BROWN-FORMAN ESTABLISHES ENDOWED CHAIR IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP
IN THE EARLY 1980s, Brown-Forman Corporation was one of the initial investors in U of L's College of Business and Public Administration, providing $750,000 for an endowed chair in marketing. Now, the company is supporting the college's growth with a $1 million gift to endow a chair in entrepreneurship that will be matched with state funds to create a $2 million endowment for the chair.
"Even though Brown-Forman is a company of 7,600 employees, we think of ourselves as being very entrepreneurial," said Vice Chairman Owsley Brown Frazier '60L in announcing the gift. As the company continues to grow internationally, he said, it will need managers with the skills to develop new markets 10,000 miles away from Louisville.
"We need people who are trained as entrepreneurs," Frazier noted, "so it made sense for us to provide a second chair for the college in entrepreneurship. We've had a strong relationship with the university for many years, and it's our largest single source of management employees. It's in our best interest that U of L succeed in its plans for the future, and we want to do everything we can to help make that happen."
The Brown-Forman Corporation Chair of Entrepreneurship will provide classroom instruction and mentoring for entrepreneurship students. The new faculty member will also expand the college's service mission within the university by working with researchers from other disciplines, particularly the health sciences, to explore opportunities for research-related new business ventures.
In accepting the gift, Dean Robert Taylor noted the tremendous appreciation of the college for the support of Brown-Forman and the Frazier family.
"This is an affirmation that entrepreneurship is the right theme for this college and this community," he said. "This gift will allow us to strengthen the entrepreneurship program, and will also encourage other major gifts to the college in the future."
JEWISH HOSPITAL HEALTHCARE SERVICES FUNDS CARDIAC RESEARCH
In keeping with its long history of support for cardiac research at U of L, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services has given $3.5 million to establish an endowed chair in cardiology and to provide funding for research.
The Jewish Hospital Heart and Lung Institute Distinguished Chair in Cardiology was established with a $1 million endowment and matched with another $1 million in state funds. The chair is held by Roberto Bolli, chief of U of L's Division of Cardiology and professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics.
In addition, the Jewish Hospital Foundation sponsored a five-year, $2.5 million grant to fund Bolli's ongoing investigation of gene therapy and cardioprotective genes. His research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of tissue injury during heart attacks, and developing strategies to prevent that damage.
"Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services has been extraordinarily important in enabling the Division of Cardiology to develop and sustain its research program," Bolli says. "Its support has made it possible to recruit outstanding scientists, develop state-of-the-art facilities, and carry out research that has placed us at the forefront of the field worldwide. I am proud to be a partner with Jewish Hospital in our common goal of establishing the Louisville Medical Center as a cardiology research leader."
In 1994, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services helped recruit Bolli and his assistants by sponsoring a five-year, $2.3 million research grant.
Since then, the Division of Cardiology has made great strides, including the establishment of cardiology research labs‹considered some of the finest in the nation - with 30 researchers, grants totaling over $6 million, and the publication of an average of one article per month on U of L cardiology research.
"Throughout our more than 40-year partnership with the School of Medicine, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services has continued to financially support and implement our common research and education initiatives," says President Hank Wagner. "We recognize the importance of innovative medical research, such as the gene therapy work being conducted by Roberto Bolli, that will impact countless generations of people suffering from heart disease. As evidence of our strong commitment, we have funded $5.8 million in cardiology research and an endowed chair for Dr. Bolli."
AXTON READING SERIES TO SUPPORT WRITERS' VISITS TO U of L
In order to provide U of L students with opportunities to broaden their exposure to contemporary literature, English Professor Emeritus William F. Axton '51A and his wife Anne M. Axton have given $250,000 to the College of Arts & Sciences for public readings of poetry and fiction.
The Anne and William Axton Reading Series will underwrite visits to U of L by published authors who will give readings and interact with students. The Axtons say it is vital that aspiring writers interact with visiting authors to share a wide variety of points of view.
"It's an amazing experience for anyone interested in literature to meet a real live poet," says William Axton. "This person will probably not look or talk like anyone they've ever met, and will share different views on the world. U of L has an unusually fine creative writing program, and we hope this series will enrich the academic lives of its students and faculty."
Anne Axton emphasizes that the authors will not only present public readings, but will work hands-on with students in classes and workshops.
"Our primary concern was to offer creative writing students the opportunity to work firsthand with published authors," she says. "Young writers are hungry for these kinds of experiences. Students and faculty at U of L deserve this kind of program, and I hope the public will also take advantage of it."
The series is administered by a faculty committee, which is developing a list of potential authors to visit during the 1999-2000 academic year, according to Jeffrey Skinner, creative writing program director. The committee hopes to host six authors each year, he says.
