedback so other students would know how amazing it is,” Neukirchner said.