Carson-Newman University
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Carson%E2%80%93Newman University

Carson-Newman University
Carson-Newman seal.png
Former names
Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary
Carson College
Newman College
Carson and Newman College
MottoTruth, Beauty, Goodness
TypePrivate university
Established1851; 170 years ago (1851)
Religious affiliation
Southern Baptist (Tennessee Baptist Convention)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$57.5 million (2017)
PresidentCharles Fowler
Administrative staff
Undergraduates1,774 (fall 2018)
Postgraduates786 (fall 2018)
Location, ,
United States
CampusSuburban, ca 200 acres (roughly 1 mi wide by .4 mi deep)
ColorsOrange & Blue
AthleticsNCAA Division II - SAC
Carson-Newman logo.png

Carson-Newman University (sometimes stylized as Carson-Newman: A Christian University) is a private Christian university in Jefferson City, Tennessee. Carson-Newman is affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Founded in 1851, the university enrolls about 2,500 students.[1] Studies are offered in approximately 90 different academic programs.


Following a ten-year effort of five early East Tennessee Baptists, the school was established as Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary in 1851, and construction began on the first building on the west bank of the creek. While this was ongoing, the school held classes in a local Baptist church located at the present Roy Harmon field (C-N football). Within a year the school occupied its own building between the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex and the East Campus.

In 1880, the institution was named Carson College for James Harvey Carson (1801-1880), who left $15,000 of his estate to the school.[2][3] For several years it existed alongside Newman College, a separate facility for the education of women named for William Cate Newman, who had donated money to the women's college. In 1889, the two colleges united as one of the first coeducational institutions in the South. The institution operated as Carson-Newman College until 2012 when the board of trustees voted to acknowledge recent organizational changes by changing the name to Carson-Newman University.[4]

In 1919, Carson-Newman became officially affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The college was admitted to membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1927 and the Association of American Colleges in 1928.

During World War II, Carson-Newman was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[5]

During most of its history, Carson-Newman University has served as a residential four-year, liberal arts college with courses of study leading to the baccalaureate degree.

In 2015 the school applied for and received a Title IX exemption so that it could maintain its status as a private Christian institution and also granting it the right to turn away "gay students, unwed mothers, women who've had an abortion and even students who may be pregnant" should it so choose to do so.[6] Then-President Dr. Randall O'Brien states that the decision was made based on the advice of legal counsel and that the school does not discriminate and does not plan to.[7]

Through an alumni donation in 2010, the university acquired a neglected 18-acre wooded area of land along Mossy Creek. More recently, the property has been transformed from an overgrown woods with a "dead creek" into a beautiful park named the Carson-Newman Allen and Phyllis Morgan East Campus. Over the years, the East Campus has become increasingly important to the biology program and others at Carson-Newman. In Fall 2017, the creek started showing fresh signs of life once again.[8] In 2019, the university completed construction on a 250 seat open air ampitheater named for President Randall O'Brien on the East Campus.

On June 7, 2019, the trustees appointed Charles A. Fowler as the 23rd president of the university. Fowler began his tenure July 1, 2019.


  • Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary (1851-1859)
    • Rev. William Rogers (1851-1851)
    • Rev. R.R. Bryan (1851-1853)
    • Rev. Matthew Hillsman (1857-1859)
  • Mossy Creek Baptist College (1866-1881)
    • Rev. R. R. Bryan (1866-1868)
    • Dr. Jesse Baker (1869-1870)
    • Dr. N.B. Goforth (1870-1881)
  • Carson College and Newman College (1882-1892)
    • Dr. W.T. Russell (1882-1889)[a]
    • Dr. W.A. Montgomery (1888-1892)
  • Carson-Newman College (1892-2008)
    • Dr. John T. Henderson (1892-1903)
    • Dr. M. D. Jeffries (1903-1912)
    • Dr. J.M. Burnett (1912-1917)
    • Dr. W. L. Gentry (1917-1919)
    • Dr. Oscar L. Sams (1920-1927)
    • Dr. James T. Warren (1927-1948)
    • Dr. I.N. Carr (interim, 1948)
    • Dr. D. Harley Fite (1948-1968)
    • Dr. John A. Fincher (1968-1977)
    • Dr. J. Cordell Maddox (1977-2000)
    • Dr. James S. Netherton (2000-2007)
    • Mr. Joe Bill Sloan (interim, 2007-2008)[b]
  • Carson-Newman University (2008-present)
    • Dr. J. Randall O'Brien (2008-2018)
    • Dr. Paul Percy (interim, 2019)[c]
    • Dr. Charles Fowler (2019-present)
  1. ^ Dr. Russell was the first and only president of Newman College.
  2. ^ Sloan was appointed interim President after Dr. Netherton's departure to serve as Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance at Mercer University in May 2007. Netherton left following a no-confidence vote of faculty
  3. ^ Dr. Percy was named interim President after Dr. O'Brien's retirement in 2018


Carson-Newman's Mathematics program is home to American statistician Kenneth Massey. The Army ROTC Nursing program is the largest in Tennessee.


The campus is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, between Overlook Ave (West) and Meadow Spring Ave (East), and between Ellis St (South) and Deborah St (North).


Carson-Newman is a member of the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) and fields 18 varsity teams in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II competition. Men's varsity sports at Carson-Newman are: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, and Track & Field. Women's sports are: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, and Volleyball. In the spring of 2015 the volleyball program expanded to include a beach volleyball program, being one of around 40 schools in the United States to offer the sport.

Notable alumni and faculty


  1. ^ "Carson-Newman sees historic enrollment". Carson-Newman University. September 8, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Merriam, Lucius Salisbury (1893). "Higher Education in Tennessee". Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "C-N trustees vote to begin process of name change to "University"". Carson-Newman University. October 19, 2012. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ "U.S. Naval Administration in World War II". HyperWar Foundation. 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  6. ^ Davis, Lauren (December 3, 2015). "Carson-Newman University granted exemption from discrimination laws". WVLT-TV. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ Holloway, Hailey (December 11, 2015). "Carson-Newman University gets Title IX exemption". WATE-TV. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ Hightower, Cliff (February 4, 2018). "Carson-Newman AD turns overgrown, donated land into scenic park". Citizen Tribune. Retrieved 2018.

External links

Coordinates: 36°07?19?N 83°29?32?W / 36.12194°N 83.49222°W / 36.12194; -83.49222

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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