Dr. Carole Pfeffer, who will retire as provost this month after a 30-year career at Bellarmine University, will speak at the university's 66th annual commencement ceremony
11 a.m. on Saturday, May 11.
The university's largest-ever commencement ceremony will take place at Freedom Hall. This year, the ceremony was moved from its traditional home on Bellarmine's campus because of the event's growing size. Bellarmine expects to award approximately
934 undergraduate and graduate degrees during the ceremony.
"I’ve always loved commencement, signifying as it does the goal of what we do at Bellarmine: provide a culture of success so enrolled students can earn their respective degrees," said Pfeffer. "In recent years, I especially loved having
the privilege of reading the students’ names at commencement before they walked across stage. It’s so moving to know that this community I so love, and which first read my name in May 1974 to receive my BA degree, now – 45 years
later – will do me the immense honor of calling me forward one last time to receive an honorary degree. And then to be allowed the privilege of speaking to our graduates? What could be more joyous for me, a teacher at heart, to have my last
official action at Bellarmine be talking with students? I will never forget these last kindnesses extended to me, I assure you."
Pfeffer earned a bachelor's degree in English from Bellarmine in 1974, with a minor in theology and a certificate in secondary education. For the next 13 years, she taught English at Louisville's Assumption High School.
She also earned a master's degree in literature and a doctoral degree in rhetoric and composition from the University of Louisville, and a certification in school administration and supervision from Spalding University.
In 1989, she joined Bellarmine's English department as an instructor, becoming an assistant professor in 1995 and an associate professor in 1999.
In 2008, she left the classroom to become associate vice president for Academic Affairs. She became that area's vice president in 2011 and was appointed provost in 2014. She postponed her retirement on more than one occasion to provide continuity
for the university during a transition between presidents and then during the university's reaccreditation.
Pfeffer will also receive an honorary doctoral degree during the ceremony, which will be broadcast live on the university's website and Facebook page. Doors at Freedom Hall will open at 9 a.m. with open seating for guests.
A baccalaureate Mass takes place at St. Agnes Church on Friday, May 10, at 4 p.m.
Doctoral hooding ceremony
Candidates for doctoral degrees from Bellarmine's schools of education, nursing and clinical sciences, and movement and rehabilitation sciences will take part in a hooding ceremony on Friday, May 10, at 6 p.m. in Knights Hall.
Theo Edmonds, a cultural innovator and healthcare professional, will speak during the hooding ceremony. In 2015, Edmonds was called one of the "50 People Changing the Face of the South" by Southern Living Magazine. He is an assistant professor and
director of the Center for Creative Placehealing at the University of Louisville.
Edmonds holds a master's degree in healthcare administration from the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, a master of fine arts from the University of Kentucky School of Art & Visual Studies, a law degree from Tulane
and a bachelor's degree in theatrical directing and art studio from Transylvania University.