The Pigmans have a history of dedicated philanthropy to the university that has spanned more than two decades.
Additionally, they have financially supported and mentored more than 200 students. The Pigmans have not only endowed need-based scholarships within the university, but they also provide scholarships for 70 UK engineering students each year.
“Stanley and Karen’s commitment to our students cannot be overstated,” said Rudy Buchheit, the Dr. Rebecca Burchert Liebert Dean of the UK College of Engineering. “They are champions of students and of Kentucky engineers. We are proud to name this residence hall in their honor.”
In 1999, Stanley created the L. Stanley Pigman Scholarship Program. “The Pigman Scholarship provides not only financial assistance but also a built-in support system,” Martina Martin, associate director of student and community resources and services, said. “It gives recipients access to new experiences that are academic, personal and service-oriented.”
In 2021, the Pigmans created the L. Stanley Pigman First-Generation Scholarship for first-generation students from Eastern Kentucky. “Our hope is that these scholarships will significantly improve the lives of promising students from Eastern Kentucky,” Stanley said.
The scholarship reduces unmet need for students down to $2,000 and requires recipients to live in the First-Generation Scholars Living Learning Community during their first two years at UK.
Inspiring students to pay it forward is important to the Pigmans. Recently, Stanley and Karen founded the Pigman Philanthropic Partnership Program (PPPP) to help reduce the barrier for alumni to launch endowments. The university requires a $50,000 pledge to create an endowment to fund a scholarship. PPPP covers half of that requirement — recipients need to only give $25,000 and the Pigmans will cover the other $25,000.
So far, PPPP has made 13 endowments possible.
“I couldn’t have gone to college without the scholarship I received from UK. Even as a freshman at UK, I realized that if you’re poor — and my family was poor — the only way out of poverty is through education,” Stan said. “There are still many young people in Kentucky in this same situation today — needing help to pursue a college degree and a successful career. That’s why we do what we do.”
This year, the Pigmans committed $1.25 million towards an engineering technology collaboration between the College of Engineering and the Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC). This collaboration will help BCTC students transfer to the UK College of Engineering to finish their bachelor’s degree.
For his career achievements and commitment to student success, Stanley was inducted into the college’s Hall of Distinction in 2009 and the UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinction in 2021.
The university awarded him an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters in 2017.