Transylvania University

Transylvania University

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Encyclopedia
Transylvania University (also referred to as Transylvania or Transy) is a private, undergraduate liberal arts college
Liberal arts colleges in the United States
Liberal arts colleges in the United States are certain undergraduate institutions of higher education in the United States. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers a definition of the liberal arts as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general...

 in Lexington
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The school was founded in 1780. It offers 38 majors, and pre-professional degrees in engineering and accounting. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is one of the six regional accreditation organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation...

.

Name


Transylvania, meaning "across the woods" in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, is most commonly referred to as "Transy." The name stems from Transylvania University's founding in the heavily-forested region of western Virginia known as the Transylvania colony
Transylvania (colony)
Transylvania, or the Transylvania Colony, was a short-lived, extra-legal colony founded in 1775 by Richard Henderson, who controlled the North Carolina based Transylvania Company, which had reached an agreement to purchase the land from the Cherokee in the "Treaty of Sycamore Shoals"...

, which became most of Kentucky in 1792.

Transylvania University does not take its name from the Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 region in central Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. However the college does celebrate this unique link to Bram Stoker's novel Dracula
Dracula
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor...

, in its celebration of Halloween during "Rafinesque Week".

Early years (1780–1865)


Transylvania University opened in 1780, after the Virginia Assembly adopted a charter establishing Transylvania Seminary. Originally in a log cabin in Boyle County
Boyle County, Kentucky
Boyle County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Its county seat is Danville. In 2000, its population was 28,432. It was formed in 1842 and named for John Boyle , a U.S...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, the school moved to Lexington in 1789. The first site in Lexington was a single building in the historic Gratz Park
Gratz Park Historic District
The Gratz Park is a neighborhood and historic district located just north of downtown Lexington, Kentucky. It was named after early Lexington businessman Benjamin Gratz whose home stands on the corner of Mill and New streets at the edge of Gratz Park...

. In 1829, this building burned, and the school was moved to its present location north of Third Street. Old Morrison, the only campus building at the time, was completed in 1833, under the supervision of Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

, who both taught law and was a member of Transylvania's Board. After 1818, the university included a medical school
Medical school
A medical school is a tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches medicine. Degree programs offered at medical schools often include Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Bachelor/Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, master's degree, or other post-secondary...

, a law school
Law school
A law school is an institution specializing in legal education.- Law degrees :- Canada :...

, a divinity school
Divinity School
Divinity School may refer to:* The common noun, divinity school* When used as a proper noun, may be an abbreviated reference to one of the following:** Beeson Divinity School** Berkeley Divinity School** Brite Divinity School...

, and a college of arts and sciences.

The other major institution that aided in the creation of the modern Transylvania University was Bacon College, named after Sir Francis Bacon, which would later be known as Kentucky University. Bacon College existed from 1837–1851, founded by the Christian churches
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church is a Mainline Protestant denomination in North America. It is often referred to as The Christian Church, The Disciples of Christ, or more simply as The Disciples...

 in Kentucky. Bacon College was a new entity separated from Georgetown College, a Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 supported institution, but Bacon College inevitably closed due to lack of funding. Seven years later, in 1858, Bacon College's charter was amended to establish Kentucky University, and moved to donated land in Harrodsburg
Harrodsburg, Kentucky
Harrodsburg is a city in and the county seat of Mercer County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 8,014 at the 2000 census. It is the oldest city in Kentucky.-History:...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

.

Kentucky University (1865–1908)


Following the devastating American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, Kentucky University was devastated by fire and both it and Transylvania University were in dire financial straits. In 1865, both institutions secured permission to merge. The new institution utilized Transylvania's campus in Lexington while perpetuating the name "Kentucky University".

The university was reorganized around several new colleges, including the Agricultural and Mechanical College (A&M) of Kentucky, publicly chartered as a department of Kentucky University as a land-grant institution
Land-grant university
Land-grant universities are institutions of higher education in the United States designated by each state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890....

 under the Morrill Act. However, due to questions regarding the appropriateness of a federally funded land-grant college controlled by a religious body, the A&M college was spun off in 1878 as an independent, state-run institution. The A&M of Kentucky soon developed into one of the state's flagship public universities, the University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky, also known as UK, is a public co-educational university and is one of the state's two land-grant universities, located in Lexington, Kentucky...

