Values & History
Centre College’s mission is to prepare students for lives of learning, leadership, and service
The adoption of the strategic plan by the Centre College Board of Trustees in 2022 marked the beginning of a new focus for the College’s future. In addition to the implementation of the plan’s particular initiatives and the monitoring of progress, the planning process has included the continuing reassessment of the individual initiatives and of the goals themselves, based on changing conditions within the College and in the broader external environment.
Statement of Community
We pledge continuing efforts to build and strengthen a community enriched by our differences and founded upon our common humanity. Centre respects the right of all members of the community to express their individuality in a manner that is consistent with the dignity and welfare of others. Centre strives to create an environment where differences are celebrated rather than discouraged, where individuals have the opportunity to exchange ideas and share in the richness of mutual experience. By valuing the individual’s total character over any single characteristic, Centre will maintain its unique community.
Statement of Diversity
As the body entrusted with the overall governance and stewardship of Centre College, the Board of Trustees pledges continuing efforts to build and strengthen a community enriched by the differences of its members and founded upon our common humanity. We also affirm that the values of diversity and inclusion are critical to the fulfillment of the mission of higher education in general, and Centre College in particular. To that end, we welcome into the Centre community individuals of different backgrounds, viewpoints, races, faith traditions, nationalities, sexual orientations, and experiences. These differences enrich our search for truth, our understanding of our fellow human beings, and make each of us more effective leaders and actors in this world. Because Centre honors the American ideals of access and social mobility through education, we are committed to not only welcoming into the Centre community persons who have traditionally been underrepresented, but also fostering their full participation in the community. Further, we are dedicated to creating a college community known for its honesty, strength, compassion, and commitment to the greater good.
We Trustees hold this to be true for all parts of the Centre community: The Board of Trustees, the faculty, the staff, and the student body. Pertaining to the Board of Trustees itself, we affirm that diversity and inclusion are critical to the Board’s effectiveness in leading the College. Thus, as the Board exercises its responsibility to select the best and the brightest individuals to serve as trustees, we recognize that diversity in its membership is an essential priority. In addition, the Board will endeavor to set policies, identify resources, and encourage sound practices designed to achieve diversity among the faculty, staff, and the student body.
As a fundamental policy and in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other applicable non-discrimination laws, Centre College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, veteran’s status, or genetic information in the administration of any of its education or employment policies. Centre College hires and promotes its employees and admits its students on the basis of merit, qualification, and character.
Services for the Disabled
Centre College is committed to fostering respect for the diversity of the College community and the individual rights of each member of that community. In this spirit, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and expanded by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Centre College seeks to provide disabled students with the support services and other reasonable accommodations needed to ensure equal access to the programs and activities of the College.
Centre College is committed to sustainability, environmentally friendly practices, and energy conservation. From student organizations to the President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Committee (PCCC), members of the Centre community are united in their desire to reduce their environmental footprint. The College is currently involved in recycling and energy reduction initiatives, greenhouse gas mitigation policies and programs, and construction projects that result in beautifully functional, environmentally friendly buildings.
Instruction began in Old Centre—the College’s first building—in the fall of 1820, with a faculty of two and a student body of five. Classes followed the classical curriculum of the day, including Latin, Greek, rhetoric, and logic. Construction on Old Centre began in 1819 and was completed in 1820 at a cost of $8,000. It was designed to hold up to 400 students in the College and also a grammar school. It has been used continuously since Centre’s beginning and today houses administrative offices as well as meeting rooms and the Admission Office’s reception area for prospective students. Despite early financial hardships, disputes within and outside of the Presbyterian Church, and several wars (including the occupation of Old Centre by both Confederate and Union troops during the Civil War), Centre has remained open and committed to its educational mission since its founding.