Bellarmine University (BU, /ËbÉlÉrmÉ¨n/ BEL-Ér-mÉn) is an independent, private, Catholic university in Louisville, Kentucky. The liberal arts institution opened on October 3, 1950, as Bellarmine College, established by Archbishop John A. Floersh of the Archdiocese of Louisville and named after the Cardinal Saint Robert Bellarmine. The name was changed by the Board of Trustees in 2000 to Bellarmine University. The university today is organized into seven colleges and schools and confers numerous Bachelor's and Master's degrees in more than 50 academic majors, along with three doctoral degrees; it is currently classified as a Master's university.
The university has a current enrollment of over 3,600 students on its main 135-acre (0.55Â km2) academic and residential campus located in the Belknap neighborhood of Louisville. At its spring commencement on May 14, 2011, the school graduated 482 undergraduate and graduate students, contributing to a total of 780 graduates for the school year, up from 700 the previous year.
The university offers a large number of extracurricular activities to its students, including athletics, honor societies, clubs and student organizations. Bellarmine's athletic teams are known as the Knights. The university is a member of NCAA Division II and competes in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, except men's lacrosse which competes at the NCAA Division I level in the Southern Conference. Bellarmine's men's basketball team won the 2011 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Tournament, the first national championship in school history. Alumni and former students have gone on to prominent careers in government, business, science, medicine, education, sports, and entertainment.
Bellarmine University has been led by three Presidents: Msgr. Alfred Horrigan (1950â"1972), Dr. Eugene V. Petrik (1973â"1990) and Dr. Joseph J. McGowan (1990â"present). Each president is said to have been the right president for the time in which he has served. Horrigan, elevated to Domestic Prelate by the pope in 1955, led the school during its formative years, laying the spiritual, moral, and intellectual backbone. Petrik strengthened Bellarmine's financial footing. McGowan has taken the foundations laid by his predecessors and has led the school in a massive building program, culminating thus far in his Vision 2020 plan. In addition, Fr. Raymond J. Treece served as interim President for the 1972-73 school year between Presidents Horrigan and Petrik and Dr. John Oppelt served as acting President during a sabbatical by President McGowan in 1999.
The first public announcement concerning the establishment of Bellarmine College was made in November 1949 by the Archbishop of Louisville, John A. Floersh. He selected Alfred F. Horrigan and Raymond J. Treece, associate editors of the Louisville Archdiocesan newspaper, The Record, to begin the school. These two men designed a curriculum and the school's core philosophy, taking cues from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and seeking advice from a number of Catholic institutions, including the University of Notre Dame, the University of Scranton, and the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.
In 1950, The Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville founded Bellarmine College with a pioneer class of 115 freshmen. The only building, Pasteur Hall, was still without its front door on the first day of classes. Archbishop John A. Floersh called the school into existence at its first Convocation, saying, "We are looking forward to the day when the college ranks with the great colleges of our country." From its opening day under founding President Fr. Alfred F. Horrigan, Bellarmine welcomed people of all faiths and races. In 1953 the college added The Administration Building (now Horrigan Hall). At its first commencement in 1954, Bellarmine graduated 42 students. The Korean War had interrupted or ended the educations of many in the pioneer class, but the school went forward against rumors of closure. In December 1956, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools formally announced Bellarmine's accreditation. Enrollment rose from the initial 115 in 1950 to 1,033 in 1959.
Expansion and growth
The 1960s was an era of growth for the University.The University added Knights Hall, Bonaventure Hall, Lenihan Hall, Newman Hall, Kennedy Hall, an addition to Pasteur Hall and a small student activities building. 1963 witnessed the arrival of students from 17 states and two foreign countries. In 1964 the school awarded its 1,000th diploma. By the end of the decade enrollment exceeded 2,000 and the college installed its first computer.
In 1967, Thomas Merton designated Bellarmine as the official repository of all his manuscripts leading to the formation of Bellarmine's Catholic identity in the inclusive Merton spirit. And in 1968, Bellarmine College merged with Ursuline College, becoming co-educational, and also by mutual agreement, independent of the Archdiocese. The school now had its own self-perpetuating Board of Trustees.
In May 1971, President Horrigan issued a report describing the state of Bellarmine College, especially in light of the Second Vatican Council, noting that the school's board of trustees consisted of representatives from a number of groups, reflecting the "open, progressive, ecumenical and experimental spirit" of that papal council. Also mentioned were the various distinctions achieved by Bellarmine's students, including 14 Woodrow Wilson Fellowships, seven National Science Foundation Fellowships, three Fulbright Scholars, two Danforth Fellowships and two East-West Fellowships, achievements which he attributed to Bellarmine's commitment to excellence.
