Hugh HickockInvestor, IRS agent, U.S. Army veteran and Michigan native Hugh Hickok became fascinated with Kentucky basketball in the 1960s, listening to Cawood Ledford's play-by-play on the radio. Hugh lived his entire life in Michigan and never attended UK, but thanks to the power of radio, and Cawood's remarkable voice, Hickok spent 60 years cheering for the Wildcats.

In 2013, Hugh turned his passion for Wildcat basketball into financial support for student-athlete scholarships at UK through the Cawood Ledford Scholarship Fund. "I wanted to do something for Cawood," Hugh said. "He and his broadcasts meant a lot to me."

As a savvy investor and tax planner, he used appreciated securities to fund a charitable gift annuity. By doing so, he bypassed capital gains tax on the securities, qualified for a charitable deduction on his taxes and obtained lifetime income with a portion of it tax-free. Hugh shared that his philosophy was to buy individual stocks he felt would do better than the market overall, and then hold them. He had owned several stocks over 50 years, seeing them split several times.

On Aug. 16, 2020, Hugh passed away at the age of 94. In addition to the balance remaining in the gift annuity, Hugh left an additional bequest for the Ledford Scholarship Fund through his estate plan. His total gift, which exceeds $1 million, will provide significant scholarship support for student-athletes for decades to come.

"Mr. Hickok's gifts for scholarships provide us the resources to compete at the highest levels," said Mitch Barnhart, UK athletics director. "But more than wins and losses, this gift reflects the tremendous value Hugh placed on education and the special connection he felt with Cawood, one of Kentucky's legends."

"Hugh was a special friend to UK," said D. Michael Richey, vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement. "Growing up in Kentucky, I share Hugh's fond memories of Cawood on the radio. When I learned of Hugh's passing, it took me back to those early memories. We are so grateful for his gift, his friendship and for his strong desire to impact our student-athletes."

"I was inspired to give while I was living," Hugh explained when interviewed in 2013. "This way I get to experience the joy of giving."

What inspired you to become involved with UK? Discover how you can use your estate plan to extend your support for the areas of UK you are most passionate about. Contact Gift and Estate Planning at or (859) 257-7886 to learn more.