Bellarmine University plans to award 915 degrees (632 undergraduate and 283 graduate or doctoral) in two commencement exercises at Freedom Hall on Saturday, May 13—one for undergraduates at 10 a.m. and one for graduate or doctoral degrees at 2 p.m. Forty-one military-affiliated students, including 21 veterans, will receive degrees, the largest numbers in Bellarmine’s history.
Among Saturday’s graduates are Ally Tripure, an Exercise Science major
who will participate in Pedal the Pacific, a 1,700-mile bike ride from Seattle to San Diego this summer that draws attention to the issue of sex trafficking; Winnie Spitza Shouse, who will be receiving her fourth Bellarmine degree, a Doctorate in Nursing Practice
; and Cody and Erika
Nygard, a husband and wife both receiving Ph.D.s in Education & Social Change
In addition, the first graduates from Bellarmine’s new Degree Completion Program will cross the stage.
Three individuals will receive honorary degrees at the undergraduate ceremony:
Mary Gwen Wheeler
—Wheeler, a policy consultant and strategist, has devoted her career to increasing educational attainment in Metro Louisville and beyond. She is a board member for Evolve502 and the National Center for Families Learning.
In 2010, she founded and served as executive director for 55,000 Degrees, a civic organization focused on adding 55,000 degrees in the region by 2020. The initiative was credited with increasing post-secondary attainment in Louisville by 8 percent.
Wheeler will also be the undergraduate commencement speaker.
Nicholas ’69 and Virginia Osborne ’70 Carosi— Former Trustee Nick and Gincy Carosi met as students at Bellarmine, and the university holds a special place in their hearts.
The couple married in July 1970 and live in Virginia, where Nick Carosi became the third generation in his family (his son is now the fourth) to work at Arban & Carosi, one of the preeminent architectural precast concrete manufacturers in North
Bellarmine would not have St. Robert's Gate without their generosity. In 2013, the Carosis donated the 3½-story signature arch at the university’s Newburg Road entrance. In 2021, they created the Nicholas '69 and Virginia Osborne '70 Carosi Endowed Scholarship, with preference
for students in the Washington, D.C., area.
Fr. Clyde Crews will be awarded the Msgr. Alfred F. Horrigan Medal. Crews, a 1966 Bellarmine graduate who is celebrating his 50th year in the priesthood, served in numerous roles in his long career at the university, including historian-in-residence, director of the Merton Center, chairman
of the Theology Department, academic dean, professor and archival coordinator.
At the graduate ceremony, honorary degrees will be given to Dr. Mark Lynn and Cindy Lynn
. Dr. Lynn, a Bellarmine Trustee, will be the commencement speaker.
The Lynns are philanthropists whose generosity benefits Bellarmine and Metro Louisville.
Dr. Lynn was the founder, president and CEO of Dr. Mark Lynn & Associates, the sixth-largest optometry practice in the United States. He sold the company in 2021. In 2020, the Lynns founded Lynn Family Sports Vision & Training to improve the visual and cognitive systems
of athletes in addition to creating specialized treatment plans for concussion, traumatic brain injury and strokes. Lynn Family Sports Vision & Training has been a key partner for the performance training and recovery of Bellarmine’s
Evidence of the Lynn Family’s generosity may be found throughout the City of Louisville in the sports facilities they have funded, most notably the new Lynn Family Stadium, home to Louisville FC and Racing Louisville. Dr. Lynn also serves as chair of the Kentucky State Fair Board.
In 2020, the Lynns created the Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Endowed Scholarship at Bellarmine, which provides scholarships to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need.