University of Pikeville

University of Pikeville
Motto The Leading University of Central Appalachia"
Type Private
Established 1889
Affiliation Presbyterian
Endowment $14.2 million[1]
President Dr. Burton Webb[2]
Students 2,300 students[3]
Undergraduates 1,533[3]
Postgraduates 308[3]
Location Pikeville, Kentucky, USA
Campus Small town
500 acres (202.3 ha)
Colors Orange and Black
Nickname UPIKE, Bears, Lady Bears
Affiliations NAIA Division I: MSC

The University of Pikeville (nicknamed UPIKE and formerly known as Pikeville College) is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), located in Pikeville, Kentucky, United States. The university is located on a 25-acre (10 ha) campus on a hillside overlooking downtown Pikeville. The university was founded in 1889 by the Presbyterian Church. Its current president is Dr. Burton Webb and the chancellor is former Governor of Kentucky and former university president Paul E. Patton.[2]

The university is home to the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, one of three medical schools in the state of Kentucky. The university confers associate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees through its six academic divisions and one medical college; and has a current enrollment of 2,300 students. Its intercollegiate athletic teams, called the Bears, are members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics at the NAIA Division I level and participate in the Mid-South Conference.


The university was founded in 1889 by the Presbyterian Church as the Pikeville Collegiate Institute. It operated on the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels, although its "college" offerings were not accredited and did not lead to a degree.[4]

In 1909 the school was split into the Pikeville College Academy, which was a private school at the primary and secondary level, and Pikeville College, which was accredited as a junior college, offering the first two-years with an anticipation of students then transferring to another Presbyterian college for a degree. In 1955 the school became a degree granting four-year college in its own right, and in 1957 the academy closed.[4]

In 1997, the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, now the University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, was established. This makes the college one of the smallest colleges in the United States to have a medical school.[4]

The purpose of the osteopathic medical school, while graduates are fully prepared to specialize in any medical field, is to train primary care physicians to fill the shortage of medical care in the rural section of Appalachia in which it is located. Student recruitment is focused almost exclusively on students with a rural Appalachian background. It is one of 29 osteopathic colleges in the country, and one of five in Appalachia.[5]

On July 1, 2011, the school officially changed its name from "Pikeville College" to the "University of Pikeville".[6] Late in the same year, voices were raised in the Kentucky General Assembly in favor of converting the university into a state-supported school.[7] By the end of the following March, proponents abandoned their plans after deeming them politically impossible.[8]


Coal and Record Memorial Buildings on Hambley Boulevard
Training-Academy Building

The University of Pikeville is located on a 25 acres (0.10 km2) hillside campus, overlooking Downtown Pikeville in Kentucky's Eastern Mountain Coal Fields region.[1]

Academic buildings

Residential buildings

Student life and athletics

The Marvin Student Center - The building housed the campus lounge, gameroom, post office, Upward Bound Program, and ROTC/National Guard Offices until it was demolished during the fall semester of 2010. A new building for the medical school called the Coal Building has been built in its place. The new $34 million educational facility is being dedicated on September 15, 2012.[10]

UPIKE's men's and women's basketball teams play at the 5,700-seat Eastern Kentucky Expo Center adjacent to the campus in downtown Pikeville.[11] The Expo Center opened in 2005 and replaced the UPike Gym as the home of the men's and women's basketball teams, although the women's volleyball team still uses the gym. The facility has also hosted the Mid-South Conference basketball tournament.[12]


The following majors are offered at the University of Pikeville:[13]

Associate's degrees

Bachelor's degrees

Master's degrees

Doctoral degrees


The university's athletic teams are known as the Bears and Lady Bears. UPIKE is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and primarily competes in the Mid-South Conference (MSC), while lacrosse competes in the National Women's Lacrosse League (NWLL). The university offers 20 sports; men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.[14]

Pikeville Athletics have won numerous conference championships and three national championships: two in women's bowling in 2004 and 2008 and a NAIA DI men's basketball championship in 2011.[15][16]

Notable alumni

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 College Overview Retrieved on 2010-06-13
  2. 1 2
  3. 1 2 3 President's View From the Hill Retrieved on 2011-12-22
  4. 1 2 3 History of Pikeville College Retrieved on 2010-06-13
  5. The other osteopathic colleges in Appalachia are located at:
  6. "Welcome - University of Pikeville". Retrieved 2012-02-28.
  7. Estep, Bill; Musgrave, Beth (December 22, 2011). "Kentucky leaders discuss making University of Pikeville a state school". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  8. Kiley, Kevin (March 15, 2012). "Turnabout in the Mountains". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  9. UPIKE's New Health Professions Building Breaks Ground Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  10. "Coal Building - University of Pikeville". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  11. "About". Eastern Kentucky Expo Center. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  12. Staff (January 23, 2006). "Community Trust Bank MSC basketball tournaments at Expo Center March 2-4". Floyd County Times. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  13. Majors offered at Pikeville College Retrieved on 2010-06-13
  14. "About Pikeville Athletics". University of Pikeville. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  15. "Athletic Highlights". University of Pikeville. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  16. Staff (March 23, 2011). "Unseeded Pikeville wins NAIA championship game in overtime". CBS Sports. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  17. Price, Tom (2001). Tales from the Gamecocks' Roost. United States: Sports Publishing, LLC. p. 56. ISBN 1-58261-342-7.
  18. "Pikeville College Graduate Donnie Jones takes over at UCF". WYMT-TV. March 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  19. "Former Kentucky Governor Paul Patton Named Pikeville College President". Williamson (WV) Daily News. August 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  20. John Paul Riddle 1901-1989 Historical Marker Society of America. Retrieved on 2010-12-29
  21. Profile for Will T. Scott Retrieved on 2010-12-29

Coordinates: 37°28′45″N 82°31′16″W / 37.47910°N 82.52119°W / 37.47910; -82.52119

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