Newly named UofL building honors Woodford and Harriett Porter


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. –University of Louisville officials today named the three-story building that houses the College of Education and Human Development in honor of the late Woodford and Harriett Porter. The official building name is the Woodford R. and Harriett B. Porter Building.

    The Porters were entrepreneurs, community leaders, philanthropists and lifelong supporters of education.

    “Woody and Harriett understood that a college education does more than build a brighter future for graduates, it also builds a better, stronger community”said UofL President James Ramsey.

    As the owners of the A.D. Porter and Sons Inc. funeral home, the Porters became one of Louisville’s most well-known and prominent African American families.

    Woodford Porter served on the UofL Board of Trustees from 1968 to 1991 and was the first African American trustee and board chair. He served four terms as chairman and helped in persuading Kentucky’s higher education council to designate UofL as Kentucky’s major urban university. One of the university’s most prominent scholarships—the Woodford R. Porter Scholarship—was named for him in the 1980s. Woodford Porter died in 2006.

    Harriett Bibb Porter was a graduate of Louisville Municipal College. The college was absorbed into UofL, making her a UofL alumna. She was an educator, school counselor and a board member for the American Cancer Society’s “Reach to Recovery” program. After her death in 2004, the family made a gift to the university to create the Harriett B. Porter Cancer Education & Research Endowment at UofL James Graham Cancer Center.

    “We were thrilled to find out that this building would be named for our parents,” said Sharon Porter Robinson, a daughter of the honored couple. “They were so passionate about education and it means a lot to know their legacy continues at UofL.”

    Cindy Hess
    Cindy Hess has more than 30 years of experience in communications, marketing and investor relations, including more than a decade at UofL. She is "sort of" retired but happy to come back to the Office of Communications and Marketing to help with special projects and assignments.