The agreement sets up a partnership that will promote an ongoing professional exchange among soldiers and their families and UofL faculty, staff and students, said Renee Finnegan, UofL’s executive director of military initiatives and partnerships.
UofL President James Ramsey and Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini, adjutant general of the Kentucky National Guard, signed the document today.
The two organizations will work together develop a wide array of joint initiatives such as research in post-traumatic stress disorder, degree programs for soldiers, training in language and culture, and summer academic and athletic camps for children of Kentucky National Guard families, according to the memorandum.
“This partnership is closely modeled after the one we started in August with Fort Knox, which is already starting to produce results,” Finnegan said.
A pilot project to offer a military-only brain injury center at Jewish Hospital’s Frazier Rehab Institute and an entrepreneurship training program for veterans are among some 30 initiatives taking shape through the UofL-Fort Knox agreement.
Roughly 8,500 soldiers make up the Frankfort, Ky.-based Kentucky National Guard. Of those, about 7,300 belong to the Army National Guard and about 1,200 belong to the Air National Guard.
UofL recently began offering discounted tuition to Kentucky National Guard soldiers, a benefit it was already offering to active military and veteran students, Finnegan said. This year, some 700 veterans are attending the university and another 140 active duty and civilian students at Fort Knox are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in workforce leadership.