Freed-Hardeman to assume ownership of Dickson-based Renaissance Center

University to offer degree programs from arts and technology facility

Freed-Hardeman University officials announced today they have reached an agreement with the Jackson Foundation to acquire the Renaissance Center in Dickson, offering undergraduate graduate degrees on site.

The move is described as a “gift” with Freed-Hardeman to assume ownership of the facility and no money will exchange hands, according to officials. The facility will be called Freed-Hardeman University-Dickson at the Renaissance Center.

Today’s announcement follows the recent announcement that Aquinas College will purchase the Welch College campus in Nashville. (Read more here.)

The four-year and grad degree programs will be the first offered by an institute of higher learning in Dickson County. The Tennessee College of Applied Technology offers certificate programs, while Nashville State Community College offers courses.

Freed-Hardeman and the Jackson Foundation finalized the deal last week, with the transfer taking effect immediately.

In addition to offering college courses, Freed-Hardeman will continue to operate the Renaissance Center as a community venue for a variety of activities such as classes, meeting space and performances. The facility draws thousands of school children and adult visitors every year, officials said.

“When we first started exploring opportunities to expand, we never imagined we’d be given a state-of-the-art learning facility,” Joe Wiley (pictured), Freed-Hardeman president, said in the release. “This is a transformational event in the history of our university. The Renaissance Center is the answer to a lot of prayers and represents the largest gift in the history of Freed-Hardeman University.”

The Jackson Foundation created the Renaissance Center in 1999. Designed as a fine arts and technology learning center, the facility carried an approximately $25 million price tag.

Founded in 1869 and located in Henderson, Tenn., Freed-Hardeman University has an enrollment of about 1,850 students and an endowment of about $24.4 million. It is affiliated with the Churches of Christ.