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Centre College Charter (1819)

An Act to incorporate the Trustees of the Centre College of Kentucky, at Danville. Approved January 21, 1819.

SEC. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That the Charter of the Danville Academy be, and the same is hereby repealed; and the funds of said Academy, the lot of ground lately purchased for the site of a College, near the town of Danville, and the moneys lately subscribed and payable to certain persons, styled the building committee, shall be, and they are hereby vested in Isaac Shelby, John Boyle, William Owsley, Thomas Montgomery, Samuel McKee, William Craig, Thomas Cleland, Barnabas McHenry, Samuel K. Nelson, Nathan H. Hall, Joshua Fry, James Birney, Joshua Barbee, James Barbour, David G. Cowan, John Bowman, Ephraim McDowell, Jeremiah Briscoe, and Jeremiah Fisher, and their successors, who are hereby created a body corporate, to be styled the Trustees of the Centre College of Kentucky, with full power to acquire, hold, and transfer property, real and personal, make contracts, sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, in their corporate capacity; to make, have and use a common seal, and the same to break, alter or destroy at pleasure. But it is expressly declared, that the powers hereby given shall not be used in, or construed to extend to the contracting for, or acquiring any property, real, personal or mixed, or for dealing any otherwise than in such things as may be necessary and proper for the purposes of a seminary of learning, and the whole property and estate of the said corporation shall be applied exclusively and solely to that purpose; and said corporation shall not deal in exchange, discount of notes, or in [any] commercial business or pursuit.

SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That the Centre College of Kentucky shall be located within one-half mile of the town of Danville; and all the moneys, funds and estate hereby vested in the Trustees thereof, or which may be hereafter acquired by them in their corporate capacity, shall be held, used and employed for corporate purposes only.

SEC. 3. Be it further enacted, That the before named Trustees shall have power to fill all vacancies in their own body, appoint a chairman of their Board, and to appoint a President and Professors, and such other officers and servants under them, as they may deem necessary and proper, to hold their offices under such rules and regulations as the said Trustees may prescribe, and to make, allow and pay to the President, Professors, and other officers and servants, such reasonable compensation for their services as to the said Trustees may seem right and proper. And the said Trustees shall have full power and authority to make by-laws, rules and regulations for the better government of said College, as they may judge expedient, and the same to annul, alter or amend at pleasure: Provided, said by-laws, rules and regulations be not repugnant to the laws of this Commonwealth, nor inconsistent with the principles laid down in this act as fundamental laws for the government of said College. And the said Trustees shall have full power and authority to do and perform any lawful matter and thing which they may deem conducive to the good of the Institution, and consistent with the state of the funds thereof.

SEC. 4. Be it further enacted, That the following principles and rules be the fundamental laws of the said corporation:
First - The said Trustees and other officers, before they enter upon their duties of their offices, respectively, shall severally take the following oath or affirmation, before some Court of record of Justice of the Peace, to wit: I, A.B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will, to the best of my skill and judgement, discharge the duties of ____________ in the Centre College of Kentucky.
Second - A majority of the Trustees shall constitute a board competent to make pro tempore appointments, and the transaction of all business, except the permanent appointment or removal of officers, in which case the concurrence of two-thirds of the whole board shall be necessary.
Third - No religious doctrines peculiar to any one sect of Christians, shall be inculcated by any Professor in said College.
Fourth - Whenever the Legislature shall find it expedient to adopt the said College as a State Institution, and endow it, in aid of the funds which shall have been furnished by private donations, it shall thereafter be subject to such laws and regulations as may be enacted for the government of the same.

SEC. 5. Be it further enacted, That the first meeting of the Trustees hereby appointed, shall be held at the tavern of Elizabeth Davenport, in Danville, on the first day of February next, or so soon thereafter as may be convenient; and the said Trustees shall have at least one stated meeting in every year. And should any Trustee hereby appointed, or hereafter to be chosen, refuse to serve, or fail to qualify for the space of six months after notification of his appointment, or after qualification shall fail to attend the meeting of the board for the term of one year, the seat of such Trustee or Trustees may be declared by the board to be vacant, and they may proceed to fill the vacancy as herein provided.

Nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to take away the right which the Legislature possesses to repeal, alter or amend this charter.