Lincoln Memorial University

Lincoln Memorial University
Lincoln Memorial University
LMU logo
Motto We Wear His Name Proudly
Established 1897
Type Private
President B. James Dawson[1]
Admin. staff 152
Undergraduates 2,097
Postgraduates 1,282
Location Harrogate, Tennessee, USA
Campus Rural, 1,000 acres (4 km²)
Colors Blue & Gray
Mascot Railsplitters
Lincoln Library and Museum

Lincoln Memorial University is a private four-year co-educational liberal arts college located in Harrogate, Tennessee.

LMU's 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) campus borders on Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

LMU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Its Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum[2] houses a large collection of memorabilia relating to the school's namesake, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, initially formed from donations by the school's early benefactor, General Oliver O. Howard, and his friends.[3] The collection of Lincoln items is said[by whom?] to be the world's third largest.



In the 1880s, an energetic entrepreneur named Alexander Arthur (1846–1912) and several associates established a firm called American Association, Ltd., the primary purpose of which was to develop the iron ore and coal resources of the Cumberland Gap area. Arthur founded Middlesboro, Kentucky for the company's employees and furnaces, and constructed a railroad line connecting Middlesboro with Knoxville, Tennessee. Arthur believed Middlesboro would grow into a large industrial city, the so-called "Pittsburgh of the South." In 1888, he founded the city of Harrogate, which he envisioned would someday be a suburb for Middlesboro's elite.[4]

Arthur and American Association spent some two million dollars developing Harrogate, the jewel of which was the Four Seasons Hotel, a 700-room structure believed to have been the largest hotel in the U.S. at the time.[4] The hotel included a lavish dining hall, a casino, and a separate sanitarium. The economic panic of the early 1890s and the subsequent collapse of Arthur's London financial backers doomed American Associates, however, and the Four Seasons was sold and dismantled.[4]

In 1896, General Oliver O. Howard, a former Union officer who had helped establish Howard University (named for him), embarked on a lecture tour. Howard's agent, Cyrus Kehr, suggested Howard establish a university as a living memorial to President Abraham Lincoln. On June 18, 1896, Howard spoke at the Harrow School, an elementary school at Cumberland Gap founded a few years earlier by Reverend A. A. Myers. After the lecture, Myers asked Howard for assistance in establishing a college for the Cumberland Gap region. Howard related to Myers a conversation he had with Lincoln in 1863 in which the president expressed a desire to do something to help the people of East Tennessee, a majority of whom remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War in spite of the greater state's secession, and, remembering Kehr's suggestion, agreed to help Myers establish a university in Lincoln's honor.[5]

With the help of Howard and Kehr, Myers purchased the Four Seaons property, although the sanitarium building was all that remained of the once lavish hotel. Lincoln Memorial University was chartered on February 12, 1897— Lincoln's 88th birthday— with Cyrus Kehr as its first president. Howard joined the university as its managing director in 1898, and under his leadership the university expanded,[5] acquiring among other places Alexander Arthur's house, which the university used as a conservatory.[4] Howard mentioned the university and its purpose in a speech at Carnegie Hall in 1901, which helped raise money and allowed the university to pay off its debts.[6]

In 1902, the sanitarium building burned, and its surviving blocks were used to build Grant-Lee Hall, which has since been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6] Arthur's house also burned, but its tower, now called "Conservatory Tower," still stands.[6] In April 1917, British folklorist Cecil Sharp spent several days at Lincoln Memorial University, where he collected 22 local versions of "old world" ballads such as "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor," "The Daemon Lover," and "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight."[7]

Literary Legacy and The Mountain Heritage Literary Festival

LMU is known for a rich literary history that includes such renowned authors as James Still (River of Earth, The Wolfpen Poems), Jesse Stuart (Taps for Private Tussie, The Thread That Runs So True), Don West (Clods of Southern Earth), and George Scarbrough (Tellico Blue). At one point, Emma Bell Miles, author and painter, served as Artist-in-Residence at the university, a position that went unfilled until it was taken over by bestselling novelist Silas House (Clay's Quilt, The Coal Tattoo) in 2005. House started the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival that same year and the gathering has grown steadily, featuring the region's most celebrated writers (Lee Smith, Earl Hamner, Jr., Ron Rash, Sheila Kay Adams, Denise Giardina, etc.) and becoming one of the premier events of Appalachian literature.

DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

The plans for Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) began in 2004 when Chairman of the LMU Board of Trustees Autry O.V. Pete DeBusk met Ray Stowers, D.O., F.A.C.O.F.P. Both were members of the MedPAC Commission, a Medicare advisory board in Washington, D.C. DeBusk, an LMU alumnus, shared his dream of a college of medicine at LMU with Stowers, a rural family physician. After conducting a year-long feasibility study, LMU announced it was pursuing a college of osteopathic medicine and named Dr. Stowers as vice president and dean. The college was named in honor of its initiator, and the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine was born. The four-story, 105,000-square-foot (9,800 m2) building was opened to its inaugural class of osteopathic medical students on August 1, 2007.[8]

The academic program is intended to meet the following goals:[8]

  1. To accord primacy to the role of the musculoskeletal system in the total body economy.
  2. To recognize and emphasize the inherent capacity within the total person to overcome disease and maintain health; and to educate physicians to cooperate with this therapeutic capacity in their methods of treatment.
  3. To provide sufficient academic training to make students aware of health needs that must be referred to a consultant.

