|Motto||Where Students and Learning Come First|
|President||Michael T. Benson|
|Provost||Deborah Whitehouse (interim)|
|1,554 full-time |
|Location||Richmond, Kentucky, United States|
|Colors||Maroon and White 
EKU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It maintains branch campuses in Corbin, Hazard, Somerset, Danville, Lancaster, and Manchester and offers more than 40 online undergraduate and graduate options.
Central University was founded in 1874 on the present site of Eastern Kentucky University. In 1901, beset with financial difficulties and small enrollment, Central University agreed to consolidation with Centre College. The Kentucky General Assembly of 1906 enacted legislation establishing the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School No. 1. The legislation was signed into law by the governor on March 21, 1906. On May 7, 1906, the Normal School Commission selected the site of the former Central University campus to be the location of the new school. In 1922 it became a four-year institution and changed its name to the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School and Teachers College, awarding its first degrees under that name in 1925. The school received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1928; then, two years later, in 1930, it changed its name again to the Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College. Eastern added graduate studies in 1935, and thirteen years later, in 1948, the General Assembly removed the word Teachers from the school's name, and granted it the right to award nonprofessional degrees. It was not until 1966 that the school was officially renamed Eastern Kentucky University. In 2010, the university awarded its first doctoral degree—in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. EKU continues to serve its service region by offering adult degree completion options and online degree programs in addition to its traditional on-campus offerings.
The years since 2012 have been marked by a significant building campaign that has altered the campus layout and improved aesthetics. Funding for the multimillion dollar project has relied heavily on public-private partnerships (P3) under the leadership of current President Michael T. Benson. The recent construction efforts at the university mark the most significant period of campus facility development since President Robert R. Martin's tenure in the 1960s. Among the renovations and additions are:
- Powell Student Center (2019)
- New Rec Center (2019)
- Case Dining Hall (2018)
- New Science Building (Phase II) (2017)
- New Earle Combs Stadium (Baseball Field) (2017)
- New Gertrude Hood Stadium (Softball Field) (2017)
- Carloftis Garden (2017)
- New Martin Hall (2017)
- North Hall (previously known as New Hall B) (2017)
- Scholar House (2017)
- Parking Garage (2017)
- Turner Gate (2016)
- John Grant Crabbe Main Library's Noel Reading Porch (2015)
- Lancaster Avenue Pedway (2015/2017)
- Hummel Planetarium upgrades (2015)
- 1971 Verdin Carillon bells (Keen Johnson Building) (2014)
- New Hall 2013
- New Science Building (Phase I) (2012)
Eastern Kentucky University has achieved national recognition, including mostly recently by the U.S. News & World Report 2018 Rankings:
- #27 (tie) in Regional Universities South - Top Public Schools (29th in 2017)
- #73 (tie) in Regional Universities South (79th in 2017)
- #37 Best Graduate School - Occupational Therapy
- #158 Best Graduate School - Public Affairs
- #163 Best Graduate School - Speech-Language Pathology
- #39 (tie) Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs (18th in 2017)
- #99 (tie) Best Online Bachelor's Programs (63rd in 2017)
- #92 (tie) Best Online Graduate Education Programs (78th in 2017)
- #637 Top Colleges
- #249 in Public Colleges
- #172 in the South
Additional recognitions include:
- Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's 2015 Community Engagement Classification
- 3 Star Premier University by Campus Pride for LGBTQ+ student resources and services
- Chronicle of Higher Education's 2016 Great Colleges to Work For
- #37 Graduate School Occupational Therapy Programs by the 2016 U.S. News Best Graduate Schools rankings
- 2016 recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine
- #17 Best for Vets Colleges 2017 by the MilitaryTimes
- College of Business and Technology
- College of Education
- College of Health Sciences
- College of Justice and Safety
- College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences
- College of Science
On Wednesday, November 4, 1987, the Faculty Senate voted to approve an honors program to attract high-achieving students in Kentucky. The board of regents subsequently approved the proposal on Saturday, January 16, 1988. The first 34 students entered the program beginning in the fall semester of 1988 under the direction of Dr. Bonnie Gray, a professor of philosophy who was appointed by then-President Funderburk in April of that year. Dr. Gray retired in 2008, having served as a well-known and beloved director of the program for 20 years. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and capped by a senior thesis project. Students who successfully complete all program requirements receive the "Honors Scholar" designation on their diplomas.
Today, the honors program is nationally recognized. Each year the program sends the largest delegation to the annual National Collegiate Honors Council Conference, where students present their research. Additionally, students in the program have received prestigious awards, including the Fulbright, the Truman, the Mitchell, and the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship. Currently, Dr. David Coleman directs the program, which consists of five full-time staff and approximately 496 students.
