Fort Knox, U of L form partnership

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By Kelly Cantrall

While the relationship between Fort Knox and Hardin County is strong, the post recently made a friend north of the county line.

Fort Knox and the University of Louisville have formed a partnership to work on several projects between the two institutions, allowing Fort Knox to benefit from the university’s training and research and for university students and instructors to gain real-world experience.

A 16-member Fort Knox-University of Louisville-Community Partnership Advisory Board was formed in June and had its first meeting Aug. 31. The panel has three co-chairmen, including Joe Prather and retired Maj. Gen. Terry Tucker.

The group meets twice a year, and is initiating more than 20 projects for the two partners to work on, including research on traumatic brain injuries in soldiers, “green” construction and dual-credit opportunities at Fort Knox High School.

U of L President James Ramsey wanted to create a partnership between the two, so he invited Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley to discuss the creation, said Renee Finnegan, executive director of military initiatives and partnerships.

“There’s a lot of university people interested in the military,” Finnegan said.

Prather is a university overseer along with living in Hardin County, which is why he was selected to be on the board, he said.

“It just made sense that partnering with Fort Knox would be mutually beneficial,” he said.

Prather is most excited about the brain trauma research. A specialist in that area who worked in Atlanta is now at U of L continuing his work, Finnegan said.

Prather said he would be a strong advocate for that program, but expressed his overall interest in the partnership.

“I’m just excited about it, that’s the bottom line,” he said.

Tucker said he feels the post is a major beneficiary of the arrangement. He hopes it also will spark a relationship between Fort Knox and the city of Louisville in general.

He’s excited about the academic program between U of L and the high school. Finnegan said it’s hoped the program will start in the spring or next fall, and allow for students to earn college credit at a reduced tuition price.

The partnership will also extend into university departments such as psychology and engineering. Engineering instructors and students will work with Fort Knox on energy-efficient construction.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747.