Since 1834, we’ve been pushing boundaries and blazing new trails.  It’s a tradition we plan to keep going. Today, we continue to break new ground, adapting our curriculum to create a generation of bold new thinkers with the skills to lead in a changing world.


Oct. 28, 1834 Cumberland Presbyterian officials meet to establish Cane Hill School in Cane Hill, Arkansas, 20 miles SW of Fayetteville. Classes begin in two-room log school house. In 1859, the Rev. Fontaine Richard “F.R.” Earle was named president. The college closes in May of 1861 as President Earle and most of the all-male student body join the Confederate army. Cane Hill is the site of a Civil War skirmish prior to the Battle of Prairie Grove. In 1864, all but one building was burned down by occupying Union troops. In 1875, women are admitted, creating the first co-educational college in Arkansas, and two years later the first 5 graduates were awarded degrees. Cane Hill College closes its doors in 1891.


Sept. 8, 1891 Arkansas Cumberland College is opened in Clarksville as the direct successor of Cane Hill College with F. R. Earle as President. It began with only one stately building, Cumberland Hall, which had been the site for the first deaf school in Arkansas. Substantial improvement and progress in the affairs of the College, including a fairly strong endowment, were evident by 1906. By 1917 a new women’s dormitory, Grove Hall, had been constructed. Athletic contests were held in baseball, football and basketball with various colleges and high schools throughout the state.


n 1921, the college changes its name to The College of the Ozarks after Cumberland Presbyterians merge with main body of Presbyterian Church. In 1924-25 the College was admitted to the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In the mid-20s, the president, Dr. Wiley Hurie sets out to New York City on the first fundraising campaign. He raised $300,000. The money was used to finish the men’s dormitory, MacLean Hall. The 30s brought the Great Depression, but in true Ozarks style, the College persisted. In 1933, the (then) Raymond Munger Memorial Chapel was completed with the help of 50 students. They earned tuition by working on the construction.


In the early 1940s, during World War II, the campus was turned over to the U.S. Navy, first in training pilots under the National Civil Aeronautics Program for the Army and Navy and later as a training school in electrical engineering and radio mechanics for the Navy. While the Navy had control of the campus, The College moved down the street to the Clarksville First Presbyterian Church. Veterans return home following the war and enrollment doubles from pre-war levels. The College also established the state’s first fully accredited, four-year pharmacy school in the late 1940s.

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Additional Details

  • Undergraduate Degrees:Bachelor's
  • Undergraduate Enrollment:585
  • Campus Setting:Rural
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  • Student to Faculty Ratio:Unknown
  • Room and Board:$6,775
  • Student Diversity – % Asian/Pacific Islander:Unknown
  • Student Diversity -% Hispanic or Latino:Unknown
  • Student Diversity – % Black or African-American:Unknown
  • Student Diversity – % American Indian/Alaskan Native:Unknown
  • Year Established:1834
  • Accreditation:Higher Learning Commission
  • Price Range $24,350 (includes fees)
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