Legacies Historical Marker
Written by: Shelby Riddell ('14)
Georgetown College's first president was William Staughton. Staughton died en route from Washington D.C. on his way to fulfill his duties as the College's earliest leader. The earliest presidents served for a few years each (Joel Smith Bacon, 1830-32; Benjamin Franklin Farnsworth, 1836-37; Rockwood Giddings, 1838-39). The last of these-Rockwood Giddings-took over the presidency when the college was in much need. Before he was elected the majority of the faculty had been terminated due to religious differences among them and between them and the College's affiliations. There was little funding and few students graduated during this period. Giddings managed to secure endowment, hire the first permanent faculty, instigate the plans for the College's first permanent building, and establish an all-Baptist Board of Trustees. Due to traveling to raise funds and preach, Giddings died within one year of his presidency at the age of 27.
From these beginnings the College has been affiliated with Baptist leadership of the state and the emergent tradition of liberal arts education. The College's liberal arts tradition was established through the vision of President Howard Malcom, who succeeded Giddings as President in 1840. The leadership of the College has played an important part in academic, athletic, spiritual, and other initiatives.
In terms of the College's recent history, William H. Crouch, Jr. was named president in 1991-a role that he maintained for 22 years. During this period buildings and fiscal improvement were paramount, with the creation of the Anna Ashcraft Ensor Learning Resource Center and the Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Building. Programs were established such as the Christian Leaders Scholarship, Equine Scholars, Global Scholars, First Tee Program, and Oxford Programs. In 2013, President Crouch retired from his position leading the way for Georgetown's 24th president Dr. Dwaine Greene.
From its beginning, Georgetown College has stood in high regard beyond academics. In addition to our recognition as the first Baptist College west of the Allegheny Mountains, the College is recognized as hosting the first collegiate acting troupe in the state of Kentucky, the Maskrafters. This troupe has been performing since 1924 and continues to perform in conjunction with the theatre department on campus.
Georgetown's athletic teams are a driving force behind pride on campus. On campus there are various sports represented, such as football, women's and men's basketball, baseball, softball, track and field, and women's and men's soccer. The newest athletic team is lacrosse, which was added in 2013-14. Georgetown has also held the title for six national championships in last 20 years alone. Recent NAIA championships have been captured by the 1991, 2000, and 2001 football teams and the 2013 men's basketball team. Head basketball coach Chris Briggs was named the NAIA Coach of the Year in 2013.
Georgetown College has also been a host to four sororities, four fraternities and a non-Greek letter society. Sigma Kappa was the first sorority founded on campus in 1929. Next Kappa Delta was founded in 1946. Phi Mu arrived on campus in 1969. Finally Alpha Gamma Delta began the local chapter in 1999. The oldest fraternity on campus is Kappa Alpha, founded in 1904. Two years later Pi Kappa Alpha began a local chapter. In 1924, Lambda Chi Alpha was present on Georgetown's Chapters. Phi Kappa Tau began a chapter in 1970. In addition to Greek affiliations, the President's House Association is a local, non-Greek social organization that began in 1964.
Over time, the College has grown into an undergraduate and graduate institution with more than 1100 undergraduate students from 30 states and eight foreign countries. The student-faculty ratio is 9:1; 100% of our student body receives some form of financial aid. The College has produced 5 Rhodes Scholars and 28 Fulbright Scholars over the years. In addition, each year there are several students who are considered legacies. These students decide to attend Georgetown College, as their family members did before them. This is a testament to the impact Georgetown College has had on students over time and into our future.