Center for Strategic Partnerships

Louisville Skyline

The Bellarmine University Center for Strategic Partnerships is an externally focused, cross-divisional enterprise that works with community partners to strengthen the quality of life in the region and provide high-quality teaching, learning and research opportunities for students and faculty.

The Center is a flagship initiative of Bellarmine’s Strategic Plan, which calls for the university to be an engaged and effective community partner.

The Work of the Center for Strategic Partnerships

The Center serves as both a front door and an ambassador for Bellarmine’s relationship with the community. Its cross-divisional structure allows it to be a central source to connect the wide range of university endeavors with a diversity of community interests and opportunities.

The Center helps cultivate community relationships that have long-term mutual benefit for the community and the university. Its projects help to advance the mission of a community partner and help Bellarmine to:

  • Deliver a transformative student experience
  • Provide an innovative program of academic study
  • Expand and diversify enrollment and geographic reach
  • Demonstrate a fully realized and lived commitment to equity and inclusion
  • Increase student access and affordability

Connect with the Center for Strategic Partnerships

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your ideas and opportunities for partnership.

If you would like to discuss strategic partnerships, please contact:
Mr. Jess Metzmeier
Assistant Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

If you would like to connect with a Bellarmine faculty member and/or recruit Bellarmine student volunteers for a project, please contact:
Dr. Liz Byron
Associate Director, Community Engagement

Highlights of Recent Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations

Partnerships and Collaborations

Norton Sports Health, Campus Wellness and Nursing Partnership

A new multi-faceted, multimillion-dollar partnership with Norton Healthcare provides support for Bellarmine Sports Health and Campus Wellness programming, while also supporting faculty, diversity scholarships, and a new academic program in nursing.

Butterfly Project/Bloomberg Philanthropies

A partnership with Microsoft Future of Work, Central High School and the Louisville Urban League provides funded internships in data science and social justice for both Bellarmine and Central High School students. Bellarmine is now working with Microsoft Future of Work, Central High School, the Urban League, Metro Louisville Government and Simmons College to expand the effort as one of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 50 Champion Cities.

Community Health Professions Simulation Center - Yarmuth Community Project

Bellarmine collaborated with Jefferson County Public Schools and Park DuValle Community Health Centers to develop a concept for a new community health professions simulation center. The concept was presented to U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth as part of a $1 million direct federal spending community project request. Yarmuth included Bellarmine’s proposal in the U.S. House appropriations bill, with final federal budget approval pending.

National Science Foundation – Tech Talent Advisory Board

The university secured a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support underrepresented students in the sciences. As a grant requirement, Bellarmine secured signed partnership agreements from regional employers and educators regarding their willingness to support students and established an ongoing tech talent advisory board.

Accel Software Engineering Community Forum and Recruiting Conversations

The Center convened a forum of employers and community leaders to discuss, inform and market Bellarmine’s new Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and is now connecting lead faculty with individual employers to discuss specific enrollment pipelines.

Degree Completion Program

The Center convened multiple meetings with employers, workforce development leaders and regional educators to inform and create enrollment pipelines for the new degree completion program. The Center is now connecting lead faculty with employers and community college leaders to discuss specific enrollment pipelines.

Master of Health Sciences in Biomedical Sciences – Medical School Partnerships

The Center convened conversations with medical school admissions directors at the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and University of Kentucky–Northern Kentucky to discuss, inform and market Bellarmine’s new academic program to help graduates gain admission to medical school. The Center is now building a partnership in which the medical schools will inform unsuccessful applicants of Bellarmine’s program.

Internship Stipend Funding

The university secured new funding to provide paid internships for Bellarmine students as they work for community organizations. The funding included new grants from the Community Foundation of Louisville, the Ogle Foundation and the Microsoft Future of Work.

Urban League – Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Complex

The Center is working with the School of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences to finalize a partnership with the Louisville Urban League to provide experiential learning and community outreach programming for students in Exercise Science, Sports Management and Athletic Training at the new Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Complex.

Nativity Academy

Bellarmine is collaborating with Nativity Academy to provide avenues for professional development and additional education for Nativity teachers. Thanks to external philanthropy, Bellarmine faculty and doctoral students are also providing expert research and programming at Nativity.

Cabbage Patch Settlement House

The university partnered with Cabbage Patch to offer support to their college-readiness program and College Scholars Program, and to offer two last-dollar scholarships to students attending BU.


A new partnership with Jefferson provides tuition assistance and student support for students transferring to Bellarmine from JCTC, while also providing them opportunities for engagement in Bellarmine student life. Bellarmine is now working with KCTCS leadership to develop a systemwide transfer program.

IVY Tech

Bellarmine created a unilateral transfer agreement to show our commitment to transfer students, offering a general articulation agreement with an Ivy Tech credit-hour rate.

JCPS Health Academies

Bellarmine offered a free Health 110 Course over the summer to students in JCPS’ health academies.

Louisville Century Scholars

Bellarmine partnered with eight JCPS Title I-eligible high schools to offer scholarships to eight high-achieving students with high need.