Ursuline Bellarmine 50th Anniversary Celebration

Ursuline Bellarmine merger bus

In June 1968, Ursuline College and Bellarmine College merged to form a co-educational college that is now Bellarmine University. The university and the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville have launched a year-long celebration of the merger's 50th anniversary, featuring events that celebrate the legacy of Bellarmine's enduring Ursuline bonds.

Ursuline College was a Catholic college for women established by the Ursuline Sisters at 3105 Lexington Road in 1938, with roots going back to the opening of the Sacred Heart Junior College and Normal School in 1921. In 1968, it merged with Bellarmine — a Catholic college for men — after several years of increased coordination. The merged institution was called Bellarmine-Ursuline College for three years, while students who had initially enrolled at either institution completed their studies together on Bellarmine's campus. The name reverted to Bellarmine College in 1972.

During the celebration, information about the merger will be displayed on the Bellarmine and Ursuline campuses.

Calendar of Events 2018

A full calendar of events for the year-long celebration will be posted this fall. It will include:

Thursday, September 6, 11 a.m. – Meet a Sister Day at Bellarmine University Involvement Fair, in Bellarmine's quad. Free giveaways for Bellarmine students signing up for Ursuline Service project day on October 28.

Friday, September 14, 5:30 p.m. – Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education's Teacher Education Induction Ceremony, featuring remarks by Ursuline Sister Paula Kleine-Kracht, in Bellarmine's Nolen C. Allen Hall

Sunday, October 28 – Ursuline Service Project with Bellarmine students (3:30 to 5:30 p.m.), followed by Mass in Our Lady of the Woods Chapel (6 p.m.)

Tuesday, November 27, 3:30 p.m. – Ursuline Terrace dedication in Hilary’s. Bellarmine University and the Ursuline Sisters dedicate a new reminder of the university's enduring Ursuline roots, naming a patio on Bellarmine's quad the Ursuline Terrace.

Calendar of Events 2019

Sunday, January 27, 3 p.m. – Mass for the Feast of Saint Angela Merici at the Ursuline Chapel

Monday, January 28, 12:30 p.m. – Sr. Angela Merici Feast Day lunch in University Dining Hall. The Ursuline Sisters of Louisville will join Bellarmine students for lunch featuring German fare in celebration of their congregation’s heritage.

Friday, February 15, 2019, 7 p.m. – Alumni Association Awards Dinner. For information on attending this event, contact the Alumni Office at 502.272.8333. Honorees include:

  • Monsignor Horrigan Distinguished Service Award: The Ursuline Sisters of Louisville. This award will celebrate the rich history of the Ursuline Sisters and the many benefits Bellarmine University gained from the merger. The current President of the Ursuline Sisters, Sr. Janet Marie Peterworth ’61 UC, will accept on behalf of the organization.
  • Gallery of Distinguished Graduates: Mary Jo Payne ’72 & Sr. Regina Bevelacqua '64 UC Co-Founders of St. Mary’s Center in Louisville. St. Mary's Center is a nonprofit in Louisville serving intellectually challenged members of the Louisville community since 1993. St. Mary’s Center has consistently enhanced the lives of its students through its adult day training, teen after-school program and athletics activities for all ages.

Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m. – Bellarmine history talk featuring Rev. Clyde Crews at Ursuline Motherhouse. Crews will discuss his recent book on Bellarmine’s history, “In Veritatis Amore,” and show a video. Sr. Martha Jacob OSU, who co-wrote a chapter, will also speak.

Wednesday, March 13, 3-5 p.m. – Painting, pizza and parcheesi with the Ursuline Sisters in Hilary’s. As part of National Catholic Sisters Week, Bellarmine students and Sisters will paint rocks with positive messages of hope to be placed around campus for fellow students to see.

Saturday, June 1, 2019, 10 a.m. to noon – Class of 1969: Ursuline Tour Down Memory Lane & Lunch. In coordination with Bellarmine’s Alumni Reunion Weekend, the Ursuline Sisters invite alumnae from the 50th Reunion Class of 1969 to a special campus tour followed by lunch. The tour will be led by congregational historian Sister Martha Jacob (Sister Trinitas), a faculty member from 1960-68. Meet at 3115 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40206 and come to the Ursuline Motherhouse Building. RSVP for the tour and complimentary lunch to Ellen McKnight at 502.515.7526 or emcknight@ursulineslou.org by May 17.