Remarkable how much the University of Louisville has grown and prospered over the past two decades. If the observer had had a bucket list 20 years ago, it would have included the following items:
— An on-campus football stadium
— A new state-of-the-art basketball arena.
— Another national championship in basketball.
— Membership in one of the premier athletic conferences.
— A new baseball stadium
— A dramatic increase in student housing, getting away from being a commuter school.
— A major beautification effort, with grand entrances to the campus.
— Significant expansion of the campus, helping to upgrade surrounding neighborhoods.
— An enhanced academic reputation.
All of these things have occurred under the leadership of James Ramsey, as President, and Tom Jurich, as Vice President of Athletics. A 55,000-seat Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, a 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center, a 3,000-seat Jim Patterson Stadium, a third NCAA basketball title, and membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Construction is booming on and around Belknap Campus, as UofL completes the transition to a residential campus with an active student body all year round. As for academic improvement, there have been 87 UofL Fulbright award winners since 2003—more than all other Kentucky institutions combined and on par with some of the nation’s most prestigious universities.
One is tempted to be satisfied with such incredible progress for the University of Louisville. But like they say, if you’re not getting better, you are getting worse. Having achieved all that, it’s time to update the bucket list. The facilities are in place. Here’s the updated bucket list, what the observer would like to happen next:
— Win a national championship in football.
— Add at least 15,000 seats to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
— Win the College World Series in baseball.
— Win two more national championships in men’s basketball.
— Win a first national championship in women’s basketball.
— National Cancer Center designation for University Hospital.
— Host the ACC basketball tournaments (men’s and women’s) in Louisville.
— Win a national championship in soccer.
— Continue the expansion of the UofL campuses, including Belknap, the Medical Complex and on Shelbyville Road.
— Move up at least 30 spots in academic recognition on the U.S. News & World Report list.
— Permanent and significant recognition of James Ramsey and Tom Jurich on Belknap Campus.
Feel welcome to suggest additions to the observer’s bucket list.