King College Changes Status and Official Name to “King University”

King College Changes Status and Official Name to “King University”

* release provided by King Marketing and Development *

BRISTOL, Tenn. – One of the oldest private institutions of higher learning in the Southeast – and a school with an established academic reputation and widening geographic outreach – is announcing it will be renamed King University.

King President Greg Jordan announced to students today that the 146-year-old King College of Bristol, Tenn., is officially becoming King University, effective June 1, 2013. Founded in 1867, the school is known for its consistently high academic standards and for producing quality graduates. King has been listed among America’s Best Colleges in U.S. News & World Report for the past 23 years and The Princeton Review’s best schools for the past nine years.

“It is with pride and great excitement that we announce the decision by King’s board of trustees to approve changing our institution’s name to King University,” Jordan says. “This change reflects the master’s-level, comprehensive benchmark that our school has reached in recent years. We believe the word ‘university’ more accurately reflects the current complexity of our academic programs and ultimately enhances the value of a King degree for past, present and future graduates.”

After about a year of discussion and based on the school’s unprecedented growth over the past decade, the name change was recommended by the administration and approved by its board of trustees. Significantly, King has more than doubled its student body since 2005, with fall 2012 enrollment approximating 2,400 students – the highest in its history.

“Our efforts to remove barriers to education for working adults through our Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS), launched in 2001, and more recently, the development of online programs helped pave the way to our broadening academics and accelerated growth,” Jordan notes. “Of course, none of it could be possible were it not for the decades of academic excellence that led up to this juncture. It is an amazing evolution by which we should all be encouraged.”

Becoming a university is the natural unfolding of King’s strategic plan, unveiled in 1998, to create an even broader mix of programs based on a university model. Using this approach, the institution now has six academic schools of learning:

  • King College of Arts and Sciences

  • King School of Business and Economics

  • King School of Education

  • King School of Graduate and Professional Studies & Online Programs (GPS)

  • King School of Nursing

  • Peeke School of Christian Mission


Notably, three of the GPS offerings are advanced degrees – a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and a Master of Education (MED). Also, the school plans to add doctoral programs in the future.

In addition to growing its main campus in Bristol and offering online programs, King has established 12 satellite campuses across East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, serving the immediate region.

Bill Adams, chairman of the King University Board of Trustees, notes that the name change is crucial in positioning King within the larger academic community.

“This represents a clear demonstration of King’s accomplishments on a national level,” he says. “Becoming a university will benefit the school on a number of levels, particularly in terms of facilitating fundraising and foundation opportunities and the future acquisition of grant awards.”

Being renamed a “university” also more accurately aligns King with current assessments performed by entities interested in higher education. Due to its broadened curriculum, King has been reviewed using a university standard by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges for the past several years.  

Other benefits cited by Jordan include improved job and graduate school opportunities for graduates and enhanced ability of King University to recruit faculty and students from across the globe. The new designation also helps boost marketing and branding for the school, clarifying its higher education status for foreign audiences, for which the word “college” often refers to pre-university programs and not higher education and advanced degrees.

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