The Signature Partnership is focused on creating, enhancing and launching programs designed to eliminate or reduce disparities that West Louisville residents experience in education, health, economic development and social services.

Faculty, students and staff from every school and college at UofL have been involved in the Signature Partnership.  Since 2007, more than 3,000 UofL students and more than 400 faculty and staff have worked with 79 community partnerships to provide services that benefited West Louisville residents.

“And just as important as the people from the University of Louisville, people from the community have stepped forward and rolled up their sleeves to be part of this effort, “ UofL President James Ramsey said. “And so tonight we’re here to celebrate five years of the Signature Partnership Initiative, and to celebrate you.”

The Signature Partnership already has produced tangible results. For instance, the partnership is credited with helping the J.B. Atkinson Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning dramatically increase its students’ test scores and laying the foundation for academic improvements, higher graduation rates and more college-bound students at four other west Louisville schools.

“We’re not finished,” Ramsey said. “We have more to do. For example, we must work together to reduce and eliminate the student achievement gap that exists in this community. We must continue to improve the college-going and college-graduation rates in our community. We must collaborate and find solutions to restore neighborhoods so that they are vibrant, healthy and safe; and we must work together to ensure that our children have the very best in health care….

“We are here tonight to celebrate with you what we have accomplished, but we are also here tonight to rededicate ourselves to our unfinished job…. Regardless of the challenge, and we face challenges… we at the University of Louisville will not use any of those challenges as an excuse not to finish the job that we have been given.”

The event also included remarks by other UofL officials and Simmons College of Kentucky officials, presentations by children from the Weisberg Suzuki Violin Program and the Louisville Central Community Center, and a short video of Signature Partnership successes (watch the video).

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.