BRISTOL, Tenn. - It's what's being called a landmark announcement in the history of King College -- after years of major growth, the college will soon be known as King University.
From what we learned at the announcement, it's been a warm reception at King College to welcome a new name on campus. Starting June 1, King College will officially be part of history; we found out it's also the start of new growth at a budding new university.
After 146 years, King College become King University. President Greg Jordan tells us it's a new change for students and staff, but one that's been on the horizon as part of a new strategic plan since 1998. "Five schools were developed: the College of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Nursing, as well as the Peak School of Christian Mission," he explained. "That was the origination point and it was very exiting."
Jordan explains that it's a natural fit for a college that's gone from 500 students in the mid-1990s to 2,400 students today, and more academic programs than ever. "This is going to be a continuation of programs of distinction on which King has embarked for some time," he said.
That means as a new university, King could soon see doctorate programs, new online and professional studies and more international students. "College is a term that, while clearly understood in the U.S., has different meaning around the world," Jordan explained. "Some understood it as a pre-university program."
Students tell us that while going from KC to KU could take time to get used to, it won't change the experience. Sophomore Blake Adams is optimistic about his school's future. "I get a small school feel and I don't believe us growing is changed any," he said. "I believe the staff is the same and everybody is here for a reason."
Student Jade Schroeder says it could also make finding a job after graduation a little bit easier. "Living in a different state and coming here to Tennessee, I would like my university to be known nationwide rather than just Tennessee," she said.
Jordan says King is already recognized as a university by college ranking groups. This change removes any question as to what type of higher education is being offered.
According to Jordan, it also puts King in 'as good of a position as ever' to continue progress on their medical school.
If you are a King College alumni, we learned after June 1 you can officially put King University on your resume. You can even request a King University diploma from the school.