A Bellarmine University historical marker is back on display after a 22-year absence.
The Kentucky Historical Society marker - placed in Bellarmine's quad in the early 1980s by the university's Alumni Association
- was removed in 1996 to make way for construction of the new W.L. Lyons Brown Library, which opened in 1997.
With no immediate plan to relocate it, the marker went into secure storage behind Knights Hall. And that's where it stayed for the next two decades.
In 2016, during the relocation of the grounds department from behind Knights Hall, the sign gained renewed attention. Working in collaboration with the university's historian, Rev. Clyde Crews, and a vendor specializing in restoration of historical markers, Bellarmine's facilities team pulled the sign out of storage and refurbished it.
The restored marker can now be found along Newburg Road, north of St. Robert's Gate.
The two-sided sign describes the history of Bellarmine's campus from the late 1700s to 1980. The full text:
Preston Park Seminary - This land was part of a grant for French-Indian War service. Surveyed in 1774 by Wm. Preston, it was granted to James McCorkle by Gov. Thomas Jefferson in 1779. Bought by Wm. McCloskey, 1869, as site of diocesan seminary, which functioned until 1910. Orphanages of St. Vincent (1892-1901) and St. Thomas (1910-1938) were also here.
(Reverse) Bellarmine College – Founded by Archbishop John A. Floersh, Bellarmine opened as a Catholic Men’s college in 1950. Merged with Ursuline College in 1968 and became coeducational. The international Thomas Merton Studies Center housed on campus. College visitors have included John F. Kennedy, Thomas Merton, Karl Rahner and Henry Cabot Lodge.
The sign is one of more than 2,400 historical markers across Kentucky that are coordinated by the Kentucky Historical Society. Learn more and visit their searchable database