xt7ksn011p3r https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7ksn011p3r/data/mets.xml Lexington, Kentucky University of Kentucky Alumni Association 2015 journals  English University of Kentucky Alumni Association Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky alumnus Kentucky Alumni, Sesquicentennial Edition, 2015 text Kentucky Alumni, Sesquicentennial Edition, 2015 2015 2015 true xt7ksn011p3r section xt7ksn011p3r * Sesquicentennial Edition


Rose Street

Maxwell Street


* 1857 Pictorial Map of Lexington

1 Woodlands, later the site of A&M College
2 Floral hall, fair grounds and city park, later the site of UK
3 UK Alumni Association site today



4 Presidential Conversation

12 Our presidents

7 University of Kentucky Committee
Sesquicentennial Steering

history of the
14 A pictorial of Kentucky

8 Overview of the history of the University of Kentucky

54 Founders Week 2015

* Pride In Blue

Celebrating 150 years of excellence
It’s with great pride
that we bring you this
very special issue of Kentucky Alumni magazine
celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the University of
As I sat in the audience
of the Sesquicentennial
Convocation on Feb. 23, I
couldn’t help but think about all the people — students, faculty,
staff and alumni — who have been a part of shaping this great
university. It’s astounding, really, when you think about it.
e one thing that can’t be defeated is time. However, we can
persevere, learn and reach once unimaginable heights. at is
certainly what the University of Kentucky has done over the
span of 150 years. It’s quite a story — one I hope you will enjoy.
is issue is a pictorial telling of UK’s story. From the visionary thinking of John Bowman that got it all started to the cutting-edge research being done every day on our campus, we
attempted to capture the spirit and tradition that is the University of Kentucky. Of course, it’s an impossible task to include
everything in this issue, but I think we have done a pretty good
job of mixing iconic photos with some images you might be
seeing for the first time. Each one reflects a piece of our rich
history. We are able to share these images because of the wonderful job the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center does in archiving the history of our university.
While the university is celebrating 150 years, the UK Alumni
Association celebrated its 125th anniversary last year. At the request of President James K. Patterson, Joseph H. “Little Joe”
Kastle arranged a meeting with 16 of the 56 known graduates of
the State College of Kentucky to organize the Association of
State College Alumni. e meeting took place in the hall of the
Union Literary Society on June 4, 1889, and Dr. Alfred M.
Peter was named the first president. e rest, as they say, is history. Be sure to check out a wonderful photo of a young Alfred
Peter sitting on his father’s lap on page 17. I think it’s one of the
most endearing photos in this issue. While our alumni have certainly changed, as has the way we communicate with them, one
thing remains the same — our mission to engage alumni and to
support the University of Kentucky. Something else that hasn’t
changed? Our Wildcat spirit.
Beginning with William B. Munson, the very first graduate of
A&M College, to the nearly 5,000 new alumni now graduating

each year, University of Kentucky alumni have impacted the
world for 150 years and will continue to do so. e impact is far
reaching, from local communities to our global community.
If you are member of the UK Alumni Association, you are
very familiar with Kentucky Alumni magazine. Our quarterly publication is a main benefit for our dues-paying members. is exclusive publication keeps our members informed
and up to date about University of Kentucky activities,
achievements, athletic events and the success of fellow
alumni. When President Eli Capilouto formed the UK
Sesquicentennial Committee in 2011 to prepare for celebrating UK’s 150th anniversary, an Alumni Subcommittee
was formed and chaired by Stan Key, director of Alumni Affairs and executive director of the UK Alumni Association.
e Alumni Subcommittee wanted a way to share the celebration of the history of our beloved university with every
UK alum. To achieve that goal, it was decided that the best
way to do this was through the publication of an extra issue
of Kentucky Alumni magazine — one that would bring the
storied history of the university to life through photos.
anks to the generous and gracious support from Don and
Mira Ball for the project, we are able to share a keepsake of
the history of the University of Kentucky with thousands of
alumni and friends.
e “publications committee” as we deemed ourselves, was
a true campus collaboration. e committee consisted of
Paula Pope, Office of Development; Deirdre Scaggs, Libraries; Kathy Johnson and Whitney Hale, Public Relations
and Marketing; along with Linda Perry, Jeff Hounshell and
me from the alumni association staff. Our bimonthly meetings soon became weekly meetings as the process moved forward. I enjoyed every meeting! It was amazing to hear all the
stories and anecdotes that you won’t find in any archive. It
was a wonderful way for me, personally, to learn so much
more about the university that we love.
I hope you enjoy this very special issue as much as we enjoy
sharing it with you. I hope it becomes a keepsake of this exciting time in the history of the University of Kentucky. Here’s
to the next 150 years!
With Pride in Blue,

