Regular readers may recall from last week that another community (Glens Fork) courted the Baptist association in the late 1800s before Campbellsville was selected as the home of the institution.
Originally the institution was not a college - it began as the Russell Creek Baptist Academy which was a private elementary and high school. It was in 1923 that the General Association of Kentucky Baptists met and gave authority for a junior college to be opened. By the late 1930s, both the elementary and high schools were gone leaving only Cumberland College (renamed to CU in the 2000s). In 1960, the college gave out its first four-year degrees.
Notable alumni of CU include former Kentucky Governor Wallace Wilkinson (1987-1991) and the current head basketball coach of Mississippi State University (Rick Stansbury). Wilkinson, however, did not graduate from CU - he later transferred to UK, but never graduated. Stansbury did graduate from CU and led the school's basketball team to the NAIA tournament.