The recipients are the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Jean Frazier and the late Kennedy Helm III.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust supports medical research, health care, education and conservation and has given millions of dollars to UofL for cancer and spinal cord injury research. UofL alumnus John Codey, a trustee for the trust and executive vice president of Helmsley Enterprises, Inc., accepted the award on the trust’s behalf.

“The Helmsley Trust and John Codey have become tremendous friends to the University of Louisville,” Ramsey said. “Many of the breakthroughs we have made in creating a vaccine for cervical cancer and helping those with spinal cord injuries can be attributed to their generous contributions.”

Jean Frazier, director of the Louisville-based real estate firm HFH Inc., is both a donor and adviser to the university through membership on the Board of Overseers. She—along with her late husband Harry Frazier Jr.—has made an impact through her support of such areas as student scholarships, research, autism services, library materials and athletics.

“There’s hardly an area of our campus that hasn’t been touched in some way by Jean Frazier and her family,” Ramsey said. “Jean has been a great friend and adviser for the university and her contributions have helped this entire community take a great step forward.”

The late Kennedy Helm III was a Cardinal fan and generous supporter of UofL athletics. A retired chairman emeritus from Louisville-based law firm Stites & Harbison PLLC, Helm died in March. Kennedy Helm IV accepted the award on his father’s behalf.

“When I learned of Kennedy’s death earlier this year, I knew that the university had lost a great friend,” Ramsey said. “Honoring him with a presidential medal is an opportunity for us to thank him and his family once again for their contributions to our first-rate athletics and academic programs.”

The Presidential Medal recognizes contributors who have made a significant, positive impact on the university and community. Giving them is a chance to publicly recognize “those who help advance the mission” of the institution, Ramsey said.

Past award recipients include:

  • 2012: Rep. Larry Clark, Sam Swope and the Gheens Foundation
  • 2011: Henry Heuser and Kosair Charities
  • 2010: Jerry Abramson and James Graham Brown Foundation
  • 2009: Robert Rounsavall and Louisville Arena Authority
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Cindy Hess
Communications Director Cindy Hess has oversight for day-to-day operations in media relations and covers prestigious scholars, the College of Education and Human Development and Brandeis School of Law. She reports to the Media Relations Director, has a heckuva good resume, and faithfully eats kale for lunch every day. Cindy has more than 25 years of experience in media relations, investor relations, marketing and corporate communications and is the unit’s only employee entrusted to buy tickets for lottery pools.