Eva and Jim Martens named 2022 WKU Philanthropists of the Year

In early 2022, Eva and Jim Martens, ardent supporters of WKU alumni initiatives, athletics and...
In early 2022, Eva and Jim Martens, ardent supporters of WKU alumni initiatives, athletics and scholarships, made a commitment of more than $5 million to benefit the WKU Alumni Center and WKU Athletics(Submitted Photo)
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:39 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Eva and Jim Martens of Bowling Green, the namesakes of the Eva and Jim Martens Alumni Center, have been named WKU’s 2022 Philanthropists of the Year, which honors the generosity, leadership and commitment of the recipients.

In early 2022, Eva and Jim Martens made a commitment of more than $5 million to benefit the WKU Alumni Center and WKU Athletics through both current support and a provision in their estate plans.

“Eva and I are blessed to be a blessing to others,” Jim Martens said at the time of the gift. “The spirit of Western—being a Hilltopper and helping others—is alive and well here. Western is just dear to us. There’s no place we’d rather be.”

Jim Martens is a commercial real estate investor who owns shopping centers in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. A current member of the WKU Foundation Board of Trustees, the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation and the WKU Real Estate Corporation, he is also a past member of the Football Endowment Committee.

The announcement of the Philanthropist of the Year is part of WKU’s Philanthropy Week, which honors all Hilltoppers who give back to the University with their time, talent and treasure.

The Philanthropist of the Year award has been presented since 2000.