Bellarmine Military graduates standing outside in front of the ferry bus

Military and Veterans

Three grads say why Bellarmine is the best university for military students

Military/Veterans

Bellarmine’s Office of Military and Veteran Services student population has grown by 55 percent since the office opened three years ago.  
 
OMVS students hail from numerous backgrounds: veterans, active duty, national guard and reserves, ROTC, and dependents from all branches of the military. But many say it’s the community and strong support network that makes Bellarmine’s military community stand out.   
 
“Whatever our backgrounds, whatever our journey to get to Bellarmine, once our students get here, they’re family,” said Lindsay Gargotto, OMVS director. “We have a tight-knit community of support.” 
 
Hear from a few recent graduates about why they chose to join the Bellarmine OMVS family and what their experience has been.  
 

Tabitha A. Kerr: ROTC, Bellarmine Graduate of Psychology   

 
Q: Why Bellarmine?  
 
I picked Bellarmine because of the atmosphere that was created. Everyone was so welcoming and loved the community.  
  
Q: What's the experience been like?   
 
My experience at Bellarmine has been a journey. It allowed me the place to explore myself and my own interests. From starting as a nursing student, to psychology and to being in the UofL Army ROTC and pursuing a career as a chaplain.  
 
Q: Why is Bellarmine a great place for military-affiliated students?  
 
Bellarmine is very supportive of their military students. For ROTC they help financially and help students navigate through college.  
 
Q: What was your experience with the OMVS?   
 
OMVS is filled with so many supportive and encouraging individuals. They are always looking to celebrate us and help us through college. They are great with communication and always find ways to incorporate us into the campus and show pride in our military.  
 

Andrew Radak: Army National Guard Veteran and Bellarmine MBA Graduate 

 
Q: Why Bellarmine?  
 
The atmosphere from the start has been open and welcoming. Bellarmine has an amazing reputation for accountancy that was evident from day one and I have been able to talk with faculty and staff up to and including the president to address concerns as they came up.  
 
Q: What's the experience been like?   
 
Intense, but overall rewarding. Their handling of the chaotic environment of 2020 was excellent.  
 
Q: Why is Bellarmine a great place for military-affiliated students?  
 
Because the Office of Military and Veteran Students is very involved in the broad university environment.  
 
Q: What was your experience with the OMVS?  
 
Lindsay Gargotto, director of OMVS, and Elle Rich, coordinator of Military & Veteran Student, have done amazing work trying to get students involved and ensure they have access to all necessary resources. Without their help, I would not have lasted.  
 

Summer L. Mathews: Veteran, Bellarmine Graduate of Radiation Therapy  

 
Q: Why Bellarmine?  
 
I chose Bellarmine because they had the degree I was pursuing and it was local. I was at the University of Louisville and my degree was undecided and I saw that they had the degree I wanted to pursue at Bellarmine, so I made the switch.  
 
Q: What's the experience been like?   
 
The experience was awesome at Bellarmine. Coming from UofL, I enjoyed the close-knit, more intimate classes at Bellarmine. I wouldn’t change my experience and I am so happy I came to Bellarmine.   
 
Q: Why is Bellarmine a great place for military-affiliated students?  
 
Bellarmine is a great place for military students because the campus is small, easy to get around on, and classes are also small and more intimate. You can get to know your professors at Bellarmine and have a closer relationship with them, compared to at a large university where it is much harder for your professor to even know who you are.  
 
Q: What was your experience with the OMVS?   
 
The office of military and veteran services was amazing in the time that I was here at Bellarmine. They always answered all of my questions and helped me do the things I needed to do to get my VA benefits. They were absolutely amazing, they make time for each and every one of the military students. I can’t thank them enough for helping me through all the way until graduation.  

Tags: Military and Veterans

About Bellarmine University

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.