Cyrus Kehr: 1897-1898
First president of LMU; Mr. Kehr came to LMU as General Howard’s business agent. He set up the purchase of the sanatorium (renamed Grant-Lee Hall), 580 acres of land and the Arthur home (renamed the Conservatory). Mr. Kehr could not devote his attentions to LMU full-time and many of his presidential duties were undertaken by General Howard.
John Hale Larry: 1899-1904
Dr. Larry was the first LMU president to live on campus and the first academian to hold the position. Under Dr. Larry’s direction LMU expanded the curriculum to include manual training, typing, music, and other courses of study.
William Stooksbury: 1904-1910
Dr. Stooksbury presided over LMU during a period of great expansion. The Carnegie Library was built, a medical college was purchased, and the quad was cleared of weeds and briars to create a formal quadrangle. Dr. Stooksbury also instituted the conferral of medals for excellence in debate and other educational pursuits. Unfortunately, Dr. Stooksbury’s presidency was marred by 2 fires (Harrow Hall in 1907 and Grant-Lee hall in 1909).
George A Hubbell: 1910-1922
Dr. Hubbell oversaw the rebuilding of LMU. Under his aegis Norton hall and DAR hall were built. Electric lights were installed in various campus buildings. The years prior to WWI were ones of exponential growth for LMU. Departments were expanded, a summer session was added, and student activities grew.
Robert O Matthews: 1923-1927
Dr. Matthews came to LMU a highly rejected public servant; serving as representative for the American Red Cross and served on the Speakers Commission during WWI (he was personally selected for the position by President Woodrow Wilson). Dr. Matthews’s tenure was marked by a literary ‘renaissance’. Harry Harrison Kroll and Earl Hobson Smith both taught during this period. Noted authors James Still, Jesse Stuart, and Don West all started at LMU during this time period.
Hervin U Roop: 1929-1931
Dr. Roop worked to expand the pre-professional courses as well as advanced courses of study such as engineering, business administration, and physical education, among others. Unfortunately, the stock market crash of 1929 put an end to many of Dr. Roop’s more ambitious plans for LMU. Dr. Roop resigned at the end of the school year.
H Robinson Shipherd: 1931-1932
Even though Dr. Shipherd was with LMU for only one year he still had an impact. Under his auspices LMU was designated a center for a regional experiment in adult education via the radio by the Department of the Interior.
Stewart W McClelland: 1932-1947
Dr. McClelland worked tirelessly to upgrade the staff and equipment of LMU. He was able to bring in R Gerald McMurtry to build the Lincoln collection. Under his direction, LMU was fully accredited in 1936, ranking high among the other colleges of the Appalachian south. Dr. McClelland was beloved by the students and staff alike. He was awarded numerous national awards and commendations, including a personal letter from President Herbert Hoover commending Dr. McClelland and LMU’s participation in the war effort.
Robert Kincaid: 1947-1958
Dr. Kincaid began his relationship with LMU in 1912 as a student. He was Secretary of LMU from 1918 until 923. He was a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees from 1928 until 1937. He became executive Vice-President of LMU under Dr. McClelland in 1937 and finally President in 1947. Under Dr. Kincaid’s leadership LMU blossomed into a great college. Dr. Kincaid was able to open educational doors for students who could not otherwise get a college education. The university built several new buildings, hired new staff and faculty, and worked tirelessly to raise funds. Dr. Kincaid wrote a number of books about Abraham Lincoln and the Cumberland Gap area, including the Wilderness Road book.
Robert C Provine: 1958-1963
Dr. Provine oversaw a time of change at LMU. Under his administration the student activities, athletics, clubs, and organizations were all greatly expanded. Dr. Provine was able to bring LMU through a difficult financial period and set the stage for LMU’s continued development.
H LaMarr Rice: 1963-1967
Dr. Rice made it his goal to bring as many new buildings to campus as possible. He commissioned new dormitories, a new student center, a new dining area, and additions to the library. During his term LMU was accepted in the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Herbert Y Livesay: 1967-1972
Dr. Livesay was a logical choice for president as no one before him had ever has such a long, unbroken and varied stretch of service to LMU. Dr. Livesay spent 30 years at LMU as a professor, dean, administrator, comptroller, treasurer, and vice president. Dr. Livesay dedicated himself to reinforcing a solid academic foundation and a program of fiscal responsibility. His term also saw a student body increase and a corresponding increase in faculty members. LMU also saw a rise in donations to the university.
Charles West: 1973
When Dr. Livesay died unexpectedly his executive assistant, Charles West was appointed acting president while the Board of Trustees sought a new president.
Franklin W Welch: 1974-1981
Dr. Welch, like Dr. Livesay, had a long history with LMU holding a variety of administrative positions. Dr. Welch brought significant innovations to LMU during his term Including the creation of the upward Bound program, expanding degree programs, and creating a new advertising ‘face’ for LMU. He also oversaw the renovations of many older buildings on campus and the building of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum.
Gary Burchett: 1982-1991
Dr. Burchett graduated from LMU in 1963. Some highlights from his term include a facility plan to restore many of the buildings on campus, a $7 million fund raising goal (which was surpassed) and a new wing to the library.
Scott D Miller: 1992-1997
Dr. Miller, like his predecessors, had a long relationship with LMU prior to becoming president. During Dr. Miller’s tenure LMU set a new record for student enrollment. The DeBusk School of Business opened as did the Schenck Center for the Health Sciences. The graduate program was expanded and a fifth off-campus center opened.
R Martin Peters: 1997-1998
Prior to Dr. Peters’ appointment to president he was a professor of graduate education at LMU. Dr. Peters only held the position of president for one year.
Jerry C Bishop: 1998-2001
Dr. Bishop graduated from LMU in 1965 and was inducted into the LMU Athletic and Educator’s Halls of Fame. During his tenure LMU was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Major technological advances were made such as the expansion of the library’s databases to allow off-site access.
Nancy Moody: 2002-2009
A native of Middlesboro, KY Dr. Moody first came to LMU as an instructor of nursing in 1974. She became deal of the School of Nursing and Allied Health in 1991. In 2002 Dr. Moody became LMU’s first female president. During her presidency LMU saw unprecedented expansion. The DeBusk School of Osteopathic Medicine opened as did the Duncan School of Law. LMU started a number of programs including the EdD in Executive Leadership and a Masters degree in Nursing.
B. James Dawson: 2010 – ??