FRANKFORT – For 135 years, Kentucky State University has provided access to education to help students go onward, move upward and advance forward.
Kentucky State’s three academic colleges offer more than 800 courses, leading to careers in science, education, medicine, business and more.
Renowned programs such as aquaculture, computer science or the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, the first of its kind at an HBCU, help enable productive lives within the diverse global economy.
As 2021 is Kentucky State’s 135th anniversary, the University is celebrating in a big way.
After navigating the effects of a global pandemic for the last year to deliver access to education, Kentucky State University has more reasons than ever to celebrate its 135th anniversary as an institution of higher education.
The pinnacle of the celebration was a panel of some of Kentucky State University’s living past presidents, moderated by KET’s Renee Shaw. Past interim president Dr. Aaron Thompson provided introductions for current president, Dr. M. Christopher Brown II; past president Dr. Mary Evans Sias and past president Raymond M. Burse. Dr. William H. Turner provided words for the occasion. Author Dr. John A. Hardin spoke about his recently released book, “The Pursuit of Excellence: Kentucky State University, 1886-2020.”
Hardin’s book examines the University’s history from its early days when it was an idea to the high-water marks and present-day achievements that propel the institution forward. The book carries readers through each name change of the institution, from the first days as the State Normal School for Colored Persons with three teachers and 55 students to today’s Kentucky State University with 160 faculty and 2,300 students.
The panel discussion covered a broad range of topics including what each president considers his or her greatest accomplishment at Kentucky State; the challenges of being a president in higher education; the importance of working with political leaders; fundraising; the legacy of Rufus Ballard Atwood; and the future of Kentucky State.
Another part of the 135th anniversary celebration is a new partnership with the iconic Kentucky soda brand, Ale-8-One Bottling Company. Ale-8-One, local producer of Kentucky’s original ginger and citrus soft drink sold in their signature green glass bottles, is also celebrating its 95th anniversary this year. Kentucky State and Ale-8-One will highlight the partnership with a series of collaborations throughout the year.
Special recognitions at Founder’s Day and Homecoming and Homecoming will recognize the anniversary, as well as the 135th Green and Gold Gala.
From its modest beginnings as a small normal school for the training of African American teachers, Kentucky State University has grown into a land-grant and liberal arts institution that prepares a diverse student population to compete in a multifaceted, ever-changing global society.
Today, Kentucky State University is led by its 18th president, Dr. M. Christopher Brown II. It is a public institution with an enrollment of approximately 2,300 students and 160 full-time faculty members. The University’s diverse mix of faculty, staff, and students has made Kentucky State the most diverse public institution in the Commonwealth, and among the most diverse nationwide.
ABOUT KENTUCKY STATE UNIVERSITY
Kentucky State University is a public, comprehensive, historically Black land-grant university committed to advancing the Commonwealth of Kentucky, enhancing society, and impacting individuals by providing quality teaching with a foundation in liberal studies, scholarly research, and public service to enable productive lives within the diverse global economy.