Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine president, in her office

Letter from the President

Responding with grace and grit

Spring 2020


One of the best parts of my job is being able to watch “miracles happen every day” as I observe our students develop into wonderfully engaged and ethical leaders. Now as we, like universities across the country, do our part through distance learning to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), our campus is eerily silent.


But the Bellarmine Difference continues, even as our community comes together online.

The most frustrating thing about this virus is that it has pulled us all apart. But in a sense, it has also pulled us together. 

Faculty and staff have responded swiftly and with amazing resilience to ensure not only that all our students keep working toward completing their coursework or their degrees on time, but also that every student still feels cared for and connected. Trust me, this takes incredible work, persistence and adaptability. I am so grateful to all of them. I am also grateful to our students for their patience, creativity and eagerness to learn, and for their understanding as we asked them to move out of the residence halls.    

I am especially sensitive to our seniors, whose treasured time in their final semester was cut short so abruptly. Although Senior Week activities have been canceled and Commencement postponed, we are determined to provide a meaningful Commencement for the Class of 2020 on December 19 at Freedom Hall. This is a great and resilient class, and we will celebrate them. They persist and achieve, and that will be their mark on Bellarmine. They are commendable leaders, and I have no doubt they will change this world for the better.  

The most frustrating thing about this virus is that it has pulled us all apart. But in a sense, it has also pulled us together. We are fortunate to live in a time where technology allows us to remain connected. We are even more fortunate to be part of a caring community that is absolutely committed to supporting our students in every way possible, from messages of care and encouragement to gifts that are helping those with unexpectedly urgent financial needs. 

I have never seen such challenging times in my entire career, and I could not be prouder of the courageous and creative ways in which the Bellarmine community has responded, and will continue to respond. We will be a stronger institution having been through this together. Again, my deepest personal thanks to all of you.


Remember to take a few minutes each day to get some fresh air and exercise, and please continue to be safe. 

Dr. Susan M. Donovan | president@bellarmine.edu


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