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$22 million gift to University from Dr. Michael D. Rankin
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$22 million gift to University from Dr. Michael D. Rankin

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees has approved the naming of the new Health Education Building as the “Michael D. Rankin M.D. Health Education Building.”

As an alumnus, Rankin has devoted himself to the UK College of Medicine, its success and the success of its students. He has been an invaluable member of the UK Medical Alumni Association, past president of the UK Medical Alumni Association and associated board, chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council and volunteer faculty in the UK Department of Family and Community Medicine. In addition, he has served many years on the College of Medicine scholarship and admissions committees.

The UK Board of Trustees previously accepted a gift commitment of $22 million from Rankin for scholarships in the College of Medicine and to support the construction of the building — which, when completed — will be the largest academic building in the history of UK.

“Dr. Rankin has left an indelible mark of healing and hope, not just on this university, but on the state of Kentucky,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “His influence will be felt by generations of students and the patients they later serve.”

At over 500,000 square feet, the new Health Education Building will house programs in the colleges of Medicine, Public Health, Health Sciences and Nursing as well as the Center for Interprofessional and Community Health Education. The new facility will become a prominent campus landmark at the intersection of Huguelet and University drives when it opens in 2026.

Rankin of Danville, Kentucky, received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UK in 1971 and his medical degree from the UK College of Medicine in 1980. He completed his residency in family medicine in 1983 at UK HealthCare and then pursued a successful practice in primary care and family medicine in Atlanta, before retiring and returning to Boyle County on a farm just 10 miles from where he grew up.

“One of the greatest challenges facing the Commonwealth is the current and growing shortage of health care providers, including physicians, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, athletic trainers, medical laboratory scientists, speech language pathologists, audiologists, public health officials and other health care professionals,” Capilouto said. “With this new facility, we will be addressing this health care workforce shortage head-on and, but it couldn’t be done without our partners like Dr. Michael Rankin who share with us a vision for a healthier Kentucky.”

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It’s all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.

In 2022, UK was ranked as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.


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