A 1980 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine donated $ 22 million to the state’s largest university, with most of the money going towards scholarships for medical students financially struggling rural Kentucky counties.
The UK celebrated Dr Michael Rankin’s donation on Tuesday in a ceremony.
Rankin’s $ 22 million donation is the second-largest one-time donation in school history. In 2015, Tom and Jan Lewis donated $ 23 million for a new specialized college.
Rankin has already donated $ 1.5 million, bringing the total amount he gave to $ 23.5 million, according to UK officials.
Of the $ 22 million contribution, $ 12 million will support the “Michael Rankin MD Community Scholarship Foundation”. The scholarship provides money to medical students in rural Kentucky counties who need additional financial support.
Rankin said he felt the need to fund the scholarship to attract more doctors from all parts of Kentucky.
“I felt strongly that it was important for me to step up and establish a scholarship so that students could focus on their studies and not have to worry about food insecurity or where they are. were going to live, ”Rankin said. “We need more doctors across the state, and if that helps support students who would otherwise have difficulty completing their studies, then we’ve reached our goal.”
The remaining $ 10 million will be used to finance a new health sciences education building. The UK Board of Directors approved the design phase of the new building in early May.
The new building is expected to be more technologically advanced, which reflects the way medicine is practiced today.
The building plan includes approximately 380,000 square feet for classrooms, simulation rooms, conference rooms, support for new technologies such as distance learning, immersive video and teaching of the telemedicine as well as offices and support spaces for the College of Medicine, College of Public Health and other health care colleges.
The total cost of construction is not yet known. Rankin’s $ 10 million will pay for part of the building, UK officials said.
“When I was a student we were mostly sitting in lecture halls, but as times have changed I want to make sure our students have access to cutting edge, world class technology,” he said.
After Rankin got his bachelor’s degree, he worked for six years as an electrical engineer, saving money to attend medical school. He graduated from UK Medical School in 1980. He eventually moved to the Atlanta area where he practiced primary and family medicine.
After his retirement, he returned to Kentucky to a farm in Boyle County near where he grew up, according to a statement from the United Kingdom.
“Rankin’s impact is being felt through this donation, his scholarship fund and his full support to the university, and in particular to the College of Medicine,” said Dr Bob DiPaola, Acting Rector of the United Kingdom . “We are incredibly grateful for his work with the UK College of Medicine and his generous donations to the college, both financially and through his services.”
Rankin is a familiar face on the UK campus.
He has been a member and past Chairman of the UK Medical Alumni Association and Associate Board of Directors, Chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Board and Volunteer Professor in the UK Department of Family and Community Medicine. In addition, he served for many years on the scholarship and admissions committees of the College of Medicine.
This story was originally published July 13, 2021 2:58 pm.