Bellarmine Asks 100 Million Dollar Question

October 15, 2011

Ambitious Capital Campaign Raises Stakes for University and Region

Citing the Louisville region's need for a nationally preeminent private university, Bellarmine University has launched the public phase of an ambitious $100 million capital campaign. The effort will increase the school's endowment, enlarge the annual fund and launch significant new construction projects.

Dubbed the "100 Million Dollar Question," the campaign asks Louisvillians to consider Bellarmine's growing impact on the community as it continues to emerge as a leading private university.


Business First article

Courier-Journal op-ed

Vision 2020 (PDF)

"Every prosperous region of the country shares a common denominator for success -- a thriving private university of significant size and stature, in addition to successful public institutions," said Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, Bellarmine's president. "What Notre Dame has done for Indiana, Emory for Atlanta, Duke for North Carolina, and Vanderbilt for Nashville, Bellarmine can do for Louisville and this region."

McGowan said the campaign, which supports the city's 55,000 Degrees program and the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's Stronger by Degrees initiative, will help the region attract and keep more young, educated and innovative thinkers. It will also enrich the area's culture, character and personality.

Maker's Mark chairman emeritus and Bellarmine trustee Bill Samuels Jr. is serving as chairman of the capital campaign, which is approaching the three-quarters mark.

The campaign is an outgrowth of Bellarmine's Vision 2020, a plan adopted by the college's Board of Trustees in 2005 that sets a broad vision for new schools, new majors, new buildings and new ways to serve Louisville and Kentucky. Vision 2020 calls for Bellarmine to become the premier independent Catholic university in the South, and thereby the leading private university in the commonwealth and region.

"I want Louisville to be known as one of the world's most innovative cities, and we can't innovate unless we educate," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. "My administration has made education a priority, so that we can build a better educated and more creative workforce. Bellarmine's continued growth is vital to our 55,000 Degrees program, which will add 55,000 additional college graduates to Louisville's workforce by 2020."

Horrigan Expansion and Renovation
The campaign includes $45 million for new facilities, including a complete renovation and expansion of Horrigan Hall, one of the university's foundational buildings.

A new three-story, 47,300-square-foot building will be added to Horrigan Hall, with dramatic atrium space connecting the two. Located within the addition will be a new classrooms, space for new programs such as a Graduate School of Management, one-stop shopping for all enrollment needs and Career Development.

Another 4,100-square-foot space will be added to the southern wing of Horrigan, which will be known as Treece Hall. The new space will house an expanded bookstore, a campus living room and offices.

The entire project carries an estimated price tag of $25 million.

Endowment and Annual Fund
Bellarmine's endowment will grow by $45 million through the capital campaign, providing greater ongoing support for academic programs. The university has raised $32 million toward this goal.

A $10 million annual fund drive completes Bellarmine's $100 million campaign. This fund supports scholarships and other pressing needs.

News item updated June 4, 2013


All News Stories