Press Release:

Bellarmine University is pleased to announce that William E. Mudd, President and COO of Churchill Downs Inc., will be the featured honoree at the 2021 Knight of Knights gala on October 23, 2021, at the Marriott Downtown Louisville.

Bellarmine’s annual Knight of Knights honors Bellarmine’s generous corporate partners, alumni and friends who are members of the university’s most prestigious giving circle, the President’s Society. All proceeds from this event help fund essential student aid and scholarships.

“I am humbled and honored to be given this distinction from my alma mater, an institution to which I am truly devoted,” he said. “As I look back on my civic, corporate and community involvement, my service to Bellarmine is among the most meaningful. My wife, Michelle, and I are committed to supporting this fine university, so that we can ensure the premier liberal arts education we received is available for the bright and hard-working students of tomorrow.”

Mudd, who was appointed Chair of the Bellarmine Board of Trustees in 2017, graduated from Bellarmine in 1993. He received a degree in mathematics and actuarial science and credits Bellarmine’s challenging curriculum, excellent faculty and strong liberal arts foundation with providing him wonderful career opportunities. His wife, Michelle, also graduated from Bellarmine in 1993.

As Chair of the Board of Trustees, Mudd oversaw development of a new strategic plan for the university, the launch of new academic programs, the creation of innovative new strategic partnerships in Louisville, the purchase of the Watterson Medical Center, the university’s transition to NCAA Division I athletics and more.

“I am thrilled to honor Bill Mudd, who is one of our most successful alums and who is passionate about continuing to raise both the profile of Bellarmine and the quality of the student experience,” said Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine’s president. “I am grateful for his key leadership role in guiding our strategic planning process and for making my transition into Bellarmine’s presidency a smooth one.”

Mudd began his career at General Electric, where he held several positions, including CFO of Supply Chain, IT and Technology Finance for GE’s Consumer and Industrial Europe, Middle East and Africa Division, which allowed him to live in Budapest, Hungary. He also served as a captain in the United States Army Reserves for 14 years.

In 2007, he joined Churchill Downs, one of Louisville’s most iconic companies, as Executive Vice President and CFO. He was promoted to President and CFO in 2014 and in 2015 was named President and COO.

Corporate sponsorships are available for this year’s Knight of Knights. For more information, contact Tami Fitzgerald, Director of Development for Annual Fund, at [email protected].

Previous Knight of Knights honorees:

1998: Owsley B. Frazier

1999: Msgr. Alfred F. Horrigan

2000: Bellarmine’s 50th Anniversary

2001: Nolen Allen

2002: James Patterson

2003: Bill Samuels

2004: Allan Lansing

2005: Ed Glasscock

2006: Joe Clayton

2008: Victor Staffieri

2009: Len Spalding

2010: Dr. Joseph J. McGowan

2011: Vision 2020 Celebration

2012: Mike McCallister

2013: Honoring the Bellarmine Student

2014: Angela Mason

2015: Celebrating Bellarmine’s Internationalization

2016: Bradford T. Ray

2017: Presidential Inauguration Gala for Dr. Susan M. Donovan

2018: W. Patrick Mulloy

2019: Susan M. Cameron

2020: 70th Anniversary, celebrating Teaching Excellence