Lincoln Memorial University Heritage

Lincoln Memorial University grew out of love and respect for Abraham Lincoln and today honors his name, values, and spirit. As the legend goes, in 1863 Lincoln commented to General O. O. Howard, a Union officer, that when the Civil War ended, he hoped General Howard would organize a great university for the people of this area.

In the late 1800s, Colonel A. A. Arthur, an organizing agent of an English company, purchased the area where Lincoln Memorial University is located. His company built a hotel of 700 rooms called “The Four Seasons,” as well as a hospital, an inn, a sanitarium, and other smaller buildings. Roads were laid and the grounds planted with a wide variety of shrubs and trees. In 1895, the company was forced to abandon its project when a financial panic swept England.

Reverend A. A. Myers, a Congregationalist minister, came to the Cumberland Gap in 1888. He succeeded in opening the Harrow School, established for the purpose of providing elementary education to mountain youngsters. On a visit to the area to give a series of lectures at the Harrow School, General O. O. Howard remembered his commitment to fulfill Lincoln’s request, and he joined Reverend Myers, M. F. Overton, C. F. Eager, A. B. Kesterson and M. Arthur in establishing Lincoln Memorial University. That group, along with Robert F. Patterson, a Confederate veteran, became a board of directors and purchased The Four Seasons property. In commemoration of Lincoln’s birthday, the institution was chartered by the state of Tennessee on February 12, 1897, as Lincoln Memorial University.

Throughout the years, many thousands of LMU alumni have entered careers in medicine, law, and education. LMU graduates have positively impacted the educational opportunities, economic expansion, and health of countless communities in the Appalachian region and beyond.

LMU’s strong heritage has propelled the growth of the university over the last decade, leading to the addition of professional schools in osteopathic medicine (DCOM), law (DSOL) and veterinary medicine (CVM). Additionally, LMU has experienced growth at every degree level across the board.

Lincoln Memorial University has expanded its international reach by partnering with educational institutions in Japan, Mongolia, China, and Mexico. Since 1979, the University has annually welcomed students from Kanto International Senior High School in Tokyo, Japan. The program allows LMU students to be exposed to the Japanese culture, while the Kanto students are immersed in English as a Second Language curriculum, American culture, homestay experiences, and various other cultural activities.

The Community and Climate

Lincoln Memorial University is located in the heart of Appalachia, where the borders of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia meet. It is adjacent to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The nearest town is Middlesboro, Kentucky, offering a shopping mall, cinema, laundromats, dry cleaners, several restaurants, and other businesses college students may need to frequent. Harrogate offers several banks, churches, restaurants, a variety store, pharmacy, grocery store, and physicians’ and dentists’ offices, all within walking distance of the campus. Hillcrest Lanes features a 20-lane bowling alley located approximately three miles from campus. For those desiring an urban experience, Knoxville, Tennessee, is 55 miles south of the campus.

The climate in the area is pleasant, with cold temperatures and occasional snow December through February, and 80y degree temperatures July through August. Both fall and spring are pleasant seasons, with temperatures ranging from the 50s to the 70s.

Main Campus

The 1,000 acre main campus—its grounds, buildings, equipment, human resources—is strikingly beautiful. Located in a rural setting in Harrogate, Tennessee, the campus is a visual treat. Stately trees, shrubs and open spaces, along with farmland and rolling hills that become the Cumberland Mountains, create a natural recreational area for enjoying nature on campus. Biking, cross-country trails, hiking, mountain climbing, and camping in the surrounding environs are activities available for all to enjoy. A portion of the campus is part of the Daniel Boone Greenway Walking/Biking Trail.

The University’s Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) is a center for historical research and provides a number of educational programs to students and the general public. The ALLM is home to one of the nation’s largest and most diverse collections of Lincoln and Civil War artifacts and supports an unmatched collection of fine and popular art, commemorating Abraham Lincoln reaching back over 150 years. Scholars from every region of the globe have visited the ALLM to study the life and thoughts of the nation’s sixteenth president.

Duke Hall of Citizenship, along with its spacious Sam and Sue Mars Performing Arts Center, houses several administrative offices, including Academic Affairs, Finance, Information Services, and Human Resources. Historic Avery Hall, the first building to be built on campus, houses offices, classrooms, and rehearsal space for the Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Farr-Chinnock Hall is home to the J. Frank White Academy, a college preparatory school for Grades 5-12. Academy students also use several other University facilities including Mars Gym, the library, and the dining hall. The Harold M. Finley Learning Resources Center houses the Carnegie-Vincent Library, the Tagge Academic Support Center, the Lon and Elizabeth Parr Reed Health Sciences Library, the Dr. Mabel D. Smith Music Library, two computer labs, and the Brooks Reading Room. The facility is the academic hub of campus with collections totaling more than 333,284 items including traditional and electronic books, electronic journals, bound periodicals, software, microfilm, and audiovisual materials. University archives are housed on the premises as well.