Kelli Elam ’11

To see information and photos om Founders Week celebration, including Frank X Walker’s poem
in honor of the 150th anniversary, visit www.uky.edu/uk150


Sesquicentennial Edition

* How To Reach Us

University of Kentucky
Alumni Magazine
Vol.86 Sesquicentennial Edition
Kentucky Alumni (ISSN 732-6297) is
published quarterly by the University of
Kentucky Alumni Association, Lexington,
Kentucky for its dues-paying members.
© 2015 University of Kentucky Alumni
Association, except where noted. Views and
opinions expressed in Kentucky Alumni do
not necessarily represent the opinions of its
editors, the UK Alumni Association nor the
University of Kentucky.

Association Staff

Kentucky Alumni
UK Alumni Association
King Alumni House
Lexington, KY 40506-0119
Telephone: 859-257-8905
Fax: 859-323-1063
E-mail: ukalumni@uky.edu

Publisher/Executive Director: Stan Key ’72
Editor/Associate Director: Kelli Elam ’11
Managing Editor: Linda Perry ’84
Senior Graphic Designer: Jeff Hounshell
Publications Production Assistant: Hal Morris

Kelly R. Allgeier ’08: Alumni Career Counselor
Brenda Bain: Records Data Entry Operator
Linda Brumfield: Account Clerk III
Sara-Elizabeth Bush ’13: Program Coordinator
Nancy Culp: Administrative Services Assistant
Caroline Francis ’88, ’93, ’02: Alumni Career Counselor
Update Your Record
Leslie Hayes: Membership and Marketing Specialist
UK Alumni Association
Kelly V. Hinkel ’11: Staff Support Associate I
King Alumni House
John Hoagland ’89: Associate Director
Lexington, KY 40506-0119
Diana Horn ’70, ’71: Principal Accountant
Telephone: 859-257-8800
Albert Kalim ’03: Webmaster
Fax: 859-323-1063
Randall Morgan: IS Tech Support
E-mail: ukalumni@uky.edu
Katie Murphy: Membership Specialist
Brenda Riddle: Membership Specialist
Web: www.ukalumni.net
For duplicate mailings, please send both Ashley Ritchie: Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Darlene Simpson: Senior Data Entry Operator
mailing labels to the address above.
Jill Smith ’05, ’11: Associate Director
Alyssa ornton ’11: Program Coordinator
Member of the Council for Advancement
Loraine Verrette: Staff Support Associate I
and Support of Education
Frances White: Data Entry Operator

Board of Directors
Elaine A. Wilson ’68 SW - President
David B. Ratterman ’68 EN - President-elect
Peggy S. Meszaros ’72 ED - Treasurer
Stan R. Key ’72 ED - Secretary
Michelle Leigh Allen ’06 ’10 BE
Jeffrey L. Ashley ’89 CI
Lisa G. Atkinson ’92 CI
William G. Bacon Jr. ’82 MED
Trudy Webb Banta ’63 ’65 ED
Brian R. Bergman ’85 ’ 86 EN
Heath F. Bowling ’95 BE
Jeffrey J. Brock ’83 SCC, ’84 BE
Michael L. Brown ’72 BE
Mark W. Browning ’80 AS, ’84 LAW
Emmett “Buzz” Burnam ’74 ED
John S. Cain, ’86 BE
Shane T. Carlin, ’95 AFE
Rebecca F. Caudill ’72 ’76 ED
Dr. Michael A. Christian ’76 AS, ’80 DE
Judith G. Clabes ’67 AS
Elizabeth Cox ’69 AS
D. Michael Coyle ’62 BE, ’65 LAW
Bruce E. Danhauer ’77 AFE
Ruth C. Day ’85 BE
Eugene L. DuBow, ’53 AS
Philip D. Elder, ’86 AFE
Abra Endsley ’98 ’01 CI
Linda L. Frye ’60 AS
Robert Michael Gray, ’80 ’81 BE
Wallace E. Herndon Jr. ’67 BE
Derrick C. Hord ’83 CI
Ann Nelson Hurst ’80 BE
Lee A. Jackson ’70 SCC, ’73 AS
Patricia Wykstra Johnson ’68 AS, ’70 ED
Jim Keenan ’90 BE, ’93 LAW
Shelia M. Key ’91 PHA
Turner LaMaster ’73 BE
omas K. Mathews, ’93 AS
James D. McCain ’81 BE
Herbert A. Miller Jr. ’72 AS, ’76 LAW
Ashley S. “Tip” Mixson III, ’80 BE
Sherry R. Moak ’81 BE
Susan P. Mountjoy ’72 ED
Susan V. Mustian ’84 BE