During the 1970s, the college welcomed its second president when Msgr. Horrigan resigned in 1972. His vice president, Fr. Raymond J. Treece, served as interim president for one year. Enrollment had fallen sharply, to 1,306 by 1973, and several years of deficit budgets put the school at risk of closure. The Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Eugene V. Petrik of California to the presidency in 1973 and he quickly began to revitalize the college with new programs and directions. He added the first graduate programÂ â" the MBA in 1975Â â" found resources for marketing and publicity, and brought enrollment back above 2,000. The school also added women's basketball in 1973, and men's soccer and women's volleyball in 1976.
The 1980s saw another decade of growth. Enrollment rose from 2,284 to 2,660. The Brown Activities Center (named for George G. Brown), Wyatt Center for the Arts (named for Wilson W. Wyatt), Norton Fine Arts Complex (named for Jane Morton Norton), Alumni Hall (Humanities Building), Maurice D.S. Johnson quadrangle (named for former board chair) all were added during these years, along with the W. Fielding Rubel School of Business and the Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences (1984). The subject of changing the name of the school from "Bellarmine College" to "Bellarmine University" had been broached, but it was decided that the school should become a university in fact before it became one in name. More opportunities were added for women to participate in athletics, including softball, track, cross country, tennis and field hockey. A $20 million capital campaign would propel the college into the 1990s.
Bellarmine's third and current president, Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, became president of the University in 1990. Dr. McGowan named buildings on campus for his predecessors, Horrigan and Petrik, and oversaw the addition of Miles Hall and the W.L. Lyons Brown Library. The Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education was added in 1998, study abroad jumped from seven students in 1995 to 70 in 1999, and the school added women's soccer and women's golf. The decade also saw the beginning of Bellarmine's transition from a commuter school to a residential college. In 1995, a record 396 students were in the residence halls. Since his October 12, 1990, inauguration speech, Dr. McGowan has sought to make Bellarmine the premier private institution in Kentucky, citing Stanford University in California, Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and Duke University in North Carolina. Indeed, he called it a "vision to be the region's premier residential liberal arts college." In 1991, McGowan began instituting change in the form of a Five Year Strategic Plan, which would later in the decade become the Master Plan. In 1994, the school began making perennial appearances in the Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report, which both list Bellarmine among the top regional universities.
In 2000, the school's 50th Anniversary, the Board of Trustees changed the name from Bellarmine College to Bellarmine University in order to reflect its status as a Masters-I university. In 2005, the president announced Vision 2020, the University's plan to become, "the premier Independent Catholic University in the South, and thereby the leading private institution in the Commonwealth and region." Among other things, the plan calls for tripling enrollment, doubling the number of buildings on campus, and adding schools of architecture, law, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine by the year 2020. In addition, the possibility of moving the remaining athletic programs to NCAA Division I (joining lacrosse) will be considered. Under President McGowan's leadership, a construction, acquisition and renovation boom that continues still today included Our Lady of the Woods Chapel, The President's Residence in Glenview, the 2120 Building, the Norton Health Sciences Center (named in honor of Norton Healthcare support), The Siena Residence Halls complex, Owsley B. Frazier Stadium, Joseph A. and Janet P. Clayton Field, Via Cassia and Ponte Juneja; and the expansion of Miles Hall. Enrollment reached a record 2,881 students by 2009, with more than 700 in residence on the campus, and the average ACT score of entering Bellarmine students reached a record high. Bellarmine launched many new academic programs including The School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the Institute of Media, Culture and Ethics and the School of Communication, The Center for Regional Environmental Studies and Bellarmine Farm.
Bellarmine University completes 60 years of operation. Growth includes 20 new academic programs, a 60% increase in full-time enrollment and a 56% increase in the number of residential students. The 135-acre (0.55Â km2) campus was expanded from 15 buildings in 1990 to 40 buildings, winning 11 architectural awards. Future plans include a new life fitness and recreation center with an Olympic pool, and Bellarmine Centro. Bellarmine Centro is the future campus center and will be anchored by an extensively remodeled Horrigan Hall connected to three new buildings.
During the Summer months, Bellarmine also hosts Kentucky's Governor's Scholar Program.
Bellarmine is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the school is perennially ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top-tier Southern masters university. The Bellarmine W. Fielding Rubel School of Business is one of the select few to receive AACSB accreditation. Bellarmine offers more than 50 majors in the arts and sciences, business, communication, education, nursing and health sciences The university comprises seven colleges and schools. Bellarmine also offers a study abroad program
Colleges and schools
Bellarmine College of Arts & Sciences
Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences
W. Fielding Rubel School of Business
Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education
In 1998, Bellarmine's department of education was dedicated as the "School of Education." Three years later in 2001 it was named the Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education (AFTSE). There are 20 different programs offered by the school. This includes a doctoral program in Education and Social Change added in 2011.
