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History & Heritage

In 1888, a group of Baptist Ministers founded a small college in Kentucky known as the Williamsburg Institute, for the purpose of preparing young adults for lives as servant leaders. In 1913, following the acquisition of Highland College, Cumberland College was born.  The school became the University of the Cumberlands in 2005.

Undaunted by wars, economic depressions, social unrest and natural disasters, University of the Cumberlands has continuously served students primarily, but not exclusively, from the beautiful Appalachian mountain regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Alabama. Now, thanks to the welcome addition of online learning, the University’s doors are open to students from all over the world.

The school’s vision for providing higher education in an under served area caught the eye of men like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, both of whom supported the institution. Cumberlands has produced two governors, five military generals, an admiral, five college and university presidents, a Congressman, ministers, missionaries, legislators, judges and more.

Ten presidents have served Cumberlands, including William James Johnson, E. E. Wood, John Newton Prestridge, Gorman Jones, A. R. Evans, Charles William Elsey, James Lloyd Creech, J. M. Boswell, James H. Taylor and Larry L. Cockrum, current President.

"UC provided me with the tools and professional network of individuals to lead our school district in South Carolina."

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– David O’Shields
Superintendent
Laurens County School District

"Being part of the new era of technology allows UC to be a great learning institution as well as versatile."

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– Lesley Tipton
PA Program Student

"The MAED program was a very comprehensive and robust experience that definitely added value to ..."

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– Nathan Smith
Elementary School Teacher

"I believe that UC is making great strides toward becoming one of the best online programs."

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– Benjamin Clayton
MACS Program

"The Rank 1 program at UC provides a broad array of avenues for enhancing our roles as educators."

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– Elizabeth Stack
Teacher

"I was attracted to UC because of its location in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains ..."

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– Suzanne Benninger
PA Program Student

"The MBA program fit my busy lifestyle. I was able to attend MBA classes and do the assigned work all ..."

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– Pam Jones
Controller
Baptist Regional Medical Center

"The learning environment and the facilities at UC PA are the best around and it makes learning so much ..."

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– Kevin Caddell
PA Program Student

"I enjoyed the quality of the materials and the instructors. The knowledge I gained will help me in my business."

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– Eric Greer
Founder & President
CIS

"The [MBA] program allowed me to make great contacts and network with other professionals."

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– Amanda Farris
Accountant
Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries

"UC has multiple attributes that I find attractive. Its affordability, high moral standards and sense of ..."

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– April Templeton
MBA graduate

"UC does an excellent job of bringing students from the virtual world together in a cohesive class unit."

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– Jennifer Kincaid
Assistant Principal
MAED Program Student

"The online program at UC has allowed me to further my education while maintaining my personal commitments."

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– Carl Roberts
Teacher
MAT Program

"Enrolling in the University of the Cumberlands’ MBA program was a rewarding and valuable investment ..."

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– Brooklyn Hooker
Accountant
Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation

"The MBA program has given me an opportunity to further my education while working a full-time job."

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– Desrick Jones
Assistant Manager
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

"I enjoyed the convenience and flexibility of the schedule especially with four children. The small ..."

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– Mark Steely
Coordinator of Radiology and Radiation Safety Officer
Baptist Regional Medical Center

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