Hannah M. Myers ’93 ED
Kimberly Parks ’01 BE
Quintissa S. Peake ’04 CI
Nicholas C. Phelps, ’08 BE
Chad D. Polk ’94 DES
James A. Richardson ’70 AS, ’72 ED
David A. Rodgers ’80 EN
Charlene K. Rouse ’77 DES
Philip Schardein, ’02 BE
Mary L. Shelman ’81 EN
Marian Moore Sims ’72 ’76 ED
J. Fritz Skeen ’72 ’73 BE
George B. Spragens ’93 BE
Mary Kekee Szorcsik ’72 BE
Reese S. Terry Jr. ’64 ’66 EN
Craig M. Wallace ’79 EN
Rachel Watts Webb ’05 CI
Lori E. Wells ’96 BE
Crystal M. Williams ’97 BE
Amelia B. Wilson ’03 AFE, ’06 ’11 ED

Alumni Trustees
Cammie DeShields Grant ’77 LCC, ’79 ED
Kelly Sullivan Holland ’93 AS, ’98 ED
Terry B. Mobley ’65 ED
Katie Eiserman ’01 ED - Athletics
omas W. Harris ’85 AS - University Relations
D. Michael Richey ’74 ’79 AFE - Development
Bobby C. Whitaker ’58 CI - Honorary
Mariel Bridges Jackson - Student Government Association
Vacant - University Senate

Past Presidents
George L. Atkins Jr. ’63 BE
eodore B. Bates ’52 AFE
Richard A. Bean ’69 BE
Michael A. Burleson ’74 PHA
Bruce K. Davis ’71 LAW
Scott E. Davis ’73 BE
Marianne Smith Edge ’77 AFE
Franklin H. Farris Jr. ’72 BE
At Large
Dr. Paul E. Fenwick ’52 AFE
R. Price Atkinson ’97 CI
William G. Francis ’68 AS, ’73 LAW
Jo Hern Curris ’63 AS, ’75 LAW
W. P. Friedrich ’71 EN
Antoine Huffman ’05 CI
Dan Gipson ’69 EN
Matt Minner ’93 AS
Brenda B. Gosney ’70 HS, ’75 ED
Will Nash ’06 AS
Cammie DeShields Grant ’77 LCC, ’79 ED
Jane C. Pickering, ’74 ED
John R. Guthrie ’63 CI
Ann B. Haney ’71 AS
Diane M. Massie ’79 CI
Michelle McDonald ’84 AFE, ’92 ED - Agriculture
Robert E. Miller
P. J. Williams ’91 AS - Arts & Sciences
John C. Nichols II ’53 BE
James B. Bryant ’67 BE - Business & Economics
Dr. George A. Ochs IV ’74 DE
Jeremy L. Jarvi ’02 CI - Communication & Information Sandra Bugie Patterson ’68 AS
Dr. Clifford J. Lowdenback ’99 AS, ’03 DE - Dentistry
Robert F. Pickard ’57 ’61 EN
Lu Ann Holmes ’79 DES - Design
Paula L. Pope ’73 ’75 ED
Martha Elizabeth Randolph ’83 BE, ’87 ’92 ED - Education G. David Ravencra ’59 BE
Taunya Phillips ’87 EN, ’04 BE - Engineering
William Schuetze ’72 LAW
Tony R. Rollins ’97 FA - Fine Arts
David L. Shelton ’66 BE
Barbara R. Sanders ’72 AS, ’76 ED - Health Sciences
J. Tim Skinner ’80 DES
Christy Trout ’02 LAW - Law
James W. Stuckert ’60 EN, ’61 BE
Dr. Emery R. Wilson ’68 ’72 MED - Medicine
Julia K. Tackett ’68 AS, ’71 LAW
Patricia K. Howard ’83 ’90 ’04 NUR - Nursing
Hank B. ompson Jr. ’71 CI
Lynn Harrelson ’73 PHA - Pharmacy
Myra L. Tobin ’62 AFE
Jennifer L. Knight ’03 ’10 PH - Public Health
J. omas Tucker ’56 BE
Willis K. Bright Jr. ’66 SW - Social Work
Henry Wilhoit Jr. ’60 LAW
Richard M. Womack ’53 AFE



