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WKU Archives - WKU Timeline

WKU Archives serves as the collective memory of not only Western Kentucky University, but also it's founding institutions:

Bowling Green Business University 1907-1963
Glasgow Normal 1875-1890
Ogden College 1877-1928
Potter College for Young Ladies 1889-1909
Southern Normal School & Business College

WKU has had five name changes through the years:

Western Kentucky State Normal School 1906-1922
Western Kentucky State Normal School & Teachers College 1922-1930
Western Kentucky State Teachers College 1930-1948
Western Kentucky State College 1948-1966
Western Kentucky University 1966-present

it is referred to as WKU throughout the timeline. See also Board of Regents records.

This timeline incorporates significant events from each of the schools and provides links to source documents describing those events in more detail.

1870 1880 1890 1900 1910
1920 1930 1940 1950 1960
1970 1980 1990 2000 2010

See Lowell Harrison's Western Kentucky University for more detailed information regarding the first 75 years of WKU's history.



November 16 - Henry Cherry born 


Ogden Hall built ca. 1870 as private home


November 10 - Robert Ogden dies, his will created Ogden College


Southern Normal School & Business College founded by A.W. Mell and J. Tom Williams.

1875 - documents

Glasgow Normal School opens

1876 - documents

March 9 - Glasgow Normal receives charter from the General Assembly

1877 - documents

September 3 - Ogden College founded by Robert Ogden's will opens

1880 - documents

1881 - documents

1883 - over 300 students enrolled in the Glasgow Normal

1884 - documents & student papers

1885 - student papers

Southern Normal School & Business College opens in Bowling Green

1889 - documents

Cabell Hall completed

Recitation Hall opens, main building of Potter College for Young Ladies

September 9 - Potter College opens with Rev. B.F. Cabell president


Glasgow Normal School closes


J.R. Alexander named president of Southern Normal School & Business College


Southern Normal School & Business College reorganized by Cherry brothers as Bowling Green College & Literary Institute.


November 2 - Paul Garrett born at Waddy near Shelbyville, Kentucky


Bowling Green College & Literary Institute secures new charter and name - Southern Normal School & Bowling Green Business College

March 12 - E.A. Diddle born in Gradyville, KY

1898 - documents

1899 - documents

November 1 - Southern Educational Building Company purchased Southern Normal School & Bowling Green Business College building and lot

November 16 - Southern Normal School & Bowling Green Business College destroyed by fire.

1900 - documents

Southern Normal School & Bowling Green Business College builds new building.

Robert Underwood designs and builds family home

1901 - documents

1902 - documents

1903 - documents & student papers

1904 - documents

1905 - documents

SNS&BGBC renamed Southern Normal School & Bowling Green Business University

April 1 - Frisbie Hall completed


1906 - documents

March 21 - Governor J.C.W. Beckham signs legislation chartering the WKU.

April 5 - Locating Commission appointed by the governor

May 7 - Commission appointed by the Governor votes to locate WKU in Bowling Green.  Campus is on College Street between 11th and 12th Streets. 162 acres are purchased on the Hill to be used later.

June 2 - first meeting of the WKU Board of Regents

July 1 - Henry Hardin Cherry becomes president of the WKU.

August 18 - Mattie McLean hired as secretary

August 30 - A.J. Kinnaman appointed dean of WKU

November - first issue of the State Normal Bulletin published

November 14 - C.J. Van Meter named chancellor emeritus

1907 - documents & student papers

January 7 - Southern Normal School & Bowling Green Business University split into two distinct schools:  WKU under Henry Cherry and Business University under J.S. Dickey, J.L. Harman and W.S. Ashby.  BGBU moved into the McCormack Building.

January 22 - first classes held in WKU, Herman Donovan first student officially registered. First faculty and staff:

Henry Cherry, president
A.J. Kinnaman, dean
Fred Mutchler, Biology
Frederick Roman, Literature & History
J.M. Guilliams, Mathematics
J.R. Alexander, Math & Physics
R.P. Green, Geography
Sarah Scott, Training School
W.L. Gebhart, Public Music
C.W. Fulton, Drawing & Penmanship
Irene Russell, Special Music
Annie Egenhoff, Reading & Expression
Susan Irvin, Training School, first grade
Anna Barclay, Training School, second grade
Jennie West, Training School, third grade
Mattie McLean, secretary
H.H. Eggner, registrar and bookkeeper
Josephine Fayne, student home hostess
Parthenia Weller, librarian

April 17 - Architect Brinton B. Davis hired to design WKU campus

April 18 - BGBU incorporated

May 10-11 - students travel to Mammoth Cave

September 2 - enrollment 1,082

December 18 - Board of Regents approves the issue of life certificate to Flora Stallard, first Western graduate.

