The L-Club is the elite letterwinners' club at the University of Louisville with a membership of more than 850 strong and a mission of providing invaluable assistance for future growth and success in all Cardinal Sports. This ensemble of impressive student-athletes evolved from a modest start. In 1928, seven young men decided to launch something called the "L" Club. Bennie McDonald, Harvey Jeffries, Charles Spencer, Aubrey Cates, Donald Groat, Kenny Browne and Dick Taylor incorporated this group with the intent of promoting intramural sports and furthering the University of Louisville in any possible way.
The following year, their intentions seemed well on the way. Membership numbered 67 lettermen. An extensive program ushered in a full season of intramural activities. These included a cross-country run, a seven-team basketball league and events in baseball, tennis, golf, track and swimming.
Forty-six members are recorded for the year 1939 after the arrival of Coach Laurie Apitz. In addition to organizing intramural sporting events; the club held the annual Football Dance, provided assistance to coaches and administration and enforced several traditions that still stand today. Cardinal Pride continues to grow as new letterwinners and their families forge new friendships and revive old ones.
It wasn't until the 50's & 60's that the focus shifted to former lettermen. With the success of the basketball program under direction of Coach Bernard "Peck" Hickman and the addition of Coach Frank Camp in football, the club continued to flourish and membership in the elite fraternity soared. In 1968 the club was reorganized as the Varsity "L" Club and had a membership of over 300. In 1979, support for the club was transferred from the athletic Sports Information Dept. to the University Alumni Office. In the 1970's, a special seating section was administered for members of the L-Club to reward those former student-athletes who had given their blood, sweat and tears on the field of competition, and their time and money after graduation.
In 1998, the L-Club experienced support like never before as members fully-funded the construction of the L-Club Room at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. With the $1 lease by the athletic department, the room became the only room of its kind among letterwinners clubs in the country, and a center of attraction for former UofL student-athletes on gamedays.
In its latest chapter, the L-Club has merged with the Cardinal Athletic Fund (CAF) of the athletics department. This union has helped create more opportunities for UofL student-athletes to excel both in and out of the classroom. This bond annually produces over $200,000 in revenue by L-Club members to the CAF to help fund athletic scholarships. Currently, the club is working with the CHAMPS Life Skills Program as a participating member of the Cardinal Life After Sports movement and by creating a Lettermen's Job Fair and various programs for recent graduates. These programs match student/athletes with a mentor in the community to help provide professional knowledge, experience and leadership.
It's impossible to measure the impact the L-Club has had on the growth of Louisville Athletics since its inception in 1929, but its well-documented how many student-athletes have graduated and gone on to become leaders in our society. This is what the club has always stood for: commitment to the student-athlete and loyalty to the University of Louisville.
Please join more than 850 of your peers in helping make UofL a special place for our student-athletes while they're on campus and after they graduate... we are the past, present and future of Cardinal Student-Athleties. We look forward to seeing you in the L-Club Room this season... Go Cards!