Intensely Personal and Deeply Engaging

At Centre, we are committed to providing a deeply engaging, intensely personal education with guaranteed opportunities for all students to explore the world, gain on-the-job experience, and conduct hands-on research alongside their professors.

Centre People

Students.  Centre students are talented, energetic, and diverse, with far-ranging interests—from thermodynamics to dance, philosophy to computers. They come from throughout the United States and around the world. And they like to win, from national academic awards, such as Fulbright, Truman, and Schwarzman, to Division III athletics.

Faculty.  In addition to their top-notch credentials, Centre’s faculty members are dedicated and supportive teachers who are active in research. At Centre, there are no graduate student teaching assistants; classes are taught by members of the faculty who also serve as academic advisors.

Graduates.  Centre graduates are extremely successful in gaining admission to graduate school, and about one-third go on to earn advanced degrees. Our alumni have risen to positions of leadership in virtually every field, and they're willing and eager to share their experience and knowledge with current students in Career Exploration Communities. Alumni frequently come back to campus to participate in speak and mentor and they also sponsor internships and other work-related experiences designed to help students identify and reach their goals.


Centre Facilities

Centre offers outstanding facilities that reflect and reinforce the quality of a Centre education. Old Centre, the main administration building, was begun in 1819 and is an outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture. The Norton Center for the Arts, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has been widely acclaimed as one of America's best performance centers. Our residence halls include suite and townhouse style designs as well as traditional style residences with community kitchens, study rooms, and gathering spaces. Our classroom buildings include cutting-edge equipment and instrumentation, quiet study spots, and innovative collaboration spaces. Centre never stands still, and we continue to enhance our 178-acre campus. In the last five years, Centre has invested more than $80 million in facilities and infrastructure, including new and renovated residential buildings, a major renovation and expansion of Olin Hall, for science and mathematics, renovation of Crounse Hall and the Grace Doherty Library, and expanded athletic facilities. Several campus buildings hold LEED certification and sustainability is a priority in future construction. The College's master plan for building and renovation guides a program of physical improvements into the coming decade. 

The following list describes some of the major buildings on campus.


Old Centre 

The first building of the College, Old Centre is listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places. The six-column Greek Revival front portico and wings were added to the original Federal building in 1841. During the Civil War, Confederate and later Union troops used the building as a hospital before and after the nearby Battle of Perryville. Old Centre now houses offices, including for the president and vice president for academic affairs, as well as the Admission Office reception area.


Boles Hall 

Built in 1997 as a mirror image to the 1940 Wiseman Hall, Boles Hall is named for a former Centre board chair and since 2015 has housed most of the Admission and Financial Aid offices.


Norton Center for the Arts 

Each year the Norton Center offers a breath-taking array of entertainment: cellist Yo-Yo Ma, singers Bobby McFerrin and Alison Krauss, Broadway shows Jersey Boys and Steel Magnolias, and the Boston Pops, to name a few. The Norton Center has also been the site for two Vice Presidential Debates, in 2012 and 2000. Students often work backstage during these events or help take important visitors to and from the airport. In addition, some artists—flutist James Galway and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, to name just two—offer master classes for interested students. The 85,000-square-foot Norton Center complex was designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and includes the 1,500-seat Newlin Hall. At the back of the complex are the more intimate 367-seat Weisiger Theatre and Grant Hall, which includes classrooms, studios, and offices for drama and music faculty.


