John and Martha Plamp’s interest in Bellarmine goes back to
the beginning, “when the university was just this idea in Msgr. Horrigan and
Fr. Treece’s mind,” John says. “We were both interested in the development of a
young Catholic institution that had the promise of amounting to something.”
They have remained connected with Bellarmine ever since. The
Plamps are members of the Heritage Society and the President’s Society, and
Martha is a member of the Women’s Council.
As trustees of the Curtis W. Miles Charitable Trust, which
is named for Martha’s uncle, another devout Catholic and longtime Bellarmine
advocate, they have made significant gifts to help the university realize its
potential. One recent gift enabled the Lansing School of Nursing to purchase a
lifelike simulated patient that allows students to hone their skills.
Now John and Martha have established an endowed scholarship
to help Bellarmine continue to attract excellent students.
“I think it’s extremely important to any community and the
people in it to have at least one – and certainly in a sizable town, more –
independent colleges that have different backgrounds and interests and are
attractive to different segments of the public and students. Louisville has a
long history of Catholicism, and I think it’s important that the Catholic-based
schools are supported and continue to flourish,” John says.
Over the past 60 years, the Plamps have watched the “young
Catholic institution” on the hill grow, most recently under the goals of Vision
2020. “I’m impressed,” John says. “I thought when I first heard about it that
it might be overreaching, but they have simply gone ahead and done what they
said they were going to do. I think it’s a good example of if you want to get
something done, you have to decide what you want to do, believe in it and go
ahead with it.”