Making Research Real for Kentuckians

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2011) — It was a scene Lee T. Todd Jr. will never forget.

Early in his tenure as University of Kentucky president, Todd visited UK's Center for Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard. Coming off an elevator on the second floor of the center, a bulletin board stopped him in his tracks. It was filled with statistics on -- and pictures of -- all the diseases and ailments in which Kentucky leads the country -- lung cancer, diabetes, obesity, spina bifida, among others.

"I said, boy this is ugly. This is just ugly," Todd recalled recently. "I was going to give a speech that afternoon … I actually changed my thought process and I talked about the 'Kentucky Uglies.' I'm a native Kentuckian. I've heard this all of my life. I'm tired of it. We get beaten up by it. Why don't we try to direct the enthusiasm we have for athletics against some of these other measurable factors, which I refer to as the Kentucky Uglies." 


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