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'Fulfilling the dream'; Two of Kentucky's oldest universities announce 'historic' partnership

University leaders say this major move will help broaden students' career options and further their educational goals.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville's only historically Black college and Kentucky's largest university are joining forces to further improve students' education. 

Simmons College and the University of Kentucky announced Tuesday they will share programs for students and faculty at both schools.

"Both institutions will benefit from an exchange of ideas, and experiences that will help advance Kentucky," UK's Provost Robert DiPaola said.

DiPaola says the collaboration will focus on arts and sciences, teacher education and constitutional studies. Students enrolled in these areas of study will be able to participate in the same events and opportunities.

"To build new relationships, to conduct conversation and research to build a state, a community, and institutions that we all we'll be proud of," Dr. Lucian Yates said.

The ultimate goal is allow students to transfer to each college to further their education, which Simmons’ President Dr. Kevin Cosby says hasn't been done before.

“What we must provide black kids in poor neighborhoods are paths to success. And if we could do that, we will be fulfilling the dream of Martin Luther King," he said.

And the dreams of former students like Dr. Samuel Bland who studied on both campuses.

"I believe it is a long time coming and I'm so glad. I don't know who made the first step, but I'm just glad that the steps were made,” he said.

Officials at Simmons College expect to have the programs up and running in the next two years.

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