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Kentucky Live! presents Mary Ellen Pethel on College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville

The Kentucky Live! Series presents Mary Ellen Pethel on College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville Thursday, February 15, 2018 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore (1680 Campbell Lane) at 7 pm.  Everyone is welcome.

Mary Ellen Pethel is an author, educator, archivist and historian. Pethel will be talking about her newest book Athens of the New South: College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville which was published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2017.  In it she explores how the founding and growth of Nashville’s colleges and universities impacted the city, region and nation.  She notes that by the twentieth century Vanderbilt University had become one of the country’s leading private schools while Fisk University was among the nation’s most prestigious black liberal-arts universities and Meharry Medical College had emerged as one of the country’s few training centers for African American medical professionals. Tennessee A&I became the state’s first public black college while various other schools: Peabody College, Ward-Belmont, David Lipscomb and Roger Williams University meant that Nashville was distinguished not only by the quantity but by the quality of its schools.

Pethel currently teaches in the social sciences department at the Harpeth Hall School and serves as the school archivist. She is a Global Leadership Studies Fellow and teaches in the Honors Department at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Go to and read more details on the WKU Libraries blog. 

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 Last Modified 9/24/14