1908 - documents

February 21 - students meet Henry Cherry at midnight to celebrate passage of education appropriations Bill No. 120  

April - Florence Stallard first WKU life certificate recipient

1909 - documents

January - WKU library housed 3,733 books, 95 magazines and 2 newspapers in a single room

January 28 - Kelly Thompson born in Lebanon, Kentucky

February 27 - Western puchases Potter College for Young Ladies on Vinegar Hill.

May 20 - Potter College closes at end of the spring term; buildings acquired by WKU included a small stone building located behind Recitation Hall, razed after 1937.

July 9 - Henry Wright, WKU landscape architect dies in New Jersey

November - first issue of the Elevator

1910 - documents

Pioneer Log Cabin constructed of cedar logs

February 26 - Van Meter Hall cornerstone set

March 31 - authorization to extend Model Training School to sixth grade

July 20 - Agriculture curriculum approved

September 2 - Franz Strahm becomes director of Music 

December  - The Elevator  student publication debuts

1911 - documents & student papers

WKU's first seal designed by Julia Franklin Howard

January 24 - Domestic Science & Domestic Arts department opens under Iva Scott's direction

February 3-4 - Western campus moves up the Hill

February 21 - Athletic Committee created 

February 26 - Van Meter cornerstone laid - includes school catalog, list of students and alumni and The Elevator

March - measles outbreak

March 24 - first Clean Up Day

May 2 - first baseball game WKU 6, EKU 0

May 5 - Van Meter Hall dedicated

July 5 - Business University destroyed by fire, moves into the Castle at 12th and College

1912 - documents & student papers

Moot House of Representatives held at WKU

July - flag raising ceremony on Normal Heights new flagpole

1913 - documents & student papers

First football game WKU 20 Elizabethtown High School 0

August - Enrollment reaches 1,944

1914 - documents

First basketball game WKU 28 - Bethel College 21

June 7-12 - Homecoming Week in conjunction with graduation

1915 - documents & student papers

 The Vista yearbook published

January 11 - May 19 - Henry Cherry resigns as president to enter Kentucky's gubernatorial campaign

March 1 - first women's basketball game, WKU 12 - Logan College in Russellville 8

June 9 - Henry Cherry returns to WKU as president 

1916 - documents

December - Normal Heights and the Elevator merge

1917 - documents

February 19-21 Rural Life and Rural School Conference held at WKU

1918 - documents

December 21 - Henry Cherry resigns to run for governor

Barracks constructed to house the Students' Army Training Corps

War Emergency Courses offered conversational French and War Service

1919 - documents & student papers

January 28 - ROTC is established

March 21 - WKU purchases property on Russellville Road from the African American Baptist Church

April 7 - Henry Cherry withdraws from gubernatorial race

June 21 - BGBU purchases property for $35,000

December 30 - Model Rural School approved by Regents

1920 - documents & student papers

Construction begins on Potter Hall

Red Barn built for basketball - specifications 

Cherryton opens with 24 cottages for rent or purchase

March 15 - Student Bookstore established

May 5 - Henry Cherry takes extended leave of absence due to health

May 21 - Josephine Cherry hired as physical education director

September - The departments of Industrial Arts, Correspondence & Extension and Physical Education formed

September 20 - campus bookstore opens in Recitation Hall

November 18 - Mary Gilmour is first woman regent

1921 - documents

January 16 - BGBU president J.S. Dickey dies, J.L. Harman succeeds him

July - Potter Hall completed as girls dormitory

July 29 - John Minton born in Cadiz

September 10 - Dero Downing born in Fountain Run

Cedar House built by students

1922 - documents

Guest House constructed for $2,720

March 20 - WKU becomes a 4 year college.  Legislation changing name to Western Kentucky State Normal School & Teachers College approved.

April 24 - Literary society meetings dismissed in favor of attending baseball game

July 17 - College Heights Foundation incorporated.

September 7 - E.A. Diddle hired as athletic director and coach

September 20 - first campus bookstore opens in Recitation Hall

November 3 - faculty granted right to expel students for insubordination or immoral conduct

1923 - documents

WKU acquires Robert Underwood home for music department

January 12 - Women's basketball team delivers Diddle's first coaching win

February 16 - E.A. Diddle first waves a red towel at basketball game

April - Library moves out of Recitation Hall into Cedar House 

July 17 - College Heights Foundation incorporated

1924 - documents

Rural Training School built and opened

Temporary Manual Training Building constructed on site of Helm Library parking lot

World War I barracks razed

First WKU Talisman yearbook published

Faculty outgrow meeting room in Henry Cherry's office

April 17 - College Heights Post Office approved by Regents

June 5 - first bachelor degree awarded

November 27 - WKU beats Bethel in football with a score of 73-0

1925 - documents & student papers

January 29 - first issue of College Heights Herald published

March 12 - WKU's alma mater, College Heights first sung in chapel

October 30 - College High building dedicated as Training School; Rural Model School dedicated

1926 - documents

Cabell Hall razed, materials used to build Home Economics Building

Snell Hall built on Ogden College campus

Diddle Dorm building purchased

October 14 - auction held to liquidate WKU's holdings downtown: 

Frisbie Hall - located on Center Street, just opposite the city's high school and joining the Business University.  This was a three story brick building, consisting of 50 furnished rooms. 

