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Georgetown College is a private, Christian liberal arts college in Georgetown, Kentucky. Chartered in 1829, Georgetown was the first Baptist college west of the Allegheny Mountains.[2][3] The college offers undergraduate degrees and a Master of Arts in education.

Georgetown College
Georgetown College seal.png
MottoVim Promovet Insitam (Latin)
Motto in English
[Learning] promotes one's innate power – from Horace, Ode 4.4
TypePrivate liberal arts
PresidentWilliam Jones
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States

38°12′25″N 84°33′14″W / 38.207°N 84.554°W / 38.207; -84.554Coordinates: 38°12′25″N 84°33′14″W / 38.207°N 84.554°W / 38.207; -84.554
CampusSuburban, 104 acres
Athletics22 varsity teams
ColorsBlack and orange
AffiliationsMid-South Conference


Georgetown College traces its roots to Royal Springs Academy, a classical school founded by Baptist minister Elijah Craig in Georgetown in 1787. The institution was renamed Rittenhouse Academy in 1798 as part of a land grant agreement. It was led by Barton Stone, a co-founder of the Stone Campbell Movement, from 1816 to 1819. The academy declined and closed by 1829.

In 1829, the Kentucky General Assembly chartered the Kentucky Baptist Education Society with the purpose of establishing a Baptist college in the state. 24 trustees under the leadership of Silas Noel selected the town of Georgetown as the site for the new school. Georgetown was selected because the community agreed to raise $20,000 and to donate the assets of the recently closed Rittenhouse Academy.[2]

Early historyEdit

Giddings Hall

Georgetown College overcame numerous difficulties in its early years. The first president hired for the college in 1829, William D. Staughton, died before assuming his duties. The second president, Rev. Joel Smith Bacon, stayed two years (1830–1832), fighting court cases to release funding for the college before leaving out of frustration. The funds were not released until 1836, when Benjamin Franklin Farnsworth became the third president hired. By then there was a power struggle in progress; Farnsworth had been hired by the Baptists to frustrate the Campbellites, who were attempting to take control of the college. After the Campbellites founded a rival college blocks away, Farnsworth found his attempts to build up Georgetown College stymied, and resigned in 1837.[2]

In 1838, Rev. Rockwood Giddings became the fourth president of the college. During his short tenure, Giddings began construction on Recitation Hall, the school's first permanent building. He made many other advances that put the college on sound footing. Giddings died of exhaustion after a year in office and was replaced by Rev. Howard Malcolm in 1840. Malcolm oversaw the completion of the construction of the building, now known as Giddings Hall. He also expanded the educational offerings beyond the classics and encouraged the founding of literary societies and the Georgetown Female Academy. He resigned in 1849 when his anti-slavery vote at Kentucky's third constitutional convention resulted in much criticism from slavery proponents and a threat on his life.[2]

Recent historyEdit

As the student population grew in the late 20th century, the administration sought ways to diversify the campus and protect academic freedom. In 2005, Georgetown College and the Kentucky Baptist Convention redefined their formal relationship. With the approval of the new agreement by the Convention, the college reverted to its original arrangement with Kentucky Baptists.

From 1829 to 1942, the college had an independent, self-perpetuating board of trustees and was designated as the senior, liberal arts college for Kentucky Baptists until the 1960s, when Campbellsville College and Cumberland College became senior colleges. Under a 1942 agreement, the Convention chose the college's trustees. The college's board submitted candidates to the Convention's Committee on Nominations, and delegates to the annual meeting of the Convention elected them. Georgetown College also received an annual contribution from the Convention for all of the twentieth century.

Under the new agreement, the Convention's annual contribution was phased out, and the trustee board elects its own members. However, the college continued to work cooperatively in ministry with the Convention, which was coordinated through the Campus Minister. (The partnership concluded in November 2014.)[4] The college partners with Regent's Park College, a Baptist college at the University of Oxford; has joined the Baptist World Alliance; and has an agreement with the International Baptist Convention, which allows Georgetown students to work as interns in European Baptist churches.[2]


Georgetown College has produced five Rhodes Scholars and 38 Fulbright Scholars since 1989.[5] The college also has an honors program and a partnership with Regent's Park College, Oxford. In 2014, the college became one of only 18 schools nationwide to earn the highest rating for protecting free speech on campus.[6] Georgetown College became a member of the Southern University Conference in 2010.


