James Kennedy Patterson Photo

James Kennedy Patterson

Born: Mar 26, 1833

Death: Aug 15, 1922

Birthplace: Gorbals

Nationality: United States

James Kennedy Patterson

Date of Birth : Mar 26, 1833
Date of Death : Aug 15, 1922
Birth Place : Gorbals

James Kennedy Patterson was an academic who served as the first president of the University of Kentucky. His family immigrated from Scotland to Indiana in 1842 when he was nine years old. He pursued what meager educational opportunities were available in his new home, and eventually attended Hanover College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1856 and a Master of Arts degree in 1859. He briefly taught at Stewart College in Clarksville, Tennessee, but left the area when the Civil War forced the college to suspend operations. He became the principal at Transylvania Academy in Lexington, Kentucky in 1861. When Transylvania was merged with Kentucky University and the newly formed Kentucky Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1865, Patterson became a professor at the new institution, and was eventually given charge of the constituent Agricultural and Mechanical College. Financial difficulties and denominational differences effected the separation of the Agricultural and Mechanical College from Kentucky University in 1878, and Patterson became the president of the independent Agricultural and Mechanical College.

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