Eastern Kentucky University
|Motto||Where Students and Learning Come First|
|Endowment||$54.1 million (2020)|
|Provost||Dr. Sara Zeigler|
|Colors||Maroon and White|
Eastern Kentucky University (Eastern or EKU) is a public university in Richmond, Kentucky. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It maintains branch campuses in Corbin, Hazard, Lancaster, and Manchester and offers more than 40 online undergraduate and graduate options.
Central University was founded in 1874 on the present site of Eastern Kentucky University. In 1901, beset with financial difficulties and small enrollment, Central University agreed to consolidation with Centre College. The Kentucky General Assembly of 1906 enacted legislation establishing the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School No. 1. The legislation was signed into law by the governor on March 21, 1906. On May 7, 1906, the Normal School Commission selected the site of the former Central University campus to be the location of the new school. In 1922 it became a four-year institution and changed its name to the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School and Teachers College, awarding its first degrees under that name in 1925. The school received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1928; then, two years later, in 1930, it changed its name again to the Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College. Eastern added graduate studies in 1935, and thirteen years later, in 1948, the General Assembly removed the word "Teachers" from the school's name, and granted it the right to award nonprofessional degrees. It was not until 1966 that the school was officially renamed Eastern Kentucky University. In 2010, the university awarded its first doctoral degree—in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. EKU continues to serve its service region by offering adult degree completion options and online degree programs in addition to its traditional on-campus offerings.
The years since 2012 have been marked by a significant building campaign that has altered the campus layout and improved aesthetics. Funding for the multimillion dollar project has relied heavily on public-private partnerships (P3) under the leadership of then-President Michael T. Benson. The recent construction efforts at the university mark the most significant period of campus facility development since President Robert R. Martin's tenure in the 1960s. Among the renovations and additions are:
- Powell Student Center (2019–20)
- New Rec Center (2019–20)
- Case Dining Hall (2018)
- New Science Building (Phase II) (2017)
- New Earle Combs Stadium (Baseball Field) (2017)
- New Gertrude Hood Stadium (Softball Field) (2017)
- Carloftis Garden (2017)
- New Martin Hall (2017)
- North Hall (previously known as New Hall B) (2017)
- Scholar House (2017)
- Parking Garage (2017)
- Turner Gate (2016)
- John Grant Crabbe Main Library's Noel Reading Porch (2015)
- Lancaster Avenue Pedway (2015/2017)
- Hummel Planetarium upgrades (2015)
- 1971 Verdin Carillon bells (Keen Johnson Building) (2014)
- New Hall 2013
- New Science Building (Phase I) (2012)
Eastern Kentucky University has achieved national recognition, including mostly recently by the U.S. News & World Report 2021 Rankings:
- #51 (tie) in Regional Universities South (76th in 2019)
- #29 Best Graduate School – Occupational Therapy (29th in 2019)
- #166 (tie) Best Graduate School – Public Affairs (166th in 2019)
- #189 Best Graduate School – Speech-Language Pathology (163rd in 2019)
- #58 (tie) Best Online Bachelor's Programs (99th in 2019)
- #32 Best Colleges for Veterans
- #641 Top Colleges (637 in 2017 and 647 in 2018)
- #248 in Public Colleges (249 in 2017 and 250 in 2018)
- #160 in the South (172 in 2017 and 167 in 2018)
In 1987, the faculty senate voted to approve an honors program to attract high-achieving students primarily from Kentucky. The board of regents subsequently approved the proposal on Saturday, January 16, 1988. The first 34 students entered the program beginning in the fall semester of 1988 under the direction of Dr. Bonnie Gray, a professor of philosophy who was appointed by then-president Funderburk in April of that year. Dr. Gray retired in 2008, having served as the well-respected director of the program for 20 years. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and capped by a senior thesis project. Students who successfully complete all program requirements receive the "Honors Scholar" designation on their diplomas.
Each year the honors program sends the largest delegation to the annual National Collegiate Honors Council Conference, where students present their research. Additionally, students in the program have received awards, including the Fulbright. Truman, Mitchell, and Phi Kappa Phi. In 2020, the program consisted of five full-time staff and approximately 496 students.
More than 230 registered student organizations are active on campus.
