If you ask any student what it is that makes Bellarmine special, chances are that one of the first things he'll talk about is the sense of brotherhood that is so prevalent here. It's a unique and special bond that students share, and one that continues on in the lives of our more than 17,000 living alumni. It's a bond that lasts a lifetime.
The Bellarmine brotherhood is a product of the work students complete together. They collaborate with one another in the classroom, they push each other to be their best on the field of athletic competition, they assist one another in co-curricular programs like speech and debate and robotics, and they serve together in the local community and beyond as compadres on one of our many immersion trips.
One of the most beautiful aspects of the Bellarmine brotherhood is the diversity that is an essential component of who we are. Students are able to bring their whole selves to campus. Because they come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, their cultural heritage, language spoken at home, economic background, and life experiences are wonderfully different. A full and meaningful embrace of those differences is part of what makes the brotherhood such a powerful force. Students are able to be themselves, and the student body, as a whole, respects and celebrates that.
Our brand of brotherhood also encourages students to support one another. They cheer on one another's accomplishments, and they support each other socially and academically. The school has a significant and well-developed Big Brother program where juniors and seniors are assigned a group of freshmen they work with throughout the year, from orientation to the Freshman Retreat and beyond. They share their own experiences and help their "little brothers" to feel welcome at the school. Others engage in peer tutoring, where students share their gifts and talents in a particular subject with others who might need more support.
We embrace as one of the aspects of our "Graduate at Graduation" that students will develop leadership skills. Recognizing that many graduates will go on to be leaders in their community, we work to foster leadership within our students through programs like those mentioned above, the Sophomore Overnight Leadership Retreat, student government, and more. In all of these programs, we hope to form servant leaders in the model of Jesus Christ.