- John Grant Crabbe Library
- Business Library and Academic Commons
- Music Library Branch
More than 230 registered student organizations are active on campus, including Greek chapters, political organizations, the Student Government Association, the EKU BassMasters, EKU Kendo Club and the EKU Anime Club. Many of these organizations routinely hold events, programs, and fundraisers.
Student Government Association
The Student Government Association is the formal student governing body consisting of executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The association is a registered student organization, and every student enrolled in classes at the university is considered a member.
Eastern Kentucky University has a vital and active Greek community with a rich history of philanthropy and campus/community service.
The school is best known for its Football Championship Subdivision football team, which has captured 22 OVC conference titles and two Division I-AA National Championships in 1979 and 1982. Much of the success came during the long tenure of head coach Roy Kidd from 1964 to 2002. Kidd, with a career coaching record of 314-124-8, is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Now led by first-year coach Mark Elder, the Colonels returned to the national FCS playoffs in 2011.
The men's and women's cross country team has also been a staple of success over the recent decade. The men's team has won all ten of the last ten OVC Championships, and the women have won nine of the last ten. In 2011 the men's cross country team qualified for NCAA National Cross Country Meet for the first time in school history. Since 2011, the team has qualified for the NCAA National Cross Country Meet five consecutive times.
Eastern Kentucky University has few notable traditions, the most prominent is the rubbing of Daniel Boone's left foot for good luck.
The statue features prominently in front of the Keen John Building. More recently, Eastern President Benson has initiated the Welcome Walk at the beginning of the fall semester. First year students gather in front of Keen Johnson Building with the president before walking along University Drive and passing through the new Turner Gate.
The Eastern Progress
Founded on October 7, 1968, WEKU (88.9 FM) is a National Public Radio-affiliated station owned by Eastern Kentucky University. It primarily features NPR news and talk programming, along with classical music from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. at night. WEKU also operates satellite stations WEKP (90.1 FM) in Pineville, WEKH (90.9 FM) in Hazard, WEKF (88.5 FM) in Corbin and three translators in Middlesboro (102.5 FM, W273AY), Barbourville (96.9 FM, W245AS) and Pikeville (95.1 FM, W251AI).
WEKU competes with the University of Kentucky's WUKY, making Lexington one of the smallest markets with two competing full NPR member stations. EKU also programs former smooth jazz station WKYL 102.1 FM as a primarily classical music service and sister to WEKU.
Student body profile
In the fall 2015 semester, the student population represented multiple and diverse backgrounds including:
- Women: 57.5%
- Men: 42.5%
- White non-Hispanic: 83.1%
- Black non-Hispanic: 5.9%
- Other or multi races: 5%
- Two or more races: 2.2%
- Hispanic or Latino: 2%
- Non-resident Alien: 1.8%
- Asian non-Hispanic: 0.9%
- American Indian/Alaskan Native: 0.3%
- Nat. Hawaiian or Pac. Islander: 0.1%
- Unknown: 3.7%
Enrollment by campus
In the fall of 2014, there were more than 16,000 students at the main, regional, and online campuses:
- Total enrollment for all campuses: 16,567
- Main Campus (Richmond): 12,357
- Corbin Campus: 500
- Danville Campus: 318
- Manchester Campus: 190
- Somerset: 42
- Ecampus: 2,671
- Online: 1,707
- Ruric Nevel Roark, 1906–1909
- Mary C. Roark 1909–1910
- John Grant Crabbe, 1910–1916
- Thomas Jackson Coates, 1916–1928
- Dr. Herman Lee Donovan, 1928–1941
- Dr. William Francis O'Donnell, 1941–1960
- Dr. Robert R. Martin, 1960–1976
- Dr. J.C. Powell, 1976–1984
- Dr. Hanley Funderburk, 1984–1998
- Dr. Robert W. Kustra, 1998–2001
- Dr. Joanne K. Glasser, 2001–2007
- Dr. Charles Douglas Whitlock, 2007–2013
- Dr. Michael T. Benson, 2013–present
- Anthony Miller – radio personality on the Kane Show (iheartradio)
- Josh Anderson – (baseball) center fielder, Cincinnati Reds
- Yeremiah Bell – (football) retired, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals
- Eula Bingham – noted occupational health scientist
- Elmo Boyd – (football) wide receiver, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers
- Chad Bratzke – (football) defensive end, New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts
- Dwight Butler – member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 18th District
- John "Bam" Carney – educator/coach; member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 51st District
- Wally Chambers – (football) defensive tackle, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winner of the 1973 Defensive NFL Rookie of the Year Award
- Sam Champion – weather editor/anchor for "Good Morning America" and ABC News; former weather forecaster for WABC-TV
- Tom Colbert – first African-American Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice (M.Ed.)
