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Transformative $25 million gift brings college of dentistry to the University of Pikeville

The anonymous gift will allow the Presbyterian-related university to help bring greater access to health services in Appalachia

by the University of Pikeville | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Photo by Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

PIKEVILLE, Kentucky — The University of Pikeville, a Presbyterian-related institution also known as UPIKE, announced a $25 million gift, the largest single donation in its 133-year history, on Saturday during the university’s Health Professions Commencement Ceremony.

The gift will enable the founding of a college of dentistry to be brought to the mountains of Appalachia and dramatically help give greater access to health services.

The announcement was made by Dr. Burton Webb, UPIKE president, who spoke about the philanthropic nature of such a gift.

“The foresight of a generous family giving to a university to establish a dental school is special,” said Webb. “This is another example of challenges being met and solved right here by those who call this area home. It’s also incredible that the university, this family and now a dental school will each have their roots right here in these mountains. It’s a great day to be a Bear!”

The chair of the UPIKE Board of Trustees, Terry Dotson, echoed Webb’s comments and gratitude.

“This is needed,” said Dotson. “The founding of a dental program in these mountains will lead to better health care outcomes for a historically medically underserved population. This institution, its students, faculty and staff are a driving force for health education in the commonwealth. The dental school will complete the circle of medical services for the region and the immediate area. The economic impact with the addition of more professional students will grow businesses throughout the entire community and the region. This will be a project that will take the time and talents of many partners locally and statewide.”

The donor, who prefers to remain anonymous, is passionate about UPIKE’s service-focused mission and recognizes the need for increased access to medical care.

“This donor has a deep love for Appalachia and a passion for improving health care in our region,” said David Hutchens, UPIKE’s vice president for advancement and alumni relations. “Their generosity will reverberate for generations, impacting not only the graduates of the program but also profoundly benefitting the lives of the countless patients they will serve for generations to come. This is a transformative gift, an act of deep love and devotion for this region. We are humbled by this generosity, thrilled to have this opportunity and ecstatic about this vision.”

About the University of Pikeville

The University of Pikeville, a Presbyterian-related university, is the leading higher education institution of Central Appalachia. Founded in 1889, UPIKE remains steadfast in its commitment to preparing students for the future while creating intellectual, cultural and economic opportunities for Appalachia. Maintaining its commitment to Christian principles, UPIKE recognizes the infinite worth of each person, respecting a variety of religious expressions. Learn more here.


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