Presidential Medal - July 16, 2014
July 16, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
1. Good evening.
2. Welcome to our sixth annual Presidential Medal ceremony. As you know, the University of Louisville is an institution with a great history and a great tradition. Our job is to continue to build on that great history; and we do this through new traditions.
3. For example, this fall we will celebrate our 11th anniversary of a back to school convocation called the State of the University Ceremony. This is a week-long set of activities to celebrate the start of the fall semester, culminating this year with a celebration of the success of our $1 billion Capital Campaign.
4. Five years ago, we started another new event to celebrate the faculty and students on our campus who embrace community partnerships and engagement in our community.
5. Tonight, the awarding of the President’s Medal is another newer tradition at the University of Louisville – we started this program six years ago.
6. The purpose of the President’s Medal is twofold. First, we recognize an organization that has significantly advanced the mission of the University of Louisville. Tonight, that great community organization is the WHAS Crusade for Children.
7. The second purpose of the President’s Medal is to recognize an individual who has been committed to, dedicated to, and has shown a love for the University of Louisville. Again, an individual who has significantly advanced the mission of the University of Louisville.
8. By the way, for an individual to receive the President’s Medal, they cannot be a graduate of the University of Louisville.
9. I have always been amazed by the number of people in our community who work so hard on behalf of the University of Louisville and give so generously to the University of Louisville who are not university graduates. Tonight, our honoree is Sandy Metts.
10. Let’s enjoy our dinner. While coffee and dessert are being served, we will start our evening program. Josh Moore – Volare.
Recognize Dot Patterson
1. As we begin our formal program, let me ask any prior to winners of the President’s Medal or representatives of organizations that have been recognized as winners of the President’s Medal to stand and be recognized. Will you join me in thanking them, not only for joining us this evening, but for all that they do on behalf of the University of Louisville.
2. If you’ve lived in Louisville for any period of time, you know about the WHAS Crusade for Children. The Crusade has been an integral part of our community for 61 years.
3. I have told the story many times, that as a child I always looked forward to the Crusade for Children. I kept thinking each year would be the year I would be able to stay awake all night and watch every minute of the Crusade.
4. Well, it never really happened, but the Crusade is an exciting time. Fundraising events occurs throughout the year, culminated of course by the outstanding work of the volunteer fire departments reporting their fundraising totals on T.V. The WHAS Crusade for Children is truly a grassroots effort in our community. It is truly part of Louisville.
5. The Crusade has raised more than $160 million since its inception. All of the money... let me repeat, all of the money goes to the children’s charity.
6. The Crusade has helped countless children – $5.6 million was raised this year.
7. It is interesting to note that the Crusade was begun by the Bingham family when they owned WHAS radio and TV stations and the Courier Journal. Emily Bingham serves on the UofL Board of Trustees today.
8. Since its inception, the Crusade has contributed more than $22 million to the University of Louisville and the University of Louisville Hospital.
9. The Crusade is one of those wonderful community organizations that does so much for the children of the community and through their support of the University of Louisville allows us to also contribute to the quality of life of young people in our community.
10. I could go on and on about the Crusade. My memories – the early days; Randy Atcher, “Cactus” Tom Brooks, and all the others who have been part of the Crusade.
11. The leadership of the Crusade is the Who’s Who in our community, Jim Walton, Phyllis Knight, Bud Harbsmeier, Rebecca Jackson – former UofL Trustee and now a member of the UofL Foundation, and current director, Dawn Lee, a UofL grad. I would say we are pretty proud of Dawn. Dawn, would you and others from the Crusade come forward to receive the President’s Medal?
12. Our second presentation this evening is the individual presentation. It is being awarded to Sandy Metts Snowden. I first met Sandy about 35 years ago when I was recruited to come home the first time from teaching in New Orleans to join the Brown Administration. Sandy has been a friend to me, a supporter, a mentor, sometimes a critic, but that’s okay, over those 35 years.
13. Sandy was on the Board of Trustees of the University of Louisville at a time that, out of desperation, I was hired into my current position.
14. Sandy was an amazing Trustee – supportive and strong, not afraid to take stands or afraid to speak out. I will never forget that when we presented the business plan for the development of the Shelby Campus, Sandy was one of the Trustees who stepped forward to say that a much stronger plan should and could be developed – a plan that would ensure the long-term viability not only of that project, but provide ongoing financial support for the University of Louisville over time.
15. Sandy has not only served on the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, but the Kosair Charities Advisory Board, the University Medical Center Board of Director, the Louisville Medical Center Development Corporation, and Sandy was Chair of the Real Estate Committee. Sandy served on the Metropolitan Sewer District, Nucleus, Republic Bank and Trust.
16. One of Sandy’s greatest contributions has been her advocacy on behalf of autistic children. She has made people in this community aware of the alarming increasing rate of children who are diagnosed with this illness.
17. Sandy has worked hard as an advocate on behalf of funding for autism research, education and clinical programs. She was the leader in pushing the University of Louisville to develop a comprehensive autism center that exists today under the leadership of Dr. Greg Barnes, who is with us tonight, on the Kosair Charities Campus.
18. Sandy led a team to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to better understand the program that they had and what we could do at UofL. ACC. In April 2011, when we announced the University of Louisville Autism Center at the Kosair Charities Campus, we named the lobby at the Autism Center for Sandy Metts.
19. At that time, I indicated that Sandy Metts has never allowed us to falter or fail in our efforts to create the University of Louisville Autism Center.
20. It is our pleasure to honor Sandy Metts with the University of Louisville President’s Medal.