.

Kentucky University's College of the Bible, which traced its roots to Bacon College's Department of Hebrew Literature, also received its own charter in 1878. The Seminary became a separate institution, although it remained housed on the Kentucky University campus until 1950, later changing its name to the Lexington Theological Seminary
Lexington Theological Seminary
Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution located in Lexington, Kentucky. Although the seminary is related to the Christian Church , it is intentionally ecumenical with almost 50 percent of its enrollment coming from other denominations...

. In 1903, Hamilton College
Hamilton College (Kentucky)
Hamilton College was a private women's college in Lexington, Kentucky, that closed in 1932.Hamilton was founded by banker James M. Hocker in 1869 as the Hocker Female College. In 1878, a donation by William Hamilton changed the name of the school to Hamilton College...

, a Lexington-based women's college
Women's college
Women's colleges in higher education are undergraduate, bachelor's degree-granting institutions, often liberal arts colleges, whose student populations are composed exclusively or almost exclusively of women...

 founded in 1869, merged into Kentucky University.

Due to confusion between Kentucky University and its daughter institution the University of Kentucky, the institution adopted the eldest name in its lineage "Transylvania University" in 1908. This return of its former identity is an example of retrobranding.

Modern era (1908–present)


In 1988, Transylvania University experienced an infringement on the institution's trademark when Hallmark Cards began selling Transylvania University T-shirts. The product, developed for the 1988 Halloween season, was intended to be a novelty item purporting to be college wear from Count Dracula's fictional alma mater. When contacted by the actual Transylvania University, Hallmark apologetically admitted that they were not aware of the Kentucky-based institution and recalled all unsold product immediately.

The school is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Originally it was founded by Christ Episcopal Church's rector (The Rev. MOORE), and then became affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, followed by the Disciples of Christ (which was founded after Transylvania).

Rankings


Transylvania University is ranked 88th among the nation's liberal arts college
Liberal arts college
A liberal arts college is one with a primary emphasis on undergraduate study in the liberal arts and sciences.Students in the liberal arts generally major in a particular discipline while receiving exposure to a wide range of academic subjects, including sciences as well as the traditional...

s according to U.S. News & World Report. The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is an American-based standardized test preparation and admissions consulting company. The Princeton Review operates in 41 states and 22 countries across the globe. It offers test preparation for standardized aptitude tests such as the SAT and advice regarding college...

 ranked Transylvania 1st among colleges with a "Major Frat and Sorority Scene."
In 2009, Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

 ranked it 85th of America's Best Colleges
Forbes Magazine's List of America's Best Colleges
In 2009 Forbes Magazine, along with The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, compiled a list of America's Best Colleges based on "the quality of the education they provide, the experience of the students and how much they achieve".- 2009 List :...

.

Campus


The college is located on a 48 acres (19.4 ha) campus about 4 blocks from downtown Lexington
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

. It has 24 buildings, 3 athletic fields, 4 dining areas, and a National Historic Landmark. The campus is divided in two by North Broadway, with the east side of Broadway containing the university’s academic buildings, and the west side containing the majority of the residential buildings.

Mitchell Fine Arts Center


The Mitchell Fine Arts Center is the home of the university’s music program and provides offices and classrooms for the drama and music programs. It contains a large concert hall, a small theater, a recital hall, the Morlan Gallery, the Rafskeller (sic - see "Traditions") dining facility, the music technology classroom, and the Career Development Center.
Morlan Gallery

The Morlan Gallery hosts six to seven art exhibitions every year during the academic calendar. It primarily serves as a gallery for exhibiting contemporary art including Appalachian Folk art, Chinese art, contemporary African art, sculptural installations, and performance and video pieces. The gallery offers guided tours and lectures for school groups, civic clubs, and senior citizen organizations.

J. Douglas Gay Jr./Frances Carrick Thomas Library


Originally completed in 1952 with a dedication from President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

, the building was renovated and had an addition added in 1985 with a re-dedication from then Vice President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

.