- Earle Combs – (baseball) former New York Yankee teammate of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Danny Copeland – (football) defensive back, Washington Redskins. Starter on the Redskins Super Bowl XXVI champions. Currently a motivational speaker in Meigs, Georgia.
- Dale Dawson – (football) placekicker; Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, and Green Bay Packers
- Jessamyn Duke – professional Mixed Martial Artist formally for the UFC
- Jason Dunn – (football) veteran tight end, Kansas City Chiefs
- George Floyd – (football) defensive back, New York Jets Member of the College Football Hall of Fame
- Danny Ford – House Republican Whip, member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 80th District
- Christian Friedrich – (baseball) starting pitcher, Colorado Rockies
- Myron Guyton – (football) defensive back, New York Giants and New England Patriots. Starter on Giants Super Bowl XXV champions. Currently a successful businessman in suburban Atlanta.
- Chandler Hale – finalist on the FXX reality show TwerkTeam
- Ole Hesselbjerg – 2016 Rio Summer Olympian
- Carl Hurley – noted humorist and motivational speaker; former EKU professor.
- Chris Isaac – (football) CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie Award in 1982
- John Jackson – (football) former NFL tackle (171st person in NFL history to play in at least 200 games)
- Aaron Jones – (football) former NFL defensive end
- Roy Kidd – (football/baseball) eighth winningest coach in college football history, two-time NCAA National Champion (1979 and 1982). Member of the College Football Hall of Fame
- Kim King – member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 55th House District
- Laura Kirkpatrick – runner up of America's Next Top Model Cycle 13
- Robert Leahy – Clermont County, Ohio Sheriff
- Homer Ledford – bluegrass musician and member of the Cabin Creek Band
- Lee Majors – (attended as Harvey Yeary) Six Million Dollar Man (1962, History/Physical Education)
- Jeffrey McKendree – professionally licensed fire protection engineer.
- Antwaun Molden – (football) 3rd-round (79th overall) pick of the Houston Texans in 2008 NFL Draft
- Dan Patrick – gained fame as co-host of ESPN's SportsCenter, attended EKU for two years on a basketball scholarship.
- Steve Pence – former Lieutenant Governor and Justice Secretary of Kentucky
- Rex Ryan – head coach of the Buffalo Bills
- Thaksin Shinawatra – former Prime Minister of Thailand (1975, M.S. in criminal justice)
- Garfield Smith – (basketball) former NBA and ABA player
- Ken Upchurch – member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from District 52 in Wayne County
- Alecia Webb-Edgington – former executive director, Kentucky Office of Homeland Security; member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 63rd District
- Crystal Wilkinson – writer, poet, educator, and winner of 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence
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- "EKU Regional Campuses". eku.edu.
- "Accredited Online Degree Programs from EKU – Earn Your Degree Online – Online Degree Programs – – Eastern Kentucky University". eku.edu.
- Eastern Kentucky University, EKU Undergraduate Catalog. 2007–2008. pg 6
- "Finish Your Degree – Eastern Kentucky University". eku.edu.
- Barker, Ricki (August 18, 2017). "Eastern continues to expand its 'campus beautiful'". Richmond Register. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
- "New Residence Halls, Science Bldg. Phase 2 Open". EKU Builds. July 25, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
- "Renovations Begin For EKU Baseball & Softball Stadiums".
- "Construction Begins on Scholar House".
- "Gate Dream Come True For Turners | EKU Stories | Eastern Kentucky University". stories.eku.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
- "Noel Reading Porch | EKU Libraries | Eastern Kentucky University". library.eku.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- Eads, Morgan (January 17, 2017). "EKU pedway reopens months after being damaged in crash". Lexington Herald Leader. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
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- "Campus Pride Index". www.campusprideindex.org. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
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- "Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 – Military Times". bestforvets.militarytimes.com. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
- "Faculty senate approves proposal for honors program". The Eastern Progress. November 5, 1987. Retrieved December 18, 2016 – via EKU Encompass.
- Marsee, Mike (January 21, 1988). "Honors program endorsed by board". The Eastern Progress. Retrieved December 18, 2016 – via EKU Encompass.
- Risner, Brent (September 1, 1988). "Honors progam [sic] completes first week of curriculum". The Eastern Progress. Retrieved December 18, 2016 – via EKU Encompass.
- "Big E Welcome Schedule | First-Year Experience | Eastern Kentucky University". firstyear.eku.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
- "The Eastern Progress". The Eastern Progress. February 1922. Retrieved December 18, 2016 – via EKU – Encompass.
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- "HugeDomains.com – CogiAthletics.com is for sale". Cogi Athletics. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
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- "Myron Guyton". databaseFootball.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2012.