Student Government Association
The Student Government Association is the formal student governing body of the university. It was founded in 1954, with Ron Coffman serving as its first president and only consisted of a Student Council. In addition to the Student Council, which became the Student Senate in 1971, the SGA now has a Student Court, Executive Branch, and Student Activities Council which all act as independent branches of the government. Additionally, an Advisory Board of University employees provides advice and oversight. The association controls thousands of dollars in student money through an IT fund, RSO fund, diversity grant, and other sources. Every student enrolled in classes at the university is considered a member and able to vote in elections for Student Senators, the President, the Executive Vice President, and the Vice President of Student Activities.
|North American Interfraternity Conference||National Pan-Hellenic Council||National Panhellenic Conference||National Pan-Hellenic Council|
|Alpha Tau Omega||Alpha Phi Alpha||Alpha Delta Pi||Alpha Kappa Alpha|
|Beta Theta Pi||Iota Phi Theta||Alpha Gamma Delta||Delta Sigma Theta|
|Kappa Alpha Order||Omega Psi Phi||Alpha Omicron Pi||Zeta Phi Beta|
|Kappa Sigma (former NIC member)||Phi Beta Sigma||Chi Omega|
|Lambda Chi Alpha (former NIC member)||Delta Zeta|
|Phi Delta Theta (former NIC member)||Kappa Alpha Theta|
|Phi Kappa Tau||Kappa Delta|
|Pi Kappa Alpha|
|Tau Kappa Epsilon (former NIC member)|
Referred to as the "Maroons" until the mid-1960s, the Eastern Colonels competed in the NCAA's Division I (Football Championship Subdivision in football) in the Ohio Valley Conference until the end of the 2020-21 season.. The Colonels will move to the ASUN Conference in July 2021; at that time, the football team joined the Western Athletic Conference until the ASUN launches its own football league, most likely in 2022.
The school is best known for its Football Championship Subdivision football team, which has captured 22 OVC conference titles and two Division I-AA National Championships in 1979 and 1982. Much of the success came during the long tenure of head coach Roy Kidd from 1964 to 2002. Kidd, with a career coaching record of 314-124-8, is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Now led by first-year coach Walt Wells, the Colonels returned to the national FCS playoffs in 2011.
The men's and women's cross country team has also been a staple of success over the recent decade. The men's team has won all ten of the last ten OVC Championships, and the women have won nine of the last ten. In 2011 the men's cross country team qualified for NCAA National Cross Country Meet for the first time in school history. Since 2011, the team has qualified for the NCAA National Cross Country Meet five consecutive times.
Among EKU's most prominent traditions is the rubbing of Daniel Boone's left foot for good luck; the statue features prominently in front of the Keen Johnson Building.
The statue features prominently in front of the Keen Johnson Building. More recently, former President Benson initiated the Welcome Walk at the beginning of the fall semester; first year students gather in front of Keen Johnson Building with the President before walking along University Drive and passing through the new Turner Gate.
The Eastern Progress
The Eastern Progress, also known as The EP began in February 1922 and serves as the official student newspaper.
Founded on October 7, 1968, WEKU (88.9 FM) is a National Public Radio-affiliated station owned by Eastern Kentucky University. It primarily features NPR news and talk programming, along with Kentucky/Folk music on the weekends. WEKU operates 8 satellite stations including WEKP (90.1 FM) in Pineville, WEKH (90.9 FM) in Hazard, WEKF (88.5 FM) in Corbin and five translators in Middlesboro (102.5 FM, W273AY), Barbourville (96.9 FM, W245AS), Pikeville (95.1 FM, W251AI), Frankfort (106.7 FM, W294BG) and Harlan (96.3 FM, W242BR).
- Josh Anderson – (baseball) center fielder, Cincinnati Reds
- Yeremiah Bell – (football) retired, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals
- Eula Bingham – noted occupational health scientist
- Elmo Boyd – (football) wide receiver, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers
- Chad Bratzke – (football) defensive end, New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts
- Dwight Butler – member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 18th District
- John "Bam" Carney – educator/coach; member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 51st District
- Wally Chambers – (football) defensive tackle, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winner of the 1973 Defensive NFL Rookie of the Year Award
- Sam Champion – weather editor/anchor for "Good Morning America" and ABC News; former weather forecaster for WABC-TV
- Tom Colbert – first African-American Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice (M.Ed.)
- Earle Combs – (baseball) former New York Yankee teammate of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Danny Copeland – (football) defensive back, Washington Redskins. Starter on the Redskins Super Bowl XXVI champions. Currently a motivational speaker in Meigs, Georgia.
- Dale Dawson – (football) placekicker; Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, and Green Bay Packers
- Jessamyn Duke – professional Mixed Martial Artist formally for the UFC
- Jason Dunn – (football) veteran tight end, Kansas City Chiefs
- Alecia Webb-Edgington – former executive director, Kentucky Office of Homeland Security; member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 63rd District
- George Floyd – (football) defensive back, New York Jets Member of the College Football Hall of Fame
- Danny Ford – House Republican Whip, member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 80th District
- Christian Friedrich – (baseball) starting pitcher, Colorado Rockies
- Myron Guyton – (football) defensive back, New York Giants and New England Patriots. Starter on Giants Super Bowl XXV champions. Currently a successful businessman in suburban Atlanta.
- Ole Hesselbjerg – 2016 Rio Summer Olympian
- Silas House – American writer best known for his novels.
- Carl Hurley – noted humorist and motivational speaker; former EKU professor.
- Chris Isaac – (football) CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie Award in 1982
- John Jackson – (football) former NFL tackle (171st person in NFL history to play in at least 200 games)
- Aaron Jones – (football) former NFL defensive end
- Roy Kidd – (football/baseball) eighth winningest coach in college football history, two-time NCAA National Champion (1979 and 1982). Member of the College Football Hall of Fame
- Kim King – member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 55th House District
- Laura Kirkpatrick – runner up of America's Next Top Model Cycle 13
- Homer Ledford – bluegrass musician and member of the Cabin Creek Band
- Lee Majors – (attended as Harvey Yeary) Six Million Dollar Man, The Fall Guy (1962, History/Physical Education)
- Antwaun Molden – (football) 3rd-round (79th overall) pick of the Houston Texans in 2008 NFL Draft
- Virgil Moore - former member of the Kentucky State Senate
- Dan Patrick – gained fame as co-host of ESPN's SportsCenter, attended EKU for two years on a basketball scholarship.
- Steve Pence – former Lieutenant Governor and Justice Secretary of Kentucky
- Dallas Robinson the state of Kentucky's sole Army Veteran and Olympian from the 2014 Olympics; Sochi Russia. He was a Team USA athlete for six years, two with the USA Rugby team and four with the USA Bobsled team. In 2008 he was ranked 1st in the USA & World in the 55m dash, indoor track and field. EKU school record holder & Hall of Fame Inductee. Also a Hall of Fame inducted High School Track and Field Coach.
- Rex Ryan – Former NFL Coach.
- Thaksin Shinawatra – former Prime Minister of Thailand (1975, M.S. in criminal justice)
- Garfield Smith – (basketball) former NBA and ABA player
- Teddy Taylor – (football) The 1969 Milestone Outstanding Athlete, Teddy Taylor earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors in 1967, 1968 and 1969. The two-time All-American served as a team captain during his senior season. Taylor, a four-year letterwinner, was also named to the OVC All-Time Team. A member of the “E” and HYPER Clubs as a collegian, Taylor has been involved with the University’s Alumni Association and the Worn Cleat Club during his professional life. The 2003 inductee into the Harrison County High School Hall of Fame is a member of the American Football Coaches Association and the Kentucky High School Athletics Association. He is the Minority Director of the Kentucky Education Association. Teddy earned 1978 Southeastern Kentucky Football Conference Coach of the Year honors. His dedication to the community is evident in his involvement in a mentoring program for single mothers. He has mentored six young men as well as being involved in his community’s Little League. Teddy currently coaches, works, and mentors at Madison Central High School. He was inducted into the EKU Hall of Fame in 2006, and was named "Man of the Year" for Richmond, KY in 2013.
- Ken Upchurch – member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from District 52 in Wayne County
- Corey Walden - professional basketball player, 2019 Israeli Basketball Premier League MVP
- Crystal Wilkinson – writer, poet, educator, and winner of 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence
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- EKU Visual Identity (PDF). EKU. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
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- Eastern Kentucky University, EKU Undergraduate Catalog. 2007–2008. pg 6
- "Finish Your Degree – Eastern Kentucky University". eku.edu.
- Barker, Ricki (August 18, 2017). "Eastern continues to expand its 'campus beautiful'". Richmond Register. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
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- Eads, Morgan (January 17, 2017). "EKU pedway reopens months after being damaged in crash". Lexington Herald Leader. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
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- Marsee, Mike (January 21, 1988). "Honors program endorsed by board". The Eastern Progress. Retrieved December 18, 2016 – via EKU Encompass.
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- "Big E Welcome Schedule | First-Year Experience | Eastern Kentucky University". firstyear.eku.edu. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
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