LEXINGTON, Ky. — A ceremony was held yesterday at the University of Kentucky to celebrate the renaming of the College of Engineering’s Living Learning Program residence hall. It is now the Stanley and Karen Pigman Hall to recognize the contributions that the couple has made for many student engineers.

What You Need To Know

  • UK Engineering’s residence hall is now the Stanley and Karen Pigman Hall, honoring the contributions the couple has made to the program

  • Over 200 students have benefitted from the L. Stanley Pigman Scholarship Program

  • Had it not been for the scholarship program, Olivia Henderson would not have attended UK. She graduated as a chemical engineer in 2019

  • Henderson is appreciative to the Pigmans for both the financial help and the mentoring that she received throughout her undergraduate degree

Olivia Henderson grew up in Greenville, but it was her dream to venture out to Lexington for college. Because of finances, that dream was almost extinguished.

“It was spring in my senior year of high school, so it was getting kind of late in the game,” said Henderson. “I had already set things up for a different university and when I received that call, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was ecstatic to get to be a Wildcat.”

That call was to inform Henderson that she had received the Pigman Engineering Scholarship, but the impact of this opportunity would be much more far-reaching than a financial reward.

“You can talk to anybody who’s been a Pigman Scholar and long beyond the years of leaving college, they remember the one-on-one investment that the Pigmans made,” said Henderson. “I think it resonates with everybody.”

Stanley and Karen Pigman have supported over 200 students through the L. Stanley Pigman Scholarship Program, according to UK. However, it’s their one-on-one support and mentoring that makes this program special.

“We know all our students,” said Stanley. “I mean, it starts in the summer before they get here. I call them on the phone, I tell them what it’s going to be like to go to university, what it’s going to be like in the LLP, I tell them about engineering. We talk about all the things, study habits, etcetera… So it starts then and then Karen and I come to campus two or three times a semester. We meet individually with every student.”

It is this setting that has fostered an environment where the Pigmans can develop a relationship with the students in their program.

“We’re proud and we’re happy and to hear their stories when they tell them… our heart really warms to hear that and I guess it motivates us to do it, do more,” said Stanley.

Henderson, who graduated in 2019 as a chemical engineer, had the chance to speak at the ceremony.

“I feel like one of the things I’ve always kind of left college wondering was, ‘How could I ever, you know, let them know how much it meant to me, you know, the impact they’ve had on my life,’” said Henderson. “I’ve told them thank you a million times but to have the opportunity to thank them like this and hopefully let people have a glimpse of the impact they’ve made on people’s lives, this has meant a lot to me and something that I’ve looked forward to for a while.”

There are over 120 undergraduate engineering students who are part of the Pigman Scholarship Program, according to UK. The Pigmans have contributed more than $55 million to the university. They pledged $34.5 million to UK Engineering last month, and for about two weeks it was the university’s largest single gift.