The Special Collections of the library houses a manuscript collection with letters, diaries, and documents of notable historical figures associated with the university including Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

, Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

, Robert Peter, John Wesley Hunt
John Wesley Hunt
John Wesley Hunt was a prominent businessman and early civic leader in Lexington, Kentucky. He was one of the first millionaires west of the Allegheny Mountains....

, Daniel Drake
Daniel Drake
Daniel Drake was an American physician, writer. He was born in Plainfield, N. J. to Isaac Drake and Elizabeth Shotwell, and elder brother of Benjamin Drake author of Life of Tecumseh...

, and Horace Holley. The rare books section houses a collection of books relating to the history of horses and natural history, as well as a collection of pre-1800 medical books. The books belonging to the Transylvania Medical Department, which closed in 1859, are now kept in special collections.

Thomson Hall


The newest residential building on campus, Thomson Hall was opened in the fall of 2008. It received Energy Star
Energy Star
Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products originated in the United States of America. It was first created as a United States government program during the early 1990s, but Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union have also adopted...

 rating in 2009. It serves as a residential building for upper-class students that meet a certain GPA requirement and features 31 suite style living-units which include study areas, living rooms, kitchenettes, bathrooms, and bedrooms. The building is three stories tall, has 28000 square feet (2,601.3 m²) of space, and cost $5.5 million.
Thomson Hall was built to be an environmentally friendly building and it exceeds state insulating value requirements by 28 percent. It has geothermal heating and energy, low flow shower heads, a total energy recovery wheel on outside ventilation, fifty percent recycled material in the parking lot surface, and energy saving lighting.
1780 Café

Formerly located in the basement of Henry Clay Hall but moved to the ground floor of Thomson Hall in 2008, the 1780 Café offers students a place to eat after the campus dining center closes for the night. It is open from 7 p.m. until midnight, Sunday through Thursday.

Old Morrison


Built in 1833 under the supervision of Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

 who was serving as Transylvania’s law professor, Old Morrison is the main administration building for the university. The building, designed by pioneer Kentucky architect Gideon Shryock
Gideon Shryock
Gideon Shryock was an American Greek Revival architect.Shryock was a native of Lexington, Kentucky, the son of a housebuilder and contractor, Mathias Shryock, who had moved to Kentucky from Maryland and who would father 10 other children in Kentucky besides Gideon...

 is National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 and is featured on the city seal of Lexington. It houses the offices of financial aid, the president, admissions, the registrar, communications, accounting, alumni, development, and sustainability. During the Civil War, Old Morrison served as a hospital for Union and Confederate soldiers. Old Morrison was gutted by fire in 1969 but was renovated and reopened in 1971. The building also houses the tomb of Constantine Rafinesque, who was a natural science professor at the university from 1819 to 1826, and Sauveur Francois Bonfils, who taught at the university from 1842-49. A native of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, he was apparently forced to flee due to political discord.

Glenn Building


The Glenn Building was constructed as a multi-purpose building in 2005 and houses the campus bookstore, a coffee shop, and expansion space for the library. It was named in honor of James F. Glenn, a Board of Trustees member who donated $1.1 million for its construction. It utilizes an environmentally friendly geothermal heating and air conditioning system and several mature trees near the site were preserved during construction.

Fraternities and sororities


Transylvania has a thriving Greek life
Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities are fraternal social organizations for undergraduate students. In Latin, the term refers mainly to such organizations at colleges and universities in the United States, although it is also applied to analogous European groups also known as corporations...

 on campus, with four fraternities and four sororities on campus. Over half of the students are members of a Greek organization. Each chapter is represented on either the Interfraternity Council (fraternities) or the Panhellenic Association (sororities). In its 2011 edition of "The Best 373 Colleges", the Princeton Review named Transylvania number 1 on its list of colleges with "A Major Frat or Sorority Scene" In 2010, the school was named number 1 in percentage of Greek students on campus.

Fraternities
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
    Pi Kappa Alpha
    Pi Kappa Alpha is a Greek social fraternity with over 230 chapters and colonies and over 250,000 lifetime initiates in the United States and Canada.-History:...

