Seeing Red

10 champsLinda Burton posting from Frankfort, Kentucky – They must eat a lot of Wheaties in Louisville, Kentucky. At least that’s what I thought, as I watched a raving waving sea of cheering red on TV tonight. Louisville is almost 50 miles west of Frankfort, but I can hear the noise clear over here. What’s going on? The University of Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team came home from Atlanta yesterday with an 82-76 win over Michigan, that’s what, making them the NCAA National Champions for 2013. And what’s more, the Lady Cards just returned from New Orleans with a women’s second place; yes, well, those UConn Huskies pulled it out again. So who’s crying? Nobody! It’s a celebration of what can happen when you “go for it,” and from 10 poster womenswhat I learn that seems to be the norm at U of L. Since the year 2000 the Cardinals have gone to basketball’s Final Four three times and the Lady Cards twice; as to football, U of L claims an Orange Bowl win in 2007 and a Sugar Bowl in 2013; the guys have gone to the College Baseball World Series and won the National Soccer Championship in 2010. The gals have three Big East Tournament championships for volleyball and four Big East titles for track and field. All in all, there are 13 women’s and 10 men’s teams that participate in the Big East Conference (though they’ll be switching to the 10 birdAtlantic Coast Conference in 2014). The men’s basketball program is the most profitable NCAA program in the country; it ranks 5th in NCAA Tournament wins and 5th in annual attendance; the women’s basketball team broke the Big East paid attendance records in 2008 when they defeated U of Kentucky at Freedom Hall. But sports doesn’t get all the recognition at U of L.

10 ul sealWhen the University of Louisville was founded in 1798, it was the first city-owned public university in the United States. The Kentucky General Assembly mandated that it would be a “Pre-eminent Metropolitan Research University” and that it is; between 1999 and 2006 the National Institutes of Health rated it one of the fastest growing medical research institutions. Over the years researchers from the U of L Health Sciences Center have been a part of:

  • development of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer
  • first fully self-contained artificial heart transplant surgery
  • first successful hand transplantation
  • development of the Pap smear test
  • first civilian ambulance
  • first accident services in the nation (now known as ER)
  • establishment of one of the first blood banks in the US

U of L’s melanoma clinic, neurology research program, and spinal cord research program rank high in NIH funding for research.

10 globeMore than 22,000 students are enrolled at U of L today; they come from all 50 states and 116 countries, and fill up three campus areas – Belknap, Shelby, and Health Sciences – covering 640 acres. U of L offers bachelor’s degrees in 70 fields of study, masters’ degrees in 78, and doctorate degrees in 22. The school mascot is a cardinal, and the school colors are – black and RED. A raving waving sea of cheering red. I can see them all the way from here.

About University of Louisville

10 PitinoSeeing Red, the Irony. The 2013 National Championship Coach Rick Pitino (b 1952) has been head coach at U of L since 2001; he also led the University of Kentucky basketball powerhouse to an NCAA Championship in 1996. “I’m not a Louisville fan,” the hostess told me as she seated me for dinner last Saturday night at Carino’s. The crowd was packed five-deep in front of the TV in the bar; the U of L Cardinals were playing Wichita State as the last step in getting to the Championship game. She turned her head away as she led me past the crowd’s roar. “I’m not going to watch,” she proclaimed. “It’s not Kentucky.” Nothing like a good rivalry!