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Bellarmine to inaugurate 4th president on Oct. 27

Dr. Susan M. Donovan
Dr. Susan M. Donovan

Bellarmine University will inaugurate its fourth president, Dr. Susan M. Donovan, during a 2 p.m. ceremony in Knights Hall on Friday, Oct. 27.

The university’s board of trustees unanimously selected Donovan as Bellarmine’s next president in February after an extensive global search process. She began her new role as Bellarmine’s president in June, after a 32-year career at Loyola University Maryland that culminated in serving as that university’s executive vice president and acting president.

The inauguration ceremony will formally install Donovan as Bellarmine’s fourth president, following Monsignor Alfred F. Horrigan (1950-1972), Dr. Eugene V. Petrik (1973-1990) and Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, Jr. (1990-2016).

“Bellarmine University is a community of teachers, learners and alumni who understand that the liberal arts, professional and graduate education are the keys that open doors,” said Donovan. “This community sees discourse, activism, and global understanding as virtues that shape the character of this independent Catholic institution. I consider it a privilege to accept the responsibility to lead Bellarmine forward to even greater prominence and impact in the local, regional and global society.”

Bellarmine’s inauguration week will be a celebration of the university’s mission and values through a public lecture, student service opportunities, events where the community can engage with Dr. Donovan, and more.

On Oct. 27, Donovan’s inauguration day will include a 10 a.m. Mass at St. Agnes Church, with Louisville Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz presiding. The Rev. Tim Brown, a Loyola colleague who performed Donovan’s wedding ceremony and baptized one of her daughters, will deliver the homily.

During the 2 p.m. inauguration ceremony in Knights Hall, the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J. – president of Loyola University Maryland – will speak, followed by an inaugural address from Donovan.

Bellarmine students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and board members have been invited to attend the inauguration ceremony, along with representatives from other colleges and universities. Classes are canceled on the day of the inauguration, and the ceremony will be broadcast live online. A representative from every graduating class in the university’s history will walk in the inauguration processional.

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