Crounse Hall, Grace Doherty Library, and the Centre Learning Commons 

Crounse Hall includes classrooms and offices for humanities and social science faculty members. The Vahlkamp Theater (a small movie theater) and the Media Suite where students may work on editing, film, and audio projects are on the lower level. Crounse also includes the Muslim Student Prayer Space, several reservable study rooms, and comfortable seating for private study. The front and main section of the Crounse building is occupied by Grace Doherty Library and the Centre Learning Commons. The Learning Commons is devoted to student success and connects tutoring for most programs, as well as assisting students with necessary accommodations for learning. It is home to a peer mentoring program and provides a hub for student success initiatives. A computer lab equipped with a teaching station, computers, and a presentation screen is available on the lower level of the library. There are computers available on the main floor of the library and laptops, video cameras, iPads, and other technologies are available for checkout. Also on the main floor are two reservable seminar rooms. Nine study rooms are available for reservation as well.
A quiet reading room on the main floor is often used for small, academic meetings as well as quiet study. Students can grab a meal or a coffee and relax at Einstein Bros. ® Bagels. The Special Collections room is located on the main floor of the library and houses archival records of Centre College, as well as rare and fragile materials. Special Collections are made available to patrons and community users by appointment with the library archivist.
The library’s print collection includes approximately 168,000 volumes, as well as 55,500 e-books and 35,033 e-journals. In addition to the primarily free interlibrary service offered to our patrons, a formal agreement grants borrowing privileges at all Kentucky academic libraries to the students and faculty of Centre College. The Grace Doherty Library’s webpage provides online access to such scholarly databases as Academic Search Complete, Web of Science, and JSTOR, among many others. All electronic resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students and faculty have access to all library databases from off campus, via their campus email username and password.
Instruction librarians provide research sessions to first-year students each fall as part of the Finding Your Centre course and offer course-specific instruction upon request. One-on-one research consultations are also available for students and faculty during staffed hours at the information desk, via chat service, or by appointment.


Franklin W. Olin Hall 

Olin Hall was built in 1988 with a $3.5-million grant from the F.W. Olin Foundation of New York City. It houses the analytical chemistry, computer science, data science, environmental studies, mathematics, and physics programs. In 2021, a major $8.7 million renovation and expansion opened with support from the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation.


Young Hall

Named for two early Centre presidents—John C. Young and his son William Young, Class of 1859— Young Hall opened a major addition to the building, certified with the environmental designation LEED gold, in 2010. Young Hall houses the behavioral neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biology, biology, and psychology programs, as well as the synthetic (organic and inorganic) chemists. Outstanding examples of dinosaur fossils and unusual minerals are on display throughout the building.


Jones Visual Arts Center 

The Jones Visual Arts Center houses the art and art history programs. It includes a state-of-the-art hot glass studio and the AEGON Gallery for exhibitions of work by student and visiting artists. The drawing and painting studios offer outstanding natural light. There are also studios for ceramics, sculpture, and other media, as well as classrooms and faculty offices.


Sutcliffe Hall 

Sutcliffe has three gyms, including Alumni Gymnasium, which was remodeled in 2019 and is the home of Centre’s basketball and volleyball programs. Sutcliffe also houses the Buck Fitness Center, a fully equipped fitness facility offering free weight, plate-loaded and machine lifting opportunities, as well as a variety of aerobic machines. The athletic offices, Athletic Hall of Fame, and Hall of Fame Café are all located inside Sutcliffe Hall, as well. 


Old Carnegie 

Old Carnegie houses the Center for Global Citizenship, which helps 85% of Centre students study abroad and across the US. It is also home to the Center for Career & Professional Development, where personalized career coaches help students join a Career Exploration Community, find internships, apply to graduate school, and secure a meaningful career. Built in 1913 as a library (the industrialist Andrew Carnegie provided $30,000 toward its construction); Carnegie served that purpose until Doherty Library opened in 1967. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 


Roush Campus Center 

The two-story, 50,000-square-foot Roush Campus Center includes the Student Life Office, the Office of Health Promotions as well as space for student organizations and meetings, a multicultural space, fireplaces, and a game area. It also includes two dining facilities: Cowan Dining Commons (the main dining hall) and the Flame Café. It is certified with the environmental designation LEED silver.


Student Residences 

Most students live on campus in accommodations that vary from traditional residence halls to townhouse-style apartments. Students also live in the fraternity and sorority houses in Greek Park. Pearl Hall, certified LEED gold, opened in 2008. Brockman Residential Commons, certified LEED silver, opened in 2012. The Northside Residence Hall opened in the fall of 2019.


