By Eric W. Fruge ‘75

1832 diplomaIt’s disheartening to watch. Fortunately it’s not an everyday occurrence, but the frequency is discouraging and the losses are profound. We’re talking about rare items from the College’s history that appear on eBay. They often fill in valuable blanks in our institutional history.

Take these following examples:

The first is an 1832 parchment diploma, from the first cache of the school’s graduates. It was found by an antique dealer in a box at a garage sale in Florida and put up on eBay. It bears the signatures of the College’s first sitting president and faculty. Thankfully, we were alerted and were able to successfully bid on it.

The second is a scrapbook cataloguing the journey of the freshman class of 1916 through its graduation in 1920. It’s filled with photos and irreplaceable mementos from a by-gone era. Put on eBay by another antiques dealer, again we survived a costly bidding scramble to secure it.

However, other items have been lost: A copy of the 1830 inaugural address of the college’s first president, Joel Smith Bacon, records of histories and speeches delivered in the nineteenth century, scores of memorabilia, and who knows what other items of which we’re unaware.

If you have inherited or possess items from the College’s past, please don’t sell or give them to an antique dealer. Call the College first. We’re ready to discuss fair market value if you wish to sell them.

If you possess something but do not wish to donate or sell it to the College, would you consider allowing our staff to photograph and make a digital record of it? Please help us preserve your alma mater’s history!

If you would have a Georgetown College “treasure” you’d like to tell me about, please call (502) 863-7987. Or e-mail me at

The mailing address is:

Eric W. Fruge
Institutional Advancement
Georgetown College
400 E. College Street
Georgetown, KY 40324