Buidling Lot - 42' wide x 220' deep and joined Bailey Hall property.  It faced the junior high school.

Bailey Hall - located on Center Street opposite the high school and adjoining the Business University.  It was a two story frame building of 25 rooms.

December 1 - receives accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

1927 - documents & student papers

Faculty Wives Club founded by Bess Cherry

Home Economics Building completed

Library opens in Gordon Wilson Hall, replacing Cedar House

L&N spur constructed to deliver coal to the heating plant

Industrial Education Annex & Colonnade built

Original heating plant built

Temporary Manual Training Building burns

November 5 - first homecoming complete with open house, alumni luncheon and football game against University of Louisville, final score WKU 7 - UL 6

November 19 - Western and Ogden College agree to merge

1928 - documents & student papers

January 1 - Ogden College merges with WKU

June 12 - Dean A.J. Kinnaman dies

Industrial Arts building constructed for $68,500

1929 - documents & student papers

Industrial Education Building completed

White Hall aka Schneider Hall opens

WaKaTaCa Club first pep club formed

1930 - documents & student papers

Offers both BA and BS degree

Campus Map

College Heights becomes school song

Last women's basketball team fielded until 1975.

February 2 - WKU becomes Western Kentucky State Teachers College

November 16 - first Founders Day celebrated

1931 - documents & student papers

College Heights Foundation moves into small house between Recitation Hall and the Training School

Henry Cherry and family move into president's home, now Craig Alumni Center.

Health & Physical Education Building opens, replaces Red Barn 

Kentucky Building construction begins

Graduate studies added during summer session with 60 students

Music Building constructed

April 16 - Regents authorize graduate studies

June - WKU celebrates 25th anniversary by staging Pageant of Progress

July 11 - first tennis team beats George Peabody College 7-5

November 6-8 - WKU celebrates 25th anniversary

December 1 - A.W. Mell dies

1932 - documents

May 24 - swimming pool opens on site of Cravens Graduate Center

June 2 - first master's degree awarded

1933 - documents

Goal Post restaurant opens, closed in 1979

Red & Grey Orchestra organized

1934 - documents & student papers

Mary Walton crowned Mountain Laurel Queen 

Miller Farm acquired, 60 acres

June 23 - WKU purchased Covington Farm, 560 acres

November 15 - Western Players present "Miss Lulu Bett" their first production

1935 - documents & student papers

Cherry Hall designed by William Bass Jr., WKU '35

Construction of tennis courts leads to formation of tennis team

May 1 - WKU meets Austin Peay University in golf tournament

May 24 - ROTC training authorized

June - Kelly Thompson receives BA from WKU

September 1 - Paul Garrett becomes second president

November 16 - Henry Hardin Cherry statue dedicated

1936 - documents & student papers

Kentucky Building opens, interior construction incomplete

Recitation Hall razed to make room for Cherry Hall 

Graduate program suspended

Jonell Stewart crowned first Talisman Queen 

February - Registrar's Office obtains photostat machine

September - "Western" painted on water tower

1937 - documents & student papers

Music Hall opens

Margaret Munday born in Auburn, Kentucky

James Cornette publishes history of WKU

August 1 - Henry Hardin Cherry dies

August 11 - Finley Grise appointed postmaster of College Heights substation

September 1 - Paul Garrett elected president

November 16 - Cherry Hall dedicated

1938 - documents

William "Red" McCrocklin was WKU's first basketball all-American captain.

November 22 - Ogden College Trustee, R.C.P. Thomas dies

1939 - documents

November 16 - Kentucky Building dedicated

1940 - documents

March 19 - Marion Conner Ford killed in car wreck

April 14 - W.J. Edens named head of Agriculture, H.L. Stephens named head of Biology

October 19 - first athletic radio broadcast, Hilltoppers vs Tennessee Tech

Mary Puryear crowned Military Queen

1941 - documents & student papers

April 7 - Ogden College receives $90,000 R.C.P. Thomas bequest

June 13 - graduate program reinstated

December - Takeichi "James" Oshiro, Japanese-American student moves into president's home after attack on Pearl Harbor.

