Freshmen iPads

Freshmen attend the iPad Pick-A-Path offered by Apple as part of K Week on Friday, August 23, 2019 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Natalie Parks | Staff

UK will once again provide its incoming freshmen with Apple products after a Board of Trustees meeting Friday voted to continue the program.

The board approved funding to give all first-year students in the Fall 2020 semester an iPad Air, Apple Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil.

UK first gave iPads to its students in Fall 2019, purchasing nearly 6,400 iPads for freshmen, faculty and staff. The university will purchase 7,300 more iPads to continue the program, at an estimated cost of $1.5 million.

The iPads are distributed as part of the Smart Campus initiative, which aims to better connect students to UK. In a press release, university president Eli Capilouto praised the program’s ability to transform and facilitate learning.

“Technology has the power to transform the classroom, [and] UK is leveraging that power to meet the needs of the campus and state in a rapidly changing, 21st-century world,” he said. “The Smart Campus Initiative is redefining what is possible at the university.”

The board also approved the construction of a new research laboratory in the Coldstream Research Campus. Construction of the lab is expected to be completed in 2022.

$13.5 million gift by the Bill Gatton Foundation for a previously approved expansion of Champions Kitchen was also approved by the board.