A Vision for Louisville

Late in the eighteenth century, Louisville was a stopping point along the mighty Ohio River. A frontier settlement, Louisville wouldn't see its boom years of river-borne transportation, portage, storage, and more for a few years yet.

In spite of, or perhaps because of its frontier standing, eight prominent men had a vision for Louisville and its environment a vision which held that education created “the Happiness of Mankind.”

Though only 359 people called Louisville home and 8,754 resided in Jefferson County around the time of the founding of Jefferson Seminary, the Kentucky General Assembly sought to endow a center for higher education in Louisville. On February 10, 1798, the assembly passed an act founding the seminary, and granted it 6,000 acres of land for the use, benefit, and support of the seminary. On April 3, 1798, eight individuals contributed funds to support higher education in Louisville and challenged others to follow. William Croghan, Alexander S. Bullitt, James Meriwether, John Thruston, Henry Churchill, Richard Anderson, William Taylor, and John Thompson pledged a total of $715. Two hundred years later, the University of Louisville stands as a proud urban institution and affirms the founders' vision.

One of the machines that would transform a nation docked in Louisville in 1811. Bound for her namesake, the New Orleans steamboat was a portent of Louisville's first golden age. Reducing both transportation costs and travel time, the steamboat spread prosperity.

With a boom time at hand, Louisville again turned its attention to education. When Jefferson Seminary opened in 1816, between 40 to 50 male students paid a tuition of $20 each. Jefferson Seminary operated until 1829.

Louisville was growing as a bustling port, drawing large numbers of immigrants and misplaced northerners and easterners looking for work and a future. Louisville's population surged to 4,012 by 1820. In the twenties, Louisville became Kentucky's largest city.

Eight years later the city established the Louisville Collegiate Institute, later Louisville College, which inherited part of the Jefferson Seminary. The Louisville Medical Institute opened later that year.

In 1846, the General Assembly chartered the University of Louisville, which absorbed both institutes and created a law department.

Louisville was fast becoming both a transportation and manufacturing center and by 1850 was the nation's 10th largest city.

Uof L's second president James Guthrie, who served from 1847-1869, reflects the kind of public involvement with the university that is still present to this day. An attorney originally from Bardstown, Guthrie served as a trustee or board member on numerous Louisville enterprises. Moving to Louisville in 1824 and gaining election to the city's board of trustees that same year, Guthrie helped write and secure passage of a bill in 1828 granting Louisville city status–and making it the first city in the state. Guthrie would help lead Louisville for 40 years, helping build the Jefferson County Courthouse and helping launch the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. A part-time president, Guthrie divided his time between the university's affairs and a term in the U.S. Senate, a stint as Secretary of the Treasury in the cabinet of U.S. President Franklin Pierce, and a term as president of the L&N Railroad.

Following the lead of its sister school which attracted the leading medical practitioners of the day, the School of Law attracted many of the region's leading legal scholars and practicing attorneys for its faculty. Early notable faculty included Henry Pirtle, Garnett Duncan, and Preston S. Loughborough. James Speed, who had served as Attorney General to Abraham Lincoln, was a notable lecturer at the school.

What is today the University of Louisville School of Medicine traces its origins to 1833, when the Louisville Common Council looked at starting a medical school in Louisville.

At the urging of such community-minded citizens like James Guthrie, the city government appropriated funds for a new medical school to be built at Eighth and Chestnut streets.

The Louisville Medical Institute began classes in temporary quarters in 1837. When the splendid Greek Revival structure by Kentucky architect Gideon Shryock was complete, the school's 80 students and seven faculty moved in.

Among the institute's founding faculty were several who had relocated from Transylvania University in Lexington. The institute's well-respected faculty, like Dr. Samuel D. Gross, Dr. Daniel Drake, Dr. J. Lawrence Smith, Dr. Benjamin Silliman, Dr. Charles Wilkins Short, and Dr. David Wendel Yandell, lent the institute an air of great prestige.

