Ramsey presented the University of Louisville Presidential Medal to Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and to the James Graham Brown Foundation.

Both, he said, are great friends of the university and have supported UofL as it works to meet the public agenda as mandated in the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997 – a mandate to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for the people of our community and state.

As Ramsey presented the medals, he listed some of the ways that the James Graham Brown Foundation and Abramson have helped UofL.

The foundation, he said, has been the largest philanthropic contributor to UofL and has provided ongoing support as UofL seeks cancer center institution designation.

Among other things, the group also created a scholarship program at UofL and at Centre College designed to develop leadership qualities and to keep the very best students in Kentucky.

Alex Rankin, chairman of the board of trustees and chief executive officer, and Mason Rummel, president, accepted the medal for the foundation.

Abramson, Ramsey said, has helped and supported UofL in its efforts to be an economic engine for the city.

The mayor, among other things, created the Louisville Medical Center Development Corp., which has evolved into Nucleus and MetaCyte – two entities working to create a health care/life sciences economic cluster downtown; and supported UofL’s creation of a Tax Increment Financing District that encompasses the Health Sciences Center campus and the old Haymarket property in downtown Louisville. Income from the TIF will be one of the primary means for financing development of a life sciences research park at the Haymarket property.

Ramsey also credited Abramson as a founding partner in the Partnership for a Green City.

Not only are the three partners – Metro Government, the University of Louisville, and Jefferson County Public Schools – doing some neat things when it comes to doing business in a more sustainable and environmentally responsible way, but in doing so, the partnership is setting an example for the rest of the community, he said.

Ramsey gives two presidential medals annually. One goes to an organization; the other to an individual who did not attend UofL.