Georgetown College Conference Center


Georgetown College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master's degrees.[7] Georgetown is also accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board for initial and advanced level educator preparation programs. Its affiliations include the American Council of Education, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Kentucky Independent College Foundation, the Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, and the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities. Additionally, faculty and staff are affiliated with a number of regional, national and international professional organizations.[citation needed]


The Georgetown College Department of Chemistry has received American Chemical Society Approval and is one of only two private colleges in Kentucky with this prestigious recognition.[8]

Curriculum, degrees and majorsEdit

Georgetown College offers the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts; over 40 undergraduate majors and over 50 minors; and graduate education programs.[9]


A partnership with Regents Park College provides for students to spend up to a year studying at Oxford University (UK), or for ministerial education leading to degrees from GC (B.A.) and from Regents Park (B.Th. or M.Th.). Georgetown also offers an Immersion en Espanol program where highly motivated students develop their language skills outside of Spanish classes. Open to all academic disciplines, the IEGC offers 15 hours of general education courses in settings enhancing Spanish fluency and linguistic competency across majors.

The college participates in a number of consortia to provide off-campus and international experiences for its students, including the CCSA, KIIS, CGE, and CIIS.

Student organizationsEdit

Georgetown College has 58 student clubs and organizations, including four national fraternities. The college offers a chapel and several Christian and other religious groups for students. Its social organizations cover a wide range of interests, including government, recreation, community service, activism, the arts, and academics.[10]

Student lifeEdit

Georgetown College has four national fraternities (Kappa Alpha Order, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Kappa Tau and Pi Kappa Alpha) and five national sororities (Alpha Gamma Delta, Kappa Delta, Phi Mu, Sigma Kappa and Zeta Phi Beta) on campus. It also has an independent brotherhood known as the President's House Association, which was formed in 1964 as an alternative to the traditional fraternity system. An Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council are also part of Greek life at Georgetown College.[11]

Government-minded students can join the College Democrats, College Republicans, United Nations Georgetown, and the Student Government Association.[12]

Recreation and activity oriented groups include the Georgetown Activities Council, intramurals, Georgetown College Equestrian Team, Georgetown College Film Club, Outdoor High Adventure Club, Social Plug, and the Georgetown College Disc Golf Club.[10]

Activist groups include the Georgetown Sustainability Initiative, Campus Spectrum, Habitat for Humanity, Student Abolitionist Movement, and the American Red Cross Club.[12]

Students interested in the arts can participate in the Dance Marathon, George-Tones, Gospel Choir, Lyric Theatre Society, Maskrafters/Alpha Psi Omega, MTNA piano club, Praise Dance Ministry, and the Step Team.[12]

Religious organizations include Common Ground and Campus Outreach.[10]

Academic groups include Alpha Lambda Delta, American Chemical Society Club, Biology Club, Brokmeyer Society (philosophy), Delta Omicron, Georgetown College Athletic Training Students, Kentucky Education Association, Math/Physics/Computer Science Club, Nat'l Association for Music Education, Psi Chi/Psi Alpha Omega, Sigma Tau Delta (English honorary, Eta Alpha Chapter, est. 1925), Sociology Club, Student Women and Gender Society, Students of National Association for Teachers of Singing, and the Academic Team.[10]

Other student organizations include Ambassadors of Diversity, Pre-Health Association, SHAC, SHMAC, Tiger Squad, Commuter Club, and the Real Food Coalition.[10]


The Georgetown College Maskrafter theatre group is the oldest collegiate theatre company in Kentucky and offers traditional theatre, an emphasis on creating original work, and new initiatives in digital motion picture art. As of 2007, the Maskrafters had produced a feature-length movie entitled Surviving Guthrie, and had put on the musical She Loves Me. Recent plays include Proof, The Fantasticks, Grease, and Shakespeare's The Tempest. The Maskrafters are primarily students at Georgetown, and are guided by staff.[13]


A student-run newspaper, called The Georgetonian, publishes multiple issues per semester.[14] A student-run radio station, WRVG, is housed on campus in the Cralle Student Center.[15]


Songfest is an evening of skits written by, starring, and produced by Greek and independent groups on campus. Skits are centered on the Homecoming theme, and also incorporate singing, dancing, and acting. Groups engage in competitions to win awards.[16]

