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Key Takeaways:

  • DanceBlue underscores how our students – through sacrifice and service – are leading and teaching us.
  • This past weekend, we capped off the last of three Merit Day events, made possible by hundreds of you who want to show our newest community members what is wildly possible at UK.
  • One Day for UK — the 24-hour fund-raising initiative on behalf of our university — will occur on April 19. The dollars raised during this effort benefit colleges, units and students on our campus now and those who will join us in the future.


Campus Community,

We are here to educate our students in ways that prepare them for lives of meaning and purpose. But as is so often the case, it’s our students who teach us about both meaning and purpose.

On Sunday evening, several hundred students — bone-tired and leg-weary — ended the 24-hour marathon we call DanceBlue. They raised $1.65 million on behalf of the patients and families of the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) Hematology/Oncology Clinic.

They continued an 18-year legacy of sacrifice and service that has raised more than $20 million with the goal of defeating children’s cancer and supporting the families who seek care at KCH.

DanceBlue is one day and one night, but its mission goes on year-round. Students plan and conduct fund-raising events, reach out to area schools to empower young people to lead their own marathons and spend hours visiting with children and families in our pediatric cancer clinic at KCH.

The lessons they learn and the love they give to so many inspire us all. Alumni from previous marathons return each year to celebrate, but also to continue to nurture the bonds in the community they have built around values of giving back and of putting service above self.

Children and families who benefit from the care KCH provides and who form deep bonds with our students are also there throughout the evening to participate.

Each year, as a long winter finally slips into the warmth and renewal of spring, DanceBlue is a welcome reminder to me, and so many others, of the power of hope, the importance of healing and the essential nature of serving others.

These students are teaching us what it means to find meaning and purpose.

Merit Days

This past weekend, we completed the last of three Merit Day events for prospective students and their families.

About 1,300 incoming Wildcats participated over the three weekends and received a close-up view of what it will mean to be a college student in this special community.

I want to thank the hundreds of UK staff, students and faculty, grounds and facilities crews and so many others who make our guests — and, we hope, future members of the Big Blue Nation — feel welcomed on our campus.

First impressions are often the most important ones. And so many members of our community commit their time and energy on weekends and over long days to ensure we make a lasting impression on our guests.

Thank you.

One Day for UK

On April 19, we will celebrate One Day for UK — a 24-hour effort throughout our community to encourage giving that supports individual programs, units and initiatives.

We are nearing the completion of our Kentucky Can philanthropy campaign with a goal of raising $2.1 billion for our community, and, as of today, we have raised a little more than $1.9 billion.

The gifts during One Day for UK will move us closer to our goal.

Throughout this campaign, we’ve raised resources in support of every college on our campus and on behalf of scholarships that open wide our doors to more Kentucky students.

You can learn more about One Day for UK here.

One Day for UK underscores that we are all part of this community, united in our mission to advance Kentucky in everything we do.

Thank you for believing in that mission and for being part of this effort.

Eli Capilouto