By the 1840s the institute was flourishing, attracting students from all over the South and West. The school's library was one of the finest in the country and the ampitheater it operated at the Louisville Marine Hospital was the first such lecture room West of the Alleghenies.

As many as 11 competing medical schools operated in Louisville during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Louisville Medical College (above) merged with U of L in 1908. The School of Medicine of the early 1900s was a result of mergers of four of Lousiville's best medical schools. As the consolidations continued, U of L could boast of enrollments larger than any other medical school in the country (1908) and by 1911 was the only medical school in the state.

In 1887, the Hospital College of Medicine established a Dental Department, which was located in a building at the back of the medical school at 324 East Chestnut. Dental students took classes on general medical and science topics at the HCM and could even obtain an M.D. in addition to the D.D.S. by taking the classes for both degrees. By 1900, the department had become an instution of considerable standing and withdrew from the college to become the Louisville College of Dentistry.

Coming of Age

As a new century dawned, Louisville was struggling with its newfound identity as a metropolitan area. The 1900 census pegged Louisville's population at 204,731. It was a new century bringing new inventions year by year.

By 1901, electric street cars began lacing together the downtown and the city's outlying neighborhoods and far flung communities in the county. By 1902, 36 automobiles plied Louisville's dusty byways. The first automobile race was held in Louisville at Churchill Downs in 1903. The first nickelodeon opened in 1904 on Market near Fifth. In 1906, Fontaine Ferry Park hosted Louisville's first airship.

With the opening of U of L's Academic Department in 1907, the university was moving toward fulfilling the lofty goals of its founders.

Helping the city meet its many diverse needs, U of L established the Graduate School (1915), the Speed Scientific School (1925), the School of Music (1932), and the Kent School of Social Work (1936).

During these growth years, the university experienced its own growing pains.

The move to Belknap Campus in 1925 would help ease those, but only briefly.

The former home of the Kentucky University Medical Department, which had merged with U of L in 1907, became home to the university's newly launched Academic Department (later the College of Arts and Sciences) and another stop for the law department.

The Silas Miller mansion, located at 119 West Broadway, created a stately presence for U of L. With the rebirth of an academic department, U of L was nearing the aims of its founders.

As the department's second dean, John L. Patterson raised private and city funds, helped create a library, and gained official recognition for the department from older American colleges and universities. Patterson's work was so well known that he once remarked “a person meeting me on the street would say, `Hello Doctor. How is your university?'” An unofficial U of L football squad (left) in 1907, made up of medical students, earned the title: The Team of Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee.

In 1900, the Dental Department withdrew from the Hospital College of Medicine, became the Louisville College of Dentistry, and moved into a new building at Brook Street and Broadway, which is still used by the university. A catalogue entry from that era notes: “The main infirmary has accomodations for over one hundred dental chairs and presents the appearance of a magnificient ball room.” In 1918, the college was transferred to U of L and became the School of Dentistry.

Built in 1914 for $942,000, Louisville General Hospital was hailed as one of the nation's great municipal hospitals. The sprawling, 500-plus-bed complex was still relatively new when this aerial photograph was taken in the 1930s. General operated as the university's teaching hospital until 1983 when University Hospital opened three blocks to the east. Over the years, many of the neighboring buildings fell to the wrecking ball as did most of General. The square-shaped C Building was spared and restored as the Irvin and Helen Abell Administration Building for the School of Medicine. Named in honor of the late Irvin Abell, an 1897 graduate of Louisville Medical College and a past president of the American Medical Association, and his wife the late Helen Abell, a noted preservationist, the building provides a strong link to Louisville's proud medical traditions.

