Seven Facts About Centre

1. Our name means something.
Back in 1819, the founders of Centre College fancied the fact that the new campus was near the center of Kentucky. Apparently, they also fancied the British way of spelling things.

2. We're good at what we do.
Our professors are so good that they attract top-notch students; 75 percent of this year's freshmen scored at least 25 on the ACT or 1160 on the SAT. And our seniors make us proud—in the past decade, we've had a Rhodes Scholar, 17 Fulbright Scholars, five Goldwater Scholars, and a Truman Scholar. U.S. News & World Report says Centre is one of the 50 best liberal arts colleges in the nation.

3. We were famous long before this vice presidential debate thing.
In 1921, the Centre football team made international headlines by handing world-champion Harvard its first defeat in five years. The game helped change the course of collegiate sports history and, in 1950, the Associated Press voted that game “the sports upset of the first half-century.” Cryptic, yet clear, the score of that game remains painted on the side of one of our historic buildings: C6H0.

4. One of our alums loves this place so much that he has continued attending football games ever since he died in 1953.
That's right. “Dead Fred” comes to every home football game, thanks to the fraternity brothers of Phi Delta Theta. They are so proud of former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Frederick M. Vinson (Centre, '09) that they carry his oil portrait to the games.

5. Alumni don't have to be dead to love the place.
In fact, our living alumni are so generous in giving to Centre that we're ranked number one in the country for the percentage of former students making gifts. (Go ahead—check the charts on the U.S. News website.)

6. Yes, we're in the country.
What country do you have in mind? We maintain permanent, residential sites in England, France, Japan, and Latin America—and our short-term study programs head for places like India, Vietnam, Greece, and Sal Salvador Island. In our most recent graduating class, more than 60 percent of the seniors had studied overseas with a Centre professor.

7. We have a palace on campus.
It's true; we read it in the newspaper: “The small Kentucky city of Danville would seem an unlikely location for a powerhouse palace of culture. But over the past 25 years Centre College's Norton Center for the Arts has quietly built itself into one of Kentucky's leading presenters of diverse, significant performances.” Published in the Louisville Courier-Journal, August 30, 1998. Sounds like the reporter was here to watch Baryshnikov dance or to hear Yo-Yo Ma or the Boston Pops or Itzhak Perlman. Maybe it was the London Philharmonic or one of the touring Broadway shows. Take your pick. The palace doors open every year for a stunning arts series.

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Page last updated: 11/16/11