Bellarmine University and the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville dedicated a new reminder of the university’s enduring Ursuline roots this afternoon, as a patio on Bellarmine’s quad was named Ursuline Terrace.

The terrace’s naming is part of a yearlong commemoration of Ursuline College’s merger with Bellarmine College 50 years ago, forming a co-educational college that is now Bellarmine University.

Sr. Janet Peterworth, president of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, speaks at the terrace dedication.

“Over the 50 years since each of our institutions came together, much has happened,” said Sr. Janet Marie Peterworth, president of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville and a member of Bellarmine’s Board of Trustees. “The Ursulines were teachers here at Bellarmine from the time of the merger until not too many years ago, when Sr. Patricia Lowman retired. And, of course, many Ursuline Sisters graduated from Bellarmine and some from Bellarmine-Ursuline. Ursulines have served — and still serve — on Bellarmine’s Board of Trustees. So our lives have been intertwined over these 50 years. What a creative and fitting idea to name this the Ursuline Terrace.”

Ursuline Terrace is located just outside Centro’s Horrigan Hall, facing the quad. The terrace now features prominent lettering with its name and this description: “This Terrace honors the 400-year-long tradition of educational excellence of the Ursuline Sisters.”

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the merger, I am pleased to say that we are not celebrating the end of the two stories — we are celebrating the lively continuation of our shared story,” said Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine’s president. “Today’s dedication of the Ursuline Terrace is another permanent reminder to us all of our Ursuline heritage. It joins other such remembrances as our Angela Merici statue in the quad and our Seibert Boulevard.”

Seibert Boulevard is named for Sr. Angelice Seibert, who was president of Ursuline College at the time of the merger and later served as president of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville.

Ursuline College was a Catholic college for women established by the Ursuline Sisters at 3105 Lexington Road in 1938, with roots going back to the opening of the Sacred Heart Junior College and Normal School in 1921. In 1968, it merged with Bellarmine — a Catholic college for men — after several years of increased coordination. The merged institution was called Bellarmine-Ursuline College for three years, while students who had initially enrolled at either institution completed their studies together on Bellarmine’s campus. The name reverted to Bellarmine College in 1971.

In addition to Ursuline Terrace, Bellarmine unveiled two new monuments in the quad:

  • a marker featuring the Ursuline Campus as it appeared in the 1930s
  • a marker telling the story of the manor house that stood from 1852 to 1939 near what is now Centro. A nearby bench is made from the house’s foundation stones.
  • The manor house, built as a private home, served as a Civil War hospital, the residence of a Catholic bishop, a seminary and an orphanage.

The dedication event was moved from the terrace to the nearby Hilary’s meeting space because of a cold, snowy day.

Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine’s president, speaks at the dedication.