Most people familiar with Bellarmine history feel that they know a little about Msgr. Alfred F. Horrigan, the founding president—a revered priest, an outstanding scholar, educator and civic figure. But not many know that he came from a family of high achievers, shown here in this marvelous 1936 photograph that the Horrigan family recently made available to Bellarmine University.
On the far right of the photo is our Alfred Frederick Horrigan, who was then a seminarian at St. Meinrad Seminary. Seated on the far left is his rather imposing father, William James Horrigan, who began professional life as a civil engineer and went on to have a long military career. William’s father, Cornelius, had immigrated to the United States from Ireland (Cork) in 1866.
From left to right are Alfred Horrigan’s brothers: Philip Kevin, who had an extensive career in the Army Air Forces in World War II and later earned a law degree from Harvard University; Frederick James (seated), who earned a Ph.D. in political science, held positions at the National War College in Washington and the University of South Florida and was deeply involved as participant and writer in international politics, having visited over 20 countries; Vincent Cornelius, who became a Jesuit priest in 1949 and held academic posts at Xavier in Cincinnati, Loyola in Chicago and the Jesuit House of Graduate Study in Rome; and William Kienle, who graduated from West Point in 1937 and was a Japanese prisoner of war for more than three years.
Msgr. Horrigan’s family also included two sisters who are not in the picture: Mary Katherine (Sister Margaret Mary), who lived most of her 67 years of religious life as a nun at the Carmelite monastery in Louisville; and Anne, who joined the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and was long known as Sister Anita. She later returned to the use of her baptismal name. With a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America, she taught philosophy at Spalding University.