     - Kappa Chapter, founded in 1868
  • Kappa Alpha Order
    Kappa Alpha Order
    Kappa Alpha Order is a social fraternity and fraternal order. Kappa Alpha Order has 124 active chapters, 3 provisional chapters, and 2 commissions...

     - Alpha Theta Chapter, founded in 1891
  • Kappa Sigma
    Kappa Sigma
    Kappa Sigma , commonly nicknamed Kappa Sig, is an international fraternity with currently 282 active chapters and colonies in North America. Kappa Sigma has initiated more than 240,000 men on college campuses throughout the United States and Canada. Today, the Fraternity has over 175,000 living...

     - Alpha Omicron, founded September 7, 1994 (dormant)
  • Phi Kappa Tau
    Phi Kappa Tau
    Phi Kappa Tau is a U.S. national collegiate fraternity.-History:Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity was founded in the Union Literary Society Hall of Miami University's Old Main Building in Oxford, Ohio on March 17, 1906...

     - Theta Chapter, founded in 1917
  • Delta Sigma Phi
    Delta Sigma Phi
    Delta Sigma Phi is a fraternity established at the City College of New York in 1899 and is a charter member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference. The headquarters of the fraternity is the Taggart Mansion located in Indianapolis, Indiana...

     - Beta Mu Chapter, founded in 1941


Sororities
  • Chi Omega
    Chi Omega
    Chi Omega is a women's fraternity and the largest member of the National Panhellenic Conference. Chi Omega has 174 active collegiate chapters and over 230 alumnae chapters. Chi Omega's national headquarters is located in Memphis, Tennessee....

     - Chi Chapter, founded in 1903
  • Delta Delta Delta
    Delta Delta Delta
    Delta Delta Delta , also known as Tri Delta, is an international sorority founded on November 27, 1888, the eve of Thanksgiving Day. With over 200,000 initiates, Tri Delta is one of the world's largest NPC sororities.-History:...

     - Beta Zeta Chapter, founded in 1908
  • Phi Mu
    Phi Mu
    Phi Mu is the second oldest female fraternal organization established in the United States. It was founded at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. The organization was founded as the Philomathean Society on January 4, 1852, and was announced publicly on March 4 of the same year...

     - Delta Theta Chapter, founded in 1939
  • Delta Zeta
    Delta Zeta
    Delta Zeta is an international college sorority founded on October 24, 1902, at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Today, Delta Zeta has 158 collegiate chapters in the United States and over 200 alumnae chapters in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada...

     - founded in 1954 (closed)
  • Sigma Kappa
    Sigma Kappa
    Sigma Kappa is a sorority founded in 1874 at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Sigma Kappa was founded by five women: Mary Caffrey Low Carver, Elizabeth Gorham Hoag, Ida Mabel Fuller Pierce, Frances Elliott Mann Hall and Louise Helen Coburn...

     - founded in 1966 (closed 1984)
  • Alpha Omicron Pi
    Alpha Omicron Pi
    Alpha Omicron Pi is an international women's fraternity promoting friendship for a lifetime, inspiring academic excellence and lifelong learning, and developing leadership skills through service to the Fraternity and community. ΑΟΠ was founded on January 2, 1897 at Barnard College on the campus...

     - Tau Omega Chapter, founded in 1987

Rafinesque Week


Thanks to Transylvania’s unusual name and the on-campus tomb of two 19th-century professors, Halloween has become a week-long celebration at Transylvania. Known as Rafinesque Week in honor of the 19th-century botanist, inventor, and Transylvania professor Constantine Rafinesque, the college ends October with a unique combination of activities including ghost stories, a haunted house, a flag football tournament, and a lottery for four students to win the chance to spend the night in Rafinesque’s tomb.

In honor of the colorful professor, the downstairs grill in the Mitchell Fine Arts Building is called the "Rafskeller" instead of the traditional Rathskeller
Rathskeller
Ratskeller is a name in German-speaking countries for a bar or restaurant located in the basement of a city hall or nearby...

.