* Presidential Conversation
A special time for our university
e university was a European invention. It was for the wealthy
and the well-to-do. But land-grant universities were birthed with
a revolutionary idea. ey were to be for the common man, and,
today, for men and women of all colors and backgrounds.
In February 1865, amid the still smoldering embers of the Civil
War, John Bryan Bowman advocated for a public university in
Lexington. ough located in the Bluegrass, the Agriculture and
Mechanical College of Kentucky University would go on to
serve the better interests of the entire Commonwealth.
Championed by Bowman, the Morrill Act and Kentucky’s
enabling legislation that established what would become the
University of Kentucky challenged us to, “…teach such
branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanical arts, including military tactics, without excluding
other scientific and classical studies, in order to promote the
liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in several pursuits and professions of life.”
Today, UK’s campus is far different than the A&M College
of 1865. It covers more than 918 acres; is home to more than
30,000 students, 14,500 employees and 2,300 full-time faculty;
and boosts an annual budget of more than $3.0 billion.
ough we have evolved — and our multifaceted mission of
teaching, research, service and health care has expanded — we
remain dedicated to those we touch and teach across our Commonwealth and beyond. ey remain our compass, the soul of
the University of Kentucky.
at is what it means to be a 21st century flagship and landgrant research university. From our first Nobel Laureate to cutting-edge work in addressing health disparities, and from the
artistic wonders that stir souls to our scientific creativity that
inspires minds, we seek a brighter future through the contributions of our faculty, staff, students and alumni.
We are building a campus that can thrive in an unknown future. e investments we are making yield a place that can support creative learning at the intersection of disciplines;
pioneering discovery in the physical, social and creative sciences; and service and health care that uplis people and communities. We are able to do these things because of our people.
The extraordinary UK family is answering questions with
unprecedented fortitude and creativity. They come to campus every day transfixed on their work of creating new
knowledge, inspiring young minds and serving others. We
are challenging ourselves to answer the questions that confront our campus and Commonwealth as we lead in a new
period of promise.
Speaking in retrospect of his tenure as president, president
Frank McVey said, “A university is a place; it is a spirit. It is
men and women of learning, a collection of books, laboratories where work in science goes forward. It is a source of the
teaching of the beauties of literature and the arts. It is the
center where ambitious youth gather to learn. It protects the
traditions, honors the new and tests its value. It believes in


Sesquicentennial Edition

truth, protests against
error, and leads men and
women by reason rather
than by force.”
At no single point in
our history has the necessity of this work been
clearer. Today, multidimensional challenges
linger while new and far
more complex questions
arise. Like no other place
in the Commonwealth,
our university impacts lives and helps chart the future for
our state and for thousands of lives.
Throughout this special edition issue are stories that link
us to our past, exemplify our humanity and humility and the
way this place was shaped. It is in those stories that we find
important values to guide our work.
Thank you for sharing in this moment of celebration and
for supporting Kentucky’s flagship in profound ways that illustrate our depth of purpose as the state’s indispensable institution — a University for Kentucky.

Eli Capilouto

* A word from our sponsors


he university’s sesquicentennial
is a monumental cause for celebration — a moment in Kentucky
history for looking back on what has
come before and for dreaming of
what can lie ahead.
Like many other alumni, our own
personal history is intertwined with
the University of Kentucky. Our ties
to UK stretch back more than 60
years. We both grew up on farms in
Kentucky, and UK was the only
school we ever considered attending.
As a land-grant university, it was affordable.
We first met at UK as students in
the mid-1950s. We got to know each
other by attending different social
events on campus. We had good professors, we made lifelong friends, and
we worked our way through college.
At the time, we didn’t understand
that life experiences like these could
shape a person. But today, we’re
thankful for the positive influence
the University of Kentucky has had
upon our lives.
Our alma mater has been the college choice of many sons and daughters of Kentucky’s hard-working
families. Through the years, thousands of students have come to campus seeking an education and a
bright and promising future. They
have gone on to do exceptional
things both in the Commonwealth
and around the world.
What has happened on campus
since 1865 is Kentucky history worth
remembering. That’s why it is a privilege for us to sponsor the publication
of this special sesquicentennial issue
of Kentucky Alumni and share it
with you.
The following pages highlight 15
decades of intriguing events as they
have unfolded at our alma mater. In
many ways, the university’s story is
our story as its alumni and friends.