School of Communication
School of Environmental Studies
School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Bellarmine offers study abroad options on six continents in over 50 countries around the globe, ranging from departmental programs to summer enclave programs and semester or academic year exchanges at over 150 partner universities. Study abroad is available not only for foreign language students but for all other academic areas as well, and it is accessible to all students, regardless of social and economic background. More than 35% of Bellarmine's full-time students engage in an international experience during their tenure at Bellarmine.
Over 40 buildings stand on the hills of Bellarmine's 135-acre (0.55Â km2) campus in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville.
The Owsley B. Frazier Stadium
The multi-purpose stadium serves as home to Bellarmine's soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and track and field teams. The stadium opened on August 24, 2007 in a Bellarmine Knights women's soccer game, and was officially dedicated on August 28, 2007. Construction took approximately 18 months and was completed at an estimated cost of $5.1 million. Featured at the stadium is Joseph P. and Janet A. Clayton field which is composed of artificial turf with permanent markings for soccer, field hockey and lacrosse games. Surrounding the field is an eight-lane, 400 meter track. The surface of the track is a dual-durometer, polyurethane poured surface provided by Beynon Sport Surfaces, the same company which has installed tracks at other college facilities including Illinois, Maryland, and Purdue.
Our Lady of The Woods Chapel
The chapel was dedicated on May 11, 2001, as a place of worship for Bellarmine students. Made of glass, wood, and steel, the chapel stands in memory of John A. Floersh, who was the Archbishop of Louisville and founded Bellarmine in 1950. The surrounding community celebrates Mass in the chapel on Sundays and holy days, and uses the chapel for retreats and interfaith services. Because it does not have parish status, its use is restricted. No weddings, baptisms, or funerals are held there. There is no "Our Lady of the Woods" in Catholic tradition. The statue in the chapel is actually Our Lady of Grace. The earliest administrators of Bellarmine College had a particular devotion to Mary and suggested the chapel be named for her. Because of its setting, the chapel committee chose the name, "Our Lady of the Woods."
The Siena Complex is composed of four residence halls: Siena Primo, Siena Secondo, Siena Terzo and Siena Quarto. The complex is modeled after the Piazza del Campo, the main town center of Siena, Italy. Bellarmine's namesake, St. Robert Bellarmine, is a native of the Tuscan region of Italy, where Siena is located. The Siena buildings were built by F.W. Owens Co. Inc. and designed by Godsey Associates Architects Inc. They have private restrooms, wireless Internet access, kitchens, balconies, laundry facilities, group study spaces and lobby gathering areas; a 200-seat dining hall is also part of the project. The four buildings in the complex, when completed, will enclose a landscaped courtyard with fountains, a small amphitheater and possibly bocce courts. The Siena Housing Project is aimed at bringing about a plan to have half of the school's undergraduate population live on campus. Cumulatively, the Siena Complex will house a population of 519 students and cost $33.6 million.
University Dining Hall
In 2010, Bellarmine opened a new 540-seat, 21,500-square-foot (2,000Â m2) dining hall. The building features indoor and outdoor seating areas with a 25-foot (7.6Â m) tall panoramic window that provides natural light and view of rolling hills. It was built as part of a $7.5 million overhaul of the George G. Brown Center, which also includes a renovated and expanded School of Communication and the Amelia Brown Frazier Convocation Hall. The dining hall is managed by Sodexo Inc., which operated the previous cafeteria.
Knights Hall is home to Bellarmine basketball and volleyball teams. The arena was built in 1960 and can seat up to 2,600 fans. Knights Hall is also used for numerous high school games, graduation ceremonies, and concerts. The Hall was dedicated in 1960 with a home game against the University of Louisville and has since featured some great matchups starting in the 1960s with rival and NAIA national champion Kentucky State, to Fly Williams and his teams from Austin Peay State University, all the way up to the Knights women's basketball regional championship games of the 1990s. The arena has also hosted some very special guests including Mother Teresa, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett and Pete Rose among others. In 2007, Knights Hall was featured on ESPN when NBA greats such as Bill Walton, Darrell Griffith, and Kenny Walker judged the McDonald's High School All-American Slam Dunk Contest.
The W.L. Lyons Brown Library
The campus library was completed in the fall of 1996, costing $6.5 million. The exterior of the building is made up of brown brick, anodized aluminum-frame windows and slate roofs. The building has long spanning brick arches with vertical piers, limestone columns and banding, steep sloping roofs, and a clock tower marking the entry, that establishes a focal point on the Bellarmine campus.
