Founders Day -Humanities

Equip students to understand, assess, and communicate to their full potential

Goal: 7,000

Humanities: English, History, & Languages

Language creates community, and community creates language. – Dr. Nancy Llewellyn, Chair of Languages Department

It seems appropriate that the Humanities, as cornerstones of Benedictine liberal arts education, make their home in the very first administrative and educational buildings on Belmont Abbey’s campus, built with the bricks our first monks formed from local clay. 

Moreover, today’s BAC Humanities show vigorous signs of new growth! English, History, and Foreign Language Department leadership all have exciting plans to enrich the Abbey’s already nationally recognized undergraduate educational experience, and you can join them. Your gift today helps to cultivate tomorrow’s critical thinkers and communicators, not only equipping them with the requisite skills to excel in their chosen professions, but also encouraging them to embrace the True, the Good, and the Beautiful as lifelong learners.


The English Department hosts more core classes than any other program on campus. Exploring literature and the English language, students develop as thinkers and writers, engaging across genres and eras with what it means to be human and how we make sense of experiential reality through narrative, verse, drama, and informational texts. In English classes, students participate in the ongoing conversations that inform cultural and personal values, negotiating the relationships between form and content, signifier and sign.

Thanks to your generosity to last year’s Founders’ Day Campaign, Dr. Farrell O’Gorman’s English Department provided enrichment and networking experiences for students: sponsoring several to attend the Conference on Christianity and Literature in Fall 2021 and providing academic awards to help defray registration and travel costs for those accepted to present their work at the English Honor Society Conference in Denver.

This year, your contribution responds to even greater needs. Your gift to English this Founders’ Day will:

  • Facilitate course development to answer the growing student demand for writing courses and possible Writing Major
  • Provide matchless study abroad opportunities for exceptional students
  • Fund writing contests for prospective students in local and diocesan schools
  • Send English and Writing students to further conferences, including the Conference on the Catholic Literary Imagination


Belmont Abbey’s History Department offers a type of context critical to understanding, not only who we are as a culture, but also how human agency and human societies have understood themselves, their past, and their relationships to each other. History provides a deeper understanding of how and why we pursued the good and express the meaning of community, leadership, and identity. 

Last year’s Founders’ Day funds enabled BAC History to host the national Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society conference, at which students Katalina Lopez and Angela Harris ultimately received awards for the scholarship they presented. Your generosity also helped to fund a talk on the Digital Humanities, an upcoming lecture celebrating the centenary of Irish President Eamon De Valera’s 1920 visit to Charlotte, and a department-wide field trip to the Revolutionary War Battlefield at King’s Mountain. 

This year, you can expand the History Department’s enrichment opportunities, enabling Dr. Patrick Wadden and his fellow department faculty to sponsor and provide lectures, conferences, and experiential learning opportunities for students throughout the Humanities. 


Through its established minor and increasingly interdisciplinary offerings, the newly independent Foreign Language Department embodies the value of Humanities in particularly important ways. Dr. Nancy Llewellyn – who recently returned from a Latin-speaking conference in Poland, where she and three seminarians communicated with fellow Latinists from all over the world – pointed out that learning a foreign language contributes to human development even if a student never reaches fluency. 

Cultivating “awareness by an experience of the full reality and validity of other languages” and cultures, foreign language courses not only improve communication skills and help develop essential learning strategies, but they also expand human empathy. Studying another language, I grow more articulate, certainly, but I also enrich my capacity to receive the gift of another person’s understanding. I gain the set of skills and information I need to live as a free citizen in a free society.

Your support this Founders’ Day opens new possibilities for this rapidly growing department. You can help to:

  • Fund the necessary staffing and course development to meet both individual and community needs
  • Enrich students’ ongoing, liberal arts education
  • Expand support for departments across the campus, including Criminal Justice, Business, Nursing, and the Honors College

Support the Humanities at Belmont Abbey College

Your support addresses the needs of these dynamic and essential Departments, creating not only enrichment opportunities, but also vital curricular expansion, across the Humanities. 

Moreover, supporting BAC Humanities supports all students, who develop foundational skills in their core classes. All majors, vocations, and careers benefit from robust Humanities, which help to cultivate in all of us the capacities to think critically, to communicate, and to practice excellence and virtue in community.  

And, as a special thank you for a donation of $25 or more during the Founders’ Day Challenge, we will send you a Tiny Saint Benedict keychain as well as a bracelet featuring Saint Benedict’s medal.

Recent Donations

“Now that I am in the graduate program of my dreams, I find myself thinking of Belmont Abbey’s English department all the time. These professors went above and beyond for me when I was a student, and their support did not end after I graduated! I wish I could give back a fraction of the good gifts Belmont Abbey’s English department bestowed on me as a student as well as an alum.”

Bethany Gareis ’20

“The primary principle of modern medicine is “treat the person, not the disease” and the Honors College has prepared me to do just that. In four years of diving into the Great Books I was constantly shown the beauty, strength, and intelligence of the human person in the form of great works and explorations of the greatest questions. This recognition of the person as spiritual, intelligent, and worthy of respect is as essential to good philosophy and art as it is to clinical care of patients. This is to say nothing of the hard work and logical thinking that I learned from working through the Great Books with my friends and professors at the Abbey.”

Patrick Means '22

Patrick Means ’22

“As a current 1L in Law School, I am able to say that my history degree equipped me with the quick, profound deductive reasoning skills that you need in law school. The approach and considerations to critically analyzing a document in the law is very similar to the approach as a historian. As a result, the expertise from the history department allowed for my confident and smooth transition into law school.”

Madeleine Kortsch

Madeleine Kortsch