UofL served as host institution for the conference.

President James Ramsey told attendees about UofL’s successful growth from a small, municipal university to a full-blown metropolitan research institution. Other speakers included Mitch Nichols, president of UPS Airlines, and nationally renowned community engagement expert Barbara Holland. Provost Shirley Willihnganz led a panel discussion on Louisville’s 55,000 Degrees initiative. The panel also included Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Simmons College President Rev. Kevin Cosby, Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens, and Mary Gwen Wheeler, executive director of 55,000 Degrees.

In addition to roundtable discussions and poster sessions, attendees toured UPS Worldport, Family Scholar House and Hotel Louisville, all examples of UofL/community partnerships that have benefited Louisville and Kentucky.

John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.