By 1920, the need for adequate facilities for the university became an important priority. Sale of the Norris property in the Highlands, which the university had acquired in 1914, allowed the university to purchase the former Louisville House of Refuge in 1924. The location was known as University Campus (above) until 1927, when it was renamed after William R. Belknap, in whose memory the family had provided funds for the purchase of the Norris property. The university spent $200,000 during the spring and summer of 1925 to renovate the 12 buildings on its new 45-acre campus. Later that year, U of L launched the Speed Scientific School (left), naming Bennett M. Brigman dean. For 33 years, the Speed School operated in that building, once named the Leathers Building and renamed Brigman Hall in 1938 after Dean Brigman's death, for 33 years. One early tradition for Belknap Campus was its reliance on street cars (above, center) for both students and staff. Nicknamed a “street car university,” U of L and the entire city relied on these electric trolleys until World War II, when buses took their places on Louisville's bustling streets.

Founded in 1913, the Louisville Conservatory of Music had offered excellent musical training until 1929 when the stock market crash brought severe financial pressures to the school. That same year, the university opened a department of music. When the conservatory closed in 1932, the university mindful of the cultural significance of a strong music school though wary of the recent failure of the conservatory, opened a School of Music as a three-year experiment under the supervision of the Juilliard Foundation of New York City. Opening in the fall of 1932 at the former conservatory building at Brook Street near Broadway, the school flourished.

Belknap Gymnasium was constructed of red brick and trimmed with limestone in 1931 at a cost of $35,000. The building provided one playing floor 60 by 90 feet, a basketball court, seating for 750 people, locker and shower facilities for both men and women, offices, and storage space. Belknap Gym was used almost exclusively for student athletics and intramurals until Crawford Gym opened in 1963. Until its demolition in 1993, Belknap continued to serve as one of several campus sites for intramural programs.

At one p.m. on Friday, January 22, 1937, the university closed all of its colleges and schools. It had been raining on and off since January 6. The Ohio River had risen three feet by January 13, 18 feet by January 20, 30 feet by January 23 (equalling the 1884 flood record), 33 feet by January 24, and crested on January 27 at nearly 41 feet. Belknap Campus was completely surrounded by water. Minimal flooding occured on campus as the waters came up through sewer drains (the Speed Musuem was the worst hit with three feet of water in its basement). With the waters approaching, faculty and students on both campuses rushed to move items from basements and first floors to upper floors. Three-quarters of the city had been inundated, 90 people died, and nearly $50 million in flood damage was totaled. Classes did not reopen until the second week in February.

When the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes opened on February 9, 1931 at Seventh and Kentucky streets, a bond soon developed on that campus that touched the lives of those who attended classes, taught classes, and became proud and successful graduates. When it closed 20 years later–a move by U of L trustees to integrate the university without being forced by a court order–a thread of the African-American fabric of Louisville was but a memory. As Eleanor Hayes Foreman '50LMC notes: “The experience of going to a black institution with wonderful role models who had good leadership skills was important. They gave you a sense of pride and professionalism and self esteem. They expected the best out of us and they got it. We listened to the teachers because we wanted to be like them.”

With the Allies struggling mightily against the Axis powers, the U.S. Navy began gearing up on two fronts: building the necessary ships to wage a war at sea and launching a training program for officers. Nationally, the V-12 Officers Training Program trained 125,000 men. At U of L, local government and private businesses raised $250,000 to build four dormitories and a mess hall. The dormitories were named after the first four students killed in WWII in 1943. A Naval Sciences Building, later named after General Russell E. Dougherty '48L, was completed in 1945. The V-12 program operated on Belknap Campus between July 1943 and June 1946. V-12 trainees enrolled in the four-month semesters ranged from a high of 475 to a 257 enrollment low.

Until college nursing education became commonplace, nurses were trained in hospital schools (left). One of the city's earliest, the Louisville Training School for Nurses, opened its doors in 1887. The school was renamed City Hospital Training School in 1894 and finally became Louisville General Hospital School of Nursing in 1942, operating under that name until it closed in 1967. Alumni of LGH were adopted by the U of L Nursing Department in 1975. An official School of Nursing was established in 1979.

