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President Ramsey on the Grawemeyer Awards and H. Charles Grawemeyer

The Grawemeyer Awards were created by a wonderful graduate of the University of Louisville, Mr. Charles Grawemeyer.  Charlie wanted a recognition program for big ideas in areas that were not covered by the Nobel prize.

Why the Grawemeyer Awards are so important to the University of Louisville is because they are uniquely the University of Louisville's.  The awards are granted by the University of Louisville.  The awards are acclaimed internationally.

The Grawemeyer Awards speak to big ideas, to excellence, to quality, to creativity to everything we stand for at the University of Louisville.  So, it's an integral part of our mission, our commitment to excellence, our commitment to community.

There are many special occasions in the life of an institution of higher education and none is more special to us than the week all of the Grawemeyer Award winners are here.  They are on campus.  They give lectures.  They meet with students.  The week is capped with a wonderful event, black tie awards ceremony where we hear from each of the winners.  We have our Grawemeyer scholars in attendance.  It's really a wonderful event in the life of the University of Louisville.  We've had winners from Asia, the former Soviet Union, from across Europe and the United States.

I was very fortunate before I was president to have the opportunity to know Charlie Grawemeyer and I consider him a dear friend and mentor.  I remember talking with Charlie about his vision of this very special award.  He wanted it at the University of Louisville.  He wanted it endowed so it would live forever.

If you saw Charlie in a room of a hundred people, he would be the last person you would pick out as a person of wealth.  Charlie was a humble, very quiet, very unassuming individual.  A wonderful human being.

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