Centre College is an exclusively undergraduate, private liberal arts college located in Danville, Kentucky, with an enrollment of approximately 2,000 students. Centre college maintains its association with the Presbyterian Church, as the church and its leaders played a big role in the founding of the school in 1819.
Centre offers up to 27 majors and 28 minors, but also allows double majors, self-designed majors, and dual-degree engineering programs. For students with dual-degrees, the school coordinates with Columbia University, University of Kentucky, Vanderbilt University, and Washington University. The art department at Centre offers a glassblowing program for interested students. The popular majors are history, Spanish, English, Biology, Sociology and Anthropology.
The college was chartered by the state of Kentucky on January 21, 1819. The name was chosen because of the location of the college, which was geographically the center of the commonwealth. Kentucky’s leaders were members of the Board of Trustees, led by the Commonwealth’s first governor, Isaac Shelby.
Like many colleges at the time, Centre struggled with finances, and territorial disputes between warring factions. Old Centre, the college’s major building, was occupied by both Confederate and Union troops during the Civil War. During its early years, the Centre College Board of Trustees affiliated and merged with many other schools, like the Kentucky School for the Deaf, the Central University in Richmond and Kentucky College for Women. However, Centre remained an all-male institution until 1926. The 1960s saw the growth in the college’s financial resources. In 1988, the alumni participation rate of Centre set a national record of 75.4%.
Centre is known for continuing classes during some federal holidays like Presidents Day, Veterans day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Labor Day. This habit to not cancel classes is a source of pride among students, the institution’s staff, and alumni. Classes are suspended only during extreme conditions, such as the chemical spill on the train tracks near the Greek Houses in 2000, severe snow during 1994 and 1998, during the Great Blizzard of 1978. The college cancelled classes only once during the civil war, during the Battle of Perryville.
Classes are small enough for the professors to address the individual concerns of students and properly facilitate them in maximizing their learning. Students that are determined to finish college early have the support of the school. Many students are able to experience the benefits of study abroad programs, and an internship, and still graduate within four years. Centre takes charge of appropriating passports for their students that have never travelled abroad.
Centre provides a bountiful environment for students to learn from academic and extracurricular activities. Approximately 96 percent of Centre’s students take up residence inside the campus and participate in athletics, volunteer work, civic action groups and academic organizations. Over 100 clubs are listed as active, among which honor societies and sports teams are very popular. Greek communities are in the center of social life at Centre, even with less than 40% of the student body in sororities and fraternities.
A financial aid package would include student loans, grants, work study programs and scholarships. There are many scholarship options for applicants, such as need-based scholarships, merit scholarships, special scholarships for language majors and performing arts students, and athletics-based scholarships. The average debt owed by a Centre student after graduation is $20,000.
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