Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is a private four-year co-educational liberal arts college located in Harrogate, Tennessee, United States. LMU's 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) campus borders on Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. As a whole, LMU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS); its law school is currently appealing a denial of provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association.
LMU's Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum houses a large collection of memorabilia relating to the school's namesake, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War. The collection was initially formed from donations by the school's early benefactor, General Oliver O. Howard, and his friends.
In the 1880s, an energetic entrepreneur named Alexander Arthur (1846-1912) and several associates established a firm called American Association, Ltd., the primary purpose of which was to develop the iron ore and coal resources of the Cumberland Gap area. Arthur founded Middlesboro, Kentucky for the company's employees and furnaces, and constructed a railroad line connecting Middlesboro with Knoxville, Tennessee. Arthur believed Middlesboro would grow into a large industrial city, the so-called "Pittsburgh of the South." In 1888, he founded the city of Harrogate, which he envisioned would someday be a suburb for Middlesboro's elite.
Arthur and American Association spent some two million dollars developing Harrogate, the jewel of which was the Four Seasons Hotel, a 700-room structure believed to have been the largest hotel in the U.S. at the time. The hotel included a lavish dining hall, a casino, and a separate sanitarium. The economic panic of the early 1890s and the subsequent collapse of Arthur's London financial backers doomed American Associates, however, and the Four Seasons was sold and dismantled.
In 1896, General Oliver O. Howard, a former Union officer who had helped establish Howard University (named for him), embarked on a lecture tour. Howard's agent, Cyrus Kehr, suggested Howard establish a university as a living memorial to President Abraham Lincoln. On June 18, 1896, Howard spoke at the Harrow School, an elementary school at Cumberland Gap founded a few years earlier by Reverend A. A. Myers. After the lecture, Myers asked Howard for assistance in establishing a college for the Cumberland Gap region. Howard related to Myers a conversation he had with Lincoln in 1863 in which the president expressed a desire to do something to help the people of East Tennessee, a majority of whom remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War in spite of the greater state's secession, and, remembering Kehr's suggestion, agreed to help Myers establish a university in Lincoln's honor.
With the help of Howard and Kehr, Myers purchased the Four Seaons property, although the sanitarium building was all that remained of the once lavish hotel. Lincoln Memorial University was chartered on February 12, 1897- Lincoln's 88th birthday- with Cyrus Kehr as its first president. Howard joined the university as its managing director in 1898, and under his leadership the university expanded, acquiring among other places Alexander Arthur's house, which the university used as a conservatory.Howard mentioned the university and its purpose in a speech at Carnegie Hall in 1901, which helped raise money and allowed the university to pay off its debts.
In 1902, the sanitarium building burned, and its surviving blocks were used to build Grant-Lee Hall, which has since been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Arthur's house also burned, but its tower, now called "Conservatory Tower," still stands. In April 1917, British folklorist Cecil Sharp spent several days at Lincoln Memorial University, where he collected 22 local versions of "old world" ballads such as "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor," "The Daemon Lover," and "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight."
Literary Legacy and The Mountain Heritage Literary Festival
LMU is known for a rich literary history that includes such renowned authors as James Still (River of Earth, The Wolfpen Poems), Jesse Stuart (Taps for Private Tussie, The Thread That Runs So True), Don West (Clods of Southern Earth), and George Scarbrough (Tellico Blue). At one point, Emma Bell Miles, author and painter, served as Artist-in-Residence at the university, a position that went unfilled until it was taken over by bestselling novelist Silas House (Clay's Quilt, The Coal Tattoo) in 2005. House started the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival that same year and the gathering has grown steadily, featuring the region's most celebrated writers (Lee Smith, Earl Hamner, Jr., Ron Rash, Sheila Kay Adams, Denise Giardina, etc.) and becoming one of the premier events of Appalachian literature.
DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
‎The initial plans to open Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) began in 2004. Autry O.V. Pete DeBusk, the Chairman of the LMU Board of Trustees and LMU alumnus, was interested in starting a college of osteopathic medicine at LMU. After conducting a year-long feasibility study, LMU announced it was pursuing the development of a college of osteopathic medicine and named Ray Stowers, D.O., F.A.C.O.F.P., a rural family physician, as vice president and dean. The college was named DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in honor of its initiator. The four-story, 105,000-square-foot (9,800 m2) building was opened to its inaugural class of osteopathic medical students on August 1, 2007. As of the 2012 academic year, there are 626 medical students enrolled in the college.
The Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine offers two degrees, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, and a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies. The college is accredited by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) and the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The curriculum is divided into preclinical sciences (years 1 and 2), and the clinical experiences (years 3 and 4). To help the students develop diagnostic and problem solving skills, the curricula at DCOM emphasizes the integration of the basic and clinical sciences in medical practice.
LINCOLN MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY
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