Campbellsville University

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Coordinates: 37°20′39″N 85°20′52″W / 37.34417°N 85.34778°W / 37.34417; -85.34778

Campbellsville University
Cu logo.gif
Established 1906
Type Private
Affiliation independent [1]
President Dr. Michael V. Carter
Academic staff
Students 3,200
Location Campbellsville, Kentucky, USA
Colors Maroon and White
Mascot Tigers
Affiliations Mid-South Conference, Appalachian College Association, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities

Campbellsville University, also known as CU, is a private university in Campbellsville, Kentucky, United States. Founded as Russell Creek Academy,[2] a Baptist institution, the university currently enrolls more than 3,000 students and is open to students of all denominations. The university offers associate, bachelor, and master degrees.[3]

In 2010, Campbellsville University was named no. 4 in U.S. News & World Report's list of "up and coming" schools in the South.[4] Campbellsville University has been named last in U.S. News & World Report '​s "Best Colleges" edition in the "Great Schools, Great Prices" category of the "Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the South." CU has been named 22nd in the "Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the South" category. In 2014, the college ended its affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention via terminating their covenant with the Kentucky Baptists.[1]


CU in the Fall

The 80-acre (320,000 m2) campus is situated in the center of Kentucky, about a half mile from downtown Campbellsville, population 9,000. Another portion of the campus, Clay Hill Memorial Forest, is seven miles (11 km) from campus. It is a 135-acre (0.55 km2) educational and research woodland that is being developed by the Division of Natural Science as a regional center for environmental education and research. Also, Green River Lake, a 10,000-acre (40 km2) recreational state park, is just five miles (8 km) from campus.

Since 2002, Campbellsville University has operated an off-site campus in Louisville, Kentucky, which moved to its current location at 2300 Greene Way in Jeffersontown in July 2007.

Campbellsville University also has a satellite campus in Hodgenville in LaRue County, which is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. The branch campus offers adult education, general education classes, and children's programs. The building in Hodgenville is a gift to CU from Freddie Hilpp.[5]


Ransdell Chapel

Campbellsville University was founded in 1906 by the Russell Creek Baptist Association. The president of the university is Michael V. Carter, Ph.D. The immediate past president is Kenneth W. Winters (born 1934), a Republican state senator from District 1 based in Murray in southwestern Kentucky. Before Winters, the president was William Randolph "Randy" Davenport of Campbellsville, who served 1969–1988.

Fuller Harding, an attorney and former state representative from Campbellsville, served on the CU board of trustees for five years. His father, Abel Turner Harding (1881–1966), had been instrumental in raising funds to establish Russell Creek Academy, the forerunner of Campbellsville College.[6]

Forest Shely, a physician in Campbellsville and a 1943 graduate of the former Campbellsville Junior College, served as a trustee of the university for the fifty-six years from 1954 until his death in 2010.[7]


Campbellsville University teams are nicknamed as the Tigers and the official colors are maroon and silver. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Mid-South Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, football, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

The original football program was discontinued in 1937,[8] but the sport returned to CU in 1987 under the direction of coach Ron Finley (1933–2009).[9]

Several CU teams have received national recognition. Zack Flake, a sophomore from West Chester, Ohio, won Campbellsville's first individual national wrestling championship with his title in the 141-pound weight class in wrestling at the NAIA Wrestling National Championships in 2007.[10] The men's basketball team has had three consecutive berths into the NAIA National Basketball tournament, reaching the National Semi-Final in 2008.[11] In 2005, volleyball player Amy Eckenfels was recognized as the NAIA National Libero of the Year. In 2006, she set the all-time national record for career digs with 3,569. The volleyball program advanced to its first-ever NAIA National Volleyball tournament in 2007 by defeating rival Georgetown College in the finals of the Region XI qualifying tournament. Lady Tiger Volleyball advanced to the 2008 NCCAA Final Four but lost to Dallas Baptist to conclude the season with a record of 35-11.[12] CU returned to the NCCAA Volleyball Tournament in 2009, sweeping through the field to win the school's first team national championship in Kissimmee, Florida.

The school's football team plays at Finley Stadium.

School of Music[edit]

The Gosser Fine Arts Center is home to Campbellsville University's School of Music. Housed in this complex are classrooms, practice rooms, faculty studios, offices, a computer lab, a piano lab, an instrumental rehearsal hall, a choral rehearsal hall, and the Gheens Recital Hall.

The Music Library is on the mezzanine level of the Montgomery Library. This collection contains performance videos, CDs, AV listening/viewing stations, musical scores, music reference books, and music periodicals. There is a conducting room in the basement level for music students to videotape practice and conducting assignments.

School of Art[edit]

Next to the Gosser Fine Arts Center is the University's School of Art. Like Gosser, the School of Art main building also has classrooms, and is to have a computer lab for students who want to learn about art. The School also has a Gallery building and the Tessener complex (which has a printing press room and a classroom), that were once houses.

Residence halls[edit]

CU Campus

Nearly half of the students enrolled at CU live on campus.

  • The Residence Village (women)
  • The Residence Village (men)
  • Broadway
  • North Hall
  • South Hall East
  • South Hall West
  • Stapp Hall
  • Campbellsville University Apartments

Notable alumni[edit]

Distance learning[edit]

Through a partnership with The Learning House, Inc., Campbellsville University offers online degree opportunities. Online programs include four associate degree programs: Associate of Science in Business Administration, Associate of Science in Christian Studies, Associate of Science in Criminal Justice, and Associate of Science in General Studies. Graduate programs include master's programs in theology, business administration, counselling, organizational leadership, and social work. Campbellsville University offers an RN to BSN that is designed for nurses looking for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program. The accelerated degree programs are Web-based and allow versatile learning.

Ice Bucket Challenge Accident[edit]

On Friday, August 22, 2014, four fire fighters with the Campbellsville Fire Department were injured while participating in a charity event on campus called the Ice Bucket Challenge.[13] The fire fighters were lifted above the CU Marching Band to spray them with cold water to raise money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when their truck came too close to overhead electrical lines, electrocuting the fire fighters, even though the line was never actually touched.[14] Two of the firefighters suffered relatively minor injuries and were released from Taylor General Hospital. Captain Tony Grider, 41, suffered very serious deep electrical burns; he was taken to Taylor General and subsequently airlifted to the University of Louisville Hospital, at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Firefighter Simon Quinn, 22, also sustained very serious injuries and was transported in the same way. According to Campbellsville's fire and police chiefs, Kyle Smith and Tim Hazlette, respectively, Captain Grider died from complications of his burn injuries about a month later, at noon on Saturday, September 20, 2014, and Mr. Quinn was released from the hospital on Monday, September 15, 2014. The night of the incident, a prayer vigil had been held on Stapp Lawn for the injured fire fighters. When Captain Grider died, Louisville honored him with a crossed-ladder salute from emergency crews on Broadway, an area street.[15][16]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ University Catalog, 2009-2011 edition.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b The Campbellsvillian: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Campbellsville University, May 2009, p. 7
  6. ^ Calen McKinney, "CU Board of Trustees member, Fuller Harding, dies Jan. 10 at 94", The Campbellsvillian, Vol. 8 No. 2 (June 2010), p. 19
  7. ^ Joan C. McKinney, "Campbellsville University Board of Trustee member since 1954, Dr. Forest F. Shely dies," The Campbellsvillian: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Campbellsville University, Vol. 9, No. 2 (November 2010), p. 12
  8. ^ History of Campbellsville University (Prospect, KY: Harmony House, 2005), 159.
  9. ^ "Death of Ron Finley". Central Kentucky News-Journal. Retrieved October 12, 2009. 
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