John L. Hill Chapel

Chapel Day and Men's Bid Day takes place each January. Chapel Day is a sorority event letting the active members know which pledges have accepted their bid to join the sorority. The pledges dress in their new sorority's colors and run through the doors of the chapel into the waiting arms of their sisters. The fraternities' version of Chapel Day occurs the following week. Referred to as Men's Bid Day, it operates in a similar fashion and is held at Cooke Memorial. Even independent students, faculty, staff, family, and sometimes pets brave the cold to enjoy the excitement of this special campus tradition.[16]

Homecoming is an annual tradition, highlighted by Songfest and a football game. Every year, alumni head back to Georgetown's campus. On Saturday morning they have brunch, listen to live music, and visit with fellow alumni, professors and current students. A Homecoming King and Queen, elected by the student body, are crowned during halftime of the football game.[16]

Belle of the Blue is Georgetown's small-scale version of Miss America. It is an annual scholarship pageant that any freshman through junior woman can participate in. Each residence hall, including the male dormitories, nominates a woman to compete as their representative in the February event. On pageant night, the women are judged based on scholarship, interview, talent, poise and appearance. A "Miss Congeniality" title is awarded, as well as an overall scholarship to Georgetown College.[16]

Midnight Brunch – The Caf, each semester, selects one night during finals week to open at midnight. Students listen to music that blares and games are played, and the professors serve students platefuls of comfort food to help fuel their late-night study sessions.[16]

Grubfest happens each September. Students join the annual battle to see which team can complete the most challenges. In a matter of hours, the Quad, a lush, green open area for socializing and studying, is turned into a slimy, muddy arena covered with food products. At the end of Grubfest, the two dirtiest and most creative participants are crowned king and queen of the year's festivities.[16]

Opening Convocation is held in the chapel in the early fall and is a campus-wide assembly intended to create a sense of academic community and common purpose as the academic year begins.[16]

Hanging of the Green is held each December, and students, faculty, and staff gather together in the chapel on the first Monday night of the month for a worship service including an advent wreath lit by faculty and staff, an upperclassman offering the service's message, and a Christmas tree trimmed on stage with ornaments representing various organizations on campus. At the end, the attendees sing "Silent Night".[16]

Commencement, or the graduation ceremony, takes place every May on Giddings Lawn. Seniors troop through the doors of Giddings Hall and fan out onto the front lawn, where commencement proceeds.[16]


The athletics teams at Georgetown College are known as the Tigers. They participate in the NAIA and in the Mid-South Conference (MSC).[17]

On April 28, 2012, the college officially announced that after a year-long study, it had decided to transfer its athletics program to NCAA Division II. However, on July 24, 2012, the college released that its application to join the NCAA was denied.[18]

The Tigers participate in 20 varsity sports.[19] There are three co-ed teams.[19]

  • 3 NAIA Football national championships (1991, 2000, and 2001)[20]
  • 3 NAIA men's basketball national championships (1998, 2013, 2019)[20]


Toyota Stadium


  • National Finalist – 1991, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
  • National Semi-Finalist – 2004, 2011
  • 20 Mid-South Conference Champions – 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011,2012,2015,2016

Men's basketballEdit

  • 38 appearances in NAIA National Tournament
  • 28 consecutive tournament appearances, most in the NAIA
  • 61 wins in National Tournament History
  • 23 Sweet Sixteen appearances
  • 15 Elite Eight appearances
  • 13 Fab Four appearances
  • 7 National Title games
  • 3 National Championships

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ a b c As of fall 2016. "Student headcount by level: All independent institutions (2006-16)" (PDF). Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Georgetown College History
  3. ^ "Giddings Hall". Historic Campus Architecture Project. Council of Independent Colleges. November 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  4. ^ Ky. Baptists pass 'no confidence' vote, elect layman, end ties with college
  5. ^ Georgetown College Information and Quick Facts
  6. ^ Georgetown College Earns Highest Rating for Free Speech
  7. ^ CCSAC Accreditation
  8. ^ "Chemistry Department receives ACS Approval – News Bureau". 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
  9. ^ Majors and Minors offered at GC
  10. ^ a b c d e Student Organizations
  11. ^ Greek life
  12. ^ a b c Interested groups
  13. ^ Maskrafters: Theatre & Film
  14. ^ Georgetonian
  15. ^ WRVG
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i Georgetown College Traditions
  17. ^ "Members: Georgetown College". 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  18. ^ NCAA Division II Application denied
  19. ^ a b Sports teams
  20. ^ a b National Championships
  21. ^ William Lynwood Montell, Tales from Kentucky Doctors. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-2482-7.

External linksEdit