1942 - documents

January 1 - defense stamp drive launched at Chapel

March 25 - Bowling Green welcomes Hilltoppers home from NIT Tournament after losing 47-45 to West Virginia

May 8 - WKU designated a "key center for information and training in civilian morale

October 23 - Perry Snell dies in Laredo, Texas

First homecoming parade took place on a Friday evening

1943 - documents & student papers

April - WKU opens dorms and classes to the 321st College Training Detachment, they create the Open Post newsletter

August 20 - Kelly Thompson receives MA degree from WKU

1944 - documents

Cheerleading Cook twins recruited by E.A. Diddle

1945 - documents

1946 - documents

January 15 - Vets Village created consisting of 214 dwellings

October 26 - first homecoming held after World War II

Rock House purchased for $28,000

1947 - documents

McLean Hall completed

Ogden College lease extended ten years

1948 - documents

Ohio Valley Conference formed with WKU as founding member

February 27 - WKU becomes Western Kentucky State College; Kelly Thompson designs new seal

August 21 - McLean Hall cornerstone placed

1949 - documents

January 14 - tenure adopted for faculty members

November 5 - Teddy Lou Johnson crowned first homecoming queen

Jimmy Feix enrolls, Hilltopper quarterback 1949-1952 and Hilltopper coach 1968-1993

Potter Hall becomes mens' dorm

Campus Map

1950 - documents

WKU beats Niagara in the NIT

Kentucky Legislature amends Day Law allowing black students to attend any public college for courses not available at Kentucky State College

1951 - documents

Garrett Student Center constructed to be student union

Dottye Nuckols crowned Miss Kentucky

May 21 - McLean Hall named for Mattie McLean

1952 - documents

Pat Barker crowned Basketball Queen

WKU defeats Arkansas State in the Refrigerator Bowl

May 25 - Hilltoppers Quartet release hit single "Trying"

1953 - documents

June 6 - WKU leaves the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association

1954 - documents & student papers

Establishment of departmental budgets

Mary Moore publishes Western Kentucky State College -- Past & Present

May 17 Brown v. Board of Education decision handed down by Supreme Court

Homecoming parade moved to Saturday before the big game

November 11 - Bess Fayne Cherry dies in New York

December - Mattie McLean dies

1955 - documents

East Hall and North Halls constructed

Kelly Thompson calls for statewide committee to implement Brown v. Board

Rural Training School closed and razed

January 18 - Van Meter renovation completed for $25,000

February 28 - Paul Garrett dies, student union named for him

October 17 - Kelly Thompson becomes WKU's third president

1956 - documents

Student Advisory Council formed to glean student opinions

February 12 - Murray State vandals hit Cherry statue with green and white paint after basketball game

June 1 - Ogden College lease extended for ten years

June 7 - WKU officially desegregates with start of summer session

July 12 - Charles Keown named first Dean of Students

September 15 - Margaret Munday and John E. Jones become WKU's first African American students

December 19 - Regents approve red and white as official school colors

Campus Map

1957 - documents

Physical Plant & Parking Structure completed

Potter Hall returns to being womens' dorm

Rural Training School razed

Judith Griffin receives Fulbright award

May 30 - Pylon dedicated in honor of WKU's 50th anniversary

July 19 - College Heights Herald publishes year in review

1958 - documents & student papers

Physical Plant Building opens

Televised course "Atomic Age Physics taught by Harvey White

Pat Stiff named Blue Grass Bowl Queen 

April 13 - Choir performs at Eddyville Prison

December 12 - new class ring design introduced

1959 - documents

Regents Hall opens for women and South Hall opens for men

May 7 - honor societies established

September 26 - Change of Work Status implemented establishing a mandatory retirement age. Seven long term faculty retire Finley Grise, E.H. Canon, L.F. Jones, Gordon Wilson, W.M. Pearce, H.F. McChesney and M.E. Shell

December 31 - E.A. Diddle wins 700th basketball game in Sugar Bowl championship over Tulane

1960 - documents

1960-1961 in depth

March 8-9 Basketball fans stranded along 31-W. Snowball Express comes to the rescue!

Thompson Science Complex - North Wing opens

West Hall completed

August - Margaret Munday receives A.B. in Music

September 1 - night classes begin

Campus Map & Contour Map 

Ogden College lease extended through 2059

1961 - documents

1960-1961 in depth

State Hall opens, later renamed McCormack Hall

Business & Government created

Faculty Research Committee formed

New, improved Bookstore opens in Cherry Hall

March 1 - puchase of Diddle Arena site

August 25 - College Heights Herald becomes a weekly publication and fraternity / sorority system approved

October 15 - Kelly Thompson Science Hall dedicated

December 15 - Owen Lawson named director of Building & Grounds; Dero Downing named first Dean of Admissions

