Students learning in an outdoor classroom

Values & History

快播电影鈥檚 mission is to prepare students for lives of learning, leadership, and service

The adoption of the strategic plan by the 快播电影 Board of Trustees in 2022 marked the beginning of a new focus for the College鈥檚 future. In addition to the implementation of the plan鈥檚 particular initiatives and the monitoring of progress, the planning process has included the continuing reassessment of the individual initiatives and of the goals themselves, based on changing conditions within the College and in the broader external environment.

Strategic Plan


Statement of Community

We pledge continuing efforts to build and strengthen a community enriched by our differences and founded upon our common humanity. 快播电影 respects the right of all members of the community to express their individuality in a manner that is consistent with the dignity and welfare of others. 快播电影 strives to create an environment where differences are celebrated rather than discouraged, where individuals have the opportunity to exchange ideas and share in the richness of mutual experience. By valuing the individual鈥檚 total character over any single characteristic, 快播电影 will maintain its unique community.

Learn More About Life at 快播电影


Statement of Diversity

As the body entrusted with the overall governance and stewardship of 快播电影, the Board of Trustees pledges continuing efforts to build and strengthen a community enriched by the differences of its members and founded upon our common humanity. We also affirm that the values of diversity and inclusion are critical to the fulfillment of the mission of higher education in general, and 快播电影 in particular. To that end, we welcome into the 快播电影 community individuals of different backgrounds, viewpoints, races, faith traditions, nationalities, sexual orientations, and experiences. These differences enrich our search for truth, our understanding of our fellow human beings, and make each of us more effective leaders and actors in this world. Because 快播电影 honors the American ideals of access and social mobility through education, we are committed to not only welcoming into the 快播电影 community persons who have traditionally been underrepresented, but also fostering their full participation in the community. Further, we are dedicated to creating a college community known for its honesty, strength, compassion, and commitment to the greater good.

We Trustees hold this to be true for all parts of the 快播电影 community: The Board of Trustees, the faculty, the staff, and the student body. Pertaining to the Board of Trustees itself, we affirm that diversity and inclusion are critical to the Board鈥檚 effectiveness in leading the College. Thus, as the Board exercises its responsibility to select the best and the brightest individuals to serve as trustees, we recognize that diversity in its membership is an essential priority. In addition, the Board will endeavor to set policies, identify resources, and encourage sound practices designed to achieve diversity among the faculty, staff, and the student body.

Non-Discrimination Statement

As a fundamental policy and in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other applicable non-discrimination laws, 快播电影 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, veteran鈥檚 status, or genetic information in the administration of any of its education or employment policies. 快播电影 hires and promotes its employees and admits its students on the basis of merit, qualification, and character.

Diversity at 快播电影


Services for the Disabled

快播电影 is committed to fostering respect for the diversity of the College community and the individual rights of each member of that community. In this spirit, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and expanded by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 快播电影 seeks to provide disabled students with the support services and other reasonable accommodations needed to ensure equal access to the programs and activities of the College.

Student Support



快播电影 is committed to sustainability, environmentally friendly practices, and energy conservation. From student organizations to the President鈥檚 Climate Commitment Advisory Committee (PCCC), members of the 快播电影 community are united in their desire to reduce their environmental footprint. The College is currently involved in recycling and energy reduction initiatives, greenhouse gas mitigation policies and programs, and construction projects that result in beautifully functional, environmentally friendly buildings.

More About Sustainability



Historical collage of 快播电影 buildings on campus

快播电影 History

Instruction began in Old 快播电影鈥攖he College鈥檚 first building鈥攊n the fall of 1820, with a faculty of two and a student body of five. Classes followed the classical curriculum of the day, including Latin, Greek, rhetoric, and logic. Construction on Old 快播电影 began in 1819 and was completed in 1820 at a cost of $8,000. It was designed to hold up to 400 students in the College and also a grammar school. It has been used continuously since 快播电影鈥檚 beginning and today houses administrative offices as well as meeting rooms and the Admission Office鈥檚 reception area for prospective students. Despite early financial hardships, disputes within and outside of the Presbyterian Church, and several wars (including the occupation of Old 快播电影 by both Confederate and Union troops during the Civil War), 快播电影 has remained open and committed to its educational mission since its founding.


