Bellarmine President Susan M. Donovan is one of Louisville Business First’s inaugural Power 50, a list of the most influential members of the business community.
Business First received more than 150 nominations from the public for the list and considered candidates who were nominated by its editorial staff and Publisher Lisa Benson.
“The professionals we selected are some of the top dealmakers and thought leaders in town, and they span many industries—law, finance, public companies, real estate, education, nonprofits and more,” Business First Editor Shea Van Hoy
wrote in announcing the Power 50.
The news magazine said that Donovan’s position as the president of Bellarmine since 2017 “puts her at the nexus of many aspects of the business community and community in general.” It noted that Donovan expanded the campus with the 2018
acquisition of the Watterson Medical Center and hired a new business dean, Dr. Natasha Munshi, last year, and said that Bellarmine’s background as a Catholic college that focuses on fighting injustice positions it well to approach sensitive
topics such as racism and discrimination.
Under her leadership, all Bellarmine sports programs ascended last year from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I. That was a major initiative of the university’s strategic plan
which calls for expanding and diversifying enrollment and geographic reach. The strategic plan also calls for expanding Bellarmine’s mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses, corporations and nonprofits in Louisville and the region.
In 2019-20, Bellarmine significantly engaged 21 of the 25 largest employers and 10 of the largest foundations in Metro Louisville.
“Dr. Donovan is amazingly engaged in the community,” said Dr. Glenn Kosse, Bellarmine’s vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, “and her existing connections with local leaders and her ability to forge relationships
with new prospects help lead us in meeting our philanthropic objectives.”
The president said the Power 50 honor was not hers alone. “This is a tribute to Bellarmine and all who have worked tirelessly to engage in the city of Louisville and our community,” she said.
Donovan said she was pleased to be recognized with several other Power 50 honorees who are members of the Bellarmine University Board of Trustees: Jim Allen, vice chairman of Robert W. Baird & Co.; Russ Cox, CEO and president, Norton Healthcare Inc.;
Ed Glasscock HON ’11, chair emeritus, Frost Brown Todd LLC; Mark Lynn, owner and managing member of Dr. Mark Lynn and Associates PLCC; Matt Thornton, principal of Thornton Capital; and Steve Trager, CEO and chair of Republic Bank & Trust