1962 - documents & student papers

American Association of University Women grants WKU membership

Central Hall, Security Building and Launderette built

Community College Division created

Seminar Centers purchased

First Cross-country meet

January 6 - E.A. Diddle coaches 1,000th game at WKU

1963 - documents

1963-1964 in depth 

Janitorial Services begin night duty due to increased enrollment

McNeil City-College Cooperative School opens

Terrace Hall opens for women

President's Home, Home Management Center and Curry House purchased

Cedar House renovated

Two-year Nursing program established

April 7 - Mike & Robert Redd first African American to receive basketball scholarships

June 1 - WKU and BGBU merge becomes the Bowling Green College of Commerce

December 7 - Diddle Arena dedicated

December 28 - Hilltoppers beat the US Coast Guard Academy 27-0 in the Tangerine Bowl

1964 - documents & student papers

1963-1964 in depth

E.A. Diddle retires with 759-302 record

Zone parking lots created to deal with influx of cars

Clem Haskins enrolls, basketball star 1964-1967; Hilltopper coach

Toni Martin named first Mrs. Western Student Life 

President's Home at 1536 State Street acquired

Charles Taylor Agriculture Center opens

February 26 - Dero Downing becomes Dean of Business Affairs

June - fire guts College of Commerce Building

July 21 - Associate of Arts degrees created for Nursing, Industrial Technology and Agricultural Technology & Management

Greek organizations participate in Homecoming Parade for first time

October 30 - Centrex telephone system approved

December 23 - Library named in honor of Margie Helm after major remodeling

1965 - documents & student papers

Campus Map

Garrett Conference Center addition built

Telephones installed in dormitories

Susan Crabtree hired, first African-American not hired as maid

Rodes-Harlin, Bemis-LawrenceGrise and Barnes-Campbell Halls completed, Van Meter renovated

Underground newspaper The Skewer published, 3 students suspended

April 28 - Vice Presidencies established - Raymond Cravens, Academic Affairs; Dero Downing, Administrative Affairs

May - Summer School established with John Scarborough as head 

June 1 - creation of colleges - Education; Ogden College of Science & Technology; and Potter College of Liberal Arts

July - Tax Research Center created under Lewis Bell

July 22 - Hilltopper Hundred Club organizes

1966 - documents

22% of 98 full-time faculty hold doctorate degree

Barnes-Campbell Hall and Bemis Lawrence Hall open as men's dorms

Campus Map

Grise Hall built

Ogden Hall razed

Rodes-Harlin Hall opened

Black faculty members James Beck & Mable Anderson hired

January -WKU Human Relations Center opens to aid Kentucky schools in transition to desegregated status

February 14 - Susan Friedli crowned Valentine Queen

February 26 - WKU gains university status

March 11 - Hilltoppers lose to Michigan in NCAA regional semi-finals

April 1 - Associated Students of Western Kentucky University constitution adopted

April - Institutional Research established

June 16 - WKU renamed Western Kentucky University

1967 - documents

Thompson Science Complex - Central Wing opens

Carmen Willoughby crowned Athenian Queen & Charlotte Lyle named first Miss Western

Campus Map

Property purchased along South Street to be used for recreation and future development.

WKU installs first computer, a small punch card model

February 6 - Bowling Green renames University Boulevard in honor of WKU

September 28 - Enrollment exceeds 10,000

October 14 - Barnes-Campbell Hall, Grise Hall, Hardin Planetarium, Helm Library, Bemis Lawrence Hall, Wetherby, Taylor Agricultural Center and Thompson Science Complex, dedicated

1968 - documents

April 2 - William Menser becomes first student regent

July 6

  • 48 buildings on campus, $54,270,000 replacement value, 1,351,835 sq. ft. 
  • 49 buildings on farm $572,000 replacement value, 90,013 sq. ft. 
  • 40 buildings off campus, $262,000 replacement value, 20,219 sq. ft. 

September 21 - Van Meter Hall officially named

October 26 - L.T. Smith Stadium completed, dedicated

October 27 - Newman Center dedicated

Campus Map 

Dormitory 9 opens, later renamed Douglas Keen Hall

Women's Tennis Club created, coached by Betty Langley

1969 - documents

Academic Complex opens

Dormitory construction completed, later named Hugh Poland Hall

Jones-Jaggers Lab School replaces University Training School

Training School Building renamed Science & Technology Hall

First computer lab opens in Thompson Science Complex

May 13 - Gordon Wilson Hall dedicated

May 21 - Kelly Thompson resigns as president

July 8 - Community College renamed Bowling Green Community College

August 8 - 100th commencement 

September 12  - Dero Downing becomes WKU's fourth president

October 15 - Vietnam Moratorium Day

1970 - documents & student papers

College High closed

Downing University Center opens replacing Garrett as student union

Education Complex opens

Parking Structure built

Services Supply Building completed

First fall semester to be completed before Christmas break

Continuing Education created

1971 - documents

Cravens Graduate Center & Library completed

Carolyn Brown named first Miss Black Western

Pearce-Ford Tower tallest building in Kentucky 246 ft., 7 in.

