This Day in History — January 21

Centre - Fall 2006 On January 21st, 1819, Centre College was founded by an act of the Kentucky legislature. The college began its classes in 1820 in a building called Old Centre, which is the oldest college administration building west of the Allegheny Mountains. Old Centre housed a grammar school, a law school, classrooms, a student dormitory, a hospital, a chapel, a dining hall, a library, and administrative offices. It also served as a hospital for soldiers during the Civil War battle of Perryville in 1862, and remains in use today.

Historically, it has been considered an excellent school, prompting President Woodrow Wilson to comment, “There’s a little college down in Kentucky which in 60 years has graduated more men who have acquired prominence and fame than has Princeton in her 150 years.” Centre College has grown exponentially since its founding, and is now ranked the number 13th best institution in the nation among colleges and universities in a 2008 Forbes magazine list.

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