A Present Enriched by the Past

快播电影 was founded by Presbyterian leaders and officially chartered by the Kentucky Legislature on January 21, 1819. The name reflects the College鈥檚 location in the geographic center of Kentucky; British spellings were common at the time.

The roots of the College lie deep in the history of the region. Eighteenth-century Presbyterians, eager for an educated clergy and educated people to teach their children, began laying the groundwork for the establishment of a college in what was then the Kentucky County of Virginia. At the same time, the Revolutionary War was being fought and the region west of the Allegheny Mountains was being settled out of wilderness. In 1780, the Virginia Assembly set aside 8,000 acres of land for this 鈥渟eminary of learning.鈥 Three years later, a board of trustees met at John Crow鈥檚 Station to organize the school. Instruction began at the Transylvania Seminary near Danville in 1785. But the seminary fell on hard financial times. Unable to raise proper funding in the small community of Danville, the trustees moved the school to the larger settlement of Lexington in 1789. By 1794, the founding group of Presbyterians, alarmed by what it viewed as secular philosophies invading public institutions, moved to establish a more Christian school near Pisgah, Kentucky. The Kentucky Academy opened in 1795, funded by donations from the faithful. George Washington and John Adams gave $100 each to the new school, and Aaron Burr donated $50. By 1819, the Presbyterians began to realize that they had again lost control of their institution and its board of trustees. Once more they petitioned the Kentucky Legislature for a charter, and 快播电影 was established.

The legislature placed some of Kentucky鈥檚 most important citizens in charge of 快播电影 as its first board of trustees. Isaac Shelby, the state鈥檚 first governor, was chair of 快播电影鈥檚 board. Dr. Ephraim McDowell, a Danville resident who 10 years earlier had made medical history by performing the first successful abdominal operation, was also on the board. (These two leaders shared family connections in addition to civic responsibilities, as Dr. McDowell was married to Governor Shelby鈥檚 oldest daughter, Sarah.) The struggle between the Presbyterians and others who were eager for a more public institution of higher education continued beyond 快播电影鈥檚 opening one year later. While the Kentucky Legislature gave complete control of the College鈥檚 board to the Presbyterians in 1824, it added an amendment stating that 鈥渢he College shall at all times be conducted on liberal, free, and enlightened principles, and no student shall be excluded in consequence of his religious opinions, or those of his parents, guardians, or relatives.鈥 Today the College maintains its affiliation with the Presbyterian Church but welcomes students, faculty, and staff of all faiths.

While the first 10 years of 快播电影鈥檚 history was a period of preparation and planning, its second phase, from 1830 to 1857, was an era of consolidation and growth. Dr. John C. Young, 快播电影鈥檚 president during the later period, found 鈥渢he College without reputation, without endowment, without students鈥. But, he was young, hopeful, and earnest,鈥 according to Dr. Ormond Beatty, who served as 快播电影 president from 1870 to 1888. Dr. Young鈥檚 qualities and the support of loyal alumni and friends of the College helped 快播电影 advance under his presidency. 鈥淏efore his death, Dr. Young saw a permanent fund of $100,000 provided for the support of the school,鈥 Beatty noted. This occurred along with additions to the curriculum, enlargement of the faculty, and a fivefold increase in the student body. Under Dr. Young鈥檚 tenure, 快播电影 advanced to a position among the highest-ranking colleges in America.

Founded primarily as an institution devoted to training young men for the ministry, 快播电影 has changed throughout its history to keep pace with the educational demands of a growing region and nation. The Kentucky School for the Deaf, also in Danville, was founded in 1824 as the first state-supported institution for the deaf, and in its early years was controlled by 快播电影鈥檚 board. From the 1890s until 1912, a law school was operated at 快播电影 with J. Procter Knott, a former Kentucky governor, as its dean. In 1901, the Central University at Richmond was consolidated with 快播电影. Danville鈥檚 Kentucky College for Women merged with 快播电影 in 1926, becoming the 鈥渨oman鈥檚 department鈥 of the College. The department maintained a separate campus until the early 1960s the women moved to the main campus.

