The 2010 version of UofL’s outreach to Kentucky high school students began Sept. 22 with a reception for Governor’s Scholars and other talented seniors at the Marion County home of UofL trustee Salem George Sr., M.D.

The mission will end in November after President James Ramsey has visited at least 16 high schools and thousands of students across Kentucky.

A typical day on the road with Ramsey includes stops at a couple of high schools where he and a UofL student from that area talk to a large group of juniors and/or seniors.

Ramsey tells them that they need a college education now more than ever, that they can afford it and that UofL should be on their list of schools to visit because of the academic, research and social opportunities available.

Director of Admissions Jenny Sawyer then answers students’ questions.

Meanwhile, while Ramsey and Sawyer are talking to a large group, a UofL faculty member is talking about research with some of the school’s most talented students in a chemistry or biology class. Jeff Ritzenthaler, the director of research for the Lung Tissue Remodeling Program in the Department of Medicine, joined Ramsey last week for stops at three Lexington high schools.

Laman Gray, the UofL faculty member and surgeon who performed Kentucky’s first heart transplant, brought his bag of implantable heart devices with him to stops at Rowan County and West Carter high schools in eastern Kentucky.

The outreach events and the chance to talk to students about their futures and the value of a higher education energize him, Ramsey said.