Welcome to the Online Catalog - Catalog 2013-14

John Roush                                     John Roush, Centre President
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Welcome to the 181th edition of the Centre College catalog. Founded in 1819, Centre is steeped in tradition, yet always looking to the future. In that spirit, I’d like to direct my comments to the prospective students—the Centre students of the future—reading this welcome.

In the fall of 2013, Centre will be a place of some 1,375 students, still growing modestly, with slightly more than half its students being women. We are the Commonwealth’s most selective college or university by far as judged by entering GPA, rank in class, and test scores; we remain slightly more than 50 percent from Kentucky; in spite of what most folks think, we remain a place of opportunity—60 percent-plus of our students qualify for need-based aid; 97 percent of them reside on campus with us for four years; 85 percent of them study abroad at least once (currently first in the nation); 40 percent-plus of our men and women compete on intercollegiate teams; 85 percent of them complete at least one internship while with us; 80 percent of them participate in volunteer service; remarkably, roughly 50 percent of our men and in excess of 55 percent of our women participate in Greek life; and 21 percent of our incoming students are people of color or international, continuing the upward trend of recent years. And, finally, Centre’s four-year graduation rate, approaching 85 percent, is 15 percent higher than any other Kentucky college or university; our graduates win a disproportionate number of prestigious, national prizes and awards; and virtually all of them are in jobs or in graduate programs or professional schools within six months of graduating. While the rankings on America’s colleges and universities are to be viewed with caution, there are reasons why Centre has been ranked by Forbes as the No. 1 college or university in the South for two straight years—No. 12 in 2013; why U.S. News & World Report ranks us as a top-tier liberal arts college; why the plethora of guidebooks on the racks rave about what happens to students who choose Centre College.

On the academic side—which matters most at Centre—our student/faculty ratio stands at 10.6/1, and, we are on our way to 10/1, a ratio that will ensure Centre’s ”signature” = personal education, extraordinary success; our average class size is 19; and while we value research and scholarship, teaching remains job one for Centre’s professors – we have no teaching fellows or graduate assistant instructors, and we are currently ranked No. 5 in the nation for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” by U.S. News. Our academic experience is highly personal and deeply engaging. We don’t just award degrees at the end of four years, Centre College changes people’s lives. On the numbers side: our operating budget is about $65 million per year with 390 faculty and staff; we have put $100 million-plus dollars into our physical plant in the past seven years—all of which has been made possible by outside gifts; and the College’s endowment is roughly $240 million.

We are justifiably proud of what Centre College, through its faculty, staff, students, and alumni, has accomplished, but I am quick to add that there is “unfinished business.” Hosting a General Election Debate on Oct. 11, 2012—as we did in 2000—served as a starting point for the College’s Third Century campaign, one that will be focused on endowment, one of $400 million or more, and, when successfully completed, one that will have a transformational impact on the institution and its role in the American academy.

John Roush