In late 2022, the University of Louisville Board of Trustees named Kim Schatzel to be UofL’s 19th president, paving the way for 2023 to begin a new era of leadership.
After she took office Feb. 1, Schatzel spent six months in some 40 listening sessions to learn what was important to community and government leaders and UofL’s students, staff and faculty. She outlined her first eight priorities in September as the fall semester opened, and those priorities became the basis for a new 2023-2025 Strategic Plan.
She was officially inaugurated on Sept. 29 in a joyous ceremony filled with music and tradition that was held on The Oval outside Grawemeyer Hall. Among the attendees were Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg.
The year also commemorated the 225th anniversary of UofL’s founding.
UofL Health-UofL Hospital, meanwhile, also celebrated a milestone: 200 years of compassionate care, medical innovation and serving the underserved. It was Kentucky’s first hospital, first admitting patients in a facility downtown in 1823.
UofL announced its highest-on-record first-year enrollment in the fall 2023 semester at 3,130, an increase of 6.8 percent from 2022, which had also set a record.
Affordability may be one reason students were eager to come to UofL. The university jumped 15 places in the 2023-24 U.S. News and World Report “Best Value Schools” ranking, from #146 to #131. UofL also topped the list of “best values” among national universities in Kentucky.
UofL will be making more strides in 2024 to provide an accessible and affordable college education. At the end of 2023, UofL announced the expansion of its Border Benefit Award that allows students from some neighboring states to attend UofL at in-state tuition rates. Additionally, UofL announced it is investing $2.4 million toward the Cardinal Commitment Grant for in-state residents in 2024.
The university welcomed two new deans in 2023: Dayna Touron, College of Arts & Sciences, and John W. Miller Jr., Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work and Family Science. UofL also named Kathryn (Katie) Cardarelli new dean of the School of Public Health and Information Sciences effective April 8, 2024, pending Board of Trustees approval.
Research and Innovation continued to soar to new heights in 2023, with UofL research expenditures totaling a record $230 million. Just a few highlights were:
- More than $22 million in funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) was awarded to the Schools of Medicine ($16 million) and Nursing ($6.5 million) for physician and nurse training to help increase Kentuckians’ access to health care, particularly in underserved rural and urban areas.
- An $11.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health was announced for UofL researcher Cheri Levinson to continue her work addressing the devastating effects of eating disorders.
- Research conducted in UofL’s Micro/Nano Technology Center is investigating whether the antibacterial properties of cicada wings can be turned into an antimicrobial for use in places like food service, health care facilities and medical devices.
- More than 80 of UofL’s top researchers, scholars and artists were honored in October at the 2023 Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Awards ceremony.
Also in 2023:
- Beloved Hall of Fame basketball coach Denny Crum died on May 9. In the fall of 2022, UofL had opened a new residence hall named in his honor.
- The McConnell Center Distinguished Speaker Series, celebrating its 30th year, brought Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, to Belknap Campus Oct. 30. She gave a public talk during a program at Chao Auditorium and also met separately with the university’s McConnell Scholars.
- Steve Trager, community leader and chairman and CEO of Republic Bank, was named UofL’s 2023 Alumnus of the Year.
- UofL’s Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute teamed up with Simmons College of Kentucky on an 18-month study to identify what makes a neighborhood contribute to the health of its residents. The study is funded by a $500,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
- The Center for Military-Connected Students debuted its newly renovated offices in Brodschi Hall on Belknap Campus. The center focuses on meeting the needs of the more than 2,100 military-connected students enrolled at UofL.
- UofL students, faculty and alumni performed alongside renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma at Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park.
- raiseRED, UofL’s largest student-run philanthropy, generated more than $551,000 in donations for UofL’s Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and the Norton Children’s Cancer Institute outpatient clinic. The amount brought the cumulative total raised over the 10-year history of the event to more than $4.6 million. The highlight of raiseRED is an 18-hour dance marathon.
View UofL’s Flickr gallery, 2023 In Photos.