Governors recognized for bipartisanship, civility
Bellarmine University will bestow honorary degrees upon Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear
and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels
at the university’s spring commencement ceremony. The degrees recognize their regional partnership, civil public discourse and bipartisan cooperation for the benefit of all citizens.
The Kentucky Democrat and the Indiana Republican each will receive an honorary doctor of law degree at the May 12 commencement.
“During their respective terms in office, both governors have demonstrated a genuine commitment to civility in public discourse, bipartisan cooperation and regionalism,” said Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, Bellarmine’s president. “In doing so, they have set a standard for effective governance that all government leaders and everyone in politics, media and society would do well to emulate. Citizens throughout both states will gain much from the increased cooperation between governments in Kentucky and Indiana that these two governors have demonstrated together.”
McGowan noted the governors’ cooperative work on infrastructure and economic development issues, most notably their financing plan to cut costs and speed completion of the Ohio River Bridges Project
in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
"Gov. Daniels and Gov. Beshear embody the principles taught at Bellarmine University, through our liberal arts curriculum, by exhibiting great skill in critical thinking and problem solving through effective dialogue," said McGowan.
Beshear was elected as the 61st governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2007. In 2011, he was re-elected by a large margin.
He previously served as a state representative, attorney general and lieutenant governor, as well as working in private law practice. Beshear holds a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from the University of Kentucky.
Daniels was elected as the 49th Governor of the State of Indiana in 2004, in his first bid for any elected office. He was re-elected in 2008, receiving more votes than any candidate for any public office in Indiana’s history.
He previously served as CEO of the Hudson Institute and President of Eli Lilly and Company's North American pharmaceutical operations. He also served as an advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and to Senator Dick Lugar (R-Ind.). Daniels holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a law degree from Georgetown University.
Previous recipients of honorary Bellarmine degrees include broadcaster Bob Edwards, New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan, Maker’s Mark chairman emeritus Bill Samuels Jr., former Louisville mayor and current Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, celebrated writer and farmer Wendell Berry, and "Dead Man Walking" author Sister Helen Prejean.