Ten years after the university proudly proclaimed its centennial in Christmas 1937, Board of Trustees Chair Charles Farnsley and Alumni Secretary Leslie Shively reported research that moved U of L's founding date to 1798. Their research allowed the university to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 1948, just 11 years after celebrating its 100th.

Growing Pains

With the war behind it, the country and U of L found a heightened sense of optimism and with it unprecedented growth. Ex-GIs flooded the campus, straining the university's physical, personnel, and fiscal resources.

Two schools echoed the demands and needs of very different periods of American history. The College of Business and Public Administration (1953) helped American business and industry meet its growing demand for business professionals. By the late sixties, as baby- boomers flooded the nation's elementary and secondary schools, demand for skilled and professionally trained teachers inspired the university to form a School of Education (1968).

As the sixties came to a close, civil unrest surrounding both the war in Vietnam and racial segregation collided on Belknap Campus.

While the university searched for ways to accommodate student protesters, it also grappled with its own identity crisis–remain an independent municipal university or pursue a path of expansive growth. The close of the sixties found the university at several crossroads.

Aong with the Minerva seal and the Cardinal bird, The Thinker remains today one of the university's best known, and most revered, icons. A bronze cast of Auguste Rodin's famous statue was placed on the steps of Grawemeyer Hall (then known as the Administration Building) in 1949. A gift to the City of Louisville from the late Arthur E. Hopkins, president of the Board of Aldermen, the statue was purchased for $22,500 from the Henry Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland. Created in Paris, the unique cast is believed to have been supervised by the artist himself. First displayed in the U.S. at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, the bronze statue is the only known cast made from the “lost wax” process.

Long before an NCAA title held the prestige and glory it does today, the National Invitational Tournament was the pinnacle of college basketball greatness. During the 1955-56 season, led by Coach Bernard “Peck” Hickman (fourth from left) and junior center Charlie Tyra (holding ball), U of L earned the trophy. Named outstanding player of the 1956 NIT and U of L's first All-American, Tyra's season average of 23.8 points remains the highest for a single season in U of L history.

The School of Dentistry has a history of offering high quality treatment to local patients, many of whom could not afford to see a professional dentist. Cramped quarters at the school's long-time home at the corner of Brook Street and Broadway forced students to work almost elbow to elbow in clinics. Construction was completed on a much larger Floyd Street location in 1970.

The U of L Marching Band dates back to the early 1930s, when Professor E. J. Wotawa was named head of the music department. He recruited musicians by offering college credit and Robert Worth Bingham, a local newspaper owner, donated money for instruments and uniforms. By 1933, the band was parading at football games. With a few exceptions, the marching band has performed “My Old Kentucky Home” at every Kentucky Derby since 1936.

From 1945 to 1952, more than eight million veterans used the GI Bill to enter colleges and universities around the country. It is estimated that GIs doubled U of L's previous enrollment during those years. Facilities were crowded and personnel had a tough time accomodating the growing numbers of students. Lines for registration (below, right) sometimes ran from the registrar's office in the Administration Building to Eastern Parkway.

Professor B.M. Brigman, first dean of the Speed Scientific School, recommended in 1923 that U of L establish a business school. U of L President Raymond A. Kent took up the idea in 1936 but it took thousands of returning World War II veterans wanting business courses to make it a reality. A Bachelor of Science in Business was established at U of L in 1945. By 1949, the Economics-Commerce Department enrolled nearly one-fourth of the majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. With the time and interest right, U of L started a School of Business in 1953 with John R. Craf (seated in swing wearing suit and tie), head of the Economics-Commerce Department, as dean.

In 1947 Misses Mattie and Lucy Norton donated Gardencourt, their estate on the edge of Cherokee Park, to the School of Music. The locale offered students a beautiful setting and the solitude in which to pursue their craft. The school soon outgrew its picturesque home in the park and in 1956 moved back to Belknap Campus. Today, the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary owns the estate, which is adjacent to its campus.

