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University of Louisville receives $10 million gift

BY BRUCE SCHREINERAssociated Press

LOUISVILLE - The University of Louisville landed one of its largest gifts in school history on Thursday, a $10 million donation. The generous gift came from a prominent local businessman who attached no conditions on how the money is used.

The gift from J.D. Nichols, chairman of the local real estate development firm NTS Corp., continued the school's fundraising momentum.

The University of Louisville announced in April that it had surpassed its $1 billion goal for a fundraising campaign, now winding down, that began in 2007. The capital campaign is aimed at boosting student scholarships, faculty support and research.

Nichols' donation is undesignated, meaning it can be used at the discretion of UofL President James Ramsey.

"I trust Jim," Nichols said in explaining his reason for not attaching any strings. "He knows where it needs to go and I don't."

Nichols is a 1964 graduate of UofL's law school and a former member of the school's board of trustees.

His donation ranks as the 11th-largest in UofL history and the second-largest unrestricted gift, the school said.

It will be paid over three to five years, it said.

"Education is the key to the continued growth and success of our community," Nichols said.

"For some time, I've wanted to do something that would impact UofL students, faculty and this community."

Ramsey said no decision has been made on where the money will go.

The gift will be used to entice more giving to benefit research and teaching, he said.

"It won't be focused on one academic department or another academic department, but how we - through our teaching and research and community outreach - can really address community issues," Ramsey said.

The donation was announced at The Nucleus, the UofL Foundation's new office building.

The Nucleus is the first new building as part of a developing complex for entrepreneurs, researchers and businesses.

UofL said Thursday that the downtown complex will be named the J.D. Nichols Campus for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

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