The University of Kentucky announced a $10 million gift Tuesday morning from the Don Jacobs Sr. Foundation, prompting UK to name its new $112 million Academic Science Building the Don and Cathy Jacobs Science Building.
The gift brings the total donated to UK by Don and Cathy Jacobs to $20 million.
“To whom much is given, much is required,” Cathy Jacobs said in announcing the gift.
The gift will be divided, with $8 million going toward the building’s construction and $2 million for future academic and research initiatives.
Don Jacobs Sr., who built a highly successful automobile dealership in Lexington, died last year at age 81.
He and his wife previously established the Don and Cathy Jacobs Health Education Center at UK Chandler Hospital’s Pavilion A. They also were major supporters of the UK College of Medicine and the Markey Cancer Center and were leading donors for the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics capital campaign.
UK awarded Don Jacobs an honorary doctorate in humanities in December 2014 in honor of those and other contributions.
The Jacobs family also donated $1 million to the Hope Center, creating the Don and Cathy Jacobs House on Loudon Avenue. The 154-bed residential center houses men who are learning to overcome addiction and other challenges.
At UK, the three-story, 263,000-square-foot science building at Rose Street and Huguelet Drive has 21 teaching labs for basic science education and research space with sophisticated new microscopes for graduate students and faculty.
The building’s construction was financed in part by UK Athletics, which is paying off $65 million in debt. The other $47 million in debt is being paid with philanthropy and university reserves.
“The breadth of this campus — from our business college to those in need in our hospital, and now students, faculty and researchers — will reap the rewards of what Don and Cathy Jacobs have sown,” said C.B. Akins, vice chairman of the UK Board of Trustees.
Junior biology major Evelyne Mechas said the new building will greatly improve the student experience at UK.
“It will build us into future leaders in the sciences,” she said.