Less than one year after bestowing one of its highest honors on Muhammad Ali, the University of Louisville is remembering him today for his support and love of his hometown university.
“It was an honor to share the stage with Muhammad at our Grawemeyer Spirit Award event,” UofL President James Ramsey said. “He was an inspiration to me and to everyone around the world. His message of peace and understanding is something for all of us to emulate. He will be forever missed but forever remembered.”
In September 2015, Ali received the first Grawemeyer Spirit Award which recognizes an individual whose beliefs, actions and worldwide impact are in accord with Charles Grawemeyer, who founded the awards program that bears his name. View the story, video and photos of the award ceremony. View additional UofL photos of Ali from 2004 to 2015.
Ali and his wife Lonnie donated $50,000 from the Grawemeyer Award to set up a $100,000 baseball scholarship at UofL, and Ali was a frequent guest at UofL athletic events.
“His generosity with his time for anything we asked of him — or things he offered to do without us asking — was incredible, as was the financial commitment he and Lonnie made to our baseball program at UofL,” University of Louisville Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich said. “It was a true honor for me to know him, and he will be greatly missed.”
UofL’s Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice includes the Ali Scholars program, a unique two-year experience combining training, research and service in the areas of violence prevention, social justice and peacemaking in an urban living context. The Ali Institute and scholars program grew out of Ali’s vision for the Muhammad Ali Center and the need for a research and academic component. Enid Trucios-Haynes (firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-594-1040) is the director of the scholars program.