Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a public university based in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Formally established in 1906 by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the school’s roots reach back even farther to the mid 1870s when the privately owned Glasgow Normal School and Business College was founded by A.W. Mell in Glasgow, Kentucky. The institution eventually moved to Bowling Green and was later sold to become the Western Kentucky State Normal School. In 1922 the school received authorization from the state of Kentucky to grant four-year degrees and in 1931 to award the Master of Arts degree. In 1948 the school’s name was changed to Western Kentucky State College and in 1966 adopted its current name. Today, WKU operates multiple campuses across Kentucky and has been named among The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges as well as honored with the first U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Award.
Western Kentucky University mission is to prepare “students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society.” WKU’s mission statement continues, “The University provides research, service and lifelong learning opportunities for its students, faculty, and other constituents. WKU enriches the quality of life for those within its reach.” The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1926.
Western Kentucky University offers several nationally-recognized academic programs including Journalism and Broadcasting, Education, Engineering, and Business and is home to an award winning speech and debate team. Offering more than 100 academic majors, WKU’s four-year programs lead to the bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of interdisciplinary studies, bachelor of music, bachelor of science, bachelor of science in nursing, and bachelor of social work degrees. Several master’s degrees are also offered as well as the specialist degree and doctoral programs in the areas of Educational Leadership, Nursing Practice, Physical Therapy, and Psychology.
Western Kentucky University has a total enrollment figure of over 20,000, including more than 17,000 undergraduate students. Students hail from all around the United States as well as from several different countries including Saudi Arabia, China, Brazil, India, and Vietnam. Student housing is offered in a variety of on-campus residence halls, each of which have been fully renovated and offers high-speed internet access, cable television, floor kitchens, laundry facilities, community rooms, and much more.
Western Kentucky University is home to a number of groups, events, and activities, including several Greek Life organizations, co-curricular activities sponsored by the WKU Campus Activities Board, and special events. WKU is home to many traditions as well, including the “Spirit of WKU”, the University’s alma mater, “College Heights”, and Ghost Stories. WKU also boasts a number of athletic traditions and as a member of the NCAA Division I-A, fields a number of athletic varsity teams which compete in the Conference USA.