The library supports 150,000 volumes and includes a print and electronic-based reference center, micro forms, media services, periodicals, general collections, and a special-collections center. The library houses the campus computer center and is wired throughout to promote flexibility in computer usage.
Eddie Weber Tennis Complex & SuRF Center
The Eddie Weber Tennis Complex was dedicated on September 12, 2009 and is adjacent to the Student Recreation and Fitness Center (SuRF). The courts are named after Eddie Weber who is the only man that has been a head coach for both the University of Louisville and Bellarmine sports teams. The complex houses 6 outdoor tennis courts with 3 additional indoor courts in the SuRF Center. Inside the SuRF Center are two multi-purpose basketball courts, the exercise and fitness area, locker rooms, and offices. The fitness area is supplied with treadmills, bikes, elliptical weight machines, and free weights.
Norton Health Science Center
Bellarmine's main science and research facility is the Norton Health Science Center (NHSC). NHSC was completed in 2004 and has 30,000Â sqÂ ft (2,800Â m2) of floor space. The floor space is divided up into state-of-the-art laboratories, faculty offices and classrooms. The facility also includes a courtyard for the science quadrangle and an animal holding facility for the Psychology Department. The total cost to build the NHSC was $6.5 million and was funded primarily through private donations.
Horrigan Hall is named after the University's first president, Msgr. Alfred Horrigan and serves as the campus center. Architects Thomas J. Nolan & sons designed the facility in "modern" 1950's style and Al J. Schneider Company was hired as the general contractor. The exterior is of rough textured brick with limestone trim. It is composed of three stories sitting atop the peak of a hill on campus, featuring a six-story tower. Originally known as the Administration Building, Horrigan Hall was constructed in February 1953 costing $1 million. The facility was completely funded by private donations. Horrigan Hall has gone through a few remodeling and upgrades over the years. In December 1961 a new sound system was added with central air following in 1970. In 1986-87 an elevator was installed and a new 2001 Newburg Road entrance was added as an alternative to the original 2000 Norris Place street entrance. Further remodeling and expansion of Horrigan Hall is planned for the future. Being proposed are three new buildings added in front of and connected to the existing Horrigan Hall. The project is dubbed, "Bellarmine Centro" and calls for the addition of more than 65,000 square feet (6,000Â m2) of new space and approximately 39,000 square feet (3,600Â m2) of remodeled space in the existing building. There will be space for a new Graduate School of Management, bookstore, admissions, registrar, bursar and financial aid offices. Classrooms will be added and expanded and a new space dedicated to triple the size of the Thomas Merton Center, the official repository of Merton's manuscripts, which currently hosts approximately 3,000 research international scholars and visitors annually. A garden and green space will be added including a green roof that will be accessible to students and faculty. Bellarmine Centro is estimated to cost $38 million and funded entirely from private sources.
In the City of the Falls, high upon a hill
Stands Alma Mater Bellarmine the pride of Louisville
Her scarlet, silver colors true, shine brightly in the sun
And warm our hearts and memories, your daughters and your sons
The hopes and dreams and values born in our Kentucky home
Will stir our hearts and minds and lives wherever we may roam
And as we grow, dear Bellarmine, in the love of truth
Alma Mater Bellarmine, so grows our love for you.
Words by Joseph J. McGowan, Jr., 1992
Tune: "Aura Lea"
The athletic teams of Bellarmine University are known as the Knights, the university competes at the NCAA Division II level as members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference for most sports. The men's lacrosse team, the only NCAA Division I lacrosse team in Kentucky, is a member of the Southern Conference. On March 26, 2011, the Knights won the NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship. In 2012, Bellarmine University announced the start of its swimming program.
The university announced the athletic department would begin sponsoring men's lacrosse in 2004. BU hired Jack McGetrick as the program's first head coach. In 2005 the team competed as independent members in NCAA Division I. In 2007 the Knights joined the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) after the league lost Butler to athletic department cuts. In 2010 the GWLL ceased operations after Notre Dame left the league for the Big East. Bellarmine and the remaining members of the GWLL joined the ECAC Lacrosse League.
Tragedy stuck the Knights Lacrosse program in October 2010 when coach McGetrick died after a long battle with cancer. Since founding the program he led the Knights to a 45-41 record. Before Bellarmine, McGetrick coached of the University of Hartford Hawks for 11 seasons. McGetrick ranks in the top-50 of Division I men's lacrosse coaches with a record of 132-115.
