Maker's Mark to help fund new student center for UofL

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by Michelle Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 24 at 5:22 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Football season is just 40 days away.
 
“The fan base is inspired and motivated for what we all believe is going to be a successful year,” said Maker’s Mark COO Rob Samuels.
 
What could be more motivating for a Cardinal fan than a Maker’s Mark bottle with a Charlie Strong label on it?
 
“Coach Strong actually designed the bottle, which went on sale last Friday. It sold through retail really fast,” said Samuels.
 
8,400 Charlie Strong bottles sold out around town in one day, but the frenzy isn't all about bourbon and football. 
 
“What the bottle is really about is helping bring to life the program. It’s a nice investment in this university and the next generation,” said Samuels.
 
Maker's Mark has partnered with the University of Louisville to help raise $500,000 for a new $8 million student athlete academic center. It's a space Tom Jurich says the university needs.
 
“Right now we've been kind of spread out as you know. We got a lot of people here. There are a lot of people at the football facility and a lot at the Yum Center,” said University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich.
 
This puts the student athletes together in one place in a state-of-the-art facility at Papa John's Stadium. Jurich says when they built the stadium; they had this center in mind to fit under the Norton Terrace at the south end of the stadium.
 
“We will be able to have tutoring rooms, computer labs, probably some food service in there. It will really serve all 600 to 700 student athletes at one time. We're really excited about it,” said Jurich.
 
The goal for the university is to be Cardinal strong on the field and off the field.
 
“We can talk all we want about having great teams and winning championships and doing those things from an entertainment value. But our standpoint here as an athletic department is we need to graduate our student athletes. I think this will really help us do that,” said Jurich.
 
There are plans for a bottle signing at the Mellwood Arts Center on August 1st from 5pm-9pm. Coach Charlie Strong and Tom Jurich will be there along with representatives from Maker’s Mark. There are 700 tickets available on the University of Louisville’s website. 

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