Largest commencement ceremony in Bellarmine's history, with 607 degrees to be awarded
Bellarmine University’s Spring Commencement ceremony on May 14 in Owsley B. Frazier Stadium will include a commencement speech by Louisville Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz. The university plans to award 607 undergraduate and graduate degrees, making this the largest commencement ceremony in Bellarmine's history.
Bellarmine will award Kurtz an honorary doctoral degree. Trustee Joseph P. Clayton, a Bellarmine alumnus who retired as Dish Network’s CEO last year, will also receive an honorary degree.
Kurtz, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has led the Archdiocese of Louisville since Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to the position in 2007. Before coming to Louisville, Kurtz was Knoxville’s bishop for eight years. Prior to that, he served for 27 years in various roles with the Diocese of Allentown, Pa.
A native of Pennsylvania, Kurtz earned bachelor and master of divinity degrees from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, along with a master’s degree from the Marywood School of Social Work. He was ordained as a priest in 1972.
Kurtz served on the board of Leadership Louisville from 2008 to 2014, and was vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2010 to 2013, when he was elected president. In 2014, Pope Francis appointed Kurtz to the Holy See’s Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
Clayton, a native of Bardstown, Ky., graduated from Bellarmine in 1971 with a degree in business administration. A national leader in the fields of consumer electronics, telecommunications and satellite communications, Clayton is a member of Bellarmine’s Gallery of Distinguished Graduates. Clayton’s name is evident across Bellarmine’s campus, including the School of Communication’s Joseph P. Clayton Hall and Frazier Stadium’s Joseph P. and Janey A. Clayton Field, where candidates for degrees will be seated during commencement.
The 63rd annual Spring Commencement begins at 9 a.m., with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. No tickets are required to attend commencement, although if the ceremony is moved indoors to Knights Hall because of severe weather, tickets issued to each graduate will be required for entry because of limited space.