Orientation Weekend


The weekend before classes start in the fall is known as Orientation Weekend. During this time new students move in before upperclassmen, and are given the opportunity to learn about the campus and customs of Transylvania. They take part in community building exercises including a serenade of the first-year women by the first-year men on the steps of Old Morrison and a greet line, where every first-year student goes down the line and shakes hands with every other first-year student.

Kissing Tree


Just outside of the library, there stands a white ash tree estimated to be approximately 260 years old, 35 years older than the university itself. In the 1940s and 1950s, the administration turned a blind eye to couples kissing in public here, at a time when it was frowned upon elsewhere on campus. The romance of the site developed further as a tradition of couples kissing under the tree grew. Today, with the rules on public displays of affection slackened, the tradition isn’t as significant as it once was, but alumni from the 1940s and 1950s remember what the tree represented for them. Students today still refer to the tree as the Kissing Tree. In 2003 The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Chronicle of Higher Education is a newspaper and website that presents news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty, staff members and administrators....

included the Kissing Tree among the most romantic places on college campuses in America and it was mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article about romance on college campuses.

Notable alumni


  • James Lane Allen
    James Lane Allen
    James Lane Allen was an American novelist and short story writer whose work, including the novel A Kentucky Cardinal, often depicted the culture and dialects of his native Kentucky. His work is characteristic of the late-19th century local color era, when writers sought to capture the vernacular...

    , author
  • Landaff Andrews
    Landaff Andrews
    Landaff Watson Andrews was a United States Representative from Kentucky. Born in Flemingsburg, Kentucky, he graduated from the law department of Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky in 1826 and was admitted to the bar the same year...

  • David Rice Atchison
    David Rice Atchison
    David Rice Atchison was a mid-19th century Democratic United States Senator from Missouri. He served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate for six years...

    , former U.S. Senator from Missouri
  • Stephen F. Austin
    Stephen F. Austin
    Stephen Fuller Austin was born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri. He was known as the Father of Texas, led the second, but first legal and ultimately successful colonization of the region by bringing 300 families from the United States. The capital of Texas, Austin in Travis County,...

    , founder of Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

    , graduated in 1810
  • Cy Barger
    Cy Barger
    Eros Bolivar "Cy" Barger was a right-handed starting pitcher and left-handed batter who played in the American League for the New York Highlanders ; in the National League with the Brooklyn teams Superbas and Dodgers , and for the Pittsburgh Rebels in the Federal League.A native of Jamestown,...

    , major league baseball player
  • Eugene C. Barker
    Eugene C. Barker
    Eugene Campbell Barker was a distinguished professor of Texas history at the University of Texas at Austin. He was the first living person to have a UT campus building, the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, named in his honor. The structure is part of the Center for American History and was...

    , historian; wrote The Life of Stephen F. Austin (1925); received LL.D. from Transylvania in 1940
  • William T. Barry
    William T. Barry
    William Taylor Barry was an American statesman and jurist.-History:Born near Lunenburg, Virginia, he moved to Fayette County, Kentucky, in 1796 with his parents John Barry, an American Revolutionary War veteran, and Susannah Barry...

  • Ned Beatty
    Ned Beatty
    Ned Thomas Beatty is an American actor who has appeared in more than 100 films and has been nominated for an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain and a Golden Globe Award; won a Drama Desk Award....

    , actor
  • James G. Birney
    James G. Birney
    James Gillespie Birney was an abolitionist, politician and jurist born in Danville, Kentucky. From 1816 to 1818, he served in the Kentucky House of Representatives...

  • David Grant Colson
    David Grant Colson
    David Grant Colson was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky.-Biography:Born in Yellow Creek , Knox County, Kentucky, Colson attended the common schools and the academies at Tazewell and Mossy Creek, Tennessee.He studied law at the University of Kentucky at Lexington in 1879 and 1880.He was...

  • Edward A. Eckenhoff
    Edward A. Eckenhoff
    Edward A. Eckenhoff is founder and president of the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC. U.S. News & World Report consistently rates NRH among "America's Best Hospitals." Formerly, Eckenhoff was vice president and administrator of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.Since the...