Centre Life

Centre offers outstanding opportunities for a well-rounded life outside the classroom. Internationally known performing artists appear throughout the year at the College's Norton Center for the Arts, and virtually all these world-class programs are free to students. Our convocation program brings in speakers and performers who present a wide range of programs, also free to students. Along with these events, there are numerous opportunities for participation in more than 80 campus clubs, societies, teams, and other groups. Residence halls, fraternities, and sororities organize many formal and informal events. The College sponsors 25 intercollegiate varsity sports that provide entertainment for participants and spectators alike, as does our active intramural program. Six national men's fraternities (Beta Theta Pi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Kappa Tau, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Sigma Chi) and five national women's sororities (Alpha Delta Pi, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, and Kappa Kappa Gamma) contribute to the campus social program. These organizations encourage academic achievement among their members, perform community service projects, and organize special events such as Greek Week.
Service opportunities can be found through the Office of Civic and Community Engagement, which hosts or supports such varied programs as blood drives, Alternative Spring Break, and projects to assist residents across the region. Centre is also affiliated with several national volunteer service organizations, including the Bonner Foundation and Alpha Phi Omega.
Clubs and Organizations

We have many interest groups and organizations that host a wide variety of events and activities on campus. Some groups, such as the Pre-Health Society, the Economics Society, and language clubs are directly related to academic life. They enhance classroom instruction through field trips, guest lectures, and volunteer work. Other organizations include the Student Activities Council, the Student Government Association, and several religious organizations. Centre’s honorary societies recognize students for outstanding leadership, character, and academic ability. These societies include Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa (for recognition of outstanding scholars and leaders), Sigma Delta Pi, Phi Sigma Iota, Beta Beta Beta, Phi Alpha Theta, Omicron Delta Epsilon, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Psi Chi (honoraries for students in Spanish, foreign languages, biology, history, economics, political science, and psychology, respectively), and Order of Omega and Gamma Sigma Alpha (Greek honorary/leadership societies).
Religious Life

Centre’s Religious Life Office is directed by the College chaplain, who is an active campus leader. Ministers from local churches, synagogues, and mosques also maintain ties with the College. The Religious Life Office works to 1) promote vital religious life and greater religious understanding on campus; 2) encourage and coordinate the work of campus religious groups; 3) strengthen students' links to their own religious traditions by facilitating the student ministries of local congregations; 4) enhance the College's mission to educate its students as morally and socially responsible citizens; 5) provide pastoral care and religious counseling for the campus community; and 6) advise students considering religious vocations and divinity school programs. In addition to retreats, speakers, worship services, service projects, dinners, and discussion groups, the Religious Life Office sponsors events such as the Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols, Lenten observances, Passover Seder, Eid dinner, and Baccalaureate. Religious groups on campus include Baptist Campus Ministries, Centre Christian Fellowship, Jewish Student Organization, Meditation Centre, Muslim Student Association and Newman Club (Catholic). The Religious Life Office also sponsors CentrePeace, a campus peace and justice group, and CentreFaith, an interfaith dialogue group that also plans festivals and educational events from a variety of religious traditions. 
Vantage Point

Vantage Point is a publication of student creative writing, photography, and artwork.
Shared Responsibility

Among the abundant opportunities for growth and experience that Centre offers outside the classroom, perhaps the most significant is shared responsibility in campus governance. At Centre, students, faculty, and staff members work together to create a community that brings freedom and responsibility into a healthy balance. Through careful attention to the organization of a strong student government and by making positions of significant responsibility available to students, Centre gives concrete meaning to terms such as democratic values and civic duty. Students take an active part in College decision-making through their roles in student government or—with faculty and staff—as members of the College Council. Students serve with faculty on each major's program committee, advising on curriculum and major requirements. They also take the primary responsibility for regulating the conduct of their peers through the Student Judiciary. Such shared decision-making and responsibility are an essential part of the Centre education. It is a liberal arts education in the true sense, educating the whole person, building self-esteem and self-confidence, and teaching concepts such as democracy and civic responsibility on a practical level.
Campus Governance