Sesquicentennial Edition

Don and Mira Snider Ball came to UK as students in the 1950s and have been involved in the life of the university ever since. Mira Ball made history as the first
woman to chair the UK Board of Trustees, serving in that position from 2007 to
2010. The founders of Ball Homes, Don and Mira Ball have made a generous gift to
cover the cost of producing this commemorative issue of Kentucky Alumni and
sending it to friends and alumni of the university.

As you pause to look back on where
we came from, you may see some familiar faces and places, and you may
more fully understand the rich heritage that draws us all together.
The university’s sesquicentennial
definitely calls for looking back. Yet,
at this vantage point, looking forward is also appropriate.
From our lifelong involvement with
UK, we believe that the brightest
days lie ahead for the University of
Kentucky. Our beloved institution is
uniquely positioned at this time to
shape students for generations to
come, making a difference in the
lives of deserving young people by
developing their talent, ambition,
drive, strength and passion. There is
limitless potential for what Kentucky’s students can do, what they
can become and how they can advance our Commonwealth and the

As we come together with support
for our university as alumni and
friends, we can help strengthen the
University of Kentucky to accomplish its historic mission as never before.
So happy birthday, UK! The best is
yet to be. Here’s to the next 150!
Don and Mira Snider Ball



* Students today, alumni tomorrow
others. We honor the
success of past student
leaders; we engage with
current students to ensure their perspectives
are reflected; and most
important, we are planning for the aspirations
of future generations of
This transformation
will rejuvenate the campus experience and
breathe life back into the
heart of our university, enabling the students of today to
become the success of tomorrow.
For 54,750 days, the University of Kentucky has been
the cornerstone of progress and higher learning throughout the Commonwealth. I truly believe the current and
future students of the University of Kentucky will continue this legacy well into the future, and will represent
the university with pride and purpose on the global stage.
Aided by those who have preceded us, we will continue
to draw upon the lessons of our history and the wisdom
of our campus partners as catalysts to make the next 150
years even more successful than the first.
Jake Ingram
Student Government Association

Photo: Brian Connors Manke

It is my privilege to humbly serve this institution as student body president — a representative of students of the
University of Kentucky past, present and future.
Actively engaged since the university’s inception in
1865, students have drawn on an exceptionally rich history of accomplishment and share countless moments in
our collective consciousness. Together we have established a unique narrative of excellence, unrivaled by any
institution of higher learning.
Because of this profound sense of pride and purpose,
students who have passed through our grounds have
made significant contributions in a multitude of fields.
These contributions have impacted not only our academic community, but the Commonwealth, the United
States, and indeed, the entire world.
Past student leaders who were actively engaged in our
campus have established themselves as university presidents, such as University System of Maryland Chancellor
William E. “Brit” Kirwan; Lee T. Todd Jr., University of
Kentucky president from 2001-2011; and the late Sarah
Gibson Blanding, president of Vassar College from 1946
to 1964. They have been researchers, Nobel Prize winners, governors and political leaders around the globe.
They have become professional athletes, actors of stage
and screen, and musicians of international reputation.
They are innovators, they are entrepreneurs, and they
represent the very best of what humanity has to offer.
Today we are in the midst of a campus transformation
that will vault the University of Kentucky into a new tier
of institutional excellence — a tier in which our aspirant
peers become our peers, and we become the aspiration of

Students performed experiments with more ease in the new
Funkhouser Building in the early 1940s.


Sesquicentennial Edition

Today the UK Organic, Analytical, and Materials Chemistry
Laboratory works on safety and longevity of lithium-ion
batteries, which provides opportunities for UK students, as
well as accelerated high school students, as shown here
under faculty supervision.

* University of Kentucky Sesquicentennial Steering Committee
gramming in celebration of the university’s sesquicentennial in 2015. Key areas of focus included events and activities that acknowledge Founders Day, an educational
component that creates greater awareness of our history
and mission with students and alumni, and special recognition and development opportunities for our friends to continue to invest in their university.

