LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 5, 2010) – Bellarmine University will award just over 400 degrees during spring commencement exercises on Saturday, May 8, at noon in Knights Hall. Bellarmine will grant honorary degrees to business leader Lee B. Thomas Jr. and education reform advocate Robert F. Sexton, who also will deliver the commencement address.
Thomas, who will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, currently serves as executive-in-residence in Bellarmine's W. Fielding Rubel School of Business. He has been chairman of Universal Woods Inc. in Louisville since 1993. Previously, he served as president and CEO of Vermont American Corp. from 1962 until 1984, and as chairman of the board from 1984 until the company was sold in 1989.
Sexton, who will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, has been the executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence since its creation in 1983. Campaigning by the independent, non-partisan advocacy group helped pave the way for the passage of the landmark Kentucky Education Reform Act in 1990.
A Louisville native, Sexton also has been the deputy director of the Kentucky Council on Higher Education, an administrator at the University of Kentucky and a professor of history. Sexton was a founder of the Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program and the Commonwealth Institute for Teachers. He was also the founder and president of the Kentucky Center for Public Issues and served as publisher of The Kentucky Journal.
Other highlights of the commencement exercises include awarding the Archbishop's Medal of Scholastic Excellence, the Wilson W. Wyatt Fellowships and the In Veritatis Amore award. The graduate with the highest cumulative grade point average earns the Archbishop's Medal. The best all-around male and female students take home the In Veritatis Amore award, named after Bellarmine University’s Latin motto, which translated means in love of truth.
Bellarmine University is an independent Catholic university offering more than 50 majors, as well as graduate degree programs, a doctor of nursing practice and a doctor of physical therapy. Forbes.com and the Princeton Review rank Bellarmine among America's best institutions for higher education, and U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks Bellarmine as a top tier university.