Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Milligan receives one of the largest gifts ever for its endowment

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Milligan College has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

On Monday, the college received one of the largest gifts—if not the largest—ever for its endowment fund. The $1.2 million gift from the estate of Bruce and Sara Swann Shipley of Johnson City, Tennessee, will add to the Shipley-Swann Endowed Scholarship Fund that the couple had previously established.  This fund provides a permanent source of support for deserving Milligan students. The Shipleys were longtime friends of Milligan who also have supported other scholarships at the college.

“We are grateful for the faithful support of the Shipley’s over many, many years and are deeply humbled that they would remember Milligan in this significant way,” said President Dr. Bill Greer. “It is especially fitting that such a gift be received during the week of Thanksgiving. It only adds to our many reasons to be thankful for the blessings God showers upon us daily.”

Bruce grew up around Milligan’s campus, helping his mother operate their family’s store and post office, which was attached to their house where the Milligan Post Office currently is located. He attended Milligan a year, transferring to the University of Tennessee to study engineering, where he met Sara. Bruce worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority as an electric engineer for over 30 years; meanwhile, Sara served as a home economics teacher and writer of essays on teaching and children.

Their gift is part of Milligan’s Forward Ever campaign, which seeks to raise $40 million to improve Milligan’s physical infrastructure and add new academic and spiritual programs as the school approaches its sesquicentennial in 2016. So far, the Forward Ever campaign has raised over $32 million of its $40 million goal, which makes it the largest fundraising campaign in Milligan’s nearly 150-year-old history.

For more information, visit

Posted by on November 24, 2015.