UofL to build Welcome Center near I-65


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — University of Louisville officials today announced construction of a Welcome Center on the east side of campus, near Eastern Parkway and I-65. The $2 million facility, which is being funded through private donations, is expected to open in fall 2017.

    The center will be named the Herman and Heddy Kurz Welcome Center to honor the Louisville couple who have been supporters of the university for more than 60 years. Heddy Kurz is a member of the UofL Board of Overseers. She and Herman, who died in 1999, are adopted alumni of the university. The university previously honored the couple by naming a residence hall in their honor in 2004. That facility, Kurz Hall, now houses about 400 honors students.

    “This will be a first-class welcome center that will serve thousands of visitors each year,” said Interim Executive Vice President and University Provost Dale Billingsley. “Herman and Heddy Kurz have gifted the university not only through their philanthropy, but also as supporters of our students and our work in areas ranging from medicine to music. They have served as goodwill ambassadors, and it is fitting that the staff of this center will continue their efforts.”

    To be located at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Hahn Street, the one-story structure is expected to serve as a resource not only for the university, but also the Belknap Research and Innovation Park currently under development, the neighborhoods around Belknap Campus and the Louisville community. The center also will serve visitors to the Cardinal Park athletics complex.

    While many details remain to be developed, plans include informational kiosks, daily hours, student staffing and possible retail opportunities. The property also includes a billboard, which the university will use for promotional purposes.

    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.