Objective Portion

King College (not to be confused with King's College, Kings College, or any other institution with a similar name), is a small, liberal arts college in Bristol, Tennessee. "Small" is the operative word; it has a student population of about 600, and has an 11:1 student to teacher ratio, as of the 2002-2003 school year.

Steeped in the Presbyterian tradition, King first opened its doors in 1867. Historically a four-year undergraduate school, it features five different BA and BS degree programs across a variety of disciplines and majors, including the major core sciences, social sciences, math, political science, history, business, and religion. King also offers a "3+2" engineering program, where students spend three years at the college, before continuing their education at a larger university, culminating in a engineering dual-degree conferred jointly by both schools.

In recent years, King has since expanded its offerings beyond the four-year programs, to include an MBA program, as well as professional study programs in nursing and business.

King College also supports a wide variety of intervarsity (NAIA Division II) athletic teams, including soccer, baseball, basketball and volleyball.

Some interesting facts surrounding King:

  • Well-known author of adolescent literature, Katherine Paterson is a graduate of King College, Class of 1954. Author Patricia Cornwell also attended, although, for personal reasons, did not graduate from King.

  • King is one of only a very few private or public American educational institutions whose "nickname" and/or mascot is represented by a singular noun: "The Tornado". King was first dubbed the "Tornado" by a regional newspaper columnist in the early 20th century, who, after watching the King football team decimate the opponent, quipped, "King swept through them like a tornado." Interestingly enough, King no longer has a football team, and hasn't in many years.

  • One of the nation's premier drug manufacturers, King Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:KG), is based on the grounds of King's first real "campus". It is, however, only tangentially related.

  • As it exists in Bristol, Tennessee, King shares an existance with about 45,000 local residents, whose hometown (and main street) is divided by the Virginia/Tennessee state line and in which resides NASCAR's famous Bristol Motor Speedway.

Subjective Portion (author's opinion)

Politically, King's popular opinion tends to slant quite a bit to the right, though this is more evident in the student body itself than the faculty and staff; In neither case can this be considered a blanket generalisation, however. Apparently, King was once mentioned briefly in Rolling Stone magazine as a "bastion of the religious right", though this author has not seen the article and thus cannot substantiate it.

Being a private school with something of a religious affiliation, King holds all of its population to a fairly high "community standards". King is a dry campus, with gender-segregated housing, and limited "visitation" hours. Opinions on these "standards" vary greatly, however, and it's certainly no Bob Jones University.

The small class sizes are, by far, one of King's redeeming features. Taking 300 and 400-level classes with only a handful of classmates is a definite advantage. Additionally, the professors at King teach there for love of the profession -- they're certainly not there for the pay!

Overall, while the author (Class of 1998) does not necessarily agree with a lot of the social, moral, or political stances of the school, he still appreciates the excellent education received from it. It was an interesting -- and enlightening -- experience.

More information about King College can be found at the school's website: http://www.king.edu/

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