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7 Signs You Belong at Bellarmine University

Student Life

Choosing a college isn’t so much a single decision as it is a process. For many students, it starts with identifying schools that meet some baseline criteria. This means you’ll want to make sure every school you’re considering has the appropriate accreditation, an array of student support services, and impressive graduate outcomes.  

But you’ll eventually need to start thinking about which college is the best fit based on what you personally value. If Bellarmine University is one of the schools you’re weighing, you might find it helpful to learn more about some characteristics that are common among students here. Maybe you’ll find it’s easy to picture yourself as part of this community. 

7 Signs you’d feel at home at Bellarmine University 

The characteristics below are shared among many of our students. If you can relate to these, you’ll feel right at home at Bellarmine University. 

1. You want an education that will prepare you for your future career 

There’s a pervasive myth that liberal arts schools don’t provide students with the practical skills they need to secure stable careers. Bellarmine University provides students with an education based in the liberal arts, and 91 percent of graduates who obtained a bachelor’s degree in 2017 are successfully working in their field of study. 

In truth, completing general education courses spanning many subjects is beneficial both for students who are sure of their future career and those who are still exploring. It helps you develop valuable skills like communication, teamwork and problem-solving that employers value most. Students at Bellarmine further hone these capabilities through involvement in things like Student Government Association committees, which provide input to the president and other administrative professionals.  

“Students on these committees develop more refined skills,” says Bryan Hamann, interim director of student activities at Bellarmine University. “They’re able to learn things they’re wondering like, ‘How do I navigate the office environment? How do I present this professionally? How should I conduct phone calls?’”  

2. You’re motivated to achieve what you put your mind to 

Whether you’re a natural competitor or you just like to serve as a role model for others, you can’t deny that you always aim to do your best. Considering that Bellarmine University’s four- and six-year undergraduate graduation rates outpace the averages at both national and local levels, it’s clear you won’t have to look hard to find peers who are similarly motivated. Need further proof? An impressive 99 percent of all graduates report they’re either working or continuing their education six months after graduating.   

Even when it comes to nonacademic pursuits, Bellarmine students like to take initiative. Hamann says it’s quite common for students to propose their own ideas for clubs and organizations, nearly all of which are approved.  

3. You value inclusivity 

Hospitality has long been one of the core values at Bellarmine University. According to Hamman, it’s something that really resonates with students. 

“As we see everything students are doing on campus — giving tours, meeting with faculty, working on events — we see them embrace it and weave it into everything they do,” he says. “Our students are starting to become more aware of the ways in which they can be more hospitable, and inclusivity is a key aspect of that.” 

Bellarmine University has taken diversity and inclusion efforts even further more recently. The school not only welcomes students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds, but it has also established a number of initiatives and programs to help create an even more equitable academic environment. The  Diversity Peer Educator (DPE) Program, which strengthens inclusivity through student leaders who serve as ambassadors and educators, is a good example.  

“These students work in partnership with housing and residence life to promote diversity and inclusion within our residence halls,” Hamann explains. “And they also partner with our Office of Identity and Inclusion to advise, train, and coach.” 

“Our students are starting to become more aware of the ways in which they can be more hospitable, and inclusivity is a key aspect of that.” 

4. You’re civic-minded 

If you’ve always felt a duty to give back to your community, you’ll quickly find common ground with other students at Bellarmine. Volunteer involvement on campus and the surrounding community is more common than not. You could even start something entirely new, which is exactly what happened when one student recognized that food insecurity was an issue in Louisville, Kentucky and even on campus.  

“They helped create our first food pantry, which is now called Knights Pantry,” Hamann says. “It’s now overseen by a completely student-run board.” 

5. You want to make a good living 

Given the investment you’re making in your education, it makes sense to have a goal of becoming financially secure. There’s reason to believe you can achieve this by attending Bellarmine. The average annual salary six months after graduating is $43,000 for alumni who obtained a bachelor’s degree and $68,000 for alumni who obtained a graduate degree.  

This trend toward success continues long after students have left the classroom as well. An interactive report from the Brookings Institution shows that 10 years after earning their degrees, Bellarmine alumni earn a higher average annual salary than graduates of every other Kentucky institution included. While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why Bellarmine students are so successful, Hamann thinks it may have something to do with the way programs are designed. 

“At a lot of institutions, internships are strongly encouraged,” He offers. “But most academic programs here at Bellarmine require them, so that sets our students up for success. Beyond just the academic credentials, they have real experience.” 

6. You’d like to live in a thriving city … 

It’s easy to see the appeal of attending college in Louisville if you’re from the area. For many students, Bellarmine University is appealing specifically because it’s their local university. But there’s a lot to like about living in Louisville even if you’re from farther away. It’s a great place for those who love music, art, good restaurants, and great outdoor spaces. And you might be surprised to know just how much job potential exists. 

“We have a lot of great employers within this area,” Hamann says. “There are numerous national headquarters here that have opportunities not just for entry-level positions but also career growth.” 

7. … but you also like being part of a small community 

You’re not alone if you’re interested in enjoying both the energy of city life and the support of a tight-knit community. You can enjoy the best of both worlds at Bellarmine University, where the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. In fact, the highly personalized attention students receive is one of the things they enjoy most about the school. This becomes incredibly apparent during an annual pre-graduation tradition, where students are given a  McGowan Medal to award to an individual who helped them along their journey. 

“I would say about half of our students are challenged to figure out who has made the biggest impact on them,” Hamann says. “They just have so many people who care about them and have made their Bellarmine experience above and beyond.” 

Students at a silent disco on the Quad

Become part of the Bellarmine family 

While no two learners are the same, it’s clear that Bellarmine University students have a shared sense of community, a commitment to hard work, and a desire to excel. If these characteristics resonate with you, you’ll feel more than welcome within this community of learners. There’s a good chance you’ll thrive here.  

Now that you know more about the students who attend Bellarmine, you might be eager to gather some more detailed information about the school itself. Find the answers you’re looking for by heading to our Request Information page

Tags: Connections , Future Students , Louisville Advantage , Outcomes , Parents and Families , Student Life



Located in the historic Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.