During the early and mid-20th century, many of the educational resources of Kentucky and the nation were committed to the establishment and expansion of state-supported land-grant universities. These institutions were often vocationally oriented. But 快播电影 remained steadfast in its mission of providing superior education in the liberal arts tradition. 快播电影鈥檚 image as a tiny school capable of startlingly large achievements was enhanced in this period by its 1921 football victory over Harvard, then ranked No. 1. In a 1971 article marking the game鈥檚 50th anniversary, the New York Times called it 鈥淔ootball鈥檚 Upset of the Century.鈥 At 快播电影, the game is recalled simply by its score: C6-H0. During the 1960s, a period of explosive growth in American higher education, the College鈥檚 financial resources doubled. Eleven new buildings were added to the campus, the enrollment increased from 450 to around 800, and the faculty was enlarged. Integration came to 快播电影 in 1962, with the arrival of Timothy Kusi 鈥65, a slightly older student from Ghana. In 1964 快播电影 enrolled its first integrated freshman class: 214 white students and three African Americans鈥擲haron Gill Gaskins 鈥68, Joyce Cross Marks 鈥68, and Jim Davis 鈥68鈥攚ho all graduated four years later. The latter part of the 20th century brought continued recognition of 快播电影鈥檚 academic excellence. In 1971, the National Council of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at 快播电影, and 快播电影 continues to be the only private institution in Kentucky to have a chapter of the nation鈥檚 oldest and most prestigious honor society. In the 1990s, U.S. News and World Report listed 快播电影 among the 25 national liberal arts colleges that are 鈥渢ops in teaching鈥 and added 快播电影 to its list of 鈥渢op-tier鈥 national colleges. 快播电影 established its first residential study abroad program in London, England, in the fall of 1990. Other programs soon followed in Strasbourg, France, and Merida, Mexico.

Throughout its long history, 快播电影 has been supported and enhanced by its alumni, who have taken positions of prominence and usefulness in a variety of fields. 快播电影 alumni include two U.S. vice presidents, one Chief Justice of the United States, an associate justice of the Supreme Court, and at least 13 U.S. senators, 43 U.S. representatives, and 11 state governors. Other 快播电影 alumni have been and are leaders in a variety of fields, including teaching, business, medicine, law, and journalism. 快播电影 alumni are widely known as the most loyal in the nation, for years leading all of America鈥檚 colleges and universities in the percentage who give financial support each year. In 1997, 快播电影 completed a capital campaign that raised more than $76 million.

In 2000, 快播电影 made history as the smallest institution ever to host a General Election debate when the two vice presidential candidates, Sen. Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney, faced one another in the College鈥檚 Norton Center for the Arts. CBS news anchor Dan Rather later described the debate at 快播电影 as 鈥渢he best vice presidential debate ever held.鈥 In 2012, 快播电影 again hosted the nation鈥檚 only vice presidential debate, between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan. 鈥淭hey aced it in 2000,鈥 said Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, after the 2012 debate, 鈥渁nd this year was even better.鈥 The Campaign for A More Perfect 快播电影 raised nearly $170 million by the time it concluded in December 2007. And a thriving international studies program attracts about 85 percent of all 快播电影 students.

As the College heads toward its bicentennial in 2019, it continues to thrive and grow, with enrollment in fall 2016 numbering about 1,400 and the faculty about 135. The first Posse students arrived from Boston in 2006. The first Grissom Scholars, first-generation college students awarded a highly competitive scholarship, arrived in 2015. The first Lincoln Scholars, who possess 鈥渢he capacity and deep desire to change the world,鈥 arrived in 2016. By the fall of 2016, about 19 percent of students from the United States were students of color. Approximately six percent were international students.

In 2016, the campus includes approximately 178 acres. Many of our buildings are new or newly renovated. Brockman Residential Commons opened in August of 2012. A $21 million addition and renovation to Young Hall, one of two science buildings, opened in 2010. The new Campus Center opened in 2009. A state-of-the art residence hall, Pearl Hall, opened in fall 2008 and was dedicated in 2009. A multi-million-dollar project to expand, renovate, and unify Crounse Hall/Grace Doherty Library (the primary academic building on campus) and Sutcliffe Hall (the primary athletic facility) was dedicated in the fall of 2005. The current Third Century campaign seeks to raise $200 million by the time it concludes January 21, 2019, the 200th anniversary of 快播电影鈥檚 founding.

快播电影 and its people have had much to be proud of and thankful for in the past: outstanding leaders who demonstrated a consistent preference for quality over quantity, generations of devoted teachers and students, and an exceptionally successful body of alumni. But equally important among these qualities is a sense of connection with the past, giving added meaning to the present and providing inspiration for this tradition to be continued in the future.