The Daily Beacon reports that Knoxville College (KC) is a historically black liberal arts college that first opened its doors in 1877. The institution started out mainly offering teacher-training courses in different areas like theology and the sciences. After decades of change, including having offered classes for first grade to college level for a few years, KC established itself as a liberal arts institution in 1931.
After a slow financial decline since the 1970s, the college discontinued programs and classes in 2015, having eleven students in attendance at the time. In July 2017, Dr. Keith Lindsey, ’99, former adjunct professor in biology at KC and Oakwood University, was appointed interim president of the institution. “I attended an HBCU and I am proud to head an HBCU,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey’s main priority in his role has been to rebuild the legacy of KC by keeping in mind its mission.“Back in the day, Knoxville College is a school that turned out a lot of educators, a lot of business leaders, a lot of people who were in the arts,” Lindsey said. “(The mission is) empowering and transforming youth, and we are looking at our next generation of thinkers: that is our mission of education.” Lindsey said that the college’s main goal is to inspire its students to learn through transforming and innovative teaching by being nurtured and having good mentoring.
KC opened up applications and resumed classes for Fall 2018, enrolling eleven students.“All of these things that you see and all the things that we’ve experienced is a part of this long term growth in rebuilding the college,” Lindsey said. “We’re doing a lot so I think that it’s good we are able to reach out and have people hear this message and to be able to hear and experience what we are doing. It’s good work, it’s hard work, but we are making it happen, one layer at a time.”
Dr. Lindsey is a native of New York City, NY, who now resides in Knoxville, Tennessee. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Oakwood University. He earned a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Health Administration from East Tennessee State University. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health from Walden University.
This year Oakwood Live! welcomes special guest speaker, the dynamic, Pastor Andrea Trusty-King and musical guest