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Special Collections & Archives: TU Presidents

Learn more about the unusual and rare collections that the college cares for.

Presidents, etc.

Transylvania Seminary 1780 – 1798:


1785-86 James Mitchell, Head Master


1788-89 Elias Jones, Head Master


1789-91 Isaac Wilson, Head Master

1791-93 James Moore, Head Master

1793-94 James Moore, Acting President

1794-96 Harry Toulmin, First Official President

1796-99 James Moore, President


Transylvania University 1799 – 1858:

1799-1804 James Moore, President

1804-1818 James Blythe, Acting President

1818-1827 Horace Holley, President

Article on Holley from Kentucky Encyclopedia

1828-1831 Alva Woods, President


1831-1833 John [Mansfield] Lutz, Acting President


1833-1834 Benjamin Orr Peers, Acting President


1834-1835 John [Mansfield] Lutz, Acting President

1835-1837 Thomas Coit, President


1838-1839 Louis Marshall, President

1840-1842 Robert Davidson, President

1842-1849 Henry B. Bascom, President


1849-1856 James B. Dodd, President

1856-1858 Lewis Warner Green, President


Transylvania High School  1858 – 1865

1858-1861  Abraham Drake, Principal

1861-1865   James Kennedy Patterson, Principal


Kentucky University at Harrodsburg  1859-1864

1859-1865  Robert Milligan, President


Kentucky University, Lexington  1865-1908:

1865-1878  John Bryan Bowman, Regent
Article from Kentucky Encyclopedia
1878-1880  Henry Hall White, President
1880-1897  Charles Louis Loos, President
1897-1900  Reuben Lin Cave, President
  1900-1901  Alexander Reed Milligan, Acting President

1901-1906  Burris A. Jenkins, President

  1906-1908  Thomas Benton McCartney, Acting President


Transylvania University  1908 -

(Name “Transylvania College” adopted 1915-1969)

1908-1921 Richard Henry Crossfield, President
  1921-1922 Thomas Benton McCartney, Acting President
1922-1928 Andrew Davidson Harmon, President
  1928-1929 Thomas Benton McCartney, Acting President
  1929-1930 Elmer Grant Campbell, Acting President
1930-1938 Arthur Braden, President
1938-1939 Richard Henry Crossfield, Interim President
1939-1943 Raymond F. McLain, President
  1943-1945 Leland A. Brown, Acting President
1946-1951 Raymond F. McLain, President
1951-1957 Frank A. Rose, President
1958-1976 Irvin E. Lunger, President
1976-1981 William W. Kelly, President
  1981-1982 Irvin E. Lunger, Interim President
1982-1983 David G. Brown, President
1983-2010 Charles L. Shearer, President
2010-2014 R. Owen Williams, President
2014-current Seamus Carey, President