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When the University of Kentucky was begun in 1865, it was merely an adjunct of a denominational college in Lexington. From that humble beginning has come a proud institution with an enrollment of 56,000 and with students, faculty, and facilities spread across a landscape extending to the boundaries of the Commonwealth. The University's graduates now include Nobel laureates, statesmen, and thousands of productive citizens whose influence reaches to the far corners of the world.

In words and pictures, this book tells the story of the University's beginnings, its struggles for adequate funding, its joys and losses, its triumphs and accomplishments. Carl Cone has assembled from University archives and private collections a visual panorama depicting the growth and diversity of a great institution's first century and a quarter.

Here are the University's founding fathers alongside its presidents, faculty members, student leaders, coaches, and athletes. Here too are the dorm rooms, classrooms, laboratories, gymnasiums, and athletic fields in which thousands have worked and played on their way to the degree that marks them as University of Kentucky alumni.

In the years since 1865, Kentucky's "flagship university" has moved far toward reaching the vision of greatness held out by its founder. "We want," said John Bowman, "everything which will make this institution eventually equal to any on this continent. Why should we not have them? I think we can." Today, the University continues to strive to match its founder's vision. Here is the story of that quest.

Carl B. Cone is professor of history emeritus in the University of Kentucky.

"A vivid portrait of the development of the flagship university of a state system of higher education. . . . The sprightly text of historian Carl B. Cone well complements hundreds of photographs."—Journal of Southern History

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






University of Kentucky, Higher education, Kentucky


Higher Education


The One hundred twenty-fifth anniversary edition.

The University of Kentucky: A Pictorial History
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