The Roman goddess of wisdom–Minerva– has served as the university's seal since the early 1850s. Her current visage has been in vogue since the early 1950s when Justus Bier, chair of the Allen R. Hite Art Institute, engaged Victor Hammer to bring the university's seal into a more prominent pose.

Bier couldn't have chosen a more artful choice.

Born in Vienna in 1882, Victor Karl Hammer was an architect, a sculptor, a painter, a graphic designer, and a printer of fine books. Having founded a press in Florence, Italy, and later in Lexington, Kentucky, Hammer crafted books as individual works of art. A designer of typefaces for use on his own printed creations, Hammer carved Minerva into a block of wood, creating a woodcut that has proven to be both contemporary and timeless.

Hammer also created seals for the City of Louisville and the Free Public Library. U of L awarded him an honorary degree in 1960.

Writing in a program for a retrospective of Hammer's paintings, Thomas Merton, whom Hammer had painted, wrote: “The art of Victor Hammer has in it not only the luminosity of classic technique but the eloquence of classic myth . . .”

The quality and growth of the university's library system in its early years is largely due to the dedication of Evelyn J. Schneider. With limited funds, the founding university librarian built the collection of 3,000 volumes in 1919 to more than 100,000 by the end of World War II. The former library (right), built in 1957, was later renamed Schneider Hall in her honor. Another dedicated library scientist, Laura Kersey, joined U of L as the Speed Scientific School's first librarian in 1941 and served 40 years. She remembered the university with $400,000 in her will. The Speed School library was named for her in 1979.

The early '70s witnessed the demise of most hospital-based nursing education programs. As the demand for well-trained nurses exceeded supply, U of L responded to community needs. Planning by Dr. Harold Boyer in 1973 led to creation of an associate degree in nursing. In 1974, Dr. Pat Small and Dr. Ruth Craddock were hired to launch a Division of Nursing. U of L admitted its first class of nurses that year. In 1976, the division launched a bachelor of science program. In 1979, the division was granted school status and started a master's program. By 1993, the school had responded yet again to community needs by starting a nurse practitioner program.

U of L's 13th president, Woodrow “Woodie” Strickler (1968–1972), guided U of L through some troubled times. Stepping in for retiring President Philip Davidson, Strickler was faced with problems both on-campus and off-campus. Student unrest, surging enrollments, a growing campus, and U of L's rocky entry into the state system of higher education might have swamped a lesser leader. Srickler (above) awaits a meeting in January 1970 with Kentucky Governor Louie B. Nunn, where he would seek and be denied full funding for U of L as it was just joining the state system of higher education. Planting a peace tree (above, right), Strickler participates in 1969 in an on-campus Vietnam War moratorium.

Appointed dean in 1968, F. Randall Powers (above) shepherded the newly formed School of Education through the transition from a department to a professional school and through a decade when school district consolidation and court-ordered desegregation brought serious disruption to the community and dramatically changed the course of teacher training.

Absorbing the financially distressed Kentucky Southern College, U of L welcomed some new alumni while adding a third campus–Shelby Campus–and a popular site for weekend and evening classes, a base for the National Crime Prevention Institute, and a future home for the Telecommunications Research Center.

New homes (left) for the Schools of Dentistry and Medicine opened in 1970 at a spanking new Health Sciences Center. The School of Medicine occupies the center building. The Kornhauser Health Sciences Library is housed in the building on the left side of the plaza. Nearby, the Kentucky Lions Eye Research Institute, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, the Medical-Dental Research Building, the Ambulatory Care Building, the Concentrated Care Building, the School of Nursing, and the School of Allied Health Sciences augment the center's current health care efforts. Ad Astra (foreground), designed by Othello Guarducci, was unveiled in the HSC plaza in 1973. The sculpture was made possible by a gift from Mrs. George W. Norton, Jr. and the WAVE Foundation.

