Kentucky Wesleyan College

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Kentucky Wesleyan College began as the dream of Kentucky Methodists in the early days of the Commonwealth and in 1858, the college was founded at Millersburg. Classes began in 1866 following the Civil War. The College moved to Winchester in 1890 and soon became one the first institutions of higher learning in Kentucky to admit women.

The Wesleyan story in Owensboro began in the late 1940s when Talmage Hocker and “Ham” Glenn, cornerstones of the Alumni Club in the city, along with V. E. Anderson, Marshall Barnes, T. J. Bartlett, Ed Gipe, Delbert Glenn, Lawrence Hager, D. D. Heltsley, Harry Holder Sr., John Medley, William O’Bryan, W. H. Parker, E. Kelley Short and J. W. Snyder, led the effort to bring the college to Owensboro from Winchester.

The campus relocated to Owensboro in 1951 with classes in numerous buildings downtown, including Settle Memorial and First Christian churches, with an auditorium at Seventh and Frederica and the library at City Hall. The present campus, then in the countryside south of town, opened in 1954.

Today, Wesleyan offers almost 40 majors and graduates are admitted to prestigious graduate and professional programs of choice nationwide. The college’s most popular majors include the sciences, education, psychology, music, criminal justice and criminology, and business administration and accounting. Kentucky Wesleyan student-athletes compete in 17 NCAA Division II sports in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, and they consistently earn academic honors. The men’s basketball team has won eight national championships.

Over 2,500 Wesleyan graduates live and work in Owensboro/ Daviess County. Barton D. Darrell ’84 became the thirty-fourth president of the college in 2014.[1] More than 88 percent of our faculty have a Ph.D. or terminal degree.[2] Kentucky Wesleyan is a United Methodist-related institution and is recognized for excellence annually by Princeton Review, U. S. News and World Report and Washington Monthly.

Since 1951, Kentucky Wesleyan College has impacted thousands of graduates and its graduates have, in turn, impacted countless people. The Wesleyan influence is immeasurable.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Daviess County Kentucky, Celebrating our Heritage 1815-2015, M.T. Publishing Company, Inc
  2. About Wesleyan - Kentucky Wesleyan College, October 2, 2016.