U of L News Conference Remarks
Monday, October 26, 3 p.m.

Thank you all for being here for what we believe is a very momentous time for the University of Louisville in particular and for higher education in Kentucky in general.

As part of our administrations effort to bring excellence to our system of advanced education in this state, the General Assembly passed the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997.

A part of that overall effort is our "Bucks for Brains" program that included over $100-million dollars to the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky to fund endowments and begin to build excellence and a national reputation for higher education in Kentucky.

As I said when I first introduced this idea, "We must have a concentration of intellectual capital stewing in a great cauldron of research, generating the new ideas of the future, the entrepreneurship of a dynamic economy, and the innovation that leads to prosperity."

Today, I’m pleased to announce that the University of Louisville, through our "Bucks for Brains" initiative, has been able to attract a world class, cutting edge medical/scientific research team to Kentucky.

This team is headed by Dr. Suzanne Ildstad, who comes to Kentucky from Allegheny University where she was a professor of surgery, but more importantly led a team of scientists in the research of advanced surgical methods.

Attracting Dr. Ildstad and her scientific research team to Kentucky is a benefit not just for U of L but for all Kentuckians.

This team of scientists is conducting research in advanced medicine and new surgical methods that will provide Kentuckians with access to unmatched medical knowledge and treatment.

Dr. Ildstad’s and her team are renowned for their development of the safe use of bone marrow transplantation for the treatment of life-threatening diseases such as leukemia, red blood cell disease, auto immune disorders, AIDS, and organ transplant rejection.

For Kentuckians who suffer these disorders, their doctors will no longer have to send them out of state for this cutting edge treatment.

For U of L, it brings the recognition and prestige of cutting edge research and the potential to attract more world class scientists and researchers.

For this community and for the state, this is the kind of research that can spawn economic opportunities that we can’t even begin to imagine.

I’d like to give special thanks to the Jewish Hospital Healthcare System who matched the money U of L pulled from its "Bucks for Brains" allocation to attract Dr. Ildstad's team.

This matching money was a key element in creating the endowment that will generate about $500,000 a year to help support the team.

My congratulations today to the University of Louisville, the Jewish Hospital Healthcare System and to Dr. Ildstad and her team for what I believe is the beginning movement toward our goal of excellence in advanced education and better quality of life for all the people of the Commonwealth.

Let me now introduce to you Chester Porter, the new Chair of the U of L Board of Trustees, for some remarks.