Endowed Baptist Professorship Links Past, Present, and Future
Submitted on March 4, 2020
The generous gift by an anonymous donor last week of $1 million for the establishment of an Endowed Baptist Professorship further cements the mission of Georgetown College to provide a championship-level education of the heart and mind to its students. The professorship will allow students to take courses in Baptist history and theology. It will strengthen the religious studies department by giving students even more options for further exploration of their interests.
The Endowed Baptist Professorship also crucially links the college’s roots, while looking ahead to its bright future. Upon announcement of the gift, President of Georgetown College, Will Jones, said, “This incredibly generous gift beautifully connects the college’s past, present, and future. Georgetown College has offered a championship-level education of the heart and mind to generations of students. This professorship will help to enhance this transformational education and the outstanding outcomes future graduates will enjoy.”
Georgetown College’s Baptist roots run deep. The college was founded in 1829, when the Kentucky General Assembly chartered the Kentucky Baptist Education Society with the purpose of establishing a Baptist college in the state. Georgetown, Kentucky was subsequently chosen as the location of the new school, and Georgetown College was formed, making it the first Baptist college west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Throughout its early years, the college sought to establish an identity and was aided in those early years by Baptist support, including several large gifts that sustained the college. This included a $30,000 gift raised by President Howard Malcom in 1841 for finishing Recitation Hall (now Giddings Hall). This crucial gift has reverberated since, as Giddings Hall still stands as the most recognizable building on campus, a beacon for students, alumni, and friends of the college as they drive down Memorial Drive.
Subsequently in the early 1900s, the college enjoyed a period of growth thanks to a huge fundraising effort by Baptists in the south, which benefited several educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and charitable foundations. Thanks to this and other gifts, Georgetown College offered numerous Bible courses beginning in the early 1920s. As the decades progressed, Georgetown College continued to flourish, connected to its Baptist roots.
Students at Georgetown College grow in their faith. Several attend seminary after graduation each year, and many become leaders in their local congregations. With this generous gift establishing an Endowed Baptist Professorship, Georgetown College will continue teaching the spiritual disciplines and expanding students’ hearts and minds.