February 2, 2007 | By: Holly Wiemers

A $1 million endowed professorship has been established by the James Graham Brown Foundation and Research Challenge Trust Fund to honor Stanley Smith Dickson, a native Kentuckian with a multigenerational legacy in the state’s horse industry.

The foundation’s gift of $500,000 was made to the University of Kentucky in honor of Dickson’s years of service with its board of directors. That gift was matched through the Research Challenge Trust Fund and a $1 million endowed professorship established to be used toward the university’s equine programs. 

“I applaud the James Graham Brown Foundation and Stanley Smith Dickson for their vision in making this gift,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “These dollars will help ensure that world-class equine research and education can be found right here in the horse capital of the world.” 

Stanley Smith Dickson Professorship funds will be used annually to provide salary and resource support for the enhancement of equine education through the examination of existing research coupled with the generation of new ideas, concepts and research findings in the area of equine science. 

Dickson’s roots in Kentucky’s horse industry run deep. The 1953 UK alum (he received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture) owns Glen Oak Farm in Bourbon County. The farm, purchased in 1792 by Dickson ancestor John Rice, is listed as a Kentucky Bicentennial Farm and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Dickson’s son, Bill, is the farm’s current manager.

Dickson said he designated UK for the James Graham Brown Foundation’s $500,000 gift both because he is an alumnus of the College of Agriculture and because he wanted to give back to the Thoroughbred industry, something he has a great deal of passion for. 

“James Graham Brown was a race horse guy and I feel he would be happy that we made this gift toward the industry,” he explained.

Dickson’s contributions to Kentucky can also be traced to his 36-year career with BellSouth (formerly Southern Bell before its merger with South Central Bell in 1995). He began his career in Southern Bell’s training program. When South Central Bell began operations in Kentucky in 1968, Dickson became general personnel manager. In 1971, he became assistant vice president for public affairs and in 1979, moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as director of public affairs for AT&T. He returned to Kentucky in 1980 to head the company’s Kentucky operations and retired as president of BellSouth Kentucky in 1991. 

“This generous gift is the first major contribution to our Equine Initiative,” said College of Agriculture Dean Scott Smith. “It lays the foundation for a remarkable future in equine research and education at UK.”

A committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Agriculture will award the professorship to a member of the college’s faculty who is a tenured associate or full professor with research interests clearly linked to equine science and who has made outstanding contributions to research and education in the field of equine science. 

The mission of the James Graham Brown Foundation (http://www.jgbf.org/ ) is to foster the well-being, quality of life and image of Louisville and Kentucky. We do this by actively supporting and funding projects in the fields of civic affairs, economic development, education, and health and general welfare. 

The Research Challenge Trust Fund (http://www.research.uky.edu/ca/rctf/), commonly referred to as “Bucks for Brains,” was developed in 1997 with the passage of HB1, the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act for strategic investment at the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Kentucky’s six regional universities. The program, administered by the Council on Postsecondary Education, is designed to advance the economic success of Kentucky and its citizens through education and research. RCTF provides Kentucky’s universities support for ongoing efforts to attract and retain renowned faculty and researchers.


Nancy Cox, 859-257-3333, Marci Hicks, 859-257-7200, Holly Wiemers, 859-257-4883