Bellarmine University will confer degrees on 1,815 graduates during five small commencement ceremonies May 7 and 8.
The small ceremonies are a safety measure to meet COVID-19 safety guidelines, a press release from Bellarmine said. They will be held at Freedom Hall on the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane. Two will be on May 7 and three will be held on May 8.
A recorded speech by National Public Radio President and CEO John Lansing, a 2009 graduate of Bellarmine, will be played at each of the ceremonies. Lansing was a student at Bellarmine in 1985 when he accepted a news director position, according to the press release. Years later he returned to finish his degree, and in 2010 Lansing was named to the Bellarmine University Gallery of Distinguished Graduates.
Bellarmine will award 898 degrees for the 2021 academic year — 633 undergraduate degrees and 265 graduate and doctoral degrees. Because last year’s graduation was cancelled due to the pandemic lockdown, the university will also formally confer 917 degrees for the 2020 academic year — 626 undergraduate degrees and 291 graduate and doctoral degrees.
Among the graduates will be mother and daughter Tonya Allen and Shayna Allen. Tonya Allen, who earned a master of business administration degree, is a sergeant in Bellarmine’s public safety office. Shayna Allen, who enrolled at Bellarmine at the age of 16, earned a bachelor of health science degree in medical laboratory science.
Graduates will practice social distancing during the graduation march and while seated at the ceremony, according to a press release from the university. Other COVID-19 safety protocols, including mask-wearing will be followed.