College is a bit like a wilderness expedition, Dr. Elizabeth Dinkins, assistant professor in the Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education, told the record-setting Class of 2019 at Convocation exercises on Aug. 15.
“I think the expedition ethos is a perfect metaphor for learning because it reminds you to nurture your community and recognize the power your community has to enrich your everyday experiences while also holding you accountable for being your best self,” said Dr. Dinkins, who spent years working as a whitewater raft guide.
A liberal-arts university such as Bellarmine is the perfect place to discover that best self, she told the 707 freshmen and their families. “Self-discovery is recognizing and understanding the ideas that matter to you, the truths you commit yourself to, the passions that motivate you to act. This is what a liberal arts education does – it exposes us to powerful, motivating ideas, so that we can understand ourselves and our place in the world.”
The previous record-setting freshman class, the Class of 2013, had 674 students. The members of the Class of 2019 are from 18 states and several countries. The class is fairly evenly divided geographically: 34 percent of the students are from out-of-state, 33 percent from the city of Louisville and 34 percent from the rest of the state of Kentucky.
A majority of them – 513 first-year students – will be living on campus. That means that in total, Bellarmine has 1,144 residential students this year, another record.
To keep class sizes small, 16 new full-time faculty were also hired this year, bringing the total number to 167. Students this year will also be able to access the W.L. Lyons Brown Library 24 hours a day from Sunday through Thursday.
Click here to read Dr. Dinkins’ Convocation address in its entirety
Photo by Grafton Flock