Photo: Jeff Hounshell

In February 1865, John Bryan Bowman challenged the
Kentucky state legislature to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Morrill Act and build a public university in Lexington, which would eventually become the
University of Kentucky. e UK Sesquicentennial Committee was formed by President Eli Capilouto in 2011 to
develop academic, philanthropic and special event pro-

First row, left to right are Claci C. Ayers, Deirdre A. Scaggs, Paula Leach Pope; second row: Terry
B. Mobley, Michael D. Adams; third row: John W. Herbst, Thomas W. Lester; fourth row: Thomas
W. Harris, Terry L. Birdwhistell. Not pictured are: Kelley A. Bozeman, Marcia Hicks, Stan R. Key,
D. Michael Richey and Frank X Walker.



* 150 years of service to Kentucky and beyond:
The formative years
With the Civil War winding down,
General Robert E. Lee had been general-in-chief of the Confederate Army
for one month and President Abraham
Lincoln was still alive. The New York
Stock Exchange had just opened its first
permanent headquarters near Wall
Street, the cost of farmland nationwide
averaged about $12 an acre and wages
averaged $320 per worker a year. That
was the backdrop for Feb. 22, 1865,
considered to be the founding day of
what would grow to be the University
of Kentucky.
Leading the monumental effort was
John Bryan Bowman, who used an act of
legislation to organize the Agricultural
and Mechanical (A&M) College of Kentucky University, a center of higher learning for Central Kentucky. Bowman,
named as a regent by the Kentucky state
legislature, combined Kentucky University, a school he had founded in Harrodsburg around 1857, with Transylvania
University, which was operating as a high


Sesquicentennial Edition

school and whose name would cease to
exist for the next 43 years.
Some of the initial investment for this
undertaking came via the U.S. government through the Morrill Act of 1862,
which created the land-grant colleges.
Sustaining and growing the new college
was an uphill battle, fought against lack
of sufficient funds while emerging from
the ending of a Civil War, and people’s
general lack of urgency toward obtaining
a higher education.
One of the conditions mandated by
the legislation that created the institution required that an experimental farm
be part of the package. When money
became an issue to establish this center
of learning, Bowman — truly one of
Kentucky’s greatest visionaries — raised
money and purchased Henry Clay’s estate, Ashland, and an adjoining property, Woodlands (now Woodland Park),
owned by J.B. Tilford. He was able to
amass donations, including gifts of
$1,000 each from 65 people. These
thoughtful individuals were the very be-

ginning of the spirit of giving that has
helped to sustain students in a quest for
a valuable Kentucky education.
e rich farmland — 433 acres — that
Bowman purchased at a cost of $143,000
became the A&M campus and John Augustus Williams, Bowman’s brother-inlaw, was named A&M’s presiding officer.
e school opened Oct. 1, 1866, and
by December there were 80 men enrolled. At the end of the academic year,
there were 190 students, each charged
annual fees of $10. e home at Woodlands, with 14 rooms, served as a classroom building, and several smaller
buildings on the property were used to
house the students or used as shops. e
institution consisted of the College of
Science, Literature and Arts; the College
of the Bible; the College of Law; the
Academy; and the A&M College.
In June 1869, William B. Munson of
Astoria, Illinois, became the first student
to graduate, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree. He went on to become a
railroad president and financier in Texas.

* Kentucky State College Main Building, center, Gillis Building, right.
University of Kentucky postcards, circa 1900-1960s

Celebrating the past, focusing on today, looking to the future
e university began with support
from a combination of private, church
and state funds, with the A&M College
strictly using state funds. An undercurrent of sectarian issues would eventually
develop, leading to A&M College separating from Kentucky University 12
years later in 1878.
Williams had a short time at the helm
and departed in 1868. Joseph Desha
Pickett’s service as presiding officer of
A&M was even briefer, ending after
one year.
In 1869, James K. Patterson, a native of
Scotland whose family had settled in Indiana when he was young, assumed the
duties of president, ushering in 41 years
devoted to establishing the Kentucky
school as the flagship institution. While
John Bowman is credited with the vision
of higher education for Kentucky, it was
Patterson’s tenaciousness that allowed
the university to achieve a stronghold
and develop its early roots that would
bear fruit in later years. In 1955, UK
President Herman Lee Donovan said of

