August 20, 2001

University inherits largest donation from individual

By Amanda Lee Anderson

The University of Louisville has just received the largest monetary gift in the university’s history. The gift of $12.5 million, from the estate of Charles and Theresa Grosscurth, will be used to create scholarships for Ph.D. students studying engineering at Speed School.

The Grosscurths were prominent citizens of Louisville. They owned three distilleries in Anchorage, Lawrenceburg, and Meadowland. They were also active in the First Unitarian Church of Louisville and The Audobon Country Club.

“This is a truly historic gift to the university,” said U of L president John Shumaker. “Through their incredible generosity, Charles and Theresa Grosscurth have made a gift that will benefit the University of Louisville and Kentucky for years to come.” Although the Grosscurths did not attend Speed School, they were longtime friends of the engineering program.

The funds will be matched by the state through the state of Kentucky’s Research Challenge Trust Fund, also known as “Bucks for Brains.” This brings the total gift up to $25 million dollars. The state money will enable the university to set up six endowment chairs, four of which are in Speed School. These chairs will provide for advanced study in e-commerce, computer vision and image processing, biomechanics, and nanotech and surface engineering.

Speed School will not be the only one who benefits, however. The Brandeis Law School will also have a new chair in intellectual property law, and the English department of the College of Arts and Sciences will benefit from a chair in technical writing.

This gift will be extremely important to the Speed School, as it will enable the school to attract new students in diverse fields of study. Thomas Hanley, dean of the Speed Scientific School, said, “This gift will enable us to attract and support outstanding researchers and graduate students. Its impact will be felt by all our students, and by our community.”

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