    , President and CEO National Rehabilitation Hospital
    National Rehabilitation Hospital
    The National Rehabilitation Hospital is located in Washington, D.C., and specializes in treating persons with physical disabilities, including spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, arthritis, amputation, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, orthopedic, and other neurological conditions.The...

    , Washington, DC
  • Francis Preston Blair
    Francis Preston Blair
    Francis Preston Blair, Sr. was an American journalist and politician.-Biography:Blair was born at Abingdon, Virginia. He moved to Kentucky, graduated from Transylvania University in 1811, took to journalism, and was a contributor to Amos Kendall's paper, the Argus, at Frankfort...

  • Francis Preston Blair, Jr.
    Francis Preston Blair, Jr.
    Francis Preston Blair, Jr. was an American politician and Union Army general during the American Civil War. He represented Missouri in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and he was the Democratic Party's nominee for Vice President in 1868.-Early life and career:Blair was born in...

  • Levi Boone
    Levi Boone
    Levi Day Boone served as mayor of Chicago, Illinois for the American Party .-Early Life:...

  • John C. Breckinridge
    John C. Breckinridge
    John Cabell Breckinridge was an American lawyer and politician. He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Kentucky and was the 14th Vice President of the United States , to date the youngest vice president in U.S...

    , Vice President, United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    ; Secretary of War, Confederate States of America
    Confederate States of America
    The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

  • B. Gratz Brown
    B. Gratz Brown
    Benjamin Gratz Brown was an American politician. He was a Senator, the 20th Governor of Missouri, and the Liberal Republican and Democratic Party Vice presidential candidate in the presidential election of 1872.-Early life:...

  • William Orlando Butler
    William Orlando Butler
    William Orlando Butler was a U.S. political figure and U.S. Army major general from Kentucky. He served as a Democratic congressman from Kentucky from 1839 to 1843, and was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee under Lewis Cass in 1848.-Early life:Butler was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky,...

  • Alexander Campbell
    Alexander Campbell (American politician)
    Alexander Campbell was a National Republican politician from Ohio. He served in the United States Senate.Born in Frederick County, Virginia, Campbell moved to eastern Tennessee and then to Kentucky with his parents. After studying medicine at Transylvania University, Campbell moved to Ohio in...

    , Senator from Ohio
  • Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler, Sr. Major League Baseball commissioner, Governor of Kentucky, and Senator from Kentucky
  • Thomas James Churchill
    Thomas James Churchill
    Thomas James Churchill was a Confederate major general during the American Civil War and the 13th Governor of the state of Arkansas.-Early life:...

  • Cassius Marcellus Clay
    Cassius Marcellus Clay (abolitionist)
    Cassius Marcellus Clay , nicknamed "The Lion of White Hall", was an emancipationist from Madison County, Kentucky, United States who served as the American minister to Russia...

    , abolitionist
  • Jefferson Davis
    Jefferson Davis
    Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

    , President of the Confederate States of America
    Confederate States of America
    The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

    ; transferred to West Point
  • William M. Gwin
    William M. Gwin
    William McKendree Gwin was an American medical doctor and politician.Born near Gallatin, Tennessee, his father, the Reverend James Gwin, was a pioneer Methodist minister under the Rev. William McKendree, his son's namesake. Rev. James Gwin also served as a soldier on the frontier under General...

    , U.S. Senator
  • John Marshall Harlan
    John Marshall Harlan
    John Marshall Harlan was a Kentucky lawyer and politician who served as an associate justice on the Supreme Court. He is most notable as the lone dissenter in the Civil Rights Cases , and Plessy v...

    , U.S. Supreme Court Justice, graduated in 1853, and was first justice to have earned a modern law degree
    Law degree
    A Law degree is an academic degree conferred for studies in law. Such degrees are generally preparation for legal careers; but while their curricula may be reviewed by legal authority, they do not themselves confer a license...

  • Teresa Isaac
    Teresa Isaac
    Teresa Isaac, an American politician, served as mayor of Lexington, Kentucky from 2002-2006.- Political life :Isaac was elected to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government council as an At-Large member in 1988. In 1992, she was reelected to the Urban County Council becoming the Vice-Mayor. ...