Patterson, “Over the 40 years, there were
achievements registered, but Patterson’s
goals were never fully realized. It might
be said of him, as of Moses, that he got in
sight of the Promised Land but was
never permitted to enter.”
Patterson’s administration was oen in
battle with others’ attempts to derail the
university and halt improvements to its
programs. For example, in 1880 the
General Assembly levied a tax of one half
of one cent on each $100 of taxable
property for the support of A&M College. Rival denominational colleges
joined forces to fight the tax, which they
saw as injurious to their own schools.
e issue turned into a long-term battle,
ultimately decided by the Court of Appeals in 1890 — 10 years later — with a
victory for state-supported higher public
In 1878 when A&M became a completely state-run institution, the city of
Lexington donated a city park near Mulberry Street (South Limestone) to be its
new campus, with A&M making the

move to these 50 acres in 1882. Lexington and Fayette County also provided
$50,000 to construct three buildings: a
college building (Main Building), dormitory (White Hall) and a president’s
home. e original contractor unexpectedly quit and a new contractor had to be
hired, which led to insufficient funds.
Aer unsuccessfully seeking loans, Patterson was so committed to the future of
the college that he went to a bank and
used his own savings of $35,000 as security for a loan to finish the projects. Historian James F. Hopkins has said, “It is
no great exaggeration to state that the
University of Kentucky owes its very existence to Patterson.”
e institution saw many improvements and milestones under Patterson’s
watch, including admission of female
students in 1880, the first football game
in 1881, establishment of the first Agricultural Experiment Station in 1885, organization of the Association of State
College Alumni (UK Alumni Association) in 1889, adoption of blue and


* John B. Bowman, a Mercer County farmer, was the founder of the Agricultural
and Mechanical College of Kentucky University, which later transformed into the
University of Kentucky.

white as official colors of the university
in 1892, creation of a women’s basketball
program in 1902 and a men’s basketball
program in 1903, the opening of Patterson Hall as the first women’s dormitory
in 1904 and adoption of the name Wildcats for athletics teams in 1909.
By 1908 the legislature conferred the
title State University to the institution,
and the faculty had grown to 82 members. Additional colleges were created,
including the College of Agriculture,
College of Arts and Sciences, College of
Law and three engineering colleges.
Of course, campus life under Patterson’s early years was quite different from
what one would expect today. Only men
were allowed at the beginning and each
student was expected to engage in military training. A strict set of rules was established and students had a regimented
routine, beginning at 5:30 a.m. with
reveille and chapel services three hours
later. e rest of the day was for classes


Sesquicentennial Edition

until 4 p.m. when military exercises were
held. By 10 p.m., it was lights out — or
at least, that’s what was expected.
e fact is, cadets had a mind of their
own and students’ complete compliance
with regulations was almost impossible to
enforce. e president, commandant, and
local police were oen on the wrong end of
outlandish schoolboy pranks, some requiring much forethought and organization,
particularly those carried out by the “Midnight Artillery” during Patterson’s era. A
classic example: some select students
sneaked Patterson’s horse into the chapel
on the second floor of the Main Building
during the night. is was no easy task.
e boys “borrowed” 200 crossties to make
steps that the horse could navigate to the
second floor. Once the horse was up there,
the crossties were dismantled. When
chapel services began the next morning,
the student body was surprised, but Patterson and the horse acted nonchalant and
the services continued as planned.

Beyond Patterson & into the future
After Patterson’s retirement in 1910,
each of the succeeding presidents left
his own mark on the university, even
when their length in office was brief. As
the university moved into more contemporary times, it is impossible to do
justice on these few pages to the significant accomplishments made by each administration. However, it’s fair to say
that each president advanced the university after dealing with his own share
of campus challenges. What follows is
not a complete list of endeavors, but a
brief overview of some of the highlights
of each administration.
Henry Stites Barker, a distinguished
judge, was president from 1911 through
1917, and the Graduate School was
founded during his administration. He
lived in the shadows of President Emeritus
Patterson, who was reluctant to give up
total control, but under Barker’s advisement, the institution’s name was changed
in 1916 to the University of Kentucky.
Frank L. McVey became president in
1917, leaving a presidency at the University of North Dakota. His administration lasted 24 years until 1940, and it
created somewhat of an academic renaissance on campus. Under his purview,
a new library was built, and acquisition
of books increased from 36,000 to more
than 302,000. Enrollment increased
from 998 students in 1917 to 5,936 students in 1940. New buildings included
iconic Memorial