Eastern Kentucky University

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Eastern Kentucky University
Motto "Get wisdom, get understanding"
Type Public
Established 1906[1]
Endowment $54.1 million[2]
President Michael T. Benson
Academic staff
697 full-time[3]
Students 16,515 (Fall 2015)
Undergraduates 14,376 (Fall 2015)[3]
Postgraduates 2,139 (Fall 2015) [3]
Location , ,
Campus 892 acres (3.61 km2)
Colors Maroon and White[4]
Sporting affiliations
Ohio Valley Conference
Mascot The Colonel[5]
Website www.eku.edu

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Eastern Kentucky University, commonly referred to as Eastern or by the acronym EKU, is an undergraduate and graduate teaching and research institution located in Richmond, Kentucky, United States. EKU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).[6] It maintains six regional campuses in Corbin, Hazard, Somerset, Danville, Lancaster,and Manchester; and offers more than 40 online undergraduate and graduate options.[7][8]


The University Building, EKU's oldest building, was inherited from Central University.

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.[1][9] 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.[8][10]


Roark Building, home to EKU's Department of Geosciences.

Eastern comprises five academic colleges, The Graduate School, as well as the John Grant Crabbe Library, and offers more than 160 degree programs at the associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels.[3]


  • College of Arts and Science
  • College of Business and Technology
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Education
  • College of Justice and Safety


  • John Grant Crabbe Library
  • Business Library and Academic Commons (Located within the Business & Technology Complex)
  • Music Library Branch (Located within the Foster Building)

Programs of distinction

EKU is the only college or university nationwide that can claim all the following "Points of Pride":

  • Top tier of regional universities in the South, 2011 and 2012 editions of "Best Colleges," published by U.S. News Media Group. Criteria include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving.
  • Ranked among "America's Best Colleges" for four consecutive years by Forbes magazine. Because Forbes recognizes 650 undergraduate institutions among the approximately 6,600 accredited postsecondary institutions nationwide, this ranking essentially places Eastern among the top 10 percent of colleges and universities in the U.S. Forbes bases its rankings on quality of teaching, career prospects, graduation rates and levels of debt.
  • No. 1 and No. 2 national rankings in 2010 and 2011, respectively, in "Best for Vets" rankings published by Military Times EDGE magazine.
  • Recognition from G.I. Jobs magazine each of the last four years as a Military Friendly School. In 2010, EKU unveiled Operation Veteran Success, a series of initiatives designed to make the university even more veteran-helpful. Also, Eastern is one of only 14 universities nationwide to participate in the Pat Tillman Military Scholars Program.
  • Recognition from the Carnegie Foundation for its engagement with the community and region. Only approximately 230 colleges and universities were honored.
  • Among 10 large four-year colleges and universities nationwide, and the only large institution in Kentucky, to make the Honor Roll in the Chronicle of Higher Education's 2011 Great Colleges to Work For program. Among four-year colleges and universities with enrollment of at least 10,000, EKU earned recognition in 11 of 12 possible categories, the most of any large four-year institution. The categories are: Professional/Career Development Programs, Teaching Environment, Tenure Clarity and Process, Facilities/Workspace/Security, Work/Life Balance, Compensation/Benefits, Job Satisfaction, Respect/Appreciation, Collaborative Governance, Confidence in Senior Leadership and Supervisor or Department Chair Relationship. (The previous year, EKU earned Honor Roll distinction with recognition in five categories.) [11]

Additionally, the master's degree program in Occupational Therapy was ranked 24th in the country in the magazine's recently published "America's Best Graduate Schools 2009" edition.[12]

Enrollment statistics

Enrollment map for EKU, Fall 2010
Top counties for enrollment, Fall 2013 [3]
EKU's service region includes parts of Eastern and South Central Kentucky
Student Body Profile[3]
  • Average Freshman ACT Score: 21.1
  • Percent women: 56%
  • Percent men: 44%
  • Percent White non Hispanic: 77%
  • Percent Black: 15%
  • Percent Asian or Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Percent Hispanic: 2%
  • Percent of other or multi races: 5%
Enrollment by campus, Fall 2010
  • Total enrollment for all campuses: 16,567
  • Main Campus (Richmond): 14,520
  • Corbin Campus: 950
  • Danville Campus: 553
  • Manchester Campus: 294


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Referred to as the "Maroons" until the mid-1960s, Eastern's sports teams are known as the "Colonels." They compete in the NCAA's Division I (Football Championship Subdivision in football) in the Ohio Valley Conference.

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 Coach Dean Hood, the Colonels returned to the national FCS playoffs in 2011.

Roy Kidd Stadium - Home of EKU's football team.

The EKU men's basketball team won the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship and its automatic bid to the NCAA basketball tournament in 2005, 2007, and 2014.

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.

Student life

More than 150 Registered Student Organizations are active on campus, including Greek chapters, political organizations, Student Government Association, and dozens of others. Organizations as diverse as the EKU BassMasters, EKU Kendo Club and the EKU Anime Club routinely hold events, programs, and fundraisers.

File:EKU KeenJohnson.jpg
Keen Johnson Building.

Eastern also has many traditions associated with its student life. Amongst others, "Powell Corner" is a common area bordered by the Powell Student Center, the Keen Johnson Building and Case Residence Hall where students have gathered in between classes for decades. Formerly known as "Horny Corner" and still called so by alumni for the flirtatious conversations that often occur there, The Corner has remained a central gathering spot throughout Eastern's history. Typically, one wishing to get the attention of the student body as a whole will turn towards The Corner to hang a home-made banner from the rails of the Powell Student Center, decorate the area with side walk chalk, or even stand atop one of the many benches or a planter box to exclaim their message.

Mozart's Grave is the tomb of Eastern's unofficial campus mascot from the mid-1960s, and is marked with a gravestone located behind the amphitheater stage in an area of campus known as The Ravine. A mutt who used to roam campus freely, Mozart was a beloved campus pet and could often be found sleeping under the desk of then-president Robert Martin or lying on the edge of the amphitheater stage during musical performances, a tendency that earned him his name.

Greek life


National Panhellenic Conference:

National Pan-Hellenic Council:


North-American Interfraternity Conference:

National Pan-Hellenic Council:

Service Fraternities:

Local Service Sorority:

  • Kappa Delta Tau

Honorary Fraternities and Sororities

Earth Sciences Honor Society

Business Fraternity

Firefighting Fraternity

  • Chi Beta Tau

Music Fraternities:

Presidents of Eastern Kentucky University

Notable alumni

Notable athletic alumni


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  5. EKUsports.com http://www.ekusports.com/article.asp?articleid=72556
  6. SACS http://www.sacscoc.org/searchResults.asp
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  9. Eastern Kentucky University, EKU Undergraduate Catalog. 2007-2008. pg 6
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  12. http://www.prm.eku.edu/ekunews/?article=850
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External links

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