Kentucky State University, one of the state’s two accredited HBCUs, has a long and storied history. The first permanent building on the campus, Jackson Hall, appears on the National Register. Directly in front of the Jackson Hall is a historic marker with an overview of the university’s founding: Kentucky State University chartered in 1886; opened in 1887 with three teachers and 55 students. The first state-supported institution of higher education for Africans, Kentucky State U. gained funds from legislature for building and teachers, and from Frankfort city council for site and clearing of grounds. Ky State earned four-year college status in 1931, and achieved university status in 1972.
As the public university in the state’s capital, Kentucky State University attracts a large number of government employees. Subsequently, the Ky State U educates a higher proportion of adult learners (students aged 25 and older) and European Americans than most HBCU. Walking on campus, however, KySU student life closely resembles the activities I have seen at other HBCU.
Located between the two largest cities in Kentucky, Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky State University attracts students from the state’s urban centers as well as the Bluegrass state’s “hills and hollows.” Students appear really involved and engaged around campus, during my visit I saw campaign signs for student government positions and student organizations hosting cookouts.
Kentucky State University: enter to learn go out to serve.