2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges calls Centre “certainly the best” among Kentucky colleges and universities
July 29, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
“progressive, intellectual and perhaps more well-rounded than
their peers at neighboring schools.”
Centre is also called “a throwback to college the way it used to be,
with Friday night parties on fraternity row and Saturday
afternoon football games.”
The book quotes a student who says that Centre professors are
“experts in their fields and are also excellent at transmitting their
knowledge to students.”
Centre College has once again received high praise from Edward B. Fiske, whose 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges was released this month. In the well-known guidebook, Fiske and his editing team hail Centre (as they have in past editions) as “certainly the best” institution of higher learning in Kentucky, a school with an “unparalleled closeness between students and faculty.”
A former education editor of The New York Times, Fiske calls his college guidebook “selective, subjective and systematic.” The profiles he presents cover an array of topics, from academics to the student body to campus culture; he also includes quotes from students.
In the newest edition of the book, the writers describe Centre as “a throwback to college the way it used to be, with Friday night parties on fraternity row and Saturday afternoon football games…And its liberal arts focus means that…students are progressive, intellectual and perhaps more well-rounded than their peers at neighboring schools.”
The Centre profile opens with the fact that the College is not only the sole independent school in Kentucky with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter but that it has produced two-thirds of the state’s Rhodes Scholars over the last 40 years. “The climate is ‘competitive,’ says a senior, and features “tough courses and rigorous instruction.’”
After mentioning some of the most popular majors (including economics, biology, history, English and government), the book discusses the College’s art program, which it calls “strong. Glassblowing enthusiasts will find one of the few fully equipped undergraduate facilities for their pursuit in the nation.”
A student is quoted who says that Centre professors are “experts in their fields and are also excellent at transmitting their knowledge to students.” Another student adds: “Professors here expect the best and don’t let students get away with less.”
The book describes Centre’s campus as “a mix of old Greek Revival and attractive modern buildings. Fourteen of them are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, a fact that’s less surprising when you know that Centre is the 48th oldest college in the United States.”
Philanthropy is important to Centre students, another point the Fiske Guide makes. “Eighty percent of the student body does community service, through the Greek system, Habitat for Humanity, and the Humane Society,” it says.
“Social life at Centre is largely on campus,” the writers report. From fraternity parties to organized student life activities to sports events to performances at the College’s Norton Center for the Arts, a wealth of options exists for fun outside the classroom.
The guidebook also notes that 85 percent of Centre students study abroad, traveling around the country for full-term programs or during the College’s three-week CentreTerm in January.
Fiske concludes Centre’s profile with more praise: “With a safe, bucolic campus, an emphasis on academic excellence, and faculty and students who care about forming lasting friendships with each other,” Centre College is “worth a look. ‘The people and just the feel of the campus were what really won me over,’ one satisfied junior says.”