The 2014 season was Bellarmine's last in ECAC Lacrosse. After the Big Ten Conference announced it would begin sponsoring both men's and women's lacrosse in the 2014â"15 school year (2015 season), which took two of the six schools then in the league, Bellarmine announced it would become a lacrosse-only member of the Atlantic Sun Conference (A-Sun) effective in July 2014. However, before the conference move took effect, the A-Sun and Southern Conference (SoCon) announced an agreement under which sponsorship of men's lacrosse would switch from the A-Sun to the SoCon after the 2014 season. Accordingly, Bellarmine lacrosse began SoCon play in the 2015 season.
Men's basketball has been a part of Bellarmine's athletic department since the school's founding in 1950. That same year student Ted Wade became the first black player on an integrated college basketball team in Kentucky. The basketball program has been coached by 11 different men and is currently headed by Louisville native, Scott Davenport. Davenport is one of two Bellarmine coaches who have also guided teams to the state high school championship. He did it in 1988 at Ballard High School (Louisville, Kentucky). The other coach who moved up to the college level was Joe Reibel, who won with St. Xavier High School (Louisville) in 1962. Reibel is Bellarmine's winningest coach with a record of 346-277. A unique Bellarmine coach was Bob Valvano. Valvano is an ESPN personality and was a member of Mensa, an international organization for only the brightest two percent of people on Earth. Arguably the most famous Bellarmine coach was Alex Groza, the Fabulous Five (Kentucky Wildcats) great at the University of Kentucky. Groza was an All-American, Gold Medal winner in the 1948 London Olympics and first team NBA.
In its history, the Knights have won two GLVC men's basketball titles and three NCAA Midwest Regional titles. On March 26, 2011 the Knights won its first NCAA Division II National Championship. The Knights defeated BYUâ"Hawaii for the title, 71-68. The championship game aired on national television on the CBS network. An estimated 2,906 fans were in attendance for the championship game. Most of which were Bellarmine fans that had made the 900-mile (1,400Â km) trip from Louisville to watch the Knights compete in the championship held in Springfield, Massachusetts at the MassMutual Center.
- Phi Alpha Theta (History)
- Lambda Pi Eta (Communications)
- John Young Brown III, Secretary of State of Kentucky from 1996 to 2004
- Joseph C. Burke, former President of State University of New York at Plattsburgh; former Acting Chancellor of the State University of New York
- Susan Cameron, Reynolds American CEO; former CEO at Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation
- Joseph P. Clayton, President & CEO, DISH Network; former CEO and chairman of Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc.
- William J. Donahue, retired Lieutenant General for the United States Air Force
- Kelly Downard, Louisville Metro Council member (16th District) (2006)
- Shawn Evans, National Lacrosse League (NLL) player and 2013 NLL MVP
- Dapo Fagbenle, London-based music video director and entertainer
- Liz Curtis Higgs, Author, Speaker; former radio personality
- Quentin Letts, journalist
- John MacLeod, veteran NBA coach
- Kyle Sorensen, National Lacrosse League player
- Bruce Tinsley, syndicated cartoonist and creator of the Mallard Fillmore comic strip
- Todd Wellemeyer, Major League Baseball player
- Jerry Abramson - Executive-in-residence, former Mayor of Louisville Metro, and current Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
- Thomas E. Bennett, Ph.D. - Professor of biology and human physiology who has twice had experiments flown on the NASA Space Shuttle
- Robert L Brown, Ph.D. Cambridge, Ph.D. London School of Economics, CPA & AttorneyÂ â" Professor of accounting & business law and Dean of W. Fielding School of Business; author of several published works
- Richard Burchard, M.M. - Chair of the music department who is a published composer and recognized expert on Gregorian chant
- Caren Cunningham, M.F.A. - Professor of Art who has exhibited her work internationally, including solo exhibitions on five continents.
- David Domine, M.A., M.A., M.F.A. - Foreign language instructor and best-selling author
- Akhtar Mahmood, Ph. D. AstrophyicsÂ â" Professor of physics; member researcher for LHC project at CERN; correspondent with NASA
- Edward E. ManassahÂ â" Executive Director of the Bellarmine Institute for Media, Culture and Ethics; formerly President and Publisher at The Courier-Journal
- Eric P. Roorda, Ph.D. - History and political science professor and recognized authority on US/Dominican relations. Dr. Roorda is also a co-director of The Frank C. Munson Institute of American Maritime Studies at Mystic Seaport.
- Frederick Smock, M.A. - English professor and poet-in-residence with several published works
- Meme Tunnell, M.M. - Associate music professor and pianist for the Louisville Symphony Orchestra
- Official website
- Official athletics website
- Kentucky's Governor's Scholar Program website