Among the representatives of the University of Louisville and the athletic department paying their respects to Owsley B. Frazier during visitation Tuesday at the Brown & Williamson Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium were U of L President Jim Ramsey, Dan McDonnell, baseball coach; Lisa Pinkston, director of operations, softball; Sandy Pearsall, softball coach; and Jeff Walz, women’s basketball coach. Retired U of L basketball coach Denny Crum was also there to say farewell to the most generous donor in the community’s history. A short distance away, Frazier’s favorite football team was busy preparing for the season opener.
Owsley B. Frazier, 77, the most generous donor to the University of Louisville ever, has died, leaving behind an unparalleled legacy of quality of life improvements on Belknap Campus and throughout the community.
“The University of Louisville is my alma mater, as well as my father’s and brother’s,” he noted while making a $25 million gift to UofL last December. “The University makes me proud every day through its economic impact on the region. I give to the University of Louisville because I love it.”
Neither the University of Louisville nor the citizens of our community had a better friend than Owsley. -- Jim Ramsey
The latest gift raised the total amount his family had given to UofL to at least $43 million, including a $1 million gift for the construction of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and major funding to get Cardinal Park under way during the nineties.
Frazier was the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Trustees, holding degrees in law and business administration and an honorary doctorate from UofL. He is the grandson of George Garvin Brown, who founded Brown- Forman Corp., one of the world’s largest wine and spirit companies.
U of L President James Ramsey said in a statement, “Neither the University of Louisville nor the citizens of our community had a better friend than Owsley. His service and incredible generosity to the university’s academic, research and athletic programs is well documented and leaves a lasting legacy to all of us, young and old.”
His contributions to other segments of the community are also deeply ingrained in the daily lives of many Louisville families.
Thanks, Mr. Frazier. Well done.
Let there be no doubt as to where the University of Louisville lies in Owsley B. Frazier’s gigantic heart.
The most powerful man in Louisville has made an early Christmas gift to the University of Louisville in the form of a check in the amount of $25 million, the largest gift ever to a university in the state’s history.
“The University of Louisville is my alma mater, as well as my father’s and brother’s,” he noted. “The university makes me proud every day through its economic impact on the region. I give to the University of Louisville because I love it.”
The latest gift raises the total amount he has bestowed upon the University to more than $50 million over several years, including a $1 million gift for the construction of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium during the ninties and major funding to get Cardinal Park under way. He still attends Louisville football, men’s and women’s basketball games, and other athletic events on a regular basis.
Frazier, immediate past president of the UofL Board of Trustees, holds degrees in law and business administration and an honorary doctorate from UofL. He is the grandson of George Garvin Brown, who founded Brown- Forman Corp., one of the world’s largest wine and spirit companies.
He put no restrictions on the gift, which President Jim Ramsey says will be leveraged so that it becomes $100 million. The University is in the midst of a $1 billion fundraising campaign.
Merry Christmas, U of L.
Click on the photo below for an unedited video of the presentation.
Aerials of Frazier donation impact on campus, downtown.
He was there in June 1996 when the University of Louisville broke ground for its own football stadium, making a long-time dream a stunning reality. He was among the first people in the community Tom Jurich approached in 2007 about expanding the same stadium to more than 55,000 seats.
He was a strong advocate in the early nineties for the development of Cardinal Park, an athletic complex on the Belknap Campus that includes facilities for baseball, basketball, soccer, field hockey, volleyball, lacrosse and track and field. Without his involvement, many of them would still be in the dream category.
He is a long-stranding member of the UofL Board of Trustees and the UofL Athletic Association, as well as a loyal fan. The Courier-Journal reported in 1994 that he had already given approximately $500 million to causes throughout the community.
He is Owsley B. Frazier who was honored for his contributions to women’s athletics during halftime ceremonies of the Louisville-Cincinnati women’s basketball game at the KFC Yum! Center. His generosityÂ was acknowledged by numerous coaches and athletes with speeches, and he received boatloads of plaques, bouquets and kisses from his female admirers.
Louisville is blessed. Thanks, Owsley.