The Elevator Speech

What's an Elevator Speech?

When someone says “Tell me about Centre,” the following eleven paragraphs may help. It’s called an elevator speech because you’re supposed to be able to deliver it in the time it takes an elevator to go from the top floor to the ground floor. Okay—in this case, it’s a tall building with a slow elevator, but you can pick and choose, using the topics that seem most appropriate for the occasion.


The Elevator Speech

Established in 1819, Centre is a liberal arts college of about 1,300. The College’s record of achievement ranges from producing two vice presidents, a chief justice and an associate justice on the Supreme Court, and eight Rhodes Scholars; to upsetting five-year national champion Harvard in football in 1921; to hosting the only vice presidential debate in the 2000 general election; to leading the nation over the past 25 years in the annual percentage of alumni giving.

Centre’s personal education enables students to excel as undergraduates and achieve extraordinary success in advanced studies and careers. They win the most prestigious national awards, including the Rhodes, Fulbright (29 winners in the last 10 years), Rotary (10 in the last 10 years), Goldwater (7 in the last 10 years). Within 10 months of graduation, 97 percent of those responding on average, are either employed or engaged in advanced study.

The College is located in Danville, a town of 18,000 widely recognized for its high quality of life. It’s within easy driving distance of Lexington, Louisville, and Cincinnati.

Forbes magazine recently named Centre best among all colleges and universities in the South for the second year in a row and ranked Centre number 24 among all U.S. colleges and universities. Centre is a U.S. News top-50 national liberal arts college (the highest ranking of any Kentucky institution). Centre’s four-year graduation rate of more than 80 percent is the highest of any Kentucky college or university. (In comparison, the most recent four-year graduation rate at the state’s flagship university is 30 percent, and the six-year average rate for all schools nationwide is around 57 percent.) The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) finds our students among the most “educationally engaged” in the country in measures such as level of academic challenge, interaction with faculty members, and enriching educational experiences.

The foundation of Centre’s academic quality is our faculty, 95 percent of full-time faculty hold the Ph.D. or equivalent. Although active in research, their top priority is the academic and personal growth of their students.

We reinforce our results-oriented approach with the Centre Commitment: students who meet Centre’s academic and social expectations are guaranteed 1) an internship or (beginning with the class of 2017) a research opportunity, 2) study abroad, and 3) graduation in four years—or we provide up to a year of additional study tuition-free.

The emphasis on international study reflects the global component of our mission. Approximately 85 percent of Centre students study abroad, among the five highest rates in the country and the highest percentage of any Kentucky institution.

The College’s Norton Center for the Arts is central to campus life. One of America’s finest arts facilities, the Norton Center showcases performers and performances—such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Garrison Keillor, and the Broadway musical Movin’ Out—that are tops in their fields. Centre students attend most of these events free of charge.

Centre has long been green, and not just because of its park-like 152-acre campus. Pearl Hall is LEED Gold certified, the Campus Center is LEED Silver certified, and new residence hall Brockman Commons was awarded LEED Silver designation by the U.S. Green Building Council. Pearl Hall and Brockman Commons include such energy efficient attributes as geothermal heating and cooling. Recently renovated Young Hall has been given Gold LEED status. With four, Centre has more LEED-certified buildings than any other college or university in Kentucky. Other green updates on campus include replacing many gas-powered vehicles with electric golf carts for use by Facilities Management and Public Safety.

Our transforming education combined with a surprisingly low cost means Centre is widely recognized (by Fiske, U.S. News, Princeton Review, and others) as one of the outstanding values in higher learning. Consumers Digest ranks Centre as the No. 1 value among U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre is the most affordable of the U.S. News top-50 national liberal arts colleges.

We’re obviously proud of our institution and eager to talk about it. But the best way to understand Centre is to visit our beautiful campus (which is becoming even more stunning with a series of exciting building projects) and experience it yourself. You have a standing invitation to come to Danville, tour the campus, eat in our dining hall, and talk with the faculty members and students who are the core of our extraordinary education.


Printable version (PDF)