Bellarmine honors more than 900 graduates at May 2023 Commencement ceremonies

May 13, 2023

Bellarmine University celebrated its 70th annual Commencement on Saturday, awarding 915 degrees during two ceremonies in Freedom Hall.
Forty-one military-affiliated students, including 21 veterans, received degrees, the largest numbers in Bellarmine’s history. In addition, the first graduates from Bellarmine’s new Degree Completion Program crossed the stage to complete their unique college journeys.
“As we walk across this stage and right into an unknown world, I challenge you all and myself with a question: what do you want your legacy to be?” asked Ally Tripure, a new Exercise Science graduate who spoke during the undergraduate ceremony. “We are Bellarmine alumni. We have a mission to continue seeking the truth, and I believe that this truth can be found when we start to face the world with a child-like joy riddled with zest and unbridled in spirit. I challenge you to take up space – to be the most concentrated, strong and potent version of yourself.”
Bellarmine awarded 632 undergraduate and 283 graduate or doctoral degrees during the two ceremonies, which welcomed the newest members of the Bellarmine University Alumni Association. 
“Your Bellarmine professors and fellow students have engaged you and challenged you to step outside your comfort zone when things change or go wrong,” said Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine’s president. “The critical thinking skills you have honed here through the liberal arts will help you navigate the twists and turns to come, and I know you will do so with compassion and good will.”
At the undergraduate ceremony, students heard a speech from Mary Gwen Wheeler, a policy consultant and strategist who has devoted her career to increasing educational attainment in Metro Louisville and beyond. Wheeler commended the graduates on their resilience in facing the challenge of pursuing an education during the pandemic. She celebrated them as a resourceful and compassionate class that is eager to improve its community.
Dr. Mark Lynn spoke to graduate and doctoral students about the importance of doing the right thing, for the right reasons, as well as the significance of faith and family. Lynn is a Bellarmine Trustee, owner of Lynn Family Sports Vision & Training and namesake of Lynn Family Stadium, home to Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville FC. 
Dr. Alexandra Imani Harper, speaking during the graduate and doctoral ceremony, where she earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, acknowledged the challenges of beginning to study a hands-on speciality through virtual learning during a pandemic, but credited her professors for using flexible approaches to ensure that no ground was lost. "I just want to thank God for guiding me through this journey because we all know he gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers, and we are those soldiers," she told her fellow graduates.
Honorary doctoral degrees were awarded to Wheeler; Lynn and his wife, Cindy Lynn; and Nicholas Carosi ’69 and Virginia “Gincy” Osborne Carosi '70, who met at Bellarmine. In 2013, the Carosis donated St. Robert’s Gate, the 3 1/2-story arch at the university’s Newburg Road entrance.
Fr. Clyde Crews received 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. 

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