Campus Map & Parking Map

February 4 - 

  • 57 buildings on campus, 3,404,848 sq. ft., $74,653,000 replacement value
  • 49 buildings on farm, 100,750 sq. ft., $448,000 replacement value
  • 18 buildings off campus, 39,340 sq. ft., $301,000 replacement value

March 18 - Hilltoppers defeat UK Wildcats 107-83 in first round of NCAA Mideast Regional Final.  Adolph Rupp calls it "my most humiliating moment."

April 6 - Linda Jones elected first female president of Associated Students organization.

May 10 - Chuck Crume gives John Oldham first sketch of WKU's red towel logo

1972 - documents

College High building renovated as Science & Technology Hall

May 1 - Live Animal Evaluation team takes first place at Southeastern Live Animal Evaluation & Livestock Judging Contest

June - Harry Gray named outstanding college chemistry teacher 

July - WKU implements new academic programs: credit by examination, reinvents the Honors Program and creates an exchange program with France

August - WKU provides technical assistance to Austral University in Chile

November 4 - Alice Gatewood crowned WKU's first Black homecoming queen

Campus Map 

Installation of IBM Type 360 Model 40 computer 

Eagle University created for Fort Campbell 

1973 - documents

Ivan Wilson Center for Fine Arts opens

Linda Storms receives Fulbright award

March - Dewey Smith, POW honored at WKU

April 15 - Ken Fleenor Day honoring former POW

September - WKU Holstein Wins at State Fair

August 3 - Gary Ransdell graduates with BA from WKU

October 10 - 58 buildings on campus

    • 3,518,635 gross square feet
    • 2,231,077 net assignable feet
    • $60,353,685 actual capital investment
    • $92,384,685 estimated replacement value

23 buildings off campus

    • 55,954 gross square feet
    • $364,000 cost
    • $407,000 replacement value

39 buildings on WKU Farm

November - Julian Goodman receives distinguished alumni award

1974 - documents & student papers

Nick Rose takes NCAA cross country title

Cherry Hall renovation completed

Ron Cameron receives Fulbright award

January - John Minton named fifth WKU president

Western Kentucky University flag requisitioned for Diddle Arena 

February - Agriculture Conference held at WKU

March 18 - Ford Motor Company donates equipment to Agriculture Department

March 22 - streaking cartoon by Carl Clayworth runs in the College Heights Herald

May 18 - Alum Bob Stevenson honored by town of Russellville

June 19 - Gregory McKinney sworn in as WKU's first African American student regent

September - John Egerton publishes article regarding WKU

October 26 - Reorganization of Bowling Green Community College & Continuing Education begins

December 6 - KISS plays Van Meter Hall

1975 - documents

Environmental Sciences & Technology built for $4.5 million

Music Hall razed

Women's basketball comes back to WKU

First Mountain Workshop  

Curfews suspended on women's dormitories

Ron Cameron receives Fulbright award

1976 - documents

33% of 317 full-time faculty hold doctorate degree 

Campus Map 

Jean Scarborough receives Fulbright award

1977 - documents

April - Livestock Judging Team wins competition and holsteins receive top rating

May - Alum Clyde Ray Franklin gains membership in the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge

October 24 Campus Blackout

October United Black Students reorganize

Museum wing added to Kentucky Building 

Campus Map

Gayle Waggoner receives Fulbright award

1978 - documents

September 9 - Dero Downing announces resignation

November - WKU Holsteins national leaders in milk production

Council on Higher Education creates extended campus coordinating areas, WKU assigned 27 counties

Ahmed Ali receives Fulbright award

1979 - documents

Agriculture Exposition Center opens

President's Home at 1700 Chestnut Street acquired

January 8 - John Minton named president

January 18 - WKU receives first patent

June - Gemini 79 tours the Pacific

July 20 - Social Work program accredited

August 1 - Donald Zacharias becomes WKU's sixth president

August 10 - William Natcher receives honorary Doctor of Laws degree

September 30 - Eagle University closes

December 1 - Big Red, created by Ralph Carey, is delivered during half-time of the basketball game

James Holland receives Fulbright award

1980 - documents

April 26 - Donald Zacharias installed as sixth president, first formal installation held for any president

June 23 - 19 cows hit by lightning in thunderstorm, 14 killed

July 4 - Kentucky Building reopens after $2 million renovation

August 16 - Bowling Green Community College & Continuing Education renamed Office of Public Service & Continuing Education.

