Bellarmine receives $3 million from James Graham Brown Foundation

September 3, 2008

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 3, 2008) — Bellarmine University President Joseph J. McGowan announced today that the Louisville school has received a $3 million gift from the James Graham Brown Foundation. The gift is one of the largest single contributions in school history, equaling a $3 million anonymous gift received earlier this year.

The gift will support the most transformational capital project in Bellarmine’s history – construction of three new signature buildings in front of and connected to the existing Horrigan Hall. The project calls for the addition of more than 65,000 square feet of new space and approximately 39,000 square feet of remodeled space in the existing building.

“As Bellarmine continues to grow and achieve the goals of Vision 2020, gifts from the private sector are essential,” McGowan said. “We deeply appreciate the support of the James Graham Brown Foundation, and we applaud their vision in attending to the needs of this city, commonwealth and region.”

Bellarmine’s Vision 2020 calls for the university to become the leading private institution in the commonwealth and region – a nationally pre-eminent private university of significant size and stature. The school will increase in facilities, enrollment and graduates to address the “Deep Drivers of Change” outlined by The Greater Louisville Project and as recommended by a report on the area by the Brookings Institution. Both of these reports advocate aggressively preparing more college graduates for the 21st century.

The James Graham Brown Foundation has long been a strong supporter of higher education and of Bellarmine University in particular. Already Bellarmine’s largest endowment donor, the foundation also has supported several construction projects, including the 1998 transformation of former library space to a beautiful, modern student activity center in Horrigan Hall.

The new architectural statement will provide campus visitors with a warm and welcome first impression of Bellarmine, in keeping with its master plan, which evokes the hill towns of Tuscany, birthplace of the university’s namesake, St. Robert Bellarmine.

The new Horrigan project features:
> Space for a new Graduate School of Management.
> One-stop shopping for all student administrative services (admissions, registrar, bursar, financial aid and bookstore).
> Vital classroom and office space to accommodate growth and expansion.
> New space to triple the size of the Thomas Merton Center, the official repository of Merton’s manuscripts, which hosts approximately 3,000 research international scholars and visitors annually.
> Garden and green space, including a green roof that will be accessible to students, faculty and staff.
> An Italian-style piazza with beautiful steps that provides outdoor gathering places.

Total cost of the project is estimated at $38 million. Funding is expected to come entirely from private sources, and nearly $10 million already has been contributed toward the Horrigan project.

Since announcing Vision 2020 nearly three years ago, Bellarmine already has:
> Recruited its largest ever freshman class two years in row, and they are among its best academically qualified.
> Opened a new 116-bed residence hall and begun construction on a second new residence hall for 146 beds, scheduled to open in January 2009.
> Unveiled a state-of-the-art multi-sport field and stadium.
> Re-routed campus traffic with a new cross campus road and a new entrance at the campus’s main intersection.
> Launched the new Institute for Media, Culture and Ethics in advance of opening a new School of Communication, Media an Culture in 2009.
> Added a new master’s degree in communication and a new Sports Studies minor, a new Doctorate in Nursing Practice and an Institute of Health and Wellness that will include a concentration in exercise science and athletic training.
Positioned Bellarmine’s Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education as a national model for the future of teacher education in America, and recently announced the appointment of internationally-known literacy expert Robert Cooter as the Ursuline Endowed Chair of Teacher Education and Kathy Cooter as director of the school’s new center for teachers.
> Continued to earn recognition from national publications and other independent organizations: 1)Top ranked Kentucky “regional university” (U.S. News and World Report), 2)One of the Top 100 colleges and universities in the nation (, 3) One of the “Best 368 Colleges,” The Princeton Review; 4) “One of the Best Places to Work in Kentucky,” The Kentucky Society of Human Resource Management and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.


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