Commonwealth Journal

Local News

June 3, 2014

U of L President addresses Chamber

Somerset —

The president of University of Louisville says Kentucky has not completely recovered from the Great Recession that officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009 and “ ... when people are not working it affects the state budget.”
Dr. James Ramsey, speaking to the June membership meeting of Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that effects of the recession has challenged the state budget.
“Education can grow the economy and “ ... shouldn’t our priorities be on education, education, education, Ramsey emphasized, reaching a crescendo.” He displayed a chart showing vast differences in income by college graduates compared to those with less education.
“We’ve got lots of great students (at U of L) from Somerset,” Ramsey noted. Currently, 53 students from Pulaski County are attending U of L and 182 alumni reside here.
Ramsey gave the chamber group a brief history of the University of Louisville. He pointed out that on April 3, 1798, eight men declared their intention to establish Jefferson Seminary in Louisville and called upon their fellow citizens to join them in pledging funds for land, buildings, and teachers.  
Occurring a few weeks after the Kentucky legislature had chartered this academy and several others in the new state, this event marked the beginning of an advanced level of education for the young people of a frontier settlement barely two decades old.
Jefferson Seminary struggled. It did not open until the fall of 1813, and in 1829 it closed. The Louisville Medical Institute (LMI), chartered in 1833, opened in 1837, and the Louisville Collegiate Institute (LCI) was chartered the same year. In 1840 LCI was renamed Louisville College and in 1844 it inherited the portion of the estate of Jefferson Seminary designated for the use of higher education in Louisville.
LMI attracted large enrollments and prospered financially, but the college had difficulty remaining open. Proponents of grass roots democracy wanted to divert a portion of the medical school's resources to the college. They won a partial victory in 1846, when the Kentucky legislature created the University of Louisville proper, combining the medical school, the college, and a newly created law school.

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