Founded in 1819, Centre College is a small, independent and selective educational community dedicated to study in the liberal arts as a means to develop the intellectual, personal and moral potential of its students. A top-50 liberal arts college that attracts bright, highly motivated students from around the country, Centre nurtures in its students the ability to think logically and critically, to work creatively, to analyze and compare values, and to write and speak with clarity and grace. It acquaints students with the range of accomplishments of the human mind and spirit in a variety of arts and theoretical disciplines. It enables students to choose and fulfill significant responsibilities in society. In short, Centre’s highest priority is to prepare its students for “lives of learning, leadership and service in a global society.”
A long and rich tradition of tolerance, freedom of enquiry, and community informs all aspects of college life. Centre accomplishes its goals in an atmosphere of caring and respectful relationships among faculty, students and staff, aided by its broadly conceived Judeo-Christian heritage in historical association with the Presbyterian Church. This tradition commits Centre to a belief in the unconditional value of each human being, to an appreciation of differences among people, and to a recognition of the close connection between responsible self-development and community well-being.
Centre College offers its students a world of opportunities, highlighted by the nation’s premier study abroad program. Approximately 85 percent of students study abroad during their four years at Centre in nine permanent, semester-long residential programs (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, France, Spain, Yucatan, China and Japan) and shorter programs in January that explore an ever-increasing number of countries. The January 2014 programs include Bahamas, Brazil, Catalonia, Guatemala, India, Rwanda/Uganda and Thailand.
Closer to home, a long tradition of community service is an integral part of the Centre experience. For the fifth time, Centre was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013. This designation by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. Campus organizations dedicated to community service include Centre Action Reaches Everyone (CARE), national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, and Centre chapters of national organizations like Best Buddies, NEST, Habitat for Humanity, Rotaract and Up ‘Til Dawn. In addition, Centre’s Bonner Program involves 60 students who complete eight to 10 hours of community service a week to maintain scholarships from the organization. Centre fraternities and sororities are also involved with fundraising for organizations like St. Baldrick’s and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Centre College joined the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty in 2012. In this first year of membership, three Centre students participated in the eight-week Shepherd Internship Program and took a religion course, “Poverty and Homelessness” and a sociology course, “Social Structure” upon their return to campus. Hence, participation in internships will be deepened by academic work in the classroom, and course work will be enhanced by the students’ street-level experience of the realities of poverty in America and of innovative approaches to addressing it. By connecting Centre to other schools with similar commitments, the Shepherd Consortium gives greater structure and focus to what the College is doing in poverty studies, including new infrastructure for improving and expanding it in both curricular and extracurricular realms.
Rick Axtell, Ph. D.,
Professor of Religion and College Chaplain
Associate Director, Center for Career & Professional Development
Students fight poverty with Shepherd Internship Program
Summer is a time to kick back, relax and soak up the sun, but for three Centre students in particular, this summer is a time to focus on a much loftier goal: fighting poverty.
Kendra Montejos ’14, Paige Coomer ’14 and Cyrus Xi ’14 are all participating in the Shepherd Internship Program, a branch of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty.