The vision statement of Georgetown College is as follows: Georgetown College … an innovative community of scholars developing ethical scholars committed to our heritage of Christian discernment.
What do these words mean? First, Georgetown College is a community in which peoples of diverse backgrounds and experiences live and work in harmony with one another, simultaneously celebrating our uniqueness and our common bonds. Adaptable to and embracing change, this community seeks to draw on its innovative and creative energies to meet present opportunities and future challenges. The College‚Äôs sole reason for existence lies in its mission to develop ethical scholars, tomorrow‚Äôs leaders who are ably equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. Participants in the Georgetown College experience are a part of a heritage that extends back over two centuries on this site and has touched lives throughout the world. Being Christian in content and manner allows us to pursue the truth freely, with clear discernment that all claims to possession of the truth by persons and groups should be subjected to the highest standards of inquiry.
Georgetown College is a small, residential, co-educational liberal arts college distinguished by a combination of respected, rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs, an array of opportunities for involvement and leadership, a commitment to Christian values and its distinctive heritage. This provides an environment for intellectual, spiritual and social growth. Through a broad undergraduate program, the curriculum offers a foundation for shaping informed thought and action in order to prepare students for their place in society. Georgetown College seeks persons committed to supporting its mission and to realizing their full potential in this community of learners.
In fulfilling its mission, Georgetown College strives to:
Georgetown College‚Äôs commitment to its mission demands careful monitoring of progress toward achieving these goals. Students and other members of the campus community are expected to participate in various assessment activities. Information gathered from this process will enable the College to enhance its educational programs and services for future generations.
On January 15, 1829, an act of the thirty-seventh General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky approved the incorporation of the Trustees of the Kentucky Baptist Education Society. The trustees established Georgetown College, the first Baptist college west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Although chartered in 1829, Georgetown College‚Äôs heritage may be traced to 1787 when Elijah Craig, a Baptist minister and businessman from Virginia, opened a classical school in Georgetown, originally named Lebanon. The Royal Springs Academy gave way to the Rittenhouse Academy a decade later after that institution was transferred from a western Kentucky frontier site to what is now the northwestern quarter of the College‚Äôs campus.
The College officially opened on January 1, 1830, as an institution affiliated with the Baptist leadership of Kentucky and supported by interested citizens of Scott County and Georgetown. The College‚Äôs liberal arts tradition was firmly entrenched within a decade due to the vision of President Howard Malcom. Faculty and students labored together outside the classroom as well. Joint building projects on campus and in the community resulted in the completion of Pawling Hall and Georgetown Baptist Church.
The early faculty and administration of Georgetown came from the leading educational institutions of the day in the United States and abroad. In those formative years, a blend of northeastern influence with southern tradition was emerging; students from Maine to Louisiana traveled to Georgetown by 1845, and international students first arrived in 1852. Early graduates found places of service and leadership as lawyers, physicians, businessmen, and teachers; the ministry attracted a third of the student body due to the incorporation of the Western Baptist Theological Seminary in 1858.
Following a brief, four month closure in mid-1861, Georgetown College resumed operation and eventually survived the tumultuous Civil War with no damage to buildings as students consistently made it through the shifting battle lines. Shortly after the war, Georgetown possessed the only men‚Äôs college, seminary, and female seminary in operation by Southern Baptists. This attracted Basil Manly, co-founder of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the first President of the Baptist Sunday School Board, as the College‚Äôs ninth president. He led the significant curriculum revision to a more elective system than in pre-war days. The first B.A. and B.S. degrees under this new plan were conferred in 1873, while the first M.A. degree was granted five years later. Since 1884, coeducational classes have been offered on campus; this was among the earliest such programs in the South, and became a fixture following the 1892 merger with Georgetown Female Seminary.
The decade that opened the twentieth century was highlighted by the first Rho-des Scholar from Georgetown College, who received the recognition in 1904. Continuing to and beyond World War I, growth resulted in expansion of the College‚Äôs physical plant, enhancement of its curricular offerings, and a substantial increase in enrollment and faculty. Kentucky‚Äôs first forensics society (1921) and oldest drama group, the Maskrafters (1924), reside at Georgetown College. As much of the country was withdrawing from international involvement, the College established Kentucky‚Äôs first International Relations Club (1922), which facilitated faculty and student foreign exchange and study.
From 1924 to 1934, Georgetown College produced more graduates who joined the ranks of the nation‚Äôs scientists than any other college in the Commonwealth. In 1942, Georgetown College formalized an agreement with the Kentucky Baptist Convention giving up rights to a self-perpetuating board of trustees in exchange for annual financial support. Following World War II, unparalleled enrollment growth and improvements in physical facilities were hallmarks of the College‚Äôs progress. A prime example of this latter commitment was construction of John L. Hill Chapel in the late 1940‚Äôs, replacing an earlier structure lost to fire. In the mid-1950‚Äôs, Georgetown students began to receive Fulbright Scholarships for overseas study. A Master of Arts Degree, balancing the liberal arts with professional education, was established in 1957. Continued growth and expansion under the leadership of President Robert L. Mills characterized the 1960‚Äôs and 1970‚Äôs, providing the physical resources for a truly residential campus.
The historic purposes of Georgetown College have remained essentially the same throughout its long existence and now into the twenty-first century: to foster the discovery and critical appraisal of knowledge, and to promote the understanding and communication of ethical and spiritual values. Among the College‚Äôs 15,000 alumni are five Rhodes Scholars, 41 college and university presidents, a one-time advisor to the President of the United States, U.S. Congressmen, leading scientists and corporate decision-makers, and a multitude of lawyers, doctors, musicians and artists, educators, and ministers.
In November, 2005, Georgetown restructured its ministry partnership with the Kentucky Baptist Convention reestablishing a self-perpetuating board of trustees while maintaining historic ties to programs designed to retain its Baptist heritage. Besides the joint funding for a campus minister position, for example, students continue to be eligible for scholarships provided by Kentucky Baptist Foundation and churches can designate contributions to the College through the state convention or directly via a Christian Scholars Fund.
Dr. William H. Crouch, Jr., became the 23rd President of Georgetown College in August, 1991. Earlier presidents and their years of service include:
Today, Georgetown College is home to more than 1,900 students representing twenty-nine states and twelve foreign countries. The College is nationally recognized for its superb faculty, challenging curriculum, rich traditions, and high ideals. Recent and growing recognition among a variety of national listings and foundations attest to the enhanced perception of Georgetown College from a number of sectors. The College is identified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Baccalaureate-Liberal Arts institution. With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, the College is dedicated to academic excellence within a Christian environment. Students at Georgetown are provided with opportunities for intellectual, spiritual, cultural, social, emotional, and physical growth. Within the framework of the Christian faith, the Georgetown academic experience is complemented by meaningful student life activities and a variety of cultural events.
The city of Georgetown, sister city to Tahara-Cho, Japan, and a historic com-munity of almost 20,000, is one of the fastest growing cities in the Common-wealth. Anchored by The Kentucky Horse Park and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc., both within five miles of the campus, a variety of area attractions and resources are readily available. Within the Greater Lexington Metropolitan Area, the College is easily accessible by air (at the Lexington, Louisville, or Greater Cincinnati airports) or ground (Interstates 64 and 75) transportation, and is convenient to many major cities in the East, Midwest, and South.
Georgetown College is situated on 104 gently rolling acres of beautiful Kentucky Bluegrass, punctuated by an Arboretum and varieties of trees which dramatically highlight the seasons. The campus has three antebellum buildings: Giddings Hall(administrative, development, and public relations offices), Pawling Hall (faculty offices and classrooms), and Highbaugh Hall (registrar and business offices.) Twelve additional buildings house various academic, administrative, and student activities and organizations.
The Asher Science Center houses offices and classrooms, laboratories, a computer lab, seminar rooms, a planetarium, and a green house. The Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Building houses offices and classrooms, studios, computer graphic facilities, portions of the College‚Äôs art collection, and a gallery. The Anna Ashcraft Ensor Learning Resource Center contains print and non-print materials, media collections, the Writing Center, a computer lab, a gourmet coffee shop, and an art gallery. The George H. W. Bush Center for Fitness includes a gymnasium, weight and game rooms and a room to house the Athletic Hall of Fame. The Cralle Student Center contains the offices for Student Life and the Student Government Association, dining services, the campus grille, bookstore, Porter Leadership Center, and radio station. Reid-Davis Alumni Gymnasium seats 1,500 for athletic events and contains areas for intramurals, fitness, and racquetball. The College‚Äôs primary chapel/auditorium, Campus Ministry office, student publications, classrooms, and offices are located in John L. Hill Chapel. Nunnelley Music Building, the Lab Theatre, Cooke Memorial, and the Business Administration/Economics Building complement the College‚Äôs academic physical plant. The McCandless House contains the office for International Studies and the Marshall Center for Christian Ministry. Two residence halls, Anderson and Knight, are located just north of the academic commons, while the south campus area is the setting for 10 small residence halls, accommodating between 48 and 86 students each. On the East Campus, the College has four apartment-style residential buildings housing up to 32 students each, a Leadership and Conference Center and attractive athletic facilities.
Georgetown College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. ¬†Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Georgetown College.
It is accredited by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board for initial and advanced level educator preparation programs. Its affiliations include the American Council of Education, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Kentucky Independent College Foundation, the Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, and the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools. Additionally, faculty and staff are affiliated with a number of regional, national and international professional organizations.
In compliance with federal law, including provisions of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Georgetown College does not discriminate, either in the admission of students or in the administration of any of its educational policies, programs, or activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran/reserve/National Guard status. Inquiries regarding compliance with these laws should be directed to the Office of the Provost.