2022 Award Recipient - W. Earl Reed III ’69
The Outstanding Alumnus Award was established by the Saint Xavier Alumni Association in 1967. Its purpose is to honor annually a graduate (or graduates) who, on a regional, national, or international level, through achievements in his profession or work, has made a significant contribution to the betterment of his fellow man and, in doing so, has brought credit to himself, to his associates and to Saint Xavier High School.
W. Earl Reed III ’69
Earl began his career in 1973 with Ernst & Young CPA after graduating from the University of Louisville. After two and a half years, he moved to Humana and eventually became head of Development and Mergers & Acquisitions. During his 12 years there, Humana grew from a small hospital company ($90 million in revenue) to a Fortune 500 company with more than $6 billion in revenue.
In 1989, Earl left Humana to join other executives to start Vencor (now Kindred). Earl led the growth of the company over a nine-year period from a startup to a Fortune 500 company with more than $2 billion in revenue. In 1998, Earl led the team that divided the company into an operating company and a real estate investment company named Ventas. He left Vencor in 1998 to start The Allegro Group, a consulting firm that advises private equity in healthcare mergers and acquisitions. (Note: In 2001, Vencor was restructured and renamed Kindred Healthcare.)
In 2010, Earl founded Springstone, a behavioral hospital company. After building its first hospital in Evansville, Ind., the company received a $100 million private equity investment to build more hospitals. During the next 10 years, Springstone constructed 18 hospitals. Springstone was sold in October 2021 for $950 million.
Earl is currently Chairman of the University of Louisville Foundation and is a member of the Board of Advisors to the College of Business. He is also a member of the board of directors of LHC Group, a $2 billion publicly held home health company based in Lafayette, La. In 2016, Earl was inducted into the Entrepreneurship Circle of Fame of the UofL College of Business. More recently, he was named the 2022 Fellow of the UofL College of Business.
In addition to Earl’s service to the university, he has been a key advisor and member of the Saint Xavier High School board of directors. His tenure began on the St. X board in 1990 with three terms totaling nine years. In 2001, he was re-appointed to the board, serving an additional 10 years – seven as board chairman. Earl’s service to the board is the second-longest ever at St. X. He is a member of the St. X Alumni Hall of Honors and continues to serve today in an advisory role to the school’s leadership.
Earl and his wife, Bridgett, have been married 47 years. They have two children – Wally ’01 (Michelle) and Annie MacLean (Daniel) – and six lovely grandchildren (Caroline, Patrick, John, and Peter MacLean; and Arabella and Walter Earl Reed V).