In February 2017, Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D., was announced as the unanimous choice of the Presidential Search Committee and the Board of Trustees to serve as the fourth president of Bellarmine University. She assumed the Bellarmine presidency on June 1, 2017, after a 32-year career at Loyola University Maryland – a comprehensive liberal arts university in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition. Her experience and achievements prepared her well to address Bellarmine’s opportunities and challenges, and her core values are those that reside in the heart of our campus community.
Dr. Donovan was Executive Vice President at Loyola for six years, and served a term as Acting President in 2015. She served in a variety of leadership roles there since 1985, including Dean of Students, Vice President for Student Development, and interim Vice President for Advancement. As second to the president and leader in the absence of the president, she was a key senior leader during a period of transformational growth at Loyola similar to Bellarmine’s own. She understands faculty viewpoints. She reported to the Provost and sat on the Dean’s Council for seven years, and the Academic Senate for more than 20 years. Moreover, she understands the role of trustee, having served on several boards including at Buena Vista University and Wheeling Jesuit University.
Dr. Donovan and Bellarmine share the same mission and purpose. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a passion for the education of the whole student – mind, body and spirit – and a commitment to community engagement. She knows that Bellarmine’s mission-based initiatives are vitally important to the regional city of Louisville.
Her husband, Bill Donovan, is an associate professor of Latin American history. The Donovans have twin daughters.