The Trager Family with President Bendapudi
The Trager Family with President Bendapudi

The Republic Bank Foundation and the Trager family have pledged substantial funding to enhance a world-class institute to promote research and innovation in the field of optimal aging at the University of Louisville.

UofL President Neeli Bendapudi announced the gift at her inauguration as the university’s 18th president on the steps of Grawemeyer Hall. The donation will enhance UofL’s Institute for Sustainable Health and Optimal Aging, which connects providers in the aging services community to resources for older adults, caregivers, businesses, service providers and researchers. The institute will be renamed the Trager Family Institute for Optimal Aging. Additionally, the gift will create the Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic, which will apply the research conducted and offer hands-on services to its clients.

“The Trager Institute for Optimal Aging will bolster our current efforts and launch new initiatives in research, treatment and programming that will improve the quality of life for our older citizens,” Bendapudi said. “Louisville is a hub for aging care businesses, insurance companies and health care organizations. Our goal is to create partnerships that will leverage this expertise to improve the lives of people in the Commonwealth and throughout the world.”

The Trager Family Foundation and Republic Bank Foundation will contribute equally to the Trager Institute for Optimal Aging. Bendapudi called the contributions “generous and significant.”

“As both a family and organization, our roots with the University of Louisville run deep.  So, at the beginning of this new chapter for the university, with much optimism for the city, the university, and President Bendapudi, we felt that it was important to show our support,” said Steve Trager, chairman and CEO of Republic Bank. “Considering the importance of the eldercare industry to Louisville’s economic development, we are proud to partner with the University of Louisville to introduce the Trager Family Institute for Optimal Aging.  It is our hope that this gift will help develop a world-class conduit that eldercare companies can partner with in research, innovation, and career development.  Additionally, local citizens will become beneficiaries of the Institute’s efforts through the newly established Republic Bank Foundation Clinic.”

“On behalf of the entire Trager Family and the Republic Bank Foundation, we are excited to be able to support one of President Bendapudi’s and the University of Louisville’s core focuses, aging and eldercare,” Trager said.

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.