I do not know the impulse leading Centre College to erect a statue of Abraham Lincoln in front of its library.
Personally, I’d have preferred one of that other Kentucky president of the same calamitous four years, Jefferson Davis.
In part, this is because my birthplace is 10 miles from Jeff’s. A less idiosyncratic consideration is that, of the two, Davis was the educated man (Transylvania/West Point).
For me, the choice is redeemed by my favorite Lincoln quote — one I always made certain to pass on to students.
Remember that Abe, born near Hodgenville, was a frontier boy who accrued a total of less than one year of formal schooling. Yet he was not ignorant to the source of learning. “My best friend,” he declared in youth, “is the person who will lend me a book I ain’t read yet.”