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Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU)

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Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University

Location: Frankfort, Kentucky
School Size: 2,148 undergraduate students
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Only the second state-supported institution of higher learning in Kentucky, the university was founded in May 1886 as the State Normal School for Colored Persons. The city's '4,000 citizens were interested in having the new institution placed in Frankfort during the city's 1886 centennial celebration. The city contributed $1,500 and a location on a rounded cliff. The day was won by the community's combined enthusiasm and devotion. Despite competition from several other cities, the new college was established in Frankfort. In 1887, Jackson Hall, the college's first structure, was completed. On October 11, 1887, the new school debuted with three professors, 55 students, and John H. Jackson as president. KSU became a land grant college in 1890, and the school's curriculum was expanded to include departments of home economics, agriculture, and mechanics. In the spring of that year, the school graduated its first class of five pupils. In 1893, a high school was established. In both name and program, this expansion lasted into the twentieth century. Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons was established in 1902. In 1926, the school was renamed Kentucky State Industrial College for Colored People. The high school was closed in the early 1930s, and the Kentucky State College for Negroes was established in 1938. In 1952, the phrase "for Negroes" was eliminated. Kentucky State College became a university in 1972, and the School of Public Affairs welcomed its first graduate students in 1973.