The College Council.  Although Centre is legally governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees, the College Council (“Council”), along with its constituent committees, serves as the primary body for campus-wide engagement on policies and practices that affect the campus community as a whole. Membership on the Council is equally distributed among the faculty, staff, students, and administration. The Council consists of the President of the Faculty, the Staff Congress President, the Student Government Association President, two at-large members of the faculty (with rotating three-year terms), two at-large members of the staff (with rotating three-year terms), two at-large members of the student body, and three at-large members of the administration (which refers to members of the Senior Staff). The Council helps oversee Advisory Committees, which provide advice and make recommendations to the Council on specific issues of strategic importance to the College, and Operational Committees, which typically undertake specialized or time-limited tasks or duties. Students are appointed to many of these committees with the assistance of the Student Government Association. 
Student Government Association. The Student Government Association is the official executive and legislative body for student discussion, decision, and action. It is composed of elected student representatives and student senators, and the executive committee. A major responsibility of the SGA is to allocate funds to student organizations. The SGA president serves as a nonvoting representative to the board of trustees. The SGA represents the student body primarily in matters relating to the standards and practices of nonacademic student activities and services.


The Student Judicial System.  The judicial powers of the Student Government Association are exercised by the Student Judiciary. The Student Judiciary is a panel composed of 16 students elected by the student body, which hears cases involving violations of College policy or other misconduct.
The Fraternity and Sorority Systems.  By its approval of the Interfraternity Council constitution, the College has granted a substantial degree of self-governance to the campus fraternity system, of which the Interfraternity Council (IFC) is the executive and legislative body. The IFC regulates and coordinates the affairs and activities of the six social fraternities on campus in conformance with the published campus and residence regulations of the College. Both the IFC and the College subscribe to the policies and positions of the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors, North American Interfraternity Conference, and Fraternity Executives Association. The Panhellenic Council regulates and coordinates the affairs and activities of the five social sororities on campus in conformity with the published campus regulations of the College. The Panhellenic Association subscribes to the National Panhellenic Conference guidelines as outlined in the Manual of Information. A special contract between the men’s and women’s Greek organizations and Centre is spelled out in the “Statement of Mutual Responsibility.” Alleged violations of Interfraternity Council regulations are heard by the judiciary committee of the IFC, and alleged violations of Panhellenic Association regulations are heard by the executive committee of the Panhellenic Association. 


Participation in athletics is important because it contributes to the education of the whole student. Athletics serve as a learning experience, as a healthy activity, and as just plain fun. Centre’s program offers competition options for the novice, the expert, and everyone in between.
Intramurals.  An active intramural sports program gives Centre students the chance to meet on the playing field with fellow students as well with the faculty and staff members who participate in the program.
Intercollegiate Competition.  Centre sponsors 25 intercollegiate teams, providing an opportunity for nearly 600 student-athletes annually to participate in college athletics. Centre is a member of the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Division III. All SAA member institutions adhere to a policy of not awarding financial aid to a student for participation in athletics.


Residence Life
To promote the atmosphere of closeness and community that is an important part of Centre, the College normally requires that students live in College residences and take their meals on campus. The main dining hall serves three meals Monday through Friday and two meals on Saturday and Sunday. All meal plans include Flex Dollars that can be used at the Flame Café, the Hall of Fame Café, and Einstein Bros. ® Bagels.
Health Services
On-campus health services are available in the Student Health Center, on the first floor of Sutcliffe Hall across from the pool entrance. The Student Health Center is a small health clinic which provides medical care for acute common illnesses and minor injuries as well as continuing maintenance of medication for routine chronic ailments. Health Center staff can find specialists in the community when needed for illnesses that require more extensive treatment than can be provided through the clinic. Certain routine medications are available at minimal expense to save students both time and money.