The curriculum is divided into two phases:

  1. Pre-clinical Sciences (Years 1 and 2)
  2. Clinical experiences (Years 3 and 4)

A primary care physician must be skilled in problem solving and demonstrate expertise in diagnosis. In order to achieve this goal, the DCOM curricula emphasizes the integration of the basic and clinical sciences in medical practice.

Teaching Affiliates[9]

Alabama Medical Education Consortium, Robertsdale, AL

Claiborne County Hospital, Tazewell, TN

Middlesburo ARH, Middlesburo, KY

Cumberland Medical Center, Crossville, TN

Hazard ARH Hospital , Hazard, KY

Harlan ARH Hospital, Harlan, KY

Indian Path Medical Center, Kingsport, TN

Knoxville Area (Blount, East TN Children's, Ft. Sanders, St. Mary's Medical Center), Knoxville, TN

Methodist-Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center Health Care System, Memphis, TN

Morristown Hamblen Hospital, Morristown, TN

Sweetwater Hospital Association

Takoma Regional Hospital, Greenville, TN

Wellmont Health Systems, SWVA, Big Stone Gap, VA


Sigma Sigma Phi Honorary Osteopathic Service Fraternity, Phi Chapter[10]

Duncan School of Law

In the spring of 2008, Lincoln Memorial University announced plans to seek approval to offer legal education leading to the Juris Doctor degree. The law school, named in honor of Tennessee Congressman John James Duncan, Jr., is located in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee in the building commonly referred to as “Old City Hall.”[11]

In February 2009, the law school received approval from the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners which grants permission to Duncan School of Law graduates to apply to take the Tennessee Bar Examination.[12] It is seeking American Bar Association accreditation as well as accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).

LMU admitted approximately 75 part-time students and began classes in August, 2009. The full-time program will begin in the fall of 2010, bringing another 125 students the campus.[13]


Sports teams, called the "Railsplitters", compete in NCAA Division II in the South Atlantic Conference. The Chairman of the LMU Board of Trustees recently announced during a speech that the school is looking to move to Division I in 2011.

LMU currently competes in 14 sports. Women's sports are: Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball. Men's sports are: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, and Tennis.

LMU is unique among SAC members in that it does not have a football program, though it did have one in the past. Other sports formerly offered at LMU include fencing, track & field and tumbling.

Athletics have been a part of LMU since 1907, when baseball was first organized on campus. The first intercollegiate contest was a baseball game against Cumberland College in 1910.

From 1991-2006 LMU was a member of the Gulf South Conference. Prior to that, the school was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and competed in the Smoky Mountain Athletic Conference (1929–61) and Volunteer State/Tennessee Valley Athletic Conference (1946–89).

Over the years the teams have enjoyed great success on the field and in the classroom. Academically, the 2000-01 women's basketball team led the NCAA Division II in team GPA and both soccer teams' 3.0 or better cumulative GPA have won them recognition from the NSCAA for the past few years.

The men's and women's basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, cross-country and soccer teams have all made appearances in their respective national tournaments over the years. The men's soccer team reached the NCAA Division II Championship Match in 2007, losing to Franklin Pierce College 1-0.

Facilities include the Turner Arena, Mars Gymnasium, Neely Field and Hennon Field. The golf teams are based out of Woodlake Golf Club in Tazewell, Tennessee. New soccer and tennis complexes are currently under construction.

J. Frank White Academy

Founded in 1989, the J. Frank White Academy (JFWA) is a college preparatory school located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. Fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the J. Frank White Academy serves average and above average ability students in grades five through twelve who desire a college preparatory education.[14]

Included in tuition, qualifying Academy juniors and seniors can take up to 30 hours of LMU classes for dual credit or just college credit. By taking real college classes (instead of Advance Placement (AP) courses) Academy students actually get the college experience first-hand and can potentially complete their freshman year by the time they graduate. Students can take: •six hours the summer after their sophomore year •six hours during their junior year •six hours the summer after their junior year •six hours their senior year •six hours the summer after their senior year.[15]

Notable alumni

More than 700 LMU alumni have entered medical or legal practice in Appalachian communities.[citation needed] Another 3,000 have become professional educators, serving in positions ranging from elementary school teaching to university presidencies.[citation needed]

Notable individual alumni include:


  1. ^ Kennedy, Chloe White (11 March 2010). "New president for Lincoln Memorial University". Knoxville, TN: Knoxville News-Sentinel. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum website
  3. ^ "TN Encyclopedia: Lincoln Memorial University". Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  4. ^ a b c d Edgar Holt, Claiborne County (Memphis, Tenn.: Memphis State University Press, 1981), pp. 44-49, 73.
  5. ^ a b "Oliver Otis Howard and Lincoln Memorial University." Retrieved: 2009-12-10.
  6. ^ a b c Carolyn Sakowski, Touring the East Tennessee Backroads (Winston-Salem: J.F. Blair, 1993), pp. 178-179.
  7. ^ Cecil Sharp, Maud Karpeles (ed.), English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, Volumes I and II (London: Oxford University Press, 1932), pp. xiv (I), 122 (I), 252 (I), 127 (II), 41 (II).
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Happy 80th Birthday, John Rice Irwin!". The Norris Bulletin 64 (49): 1, 6. 2010-12-08. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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