LMU’s Elizabeth D. Chinnock Chapel completes the campus quadrangle and provides a non-denominational atmosphere for religious and meditative retreat.

DAR-Whitford Hall houses Undergraduate Admissions, the Registrar, Student Services, Financial Aid, and student accounts. It is also home to the LMU-American Language Academy (ALA). Kresge Hall houses the Divison of University Advancement, including Alumni Services, Marketing and Public Relations, fundraising, publications, and social media.

Smith Manor, also known as the President’s Office, houses the President’s Office and university counsel.

The Student Center is the hub for a variety of activities from eating meals, to watching movies and playing games. This complex, which houses dining options such Campus Grounds, Splitters Club, and the dining hall, is also home to the University bookstore, a workout facility, the campus post office, the campus print shop, and some administrative offices.

The state-of-the-art DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (DCOM) building is a four-story, 105,000 squarefoot facility equipped with lecture halls, faculty and administrative offices, laboratories, research space, examination rooms, and classroom space. The facility houses the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and its programs, including the Physician Assistant Program.

The Schenck Center for Allied Health Sciences provides classrooms, offices, laboratories, kennels, and surgical units to support the Veterinary Health Science (VHS) and Veterinary Medical Technology (VMT) programs.

The Sigmon Communications Center is home for WRWB 740 AM and WLMU 91.3 FM radio and LMU-TV stations. The facility provides laboratory and classroom space to support the Media Communications Program.

The Hamilton Math and Science Building houses offices, classrooms, labs and research space for the School of Mathematics and Sciences, the Caylor School of Nursing, the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (DCOM) and the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM).

The Business-Education Building houses faculty offices and state-of-the-art classroom facilities for the Carter and Moyers School of Education and the School of Business.

Campus housing facilities are available for 985 students in either double-occupancy, co-ed, or apartment-style accommodations (see page for a list of housing options and room and board rates).

The 5,009-seat Tex Turner Arena is the centerpiece for the University’s NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic program and the competititon site for men’s and women’s basketball. It houses athletic department offices, a weight room, and an auxiliary gym and is equipped for radio and television broadcasts. The Mary E. Mars Gymnasium, with its classrooms and basketball/volleyball court, is a multi-purpose facility. Complementing the many outdoor athletic facilities— Lamar Hennon Field (baseball), Neely Field (softball), soccer field, lacrosse field, golf complex, tennis courts, and physical fitness trails—the arena and the gym are home for our strong and consistent tradition of winning in athletic competitions.

LMU has intercollegiate athletic programs in men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, tennis, lacrosse, soccer, track and field, golf, bowling, and volleyball; women’s softball and beach volleyball; and men’s baseball.

Other important facilities exist on or near campus. The Cumberland Mountain Research Center was created in 1990 for the purpose of providing research and training opportunities for LMU students and graduates. Research is also carried out at the Powell River Aquatic Research Station, which opened in the spring of 2003. It is located on the Powell River at Hopewell Road and Brooks Bridge in Tazewell, Tennessee. In addition, a research facility at the Belize Foundation for Research allows faculty and students to conduct studies in the neo tropics.

LMU facilities located in the historic town of Cumberland Gap include space for the applied arts such as 2D and 3D art, Arts In The Gap programming, art faculty offices and a Convention Center (see website for a virtual tour).

Off-Campus Sites

To meet the needs of the population of its service area, LMU operates a number of off-campus sites in communities where clusters of students and potential students have demonstrated need and support.

The off-campus sites are at the following locations:

LMU’s Nursing Program is offered at

  • Knoxville, TN- Cedar Bluff
    421 Park 40 North Blvd
    Knoxville, TN 37923
  • Knoxville, TN – LMU Tower
    1705 St. Mary’s St.
    Knoxville, TN 37917
  • Corbin, KY -Tri-County Square Shopping Center
    14892 North U.S. Highway 25E Second Floor 
    Corbin, KY 40701
  • Tampa, FL -
    3102 East 138th Avenue
    Tampa, FL 33613
  • LMU-Chattanooga 
    555 Walnut Street Building A South, Suite A and Suite B 
    Chattanooga, TN 37402

Selected programs or courses are offered at

  • DeBusk Veterinary Teaching Center (DVTC)
    203 DeBusk Farm Drive 
    Ewing, VA 24248

  • Duncan School of Law 
    601 West Summit Hill Drive
    Knoxville, TN 37920

  • LMU-Knoxville 
    9737 Cogdill Road 
    Knoxville, TN 37932

For more information about LMU’s off-campus sites, contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 423.869.7000.

Tampa, Florida Off-Campus Site

The LMU Caylor School of Nursing is housed in a recently renovated building located at 3102 East 138th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33613. This 18,118 square foot facility was specifically designed with state-of-the-art resources to promote 21st century nursing education. The building is fully equipped with classrooms, simulation labs, study areas, library resources, a computer lab, faculty offices, conference rooms, etc., and ample parking is available on site. The Tampa off-campus site can be reached via phone at 813-331-4614.