HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – In Indiana, there are plenty of options for college, but there is one right outside the Tri-State area that is one of the oldest in the nation.

Vincennes University was founded in 1801 by former United States president William Henry Harrison, which makes it 20 years older than Indiana University at Bloomington. Known as one of the oldest universities north of the Ohio River and west of the Alleghanies, it went by another name, Jefferson Academy, until 1806 when it went with its current name.

Starting in 1806, VU was the Indiana Territory’s four-year university and remained Indiana’s sole publicly funded four-year university until the founding of Indiana University.

Since 1889, VU has been a two-year university and began offering baccalaureate degrees in 2005.

From 1999 to 2005, Vincennes was in a state-mandated partnership with what would become the Ivy Tech Community College.

There are six colleges that are offered at Vincennes:

  • Business and Convergent Technologies (includes Public Service, Homeland Security and Law Enforcement)
  • Health Sciences and Human Performance
  • Humanities
  • Science and Mathematics
  • Social Science and Performing Arts
  • Technology

Vincennes is also the only college in the nation that offers a Bowling Management and Technology program.

There are three smaller campuses that are offered from Vincennes: Jasper, Indianapolis and Fort Branch/Gibson County.


VU is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and are known as the Trailblazers. Trailblazers refers to the early years of Vincennes’ founding as a French-fur trading and American outpost in the frontier of the Northwest Territory.

The Trailblazers compete in a variety of NJCAA sports including baseball, bowling, golf, basketball, cross country, volleyball and track and field. The bowling program is widely known due to its 21 NJCAA national championship victories. The men’s team won the 1983 USBC collegiate national championship. The men’s basketball team is also a force, winning national titles in 1965, 1970, 1972 and 2019. They were also national finalists in 1986. The men’s cross-country team won NJCAA titles in 1969 and 1971 while having 12 additional top ten finishes in the NJCAA National Finals.