Walters Collegiate Institute

Singleton P. Walters

Singleton P. Walters

Walters Collegiate Institute, named for a major benefactor of Central University, Singleton P. Walters, served as a transitional institution between Central University and Eastern. Walters offered a classical college preparatory education to young men in Richmond from 1901 to 1906.

Walters Collegiate Institute was and is a corporation founded for the support of higher education in Richmond, Kentucky. During the five year interim between the departure of Central University in 1901 and the arrival of State Normal School in 1906, the twenty-one trustees of the corporation established and maintained a private secondary school on the deserted campus, sponsored by the Presbyterian Church.

The Institute was small in numbers to begin with. It was a school for boys and its teachers were, for the most part, young men who had graduated from Eastern universities. The curriculum was classical with classes in Latin, Greek, mathematics and English.

The school was established in the dawn of the rise of free public education, and its life was short. Up until about this time, and even later, free public schools were, in many localities, considered as institutions supported by taxes for the benefit of the common people. The "common school" was not attended by children whose parents were socially situated and financially able to provide a more desirable place of instruction. Secondary schools in this country were similar to the English academies where the landed gentry and nobility sent their sons for discipline, education and preparation for college.

In 1906, the Trustees of Walters were pleased to turn over their Institute and most of their property to the State Normal for $10,000. That brought about a change in the object of the corporation from administration of a school to the management of an endowment fund to be used as scholarship loans to worthy Madison County boys with the continuing goal of attaining higher education for local youth.