CENTRE COLLEGE

A Place of Large Advantages

Centre College: A Place of Large Advantages 2018-06-15T17:19:34+00:00

The Norton Center will celebrate Centre’s bicentennial with an exhibition of historic photographs drawn from the Centre archives. The exhibition will be on display throughout the spring and fall terms of 2019. The photographs will include scenes not only from Centre since receiving its charter from the state legislature on January 21, 1819, but also from Kentucky College for Women and the Kentucky School for the Deaf, two local institutions with close historic ties to the College. The exhibition additionally will feature some remarkable artifacts from the collection, such as architectural blueprints, 19th-century diploma seals from Centre and KCW, and student newspapers handwritten and illustrated during the Civil War.

Centre’s bicentennial commemoration officially begins with the Founders Day Convocation held on January 16, 2019, and runs through the grand finale on Homecoming Weekend, October 11-12, 2019. For details please visit centre.edu/200.

The Norton Center will celebrate Centre’s bicentennial with an exhibition of historic photographs drawn from the Centre archives. The exhibition will be on display throughout the spring and fall terms of 2019. The photographs will include scenes not only from Centre since receiving its charter from the state legislature on January 21, 1819, but also from Kentucky College for Women and the Kentucky School for the Deaf, two local institutions with close historic ties to the College. The exhibition additionally will feature some remarkable artifacts from the collection, such as architectural blueprints, 19th-century diploma seals from Centre and KCW, and student newspapers handwritten and illustrated during the Civil War.

The roots of the College lie deep in the history of the region. Local Presbyterians, realizing that they had lost control of their religious institutions and board of trustees, petitioned the Kentucky Legislature for a charter, and Centre College was established. Instruction began in Old Centre—the College’s first building—in the fall of 1820, with a faculty of two and a student body of five. Though founded primarily as an institution devoted to training young men for the ministry, Centre 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 Centre’s board. From the 1890s until 1912, a law school was operated at Centre with J. Procter Knott, a former Kentucky governor, as its dean. In 1901, the Central University at Richmond was consolidated with Centre. Danville’s Kentucky College for Women merged with Centre in 1926, becoming the “woman’s department” of the College. The department maintained a separate campus until the early 1960s when the women moved to the main campus. Since then the college has been celebrated for its accomplishments including “Football’s Upset of the Century” defeating Harvard in 1921 and the esteemed honor of hosting the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate within the walls of our beloved Norton Center for the Arts.

Despite early financial hardships, disputes within and outside of the Presbyterian Church, and several wars (including the occupation of Old Centre by both Confederate and Union troops during the Civil War), Centre has remained open and committed to its educational mission since its founding.

CENTRE COLLEGE: A PLACE OF LARGE ADVANTAGES
January – December 2019 

This exhibit is free and open to the public 9 am – 4 pm Monday through Friday, as well as by appointment and when the Norton Center is open for concerts and related activities.