Bellarmine University will award 227 degrees during its annual December commencement exercises on Wednesday, Dec. 15. Ceremonies will begin at 5 p.m. in Knights Hall with author and former Bellarmine English professor Wade Hall delivering the commencement address. Hall, along with Theodore (Ted) R. Wade, Jr., will receive honorary doctorates.
During the ceremony, Bellarmine will celebrate a milestone with the conferral of the University’s first doctoral degrees. Thirty-eight students will receive a doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT). The program is the first and only DPT program in the state of Kentucky.
Wade Hall is Professor Emeritus of English at Bellarmine, where he taught for many years, and has authored numerous books, monographs, articles, plays and reviews relating to Southern history and literature. His reviews have been published in The Courier-Journal, among others. He holds degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.) and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). His books include Hell-Bent for Music: The Life of Pee Wee King; Conecuh People: Words of Life from the Alabama Black Belt, and High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College.
Ted Wade was one of the 104 students enrolled when Bellarmine's doors opened for the first time on Oct. 3, 1950. In December of that year, Wade became the first black player on an integrated college basketball team in Kentucky. He left Bellarmine a year later to join the Air Force. Following his military service, Wade embarked on a successful business career as one of the pioneers in the computer industry. Wade has five grown children, and he and his wife Linda have fostered 25 medically fragile babies since the early 1990s. One of those imperiled babies is now their healthy, vibrant 3-year-old adopted daughter. Because of his love for children, Wade has served on state review boards, advocating for children in courtrooms and cabinet rooms.
In addition to the conferral of degrees, the Archbishop’s Medal will be presented to the undergraduate student(s) who is(are) graduating with the highest cumulative grade point average.