May 2007 President's Update

Dear Bellarmine Community Members,

Bellarmine University will award 89 master’s and 354 bachelor's degrees during its 54th annual commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12. The commencement speaker will be Wendell Berry, celebrated American writer, farmer and conservationist. Ceremonies will begin at noon in Knights Hall on Bellarmine’s campus.

Berry, a Kentucky native, has taught English and written more than 30 books of poetry, essays and novels. Berry continues to farm land along the Kentucky River that his family has worked for over two centuries.

In addition to the conferral of the traditional degrees, honorary doctorates will be awarded to Berry; Archbishop Thomas Kelly, the third and current Archbishop of Louisville; and William P. (Billy) Bradford, teacher and theater director at Trinity High School and the Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS).

Other highlights of the commencement exercises will be awarding the Archbishop's Medal of Scholastic Excellence, the Wilson W. Wyatt Fellowships and the In Veritatis Amore award. The Archbishop's Medal is awarded to the graduate having the highest cumulative grade point average; the Wyatt Fellowship is presented to a student who has accomplished a high academic standing, is an outstanding student leader, and has completed a competitive interview and nomination process. The In Veritatis Amore award is named after Bellarmine University’s Latin motto, which translated means in love of truth, and it is given to the best all around male and female.

Confidence, Pride and Hope at Bellarmine

This month I delivered my State of the University address to the faculty assembly and also at the President’s Breakfast.

Just to highlight the highlights here, we made tremendous progress on Vision 2020 as we become the Premier Independent Catholic University in the South and thereby the leading private institution in the commonwealth and one of the very best in the nation. Future updates and publications about the Vision will state explicitly how this important, exciting work is rooted in our mission of teaching and learning, and how it will support our excellent faculty and promote growth in our existing schools and programs in addition to adding new ones. The infrastructure for great progress was established this year, including a very detailed strategic plan to help our broadly representative steering committee engage us all in implementing the vision; major fund-raising plans and successes to help us finance the vision the beginning of researched-based marketing, for the first time ever in our history, to make sure more  excellent prospective students, faculty and staff know who we are, how good we are, and what a great value we are; and a Master Plan for developing the campus in a way that will accommodate the growth we envision beautifully, intelligently, greenly and well on our existing 135-acre park-like campus.

We are also making progress on our SACS reaccreditation work, and this self-examination will make us better as we move forward.

We will be hiring 16 more full-time faculty in the coming year, investing more in faculty development and working to reduce faculty teaching loads and to streamline other work in order to provide more time for research and service.

We made great progress in campus life – we added Crossroads, we performed 21,000 hours of service work, our student athletes have a cumulative GPA of 3.1, our attendance at athletic events was up about 45 percent -- and we will continue to enrich our campus life experience in the coming year. The new Frazier Stadium, for example, will be a whole new venue for excellence and fun.

And finally, our unique community spirit -- expressing our Catholic identity in the inclusive, hospitable, respectful and caring spirit of Thomas Merton – will be nurtured, enriched, and deepened as our days increase.

Bellarmine University is on an exhilarating trajectory. There is every reason for all of us to have great confidence, great pride and great hope in our future together.

Bellarmine students earn Metroversity writing awards
Four BU students earned Kentuckiana Metroversity Writing Award for 2007. Senior English major and honors student Janelle Oliver earned first place in the Creative Nonfiction category. This is Oliver’s fourth consecutive year receiving an award. She was first in poetry in 2005 and second in the category in 2004 and 2006. Senior English major and honors student Ben Lesousky took first place for research. Lesousky, a past winner, took first in poetry in 2006. Two first-time winners cleaned up the Poetry category. Junior communications and English major Danielle Fleming took first place while senior English major Jacob Banser took second. Congratulations to these fine writers.

BU Welcomes Dr. Hannah Clayborne

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Hannah Clayborne as the new Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Multicultural Programs. She comes to us from the University of Iowa where she received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Dr. Clayborne holds a Master of Arts in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Wright State University and a Bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio. The Assistant Vice President will be responsible for the Career Center, Internships and Experiential Learning, Minority and International Student Services, Student Engagement, Assessment, and Service Learning.

Congratulations to John Stemmer

Congratulations to John Stemmer (now Dr. Stemmer), Director of Library Services, on the successful defense of his dissertation, "The Perception of Effectiveness in Merged Information Services Organizations: Combining Library and Information Technology Services at Liberal Arts Institutions." This completes his PhD in Higher Education from Ohio University. Please join me in congratulating John on this outstanding achievement.

Smock Finalist in Poetry Award

Congratulations to Fred Smock, finalist in the Kentucky Literary Awards' poetry category. He was recognized for his book Sonnets. The Kentucky Literary Awards for excellence in fiction, nonfiction and poetry were announced on Friday, April 20 at Western Kentucky University.

BU Landscape Vision Earns Merit Award

J.P. Shadley & Associates and Bellarmine University received a Merit Award for the work on Bellarmine University: Landscape Vision and Wayfinding Report. The award was presented by the Kentucky Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (KYASLA) at their 2007 Awards Program on March 31 at the Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, Kentucky. Wayfinding is the comprehensive landscape plan for Vision 2020. Wayfinding was a recipient of the Merit Award in the planning category. The American Society of Landscape Architects was founded in 1899 as the national professional association representing landscape architects. The KYASLA is one of 48 chapters representing all 50 states, US territories and 42 countries around the world.

Bellarmine P.T. Students to Host Run on May 26

BU’s physical therapy department will sponsor a “Fun Run” at the Louisville Zoo on May 26. Proceeds will benefit the Jefferson County Public Schools’ physical therapy fund, which provides needed equipment and services to children with physical challenges.The early registration deadline is May 4. Registration the day of the race will take place from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. For more information about the Fun Run email Liz Ulanowski, president of the P.T. student group, or call 502-272-8356.

Landon Armstrong-Binnix

Congratulations to Jon and Julie Armstrong-Binnix on the birth of their son. Jon "Landon" Armstrong-Binnix was born at 8:03am April 26, 2007. Landon weighed 8 lbs. and 5 oz. and 20 in. long. Jon, Julie, Big Sister Emelia and Baby Landon are all doing well.

Critical Care Nursing Article

Congratulations to Dr. Nancy York (now Asst. Professor of nursing at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Nursing) and Professor Carol Smith on the publication of their most recent article, A Blueprint for Developing an Undergraduate Critical Care Nursing Course, in the referred journal, Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, Vol. 26, No. 3, May/June 2007.