Dealing with Change

A pivotal moment in U of L's history is July 1, 1970 when the university joined the state system, with all of its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs intact.

The change meant increased funding and legislative support, along internal conflict. It was a period of transition that, ultimately, helped the university fulfill its mission of educating and serving a diverse urban community.

During President James Grier Miller's tenure, the university's state appropriation increased by nearly 400 percent, which allowed U of L to expand its programs and accommodate more students. A considerable need for additional space and updated facilities created a building boom in the 1980s. New buildings for the schools of education, music, business, and law, along with additions and improvements to the Health Sciences Center, a new library, and a student activities center rounded out the decade.

U of L's prominence in health and medicine expanded during the last quarter of the 20th century. Already a preeminent teaching hospital, a management contract between University of Louisville Hospital and the for-profit Humana, Inc. was one of the first of its kind in the nation. New schools of nursing and allied health extended U of L's commitment to meeting the region's ever-changing health care needs.

In the '90s, U of L started construction of a privately-financed, 45,000-seat football stadium, appointed more women and minorities to faculty and administrative posts, and passed the torch to President John W. Shumaker, who vowed to make U of L a top research university.

Until the School of Music's present home was completed in 1980, the goal of creating a well-nigh ideal hall for the performance of music had been envisioned but never achieved. The North Recital Hall, with its magnificent pipe organ, ranks high among the internationally famous artists who have performed there as one of the best concert-hall facilities in America.

When Donald Swain was inaugurated as University of Louisville president in 1981 he announced that his “paramount goal must be to emphasize quality in our university,” and he succeeded in doing so. Under his tutelage, U of L became a flagship urban university with an annual endowment ranking 111th out of 3,500 colleges and universities. His “Strategy for the 1990s” improved the liberal arts curriculum, reorganized teacher training, strengthened interdisciplinary and advanced degree programs, and built a strong partnership with the city, county, and state governments and businesses.

There's no question that Men's Head Basketball Coach Denny Crum created a dynasty with his teams during the '80s. In addition to 1980 and 1986 NCAA Championships, Crum took his team to a four Final Four appearances, seven Sweet 16 appearances, and seven Metro Conference championships. “Dr. Dunkenstein” Darrell Griffith, who led the 1980 squad, holds the team career and single season records in scoring, field goals, and steals. As a freshman, Pervis Ellison was named Most Valuable Player of the 1986 NCAA tournament and became the first U of L player ever to total both 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

In 1984, Louisville industrialist H. Charles Grawemeyer approached U of L with an idea designed to inspire great works in music, education, political science, and religion. The first University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award, in music composition, was presented in 1985. Today, the Grawemeyer Awards, considered among the most prestigious prizes in the world, draw hundreds of ideas from dozens of countries and bring great minds to Louisville each fall for discussions and lectures. The awards also have allowed U of L to build one of the strongest collections of contemporary music in the world.

When the university moved to its new campus in 1924, a chapel located on the grounds was claimed by the Dramatic Club. Dedicated as The Playhouse in November 1925, this simple carpenter gothic structure provided an intimate setting for 533 theatergoers. Subsequent generations of thespians plied their talents to this stage until 1977, when The Playhouse was disassembled to make room for the construction of Ekstrom Library. After being stored for a few years, The Playhouse was reassembled at its present site between Third Street and Cardinal Boulevard and reopened in 1980.

In 1984, the pulse of U of L's Health Sciences Center was beating a little faster when U of L surgeon Dr. Laman A. Gray, Jr. and a team of highly trained individuals performed the state's first heart transplant. Under the auspices of the Louisville Institute for Heart and Lung Disease (now the Rudd Heart and Lung Center), a cooperative venture of U of L and Jewish Hospital, numerous successful heart transplants have followed.

