Rich History

Union College and Barbourville have a longstanding partnership that extends back to October 21, 1879, when Union College was founded. Stockholders, comprised of 35 local residents, established the college with a clear purpose: to create opportunities for their families and the wider community, while helping the region thrive and prosper.

The visionary leaders from the early days set standards that have been respected and upheld. These pioneers have accomplished many things for Union, such as adding several graduate and undergraduate programs; implementing a variety of outdoor programs, sports and fields of study that take full advantage of our region’s natural beauty; restoring and modernizing historic buildings; and creating an environmentally and fiscally responsible campus through many modern initiatives and amenities. 

To learn more about Union's history, visit our timeline.

You can also learn more about Union with our historical tour of campus. 

Timeline of Union's history

A timeline of Union College's history