"We are extremely excited about this opportunity," says Skinner. "This is going to raise the level of interest in and the richness of the creative writing program, as well as students' consciousness of what good writing can do. Students need positive examples of what is possible in this world. This is a way we can provide those examples and also bring honor and stature to the university."
William Axton served on the faculty of the Department of English from 1967 until his retirement in 1990.
FIFTH THIRD BANK CREATES LOAN FUND FOR NEW BUSINESS VENTURES
Students in the college of Business and Public Administration will now have an opportunity to borrow the capital needed to develop prototypes of their new businesses, thanks to a recent gift from Fifth Third Bank.
The bank recently provided the college with $150,000 to establish the Fifth Third Bank Student Venture Revolving Loan Fund. Students in the college's entrepreneurship programs with an interest in developing start-up companies will compete for capital loans of up to $15,000 from the fund by presenting business plans to a review panel. The no-interest loans will be repaid over a period of three years.
"This entrepreneurial fund is the first we've established with U of L," says James R. Gaunt, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank. "The Revolving Loan Fund provides us the opportunity to assist student entrepreneurs in starting businesses and to provide a capital contribution to the college that will last in perpetuity as the loans are repaid.
"We are impressed with the college's focus on entrepreneurship and feel this is a meaningful way to reward ingenuity and help the community prosper in the long term."
Dean Robert Taylor says the availability of this type of funding is essential to create opportunities for new entrepreneurs. While many students have great ideas and well-researched business plans, he says, they often lack access to the start-up capital needed to turn those plans into actual businesses.
"The Fifth Third Bank fund will provide students with the capital needed to get their businesses off the ground," says Taylor. "That can create the bridge they need to move from being entrepreneurship students to being entrepreneurs."
The fund was established through a grant from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust, for which Fifth Third Bank is the trustee. Schmidlapp was the founder of Union Savings Bank and Trust, which later became Fifth Third Bank.
BRANDEIS SCHOOL OF LAW ALUMNUS TO ESTABLISH SCHOLARSHIP FUND
James E. Fahey '38L Worked his way through law school at U of L with a job at the university library. Since that time, he has practiced law for many years in Louisville and has reached the point in his life where he is "able to repay the benefits that I received."
In order to extend financial assistance to students in need, Fahey has pledged $100,000 to the Brandeis School of Law to establish the James E. Fahey Law Student Scholarship Fund.
The gift will help to defray the educational expenses of law students chosen annually by the school's dean. Criteria for eligibility will include the student's financial circumstances, hardships encountered in pursuing a legal education, and academic merit.
"We are pleased to receive this generous gift to our school," says Dean Donald Burnett. "Many of our alumni believe that their legal education opened doors of opportunity for them, and that being a member of a profession entails an obligation to return the favor by opening doors for others. This scholarship is an expression of James Fahey's commitment to this professional ethic."
Fahey says he received a great deal of help in working his way through law school, and he wants to offer the same opportunity to future U of L students.
"Living expenses and tuition are much more costly now than when I was in school, and I want to help someone else whose dream is to be a lawyer, like mine was," he says. "I don't deserve any credit for this. I'm just giving back."
After graduating from U of L with a bachelor degree in law (the degree of juris doctor was not yet offered), Fahey received a graduate fellowship from Columbia University, where he earned a master's degree in law. He then returned to Louisville to practice, and is currently counsel to the firm Roth Foley Bryant & Cooper.
Fahey received U of L's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1980. His wife, Ewing Arnn Fahey '42A, is also a graduate of U of L.
ENDOWED CHAIRS AND PROFESSORSHIPS TO DATE
ANNE AND BILL BENNETT LEAD 1798 SOCIETY
Success for any fund-raising campaign rests on the abilities and dedication of volunteers. The 1798 Society is fortunate to have the leadership of Anne '92B and Bill '79B Bennett for the 1998-99 academic year.
The 1798 Society is composed of individuals and corporations who annually contribute $1,000 or more to U of L. Annual private contributions are an important ongoing funding source for various programs of U of L's schools, colleges, and libraries.
Anne and Bill Bennett are Louisville natives who earned their accounting degrees at U of L. Both work for Bennett Accounting, which was established by Bill Bennett's father, the late William Bennett, Sr. In support of the university and the College of Business and Public Administration, the Bennetts established the William H. Bennett CPA Accounting Scholarship, given annually to a student who maintains a GPA of 3.0 or above and is gainfully employed. The Bennetts say they created the scholarship because U of L gave them the chance to advance professionally, and they want to offer a similar opportunity to a deserving student.
"We are very excited about U of L's plans for the future and the opportunity we have to assist the university in reaching those goals," say the Bennetts. "Our priority for 1998-99 is to encourage leadership giving and to increase the number of 1798 Society donors in honor of U of L's Bicentennial."