On March 22, 1917, ROTC was established on
campus as a four-year program of military instruction, with the first two years of the program mandatory. In 1918 during World War I,
the university contracted with the government to train military personnel in technical
skills, including truck maintenance and repair. In this photo, military personnel are
practicing bayonet exercises. The soldiers
lived at a racetrack near campus. New barracks had just been built on Stoll Field when
the war ended. Today, UK has about 170
Army and 100 Air Force cadets who attend
college classes in their degree programs, as
well as study topics such as leadership, values and ethics, tactics and techniques, and
physical training.

Boating on the “lake” beside Barker Hall,
which was known as the Gymnasium until
1931, was popular in the early part of the
1900s. Professor Merry L. Pence surveyed for
a man-made lake to be fed by the Mulligan
and Maxwell springs. He reported that for
about $4,500, the college could construct a
lake a quarter-mile long, 6 feet deep at one
end and 3 feet at the other. Boating and winter skating subsided when the lake eventually became a swamp. In the 1920s, the area
was reconfigured to build Alumni Gymnasium and McLean Stadium.

Since 1917, Maxwell Place had been the residence for the university’s presidents. The
Italianate villa was built in 1872 for Judge
James Hillary Mulligan as a wedding gift
from his father and named for Maxwell
Springs, which were located on the property.
It was sold to the university, along with 13
acres, for $40,000. Frank McVey was the first
president to live there. The pergola to the
front drive, as seen in this photo from 1919,
is an addition, and the tower was originally
crowned by a pyramidal belvedere. It was
placed on the National Register of Historic
Places in 1982. Over the years, many alumni,
friends of UK and dignitaries have enjoyed
visiting the home.