The School of Allied Health Sciences was established as an academic unit in 1977 when the Medical Technology program (now Clinical Laboratory Science) was moved from the Department of Pathology to the newly created unit. During the following years, programs in cytotechnology, nuclear medicine technology, radiologic technology, respiratory therapy, and physical therapy were developed to replace certificate programs that had been transferred to the university from Louisville General Hospital.

In 1990, U of L, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and South Central Bell (now BellSouth) joined forces to make the state a leader in the telecommunications industry. At the Telecommunications Resource Center (above), located on Shelby Campus, researchers generate applications that attract telecommunications business to Kentucky while faculty and students problem-solve with state-of-the-art communications technology. Also opened in 1990, the Student Activities Center (right) quickly became U of L's social nucleus. The facility brought student clubs and organizations together in one location for the first time and houses everything from intramural facilities and a food court to a movie theater and a student radio station.

Nearly one million square feet of new buildings and parking space were constructed on the Belknap and Health Sciences Center campuses during the 1980s, thanks in part to increased state appropriations. New buildings went up almost every year and numerous improvements were made to existing structures.

Our Challenge for Excellence

Not an institution to rest on its laurels, the University of Louisville has set its sights on reaching the top tier of research universities within the next decade. President John W. Shumaker's “Challenge for Excellence” answers local leaders' call for a preeminent metropolitan research university to fuel the economic growth of the community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Equally important, the plan will serve as the university's blueprint for the future.

To be recognized as a top research institution, U of L must achieve Research I status awarded by the Carnegie Foundation. Doubling federal support and endowments and tripling the number of doctoral students and endowed chairs and professors will ensure that U of L achieves that goal. Areas targeted for investment include medicine and health sciences, environmental studies, logistics and distribution, entrepreneurship, education, arts and humanities, urban and metropolitan studies, and undergraduate education. Construction of a $28 million medical research building and a four percent budget increase for higher education, both recently approved by the Kentucky General Assembly, are part of a wave of state support of the Challenge for Excellence.

It is a new era, as well a new millennium that faces the University of Louisville. It will take a hard work, positive thinking, advocacy, and fiscal support from the university community to make the Challenge for Excellence happen. U of L's future looks brighter than ever.

Medicine and health sciences is an area that will receive attention from the Challenge for Excellence. Nearly $1 billion in economic activity is generated each year at Louisville's medical complex. Currently, the complex employs more than 12,000 people, accounting for one in six jobs in downtown Louisville. These medical jobs earn $400 million annually, contributing $50 million in state and local taxes.

U of L's Challenge for Excellence proposes increases in support for undergraduate education, education, arts and humanities, and urban and metropolitan studies–all areas where the university has demonstrated strength as well as potential for growth and continued success.

Toward reaching its goal to be recognized as a Research I status university, U of L has laid out plans to double federal support and endowments and to triple the number of doctoral students and endowed chairs and professors. For 1995-96, U of L received $24 million in grants, governmental grants, contracts, and private gifts. Graduate enrollment for 1995-96 reached 4,152 students.

Louisville and the university are ideally suited to build stronger industries around logistics and distribution, and entrepreneurship. At the crossroads of three interstate highways, the Ohio River, an international airport, and rail lines, Louisville is viewed nationally as having a very competitive location to attract logistics and distribution companies. Furthermore, Louisville ranks 12th nationally in business starts. With an excellent record in training entrepreneurs, U of L can assist the region in growing its own industries. U of L's strong environmental studies programs will help the region and the state balance economic growth with environmental responsibility.

Bicentennial Views staff

Research and reporting:

Oscar S. Bryant III

Marilyn Odendahl

Jennifer Recktenwald


Amy Abrams

Denise Webb


Dan Dry

Tom Fougerousse

Historical information, photographs and drawings provided by:

University Archives

U of L Photographic Archives

Kornhauser Health Sciences Library

Filson Club & Historical Society

IT Imaging

Courier-Journal Photographic Archives

Dr. Yvonne Jones

Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University

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