“This is an incredible gift which will extend the reach of the Cardinal Covenant program to many more students who never dreamed they’d have a chance to obtain a college degree,” said UofL President James Ramsey.

Ramsey also said the university will use $500,000 from a previous unrestricted gift from the late Owsley Brown Frazier to match the Hughes’ donation, bringing the total impact of their giving to $2 million.

“Joyce and I strongly believe in education and knowledge as the greatest gift in life,” said  Robert Hughes. “We want to make that gift possible for as many students, present and future, as we can.”

WATCH the video: http://youtu.be/Tn7tUGQcM60.

UofL initiated the Cardinal Covenant program in 2007 in response to the increasing challenge for Kentucky students from low-income families to pay for their college education. Students who meet admissions requirements and whose families are living at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible.  Cardinal Covenant covers the cost of their tuition, room, board and books.

Cardinal Covenant is modeled after a similar program in North Carolina and is the first of its kind in Kentucky. Currently, 278 UofL students are benefiting from the program, which includes mentoring and academic support services.  Since the program’s inception, 180 Cardinal Covenant students have graduated. 

Robert and Joyce Hughes met when they were students at the UofL School of Medicine.  Both received their medical degrees from UofL.  Robert Hughes is a family physician and managing partner of Primary Care Medical Center in Murray, Ky. He also chairs the UofL Board of Trustees and the UofL Foundation board.  Joyce Hughes is a pediatrician who practices at the Primary Care Medical Center.     

Mark Hebert
Following a 28-year career as a radio and television reporter, Mark Hebert joined the University of Louisville as the Director of Media Relations in 2009, serving as the main spokesperson. In 2015, Mark was named Director of Programming and Production. He’s now producing and hosting a radio show about “all things UofL”, overseeing the university’s video and TV productions and promoting UofL’s research operation. Mark is best known for his 22 years as the political and investigative reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville where he won numerous awards for breaking stories, exposing corruption and objectively covering Kentucky politics. In 2014, Mark was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.