The president responded with the imaginative and compelling Vision 2020, envisioning Bellarmine University as the Premier Independent Catholic University in the South, and thereby the Leading Private University in the Commonwealth and Region.
Realizing this vision will be historic and transformational for Bellarmine. The same powerful forces that created a small Catholic college on these hills in 1950, and that made us the strong university we are today, also propel us forward toward this richer and fuller expression of the university’s mission.
Bellarmine’s ascendancy also will give the city of Louisville and the commonwealth of Kentucky something they have never had before, something they must have in order to be competitive – a nationally pre-eminent private university of significant size and stature, with an ever-broadening reputation for excellence and strength.
The role of a pre-eminent private university is vital in any thriving regional city. It creates a more competitive, stimulating academic environment in concert with the public institutions. It turns out more graduate and professional degrees and entrepreneurs. It produces inspirational leaders and attracts top-level talent. Ultimately, it not only supports economic development, it enriches the area’s culture, character and personality in a way no other institution can.
And when that pre-eminent private university is an expanded, stronger Bellarmine University, the influence goes beyond intellectual and economic measures to an even more important impact. The inclusive spiritual principles on which Bellarmine was founded create a bedrock of moral and ethical values among its graduates – values that are reflected in leadership, successful living, and service to others. Nothing could be more important to the future of our community.
Great progress has been made on Vision 2020 in the two years since Dr. McGowan responded to the trustees’ call. Strong leadership is in place to bring forth this transformation. Beautiful new campus developments, exciting growth in undergraduate and graduate enrollment, improved support for existing schools and faculty, and plans for the strategic addition of new graduate and professional schools all tell us that Vision 2020 is under way and building momentum.
This is how Bellarmine will keep the promise that was made on these hills in 1950. Not merely by enduring, in the shadow of a proud history – but by stepping into the light of this bold future.
In the following pages, we will: