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UK History Encyclopedia

by Frank Stanger

The "University of Kentucky History Encyclopedia" is intended as a compendium of narrative and descriptive essays about persons, places, events, institutions, and ideas relating to the history of the University of Kentucky. The "Encyclopedia" is planned as a cumulative and ongoing research and writing project. Its initial article--on the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862--follows.



Founding: 1865

  • Agricultural & Mechanical College
  • Founding: establishment by Kentucky Legislature
  • Organization
  • Original buildings
  • Kentucky University
  • Founding
  • Organization Relationship to A&M College
  • John Bryan Bowman: biographical

Early history: 1865-1878

  • Kentucky University
  • Denominational and theological quarrels and controversies
  • Financial problems and setbacks
  • Agricultural & Mechanical College
  • John Augustus Williams: biographical
  • Joseph Desha Pickett: biographical
  • James Kennedy Patterson (as Presiding Officer)
  • Important faculty members
  • Curricular development
  • First graduates: William B. and Thomas V. Munson: biographical
  • Separation of A&M College from Kentucky University

Independence: Presidency of James Kennedy Patterson: 1878-1910

  • James Kennedy Patterson: biographical
  • Move to site of City Park/ Fairgrounds
  • Original buildings: (information readily available elsewhere)
  • Initial financial difficulties
  • Faculty members
  • Curriculum
  • Establishment of academic departments
  • Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Establishment
  • Melville A. Scovell (first Director): biographical Normal School
  • Admission of women Lenora Hoeing: first woman admitted to (instruction): biographical
  • Arabella (Belle) Clement Gunn (first woman graduate): biographical Academy
  • Walter Kennedy Patterson (Principal): biographical
  • Student life
  • First social fraternities
  • Manners, mores, social rules and regulations
  • Social life of students
  • Student newspapers
  • State College Cadet The Idea
  • Colleges
  • Agriculture
  • Arts & Sciences
  • Education (as college) "State University, Lexington Kentucky": name change
  • Athletics programs
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Men's basketball
  • Women's basketball Military Science (Cadet) program
  • Marching band
  • Adoption of college colors: blue and white
  • Adoption of mascot: wildcat
  • Buildings erected (information readily available elsewhere)
  • Controversy over public funding of higher education
  • Library
  • Margaret I. King: biographical

Presidency of Henry Stites Barker: 1911-1917

  • Henry Stites Barker: biographical
  • Conflict with Patterson
  • Strengthening of College of Agriculture
  • Establishment of academic departments
  • Education
  • Graduate School
  • Journalism "University of Kentucky": name change
  • Beginnings of Student Government
  • World War I and the campus
  • Beginnings of Kentucky Kernel

Presidency of Frank L. McVey (1917-1940)

  • Frank L. McVey: biographical
  • World War I and the campus
  • University placed on firm academic footing
  • Genesis of many academic departments
  • Recruitment of competent faculty
  • General enhancement of academic standards and programs
  • First PhD. recipients
  • Establishment of Colleges of Education, Commerce
  • Evolution controversy
  • Buildings erected (information readily available elsewhere)
  • Great Depression and the campus
  • [Administrative] Reorganization Act of 1934
  • Library
  • Carnegie Library: institutional development
  • 1931 Library: institutional development
  • Basketball program: increasing prominence
  • Adolph Rupp: biographical

Presidency of Herman L. Donovan (1941-1956)

  • Herman L. Donovan: biographical
  • World War II and the campus
  • Immediate post-war period and the campus
  • Building program
  • Formation of University Press
  • Genesis of Medical Center
  • Genesis of Community College System
  • Establishment of Northern Center
  • Genesis of University Extension
  • Rapid growth of Graduate Program
  • Integration of the University
  • Lyman Johnson: biographical
  • Basketball: increasing prominence
  • SEC, NCAA championships
  • 1952 point-shaving scandal Organization of Alumni Association
  • Donovan Scholars Program
  • Organization of Alumni Association
  • Establishment of College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor Lectureship

Presidency of Frank G. Dickey (1956-1963)

  • Frank G. Dickey: biographical
  • Major increase in enrollment
  • Major physical growth
  • Extensive building and building renovation program
  • Extensive addition of land Medical Center: early years
  • Further genesis of Community College System
  • Establishment of off-campus centers
  • Continued enhancement of academic programs and standards
  • International educational programs
  • Frank Peterson controversy

Presidency of John W. Oswald (1963-1968)

  • John W. Oswald: biographical
  • Centennial celebration
  • Effective establishment of Community College System
  • Improvement in faculty and staff benefits
  • President's Progress Fund
  • Physical expansion and renovation
  • Grants to aid research and teaching
  • Acceleration of research
  • Effective beginning of Donovan Scholars Program
  • Student participation in University governance
  • First student member of Board of Trustees
  • Origins of development, as organized program
  • Hiring of first full-time fundraiser
  • Free Speech controversy
  • Academic reform
  • Establishment of revolving departmental chairmanships
  • Change from quarter to semester system