    , mayor of Lexington, Kentucky 2002-2006
  • Richard Mentor Johnson
    Richard Mentor Johnson
    Richard Mentor Johnson was the ninth Vice President of the United States, serving in the administration of Martin Van Buren . He was the only vice-president ever elected by the United States Senate under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment. Johnson also represented Kentucky in the U.S...

    , Vice President of the United States
  • Albert Sidney Johnston
    Albert Sidney Johnston
    Albert Sidney Johnston served as a general in three different armies: the Texas Army, the United States Army, and the Confederate States Army...

    , Confederate General
  • Beriah Magoffin
    Beriah Magoffin
    Beriah Magoffin was the 21st Governor of Kentucky, serving during the early part of the Civil War. Personally, Magoffin adhered to a states' rights position, including the right of a state to secede from the Union, and he sympathized with the Confederate cause...

    , Governor of Kentucky
    Governor of Kentucky
    The Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the head of the executive branch of government in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Fifty-six men and one woman have served as Governor of Kentucky. The governor's term is four years in length; since 1992, incumbents have been able to seek re-election once...

  • Stevens Thomson Mason (1811–1843), Governor of Michigan 1835-1840
  • John Calvin McCoy
    John Calvin McCoy
    John Calvin McCoy is considered the "father of Kansas City."McCoy was born in Vincennes, Indiana. He studied at Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky, during 1826-1827...

    , founder of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Samuel Freeman Miller
    Samuel Freeman Miller
    Samuel Freeman Miller was an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1862–1890. He was a physician and lawyer.-Early life and education:...

    , Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court; graduated with medical degree in 1838
  • Daniel Mongiardo
    Daniel Mongiardo
    Frank Daniel Mongiardo is an American physician and politician from Kentucky. Mongiardo is a Democrat and has been Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky since 2007. He was a member of the Kentucky State Senate from 2001 to 2007. He also ran for the U.S...

    , Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
    Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
    The office of lieutenant governor of Kentucky has existed under the last three of Kentucky's four constitutions, beginning in 1797. The lieutenant governor serves as governor of Kentucky under circumstances similar to the Vice President of the United States assuming the powers of the presidency...

  • Brian Poe
    Brian Poe
    Brian Christopher Poe is an American businessman most commonly known for his pioneering of second chance opportunities for American citizens with a criminal record. He is currently the majority shareholder and Chairman of the Board for Corrisoft, LLC.-Early life:Poe was born in Maysville,...

    , CEO of EAS Technologies
  • Charles Lynn Pyatt
    Charles Lynn Pyatt
    Dr. Charles Lynn Pyatt was an American Christian minister, author and academic who served as Dean of the College of Bible in Lexington, Kentucky....

    , dean, Lexington Theological Seminary
    Lexington Theological Seminary
    Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution located in Lexington, Kentucky. Although the seminary is related to the Christian Church , it is intentionally ecumenical with almost 50 percent of its enrollment coming from other denominations...

  • James S. Rollins
    James S. Rollins
    James Sidney Rollins was a nineteenth century Missouri politician and lawyer. He helped establish the University of Missouri, led the successful effort to get it located in Boone County, and gained funding for the University with the passage of a series of acts in the Missouri Legislature...

    , Missouri politician, "Father of the University of Missouri"
  • Clyde Roper
    Clyde Roper
    Clyde F. E. Roper is a zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution. He has organised many expeditions to New Zealand to study giant squid, in 1997, 1999, and possibly 2003. He is a 1959 graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky....

    , zoologist
  • Lee Rose, basketball coach
  • Wilson Shannon
    Wilson Shannon
    Wilson Shannon was a Democratic politician from Ohio and Kansas. He served as the 14th and 16th Governor of Ohio, and was the first governor of Ohio born in the state...

  • George Shannon, member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition
  • James Speed
    James Speed
    James Speed was an American lawyer, politician and professor. In 1864, he was appointed by Abraham Lincoln to be the United States' Attorney General. He previously served in the Kentucky Legislature, and in local political office.Speed was born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, to Judge John Speed...

