Auditorium is renamed in honor of Dr. Michael Karpf and his wife, Ellen

On Oct. 18, during a celebration of former Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf and his wife, Ellen, UK President Eli Capilouto announced that the UK Albert B. Chandler Pavilion A auditorium will now be known as the Karpf Auditorium in the couple’s honor.

Karpf retired in September after helping create a smooth transition with his successor, Dr. Mark F. Newman.

Karpf came to UK from UCLA in 2003 with the firm belief that art can make a difference in patient care. This principle guided Karpf to build a healthcare facility that would “make every visitor, patient and staff member feel comfortable and at home” and “complement and enhance the healing environment.”

The auditorium is just a part of that building, Pavilion A, and even inside the auditorium the details reinforce Karpf’s vision. The seats are upholstered in a specially commissioned fabric reminiscent of a field of flowers, a design inspired by Ellen Karpf’s admiration of a similar interior at Disney Hall in Los Angeles.

Since Pavilion A opened in May 2011, the 305-seat auditorium has served as a high-tech education center where physicians and staff can take part in grand rounds and other learning opportunities.

In the past six years, the auditorium has hosted international scientific symposia, policy summits, movies, variety shows, employee training and recognition programs, masters and doctoral thesis programs, major hospital announcements, and theater and musical performances from opera to bluegrass.

The auditorium is also an integral part of the UK Arts in HealthCare program, which features a large and internationally recognized visual arts collection and an endowed performing arts program.

When the auditorium was constructed and designed with a grant from the Sarah Scaife Foundation, Scaife Foundation Chair Richard Scaife, a longtime friend of the Karpfs, asked that the auditorium be named in honor of the couple at the appropriate time in the future.

“Mike and Ellen Karpf will never know the names of all the families and patients they’ve touched with their vision, even though I know that the Karpfs make an effort to try to meet them and uplift them in their times of need. But that is the highest form of giving — the type that serves many who may never know their names — and which echoes through generations,” Capilouto said.

See more photos of the Karpf Auditorium below.


Next steps:

  • Read about the award-winning UK Arts in HealthCare program, which brings the work of local, national and international artists into our hospitals and clinics.
  • Earlier this year, Dr. Karpf received the Kentucky Hospital Association’s highest honor for his career of exceptional service to UK HealthCare, the community and the state. Learn more about Dr. Karpf’s recognition.