UK grew from the vision of one man, John Bowman. In 1865, after winning financial support through the federal Morrill Land-Grant College Act and private donations, Bowman saw the realization of his dream with the opening of the state's new Agricultural and Mechanical College. The college was renamed the University of Kentucky in 1916.|
The first women were admitted to the university in 1880, but they earned certificates, not degrees. In 1888, the first woman broke the barrier and graduated with a degree.
Racial integration was achieved at UK in 1949, when Lyman T. Johnson successfully sued to win access for African Americans to the graduate program.
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