With $3.6 million estate gift, Lansings become largest lifetime donors in Bellarmine University’s history

November 15, 2023

PHOTO  Dr. Allan and Donna Lansing in 2015
A $3.6 million gift from the estate of Dr. Allan and Donna Lansing to Bellarmine University brings the family’s lifetime giving total to more than $10 million, making the Lansings the largest donors in the university’s history.
The $3.6 million gift is earmarked for nursing and allied health; the men’s basketball and baseball programs; the Clinical Recitation Initiative for Student Enrichment (RISE) program; and the Bellarmine Fund, which supports all students and overall academic excellence.
Dr. Lansing, an internationally renowned heart surgeon, was a longtime Bellarmine trustee. The university's Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing and Clinical Sciences is named for the couple in honor of their support of the Nursing Program.
“Bellarmine and Bellarmine students were always important to our parents,” said the Lansings' daughter Michele Lansing Flowers, the executor of their estate. She, her brother, Peter Lansing, and her sister, Ann Lansing, all pursued careers in healthcare. “Our father was especially partial to the Nursing Program, because he said he could never have done it without the nurses who cared for his patients 24/7. They were an integral part of patients’ recovery; their emotional and physical support system. He may have fixed his patients’ hearts, but the nurses made them whole again.”
“We are so grateful to the Lansing and Flowers families for their generous support of our students,” said Bellarmine President Susan M. Donovan. “The Lansings’ love of this community launched a partnership between Bellarmine and Norton Healthcare that has grown many times over. Their generosity has changed the lives of countless students and patients throughout our city—and with this most recent gift, will continue to do so for many years to come. In addition, their support of our men’s basketball and baseball teams will help us to provide our student-athletes with what they need to succeed, athletically and academically, at the NCAA Division I level.”  
The Lansings moved from their native Canada to Louisville in 1963 so that he could work as a cardiothoracic surgeon, and they became involved with Bellarmine in the early 1980s. Dr. Lansing served on the Bellarmine Board of Trustees from 1983-2004, including a term as chair in 1987-88. He received an honorary doctorate from Bellarmine in 1985, and in 2004, he was honored as the “King of Hearts” at Bellarmine’s Knight of Knights event. He and Donna Lansing were tremendous supporters of the university.
Among many substantial scholarship funds they established is the Lansing Scholars Program. Through the Norton Hospital Foundation, the program helps to cover selected Bellarmine University students while they work toward their degrees in nursing and the health sciences. Upon graduation, Lansing Scholars begin their careers at Norton Healthcare and are eligible to have their loans forgiven.
In 1998, the Lansings donated a 130-year-old house and 3.2 acres in Glenview to be renovated and used as the President’s Home. Glenview was the Bellarmine Women’s Council’s Designers’ Show House in 2000, raising money for student financial aid. It was sold following the death of Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, Bellarmine’s third president.
In 2015, the Lansings gifted their own home, Boxhill, to Bellarmine. The university sold the home this year after Dr. Lansing’s death in 2022.

“We are so appreciative of all the ways that Dr. and Mrs. Lansing’s generosity has benefited our students,” said Scott Self, Bellarmine’s vice president for Development and Alumni Relations. “We also appreciate their foresight in making planned gifts to the university and are delighted to honor their legacy at Bellarmine.” 

Photo: Donna and Allan Lansing in 2015.


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