Presidency of Albert D. Kirwan (1968-1969)

  • Albert D. Kirwan: biographical
  • Improved relations between University and public, alumni, state government
  • Peacemaking role
  • Physical expansion and renovation
  • Student protest
  • Caretaker presidency

Presidency of Otis A. Singletary (1969-1987)

  • Otis A. Singletary: biographical
  • Relations with other state-supported universities
  • University of Louisville merger proposal
  • Student protest and unrest
  • Code of Student Conduct
  • Establishment of Center on Aging
  • Private funding emphasized
  • Establishment of Gaines Center for the Humanities
  • Establishment of Honors Program
  • Buildings erected (information readily available elsewhere)
  • Administrative reorganization
  • Growth of Library (2,000,000th volume)
  • Establishment of Markey Cancer Center
  • Establishment of Equine Research Center
  • Establishment of Robotics Center
  • Growth of Development Program
  • General enhancement of research
  • Free Speech controversy
  • First Five-Year Plan

Presidency of David P. Roselle (1987-1989)

  • David P. Roselle: biographical
  • Budget shortfall and general conflict with Governor and State Legislature
  • Basketball
  • 1988 scandal and NCAA investigation
  • Cliff Hagan
  • Eddie Sutton
  • Rick Pitino Information technology emphasized and updated
  • Enhancement of research

Presidency of Charles T. Wethington (1990-2001)

  • Charles T. Wethington: biographical
  • First comprehensive Capital Campaign
  • Separation of Community College System from University system
  • Revision of method of selecting Board of Trustees members
  • Enhancement of research
  • Coldstream Farm developed as research campus
  • Kentucky Education Reform Act: origins in College of Education
  • Construction and opening of William T. Young Library
  • Administration Building fire
  • NCAA basketball championships (!996, 1998)
  • Football recruiting scandal

Presidency of Lee T. Todd (2001- )

A list (by no means comprehensive) of persons suggested for inclusion in the encyclopedia, in addition to those mentioned in the Outline, follows:

  • Albright, A. (Arnold) D.
  • Anderson, F. Paul
  • Barnhart, Charles
  • Betts, Raymond F.
  • Blanding, Sarah G.
  • Blazer family
  • Bosomworth, Peter
  • Boyd, Paul P
  • Briggs, Wallace N.
  • Bryant, Paul ("Bear")
  • Bryant, T. (Thomson) R.
  • Chamberlain, Leo
  • Chambers, John Sharpe
  • Claiborne, Jerry
  • Clark, Thomas D.
  • Cone, Carl B.
  • Cooper, Thomas Poe
  • Erikson, Statie
  • Evans, Alvin
  • Forth, Stuart
  • Frazee, David
  • Funkhouser, William D.
  • Gaines, John R.
  • Ginger, Lyman
  • Graham, James Hiram
  • Grehan, Enoch
  • Hall, Jack
  • Hamilton, Anna J.
  • Haselden, Jane
  • Hatch, John
  • Holmes, Sarah Bennett
  • Kastle, Joseph Hoeing
  • Kinkead, William B.
  • Lafferty, William T.
  • Lampert, Carl
  • Lewis, Mildred
  • Lipscomb, William Nunn
  • Little, Lucille Caudill
  • McFarland, Arthur J.
  • McKenna, Marion
  • McVey, Frances Jewell
  • Miller, Arthur M.
  • Morgan, Thomas Hunt
  • Mulligan, James Henry
  • Nunn, Louie B.
  • Patrick, Wellington
  • Patterson, Walter Kennedy
  • Peal, W. Hugh
  • Peter, Alfred M.
  • Peter, Robert
  • Pryor, J (Joseph) W.
  • Rannells, Edward W.
  • Seward, Doris
  • Shackelford, John, Jr.
  • Slone, Earl P.
  • Stahr, Elvis J.
  • Stoll, Richard C.
  • Sulzer, Elmer
  • Taylor, William S.
  • Terrell, Daniel V.
  • Thompson, Lawrence S.
  • Welch, Frank
  • Wetzel, Harold
  • White, James Garrard
  • White, Martin M.
  • Wilkinson, Doris
  • Willard, William R.
  • Willis, Paul
  • Young, William T.
  • Zinser, Elizabeth

Our Mission

Special Collections Research Center is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, the John G. Heyburn Center for Judicial Excellence, and the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center.

SCRC collects,preserves, and provides access to materials documenting the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Materials are acquired regardless of format and include both primary and secondary sources; Kentuckiana is collected comprehensively. SCRC maintains the University Archives and records management program for all records generated by the University and serves as its archival repository for permanent records. SCRC advances and supports the research, teaching, and scholarship of the University and beyond by preserving and providing access to its holdings.

Associate Dean Deirdre A. Scaggs

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