The Grand Old Man of the University

Looking Good as New

Statue of James K. Patterson, in front of Patterson Office Tower. Photo courtesy of: Catherine Hayden

The once-green statue of “The Grand Old Man” of the University, President James K. Patterson (1833-1922), was cleaned and sealed last month by a crew from Bluegrass Memorial Restoration under the supervision of UK’s Physical Plant Division.

Patterson oversaw the administrative and curricular changes that upgraded the then Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky’s official academic classification. He changed the A&M College from its origins as mandated by the Morrill Land-Grant Act, and set it on a course of becoming a liberal arts institution.

Patterson also oversaw the building of a new residence hall – the first building to be erected off-campus.  It opened in 1902 to accommodate women students, twenty-four years after the first woman enrolled at UK. It originally housed 139 women.

To mark these expansions in both the curriculum and the physical presence of the campus,  Patterson and his Board of Trustees in 1908 successfully lobbied the General Assembly to change the school’s name to: “State University, Lexington, Kentucky.”

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About UK Student and Academic Life

Undergraduate Education is now recreated within the Division of Student and Academic Life in the Provost's Office at the University of Kentucky.
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