November 8 - WKYU-FM signs on the air

1981 - documents

April 20 - Margaret Ragan elected first African American president of Student Government Association

May 23 - Julius Price named first black regent

1982 - documents & student papers

Industrial Education Annex razed

April 20 - Margaret Ragan elected first black president of the Associated Students organization

Cheryl Bickett receives Fulbright award

1984 - documents

January 26 - Gregory Grey receives Smith T. Powell Scholarship in Agriculture 

1985 - documents

July 3 - WDCL-FM Somerset, public radio station comes signs on the air

September 1 - Paul Cook becomes interim president after Donald Zacharias resigns

1986 - documents

January 25 - Samuel Kern Alexander named seventh WKU president

February 5 - WKU participates in education rally in Frankfort

October 1 - WKU obtains first AHEC at regional university in Kentucky

December 13 - Kern Alexander installed as president

1987 - documents

January 1 - Community College opens as part of WKU with separate admissions and curriculum

1988 - documents

February 7 - WKU Glasgow campus officially opens 98 years after Glasgow Normal closes

June 20 - Agriculture receives Excellence in Agriculture Technology Instruction award

August 31 - Thomas Meredith becomes WKU's eighth president

1989 - documents

January 17 - WKYU-PBS signs on the air, the only Kentucky television station operated on a university campus

April 14 - Thomas Meredith installed as eighth president

September 6 - new cupola logo unveiled, designed by Gilbert Stengel

Homecoming parade suspended from 1989 to 2000

1990 - documents

Jeff Shannon receives Fulbright award

May 30 - Regent's approve first $100 million budget

September 20 - Western XXI released

September 25 - Glasgow Campus ribbon cutting

September 26 - Four day Fall Break approved

October 15 - WKUE-FM Elizabethtown radio begins broadcasting

1991 - documents & student papers

February 13 - Black students protest use of state desegregation funds

September 13 - Athletic Hall of Fame opens with inductees E.A. Diddle, Dee Gibson, Adele Gleaves, John Oldham, Max Reed, Jimmy Feix, Clem Haskins, Jim McDaniels, Bobby Rascoe and Nick Rose.

November 20 - Ryan James wins "President for a Day" raffle sending President Meredith to his classes

1992 - documents

Paul Sanderford celebrates ten years as Lady Topper coach

April 14 - Associated Students of WKU changes name to Student Government Association

August 23 - Preston Health & Activities Center dedicated

September 1 - WKU purchases Bowling Green Center which becomes Institute for Economic Development

October 23 - Hall of Distinguished Alumni opens

1993 - documents & student papers

August 14 - former president Kelly Thompson dies

September 27 - Center Street renamed Big Red Way

Computers on every faculty desk

1994 - documents

1995 - documents

WKU provide Internet access through Western On Line

1996 - documents

March - campus became fully networked

March - Barbara Burch named Vice President for Academic Affairs, first woman vice president at WKU

August - Talisman halts publication due to lack of interest

October 26 - Diddle Park dedicated 

December 14 - WKU holds first winter commencement

1997 - documents

Lady Toppers swim team jumps into the pool

May 8 - Creed Monument dedicated

May 12 - Provost Barbara Burch named interim president on Meredith's resignation

October 31 - Gary A. Ransdell installed as WKU's ninth president

1998 - documents & student papers

April - Hilltopper Voice, underground newspaper proposed by Mark Leffler, Daniel Butler and friends

May 7 - University mace dedicated.  It was designed by John Warren Oakes and crafted by Terry Leeper and Frank Pittman. The mace contains several elements that are symbolic of WKU's history.  Hand-carved from Kentucky cherry, the top portion represents the lantern dome of Cherry Hall and is a tribute to founder Henry Cherry.  The WKU seal and carved bands around the shaft include significant dates in the school's history. Gems embedded in the lower portion represent the colors of the academic disciplines offered by WKU.  The round ball at the base is symbolic of WKU's alumni around the world. 

Fall First online classes offered

    • Word Processing
    • Records Administration
    • CST Cntrl / Fin Mgt / Hospitality
    • Use of Library
    • Statistics / Psychology
    • Experimental Psychology
    • Issues in Internet Instruction
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology
    • College Algebra / Trigonometry

1999 - documents & student papers

October 20 - Groundbreaking for South Regional Postsecondary Education Center at WKU Glasgow

Karen Adams appointed to the College of Education & Behavioral Sciences as first female academic dean

Campus Map 

2000 - documents

February 23 - Lady Toppers softball team organized

June 22 - WKU's official sports website goes live

Green Party chapter founded at WKU

2001 - documents

Graduate Student Organization formed

Feb. 27 - Green Party chapter becomes Celebrate Activism Now or CAN

Spring - Women's Soccer team formed 14-5 record

April 27 - Regents create School of Health & Human Services; Ogden College of Science, Technology & Health becomes Ogden College of Science and Engineering, becomes effective July 1

May 6 - international flags processional added to commencement ceremonies

August 7 - new athletic logos created featuring the red towel, Big Red and WKU

Homecoming Parade returns on Friday evening.

