Bucks For Brains

When the Kentucky General Assembly created the Regional University Excellence Trust Fund in 1997, it solidified its commitment to higher education. Commonly known as "Bucks for Brains," the fund encouraged individuals, foundations and corporations to invest in Kentucky's state universities, increasing the number of scholarships available to talented students at Northern Kentucky University and creating new centers and programs that have changed the landscape of the Northern Kentucky region. 

Bucks for Brains matched every investment dollar for dollar. As a result, donors doubled their impact. Fifth Third Bank helped establish the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which now cultivates startup talent. Through competitions and programs, NKU helps high school and college students develop entrepreneurial ideas, polish their business plans, hone their presentation skills, connect with investors and launch their companies.

The matching funds also created the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, which stimulates conversation about national and regional topics, links residents to volunteer opportunities in the area and encourages local residents to become more engaged with their communities.

By adding endowed professor and chair positions, NKU attracted preeminent faculty whose innovative research and programs distinguish the university and whose instruction and guidance enhance the quality of education at NKU. More scholarships made NKU more competitive in attracting the state and area's top students.    

Below is a list of funds supported by the Bucks for Brains initiative. To learn more about each fund, click on the links in the right-hand column.  

Contact Us

University Development and Alumni Relations
AC 221
100 Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099
(859) 572-6062

Endowed Funds Matched by Bucks for Brains at NKU

Endowment name Date Established Number of students/professors helped in 2014-15
Fifth Third Bank Entrepreneurship Professor
June 1999 Rodney D'Souza
Fifth Third Bank Entrepreneurship Scholarship June 1999 1 student
Fifth Third Entrepreneurship Support
June 1999 regional impact; provides resources and programs for high school and college students and local entrepreneurs
Chellgren Pathways to Entrepreneurship Speaker Series Endowment April 2004 has a regional impact; business leaders, students, faculty and staff attend
American Heritage Scholarship September 2000 1 student
Chase Enhancement Fund March 1999 improves education at Chase, affecting all students
Milacron Scholarship May 1995 8 students
Henry Hosea/Roger Francis Scholarship June 2000 1 student
Ashland, Inc. Professorship in Integrative Sciences Septmeber 1999 John Carmen
W. Frank Steely Law Scholarship
October 1999 1 student
Evan and Lindsay Stein Professor of Biocomputing November 1999 Kevin Kirby
Neyer Family Professor of Music June 2000 currently vacant
Verst Scholarship
November 1999 part of the Distinguished Scholars fund supporting 35 students
Salmon P. Chase Merit Scholarship
December 1999 24 students; a full-tuition scholarship based on students' LSAT score and grades
Archie V. and Myrtle L. Carrell Scholarship March 2000 1 student
Schiff Endowed Professor of Art April 2000 Brad McCombs
Carlie Schulenberg Memorial Scholarship May 2000 1 student
Debra LaMorte Scholarship September 2000 1 student
Bank of Kentucky Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership
December 2000 Mark Wasicsko
Thelma Louise Grein Scholarship for Physically Challenged Students January 2001 3 students
Ron and Sherrie Noel Scholarship
February 2001 part of the Distinguished Scholars fund supporting 35 students
Family Business Center May 2001 regional impact
Eva G. Farris Business Scholarship
June 2001 80 students
Ashland Summer Enrichment September 2001 supports the CINSAM summer programs for local elementary, middle and high school students
Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement
April 2002 regional impact; offers programs and events for students and community members and oversees the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project, which supports local nonprofits
Rieveschl Instrumentation July 2002 provides the latest equipment for the Dorothy Westerman Herrmann Science Center
Chellgren Scholarship
May 2002 1 student
Heman McGuire Endowment January 2005 1 student
CompEd Endowment January 2005 1 student
Duke Energy Endowment January 2005 provides grants to Chase students who have summer public interest fellowships
Sehnert-Pugh Applied Math/Statistics Scholarship September 2003 4 students
Dorothy Westerman Herrmann Endowed Chair in Science
June 2004 Amber Onorato