UK had a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of Limestone Crossing. This community is possible because of a lot of good work by Alice Sparks, former trustee, and Jack Blanton, former vice president for finance and administration. They have a lot of people signed up for the initial fee, and they now have to convert those individuals to pay the money to get the community started. A guest house and a sample apartment are finished.
Former UK golfer J. B. Holmes was one of two Kentucky natives on this year's successful Ryder Cup team. As a member of the team, Mr. Holmes was able to designate $200,000 to charities of his choice, and he is giving $90,000 to the University of Kentucky. The players do not win money at the Ryder Cup, but they win a lifetime worth of experience.
UK's Cooperative Extension Service has been working with the private sector in Muhlenberg County. The private sector has an interest in building their economy with professionals. The local bankers and business people have committed to raising enough money over the next five years to pay for a fine arts agent in Muhlenberg County. That is UK's third fine arts agent. UK is still the only extension service in the state and the nation that has fine arts in their agricultural extension program.
Three College of Design graduates have received prizes at a prestigious furniture design competition. UK tied with Georgia Tech for the most students earning prize money across six different categories.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the largest single EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant for the study of nanotechnology to UK. This $2 million EPA study is a significant catch for the university. UK has engineering, chemistry, pharmacy, and the Center for Applied Energy, along with a co-investigator from the University of Louisville, involved in this grant. EPA gave out $6 million worth of STAR grants to 11 universities. UK's $2 million speaks extremely high of the significance of the research team working in this area. The collaboration that went into this grant was highly recognized. There are a lot of products coming out with nanoparticles, which are much smaller than coal particles. Nobody knows what influence they can have if they pass the brain barrier, and UK is researching that area.
UK Agriculture scientists also join colleagues from other institutions to explore the potential ecological hazards of nanoparticles. The National Science Foundation and the EPA awarded $14.4 million to create a national center for environmental implications of nanotechnology. There are positive and potentially negative effects of nanoparticles, and UK is involved in all of that research.
Gregory Luhan, College of Design, is an extremely innovative member of the UK faculty. The Resonance House, built through a partnership that included the UK College of Design, was awarded certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Resonance House is the first and only Kentucky home to be certified by the USGBC to date.
Thomas FitzGerald, one of UKs law graduates, was recognized recently with the Heinz Award for the Environment, one of the largest individual achievement prizes in the world.