  • Robert Wilson
    Robert Wilson
    Robert Wilson may refer to:In politics:* Rob Wilson , British politician and entrepreneur, MP for Reading East* Robert J. Wilson, candidate in the 1953 Manitoba provincial election* Robert John Wilson, Member of Parliament for Jarrow...

    , Professor of Old Testament at Yale University

Notable faculty

  • Henry Bidleman Bascom
    Henry Bidleman Bascom
    Henry Bidleman Bascom was an American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, elected in 1850. He also distinguished himself as a Circuit rider, pastor and Christian preacher; as chaplain to the U.S...

     (1796–1850) - U.S. Congressional Chaplain, Methodist Bishop, President of Transylvania University 1842-1849.
  • Robert Hamilton Bishop
    Robert Hamilton Bishop
    Robert Hamilton Bishop was a Scottish-American educator and Presbyterian minister who became the first president of Miami University in Ohio...

     - became the first president of Miami University
    Miami University
    Miami University is a coeducational public research university located in Oxford, Ohio, United States. Founded in 1809, it is the 10th oldest public university in the United States and the second oldest university in Ohio, founded four years after Ohio University. In its 2012 edition, U.S...

    .

  • Daniel Drake
    Daniel Drake
    Daniel Drake was an American physician, writer. He was born in Plainfield, N. J. to Isaac Drake and Elizabeth Shotwell, and elder brother of Benjamin Drake author of Life of Tecumseh...

     - Taught materia medica
    Materia medica
    Materia medica is a Latin medical term for the body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing . The term 'materia medica' derived from the title of a work by the Ancient Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides in the 1st century AD, De materia medica libre...

     from 1817 to 1818. Drake was an early settler of Cincinnati, Ohio
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Cincinnati is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio. Cincinnati is the county seat of Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located to north of the Ohio River at the Ohio-Kentucky border, near Indiana. The population within city limits is 296,943 according to the 2010 census, making it Ohio's...

     who later founded the Ohio Medical College, later Medical College of the University of Cincinnati. He also returned to Transylvania University in 1823 and remained until 1827, the year his wife died. From 1825 to 1827 he served as dean of the university.

  • Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, a professor of botany at Transylvania University in 1819, teaching French
    French language
    French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

     and Italian
    Italian language
    Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

     as well. His tomb is on campus. Each Halloween, students celebrate "Rafinesque Week," which includes bonfires, mock awards, ghost tours of campus and as the culmination of the week, four students chosen from a lottery will spend the night in the tomb of Rafinesque in Old Morrison, the school's administration building.

  • Charles Martin "C. M." Newton
    C. M. Newton
    Charles Martin "C. M." Newton is a retired American basketball player, coach and administrator. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a Contributor on October 13, 2000....

    , TU basketball coach, 1956-68. Coach Newton led the 1963 Transylvania team to the NAIA National Tournament, and later became head coach at the University of Alabama
    University of Alabama
    The University of Alabama is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States....

     and Vanderbilt University
    Vanderbilt University
    Vanderbilt University is a private research university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1873, the university is named for shipping and rail magnate "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided Vanderbilt its initial $1 million endowment despite having never been to the...

    . Following his coaching career, Newton was named athletic director at the University of Kentucky
    University of Kentucky
    The University of Kentucky, also known as UK, is a public co-educational university and is one of the state's two land-grant universities, located in Lexington, Kentucky...

    .

Popular culture

  • Transylvania University is the setting for part of the novel All the King's Men
    All the King's Men
    All the King's Men is a novel by Robert Penn Warren first published in 1946. Its title is drawn from the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. In 1947 Warren won the Pulitzer Prize for All the King's Men....

    by Robert Penn Warren
    Robert Penn Warren
    Robert Penn Warren was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic and was one of the founders of New Criticism. He was also a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He founded the influential literary journal The Southern Review with Cleanth Brooks in 1935...

    .
  • The university was immortalized in Robert Lowell's sonnet "The Graduate (Elizabeth)". The poem states glibly that 'Transylvania's Greek Revival Chapel/ is one of the best Greek Revival things in the South.'

External links