For the first time, Bellarmine’s spring commencement exercises were held in Owsley B. Frazier Stadium this year, moved outdoors from Knights Hall as a result of Bellarmine’s enrollment growth. Bellarmine awarded 542 degrees during the May 9 ceremony – 411 bachelor’s, 68 master’s and 63 doctoral degrees. Including the students who graduated in August and December, Bellarmine awarded 810 degrees during the 2014-15 academic year.
Michael B. McCallister, chairman of the Humana Foundation and retired president and chairman of Humana, was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, and delivered the commencement address. “I’m proud to be part of the Bellarmine family,” said Dr. McCallister, a Bellarmine Trustee. “Knowing the quality of the university and all of you that are crossing this threshold today, I think we all have a great reason to be very confident about the future and the next generation.”
Dr. McCallister gave the graduates his 10 principles for success in business, including honesty, gratitude, boldness and a love of reading. He rose through the ranks at Humana for 26 years before being named the company’s president and chief executive officer in 2000. He introduced an all-digital health plan called Emphesys, designed to transfer all medical-provider transactions to the Internet and eliminate the use of paper, and unveiled a revolutionary consumer-driven healthcare plan that allowed employees to make their own decisions. His innovations helped turn Humana, which was struggling financially, into a top-performing U.S. company by 2004. Humana is one of Louisville’s largest employers and an important corporate citizen.
Dr. Fred Rhodes – who recently took a position in the Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education after 24 years as VP of Student Affairs – received the Msgr. Alfred F. Horrigan Medal.
By Jason Cissell