Bellarmine University awarded 274 undergraduate and graduate degrees at its annual December commencement exercises on Wednesday, Dec. 19. Honorary degrees were awarded to USA Harvest founder Stan Curtis and philanthropist Joan Cralle Day. Curtis also delivered the commencement address.
Curtis, who is an investment executive with Hilliard Lyons in Louisville, first founded Kentucky Harvest in 1986 after being made aware of the great waste of food in restaurants. Since that time, the food distribution charity has gone national, and USA Harvest is now in 124 cities with more than 121,000 volunteers and has distributed more than 11 billion pounds of food.
Day is a lifelong philanthropist and president of The Cralle Foundation, a family foundation with a legacy of giving to education, health services, the elderly, and faith-based organizations. She is an exemplary steward of the traditions of faith and service and the values of civil society.
In his commencement address, Curtis told the graduates they were embarking on a journey of responsibility and he urged them to make a difference in the world. “After you celebrate tonight, “ Curtis said, “I hope that tomorrow you’ll measure yourself against your God and your fellow human beings and come to the conclusion that you can, will, and should make a difference in this world. We’re counting on you.”
The ceremony also featured the presentation of the Archbishop's Medal for Scholastic Excellence, which recognizes the undergraduate with the highest cumulative grade point average. That award was presented to Lauren Beth Hagan, who received a bachelor or arts in accounting.