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Philanthropy honorees have Transylvania connections

A life member of the Transylvania Board of Trustees, a current trustee, and a benefactor of the university were among individuals and organizations honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Bluegrass Chapter at a National Philanthropy Day luncheon in November.

The program celebrates those who have made significant contributions of time and resources to nonprofit agencies, thereby enhancing the quality of life in the community. 

Transylvania life board member James E. “Ted” Bassett III was given the organization’s most prestigious honor, the Distinguished Philanthropist Award. He was recognized for his wide-ranging philanthropic interests that have included several multi-million dollar fund-raising campaigns throughout central Kentucky and beyond. A highly respected figure in the global Thoroughbred industry, he has served as president, trustee, and chairman of the board of the Keeneland Association in Lexington and as president of Breeders Cup Limited.

ted bassett and david cupps
 Transylvania life board member Ted Bassett, right, and David Cupps, president, Association of Fundraising Professionals Bluegrass Chapter

Bassett joined the Transylvania board in 1970 and became a life member in 2005. A former member of the Executive Committee, he chaired the Nominating and Governance Committee and the Student Life Committee. He also served on committees for strategic planning, honorary degree selection, and architect selection for the Clive M. Beck Athletic and Recreation Center.

Two scholarship programs at Transylvania are associated with Bassett’s service to the university. The Keeneland Association Scholarship was established in 1974, and the James E. Bassett III Scholarship was created in 2010.

Bassett was awarded the Transylvania Medal in 1985 for promoting Transylvania through his friendship and outstanding service. The university presented him with an honorary degree in 1987.

Fran Taylor ’75, principal, My Giving Advisor, LLC, and a member of the Transylvania board, was recognized as an Outstanding Community Honoree. She was nominated by the Child Development Centers of the Bluegrass, where she has invested more than 18 years of volunteer work. As an emeritus board member of the non-profit organization, she continues to give of her time and resources to benefit children with disabilities. She has also served on over 17 other non-profit boards, sharing her expertise in marketing, communications, special events, and strategic planning.

fran taylor
From left, Child Development Centers of the Bluegrass board member and former board chair Steven Loy, Transylvania trustee Fran Taylor ’75, David Cupps, AFP.

Taylor has been a Transylvania board member since 2008, and before that was a member of the Board of Visitors from 2001-08. She has served on several class reunion committees.

The law firm of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie, & Kirkland, PLLC, was also given an Outstanding Community Honoree award. Transylvania nominated the firm for its vision and generosity in supporting the John Marshall Harlan Lecture Series at Transylvania. The series brings to the campus and community highly esteemed legal figures of national and international prominence who have distinguished themselves in constitutional law or history. William Wiecek, legal and constitutional historian and professor emeritus at Syracuse University College of Law, gave the inaugural Harlan Lecture in September.

lori burlingham; Josh Markham, andS tephen amato
 From left, Transylvania major gifts officer Lori Burlingham; Josh Markham ’97 and Stephen Amato ’87, both with McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie, & Kirkland, PLLC; David Cupps, AFP.

The law firm was honored for helping Transylvania realize its commitment to community outreach and diversity, as well as the college’s mission of preparing its students for a humane and fulfilling personal and public life through independent thinking, open-mindedness, and creative expression.

Transylvania was a Silver sponsor of the luncheon, which was chaired by Susan Ware ’84. Committee members included Mark Blankenship ’81 and Jack Hillard ’82.

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