Publication Date

July 2007


Adapted with permission from echo (, March/April 2002; and Landmark Report, October 1998.


Opened in 1889, the Pleasant J. Potter College for Young Ladies was the first occupant of “the Hill” that is now home to Western Kentucky University. Day and boarding students pursued a liberal arts curriculum at this fashionable private school. Down the hill on College Street, at Henry Hardin Cherry’s Western Kentucky State Normal School (chartered in 1906), students often came from more humble backgrounds to study in a coeducational setting. Nevertheless, when Potter College closed in 1909 and Western purchased its property, it absorbed some of the traditions of the young ladies’ college it replaced.

potter_college_bldg_students.jpg (142 kB)
Potter College building and a group of students.