2002 - documents

March - students camp out to get rooms in newly renovated dorm

April 25 - WKU Elizabethtown / Ft. Knox campus dedication

May 6 - Guthrie Bell Tower dedicated

December 20 - Football team brings home WKU's first national team championship, NCAA I-AA

2003 - documents

May 10 - first class of students complete education online

Division of Extended Learning & Outreach (DELO) created

Habitat for Humanity renews WKU chapter

2004 - documents

September 13 - groundbreaking for parking structure between Diddle Arena and Smith Stadium

2005 - documents & student papers

WKU Forensic Team takes sixth consecutive International Forensics Association Championship and 15th consecutive Kentucky Forensic Association State Championship

September - WKU community donates $8500 to Red Cross for victims of Hurricane Katrina

2006 - documents & student papers

WKU celebrates centennial - collection inventory

Habitat for Humanity chapter honored by national organization

2007 - documents

January - first J-Term or Winter Term classes

February 12  - GreenToppers organized 

June 25 - $2.5 million track facility construction begins

December - 513 Regents Ave. purchased to be used for visiting scholars

WKU & University of Evansville partner to send students to Harlaxton College

2008 - documents

June 29 - John Minton dies

Campus Map

Claire Donahue participates in Olympic Trials

SKyTeach program launched

2009 - documents

2010- documents

Homecoming Parade moves to downtown Bowling Green and ends with first Homecoming Concert in Fountain Square Park

Chinese Language Flagship Pilot Program established

Chandler Memorial Chapel opens


April 4 - Dero Downing dies

Gary A. Ransdell Hall new home of the College of Education & Behavioral Sciences opens

First Homecoming Friday Night featuring parade, concert in the park, pep rally and Big Red's Roar.

First Ed.D. Educational Leadership students graduate

Ogden College of Science & Technology opens Robotics Lab

ROTC wins MacArthur Award


Augenstein Alumni Center & Talley Family Counseling Center open

Claire Donahue wins gold in London Olympics for swimming


Thompson North Wing closes

Medical Center-WKU Health Sciences Complex compeleted


July 30 - WKU became accredited as a Safe Community

October 5 - Jimmy Feix dies

December 24 - WKU met Central Michigan in Bahamas Bowl

Neale Chumbler named Dean of College of Health & Human Services

WKU joins Conference USA

EC3 opens at WKU Elizabethtown campus


January 23 - WKU Child Care Center named for Colleen Mendel

February - Society for Lifelong Learners created

March 23 - North Atlantic Climate Change Collaboration Project agreement

September 2 - WKU Glasgow dedicates Military Student Services Center

October 14 - WKU Libraries inaugurates Open Access Hall of Fame - Scott Lyons & Ann Epperson first inductees

October 23 - Honors College / International Center dedicated

October 28 - 3 WKU buildings receive LEED certification - Ransdell Hall, Music Hall & Augenstein Alumni Center

December 21 - WKU faces South Florida in Miami Beach Bowl

40th anniversary of Mountain Workshops 

WKU Glasgow Library renovations completed

David Lee named Provost

Marc Archambault named Vice President of Development & Alumni Relations 

Swimming & Diving program suspended for 5 years


January - Kentucky Mesonet opens station in Butler County

February - Black Cultural Center created

March 28 - Rick Stansbury named basketball coach

April 5 - Ogden College Hall groundbreaking

April 11 - The $100 Solution™ House opens

December - Football team wins Boca Raton Bowl

Record snow fall for 2015-2016 - nearly 4 feet

Gary Ransdell announces retirement effective 2017

Last Talisman yearbook to be published

Howard Bailey, Vice President for Student Affairs, retires

Center for Citizenship & Social Justice created


Construction of Hilltopper Hall begins

January 27 - Timothy Caboni named tenth president

May 2 - Confucius Institute Building dedicated

June - President Gary Ransdell retires

July 28 - President Timothy Caboni sworn in as president

1907 Steamboat Excursion

WKU Graduates

Herman Donovan

Macon Leiper, Mattie McLean & Guy Byrn

Students in dorm ca 1910

WKU Seal

Students at Sallie's Rock

Geography Students

Students' Army Training Corps

Member of the Class of 1920

  Students in Senior Class Program

Homecoming Memorabilia

Ted Hornback

Students in Old Stadium

Pageant of Progress

Western Players in Miss Lulu Bett

Red & Grey Orchestra

Cherry Hall sketch

H.B. Clarks' Car

Red McCrocklin

1951 Dorm Room

Couple in Vets Village home 

 Telephones in dorm

 WKU seal

 Vietnam Moratorium

Main frame computer

Lois Eigelbach, Alice Gatewood and Linda Harm

Freshman Football Players 1976


WKU Glasgow Opens

WKU Logo







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