Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Milligan College to become Milligan University in 2020

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Oct. 25, 2019) — Milligan College President Dr. Bill Greer, joined by Board of Trustees Chairman Ron Dove, announced today that the college will become Milligan University effective June 1, 2020. The announcement was made following the college’s fall board meeting, kicking off Homecoming weekend.

Milligan’s Board of Trustees approved the decision regarding the name change after two years of study and after considering the input from a number of stakeholders including alumni, faculty, staff, the college’s strategic planning committee and others.

Greer explained that the change to university reflects Milligan’s transformation over the years, as well as its commitment to developing future servant-leaders through the Christian liberal arts.

“The name Milligan University reflects who we are today and our journey to this moment,” shared Greer. “While our name and program offerings may change, who we are at our core hasn’t wavered for over 150 years. Our new designation affirms our resolve that ‘Christian education is the hope of the world’ and will help ensure that the impact of a Milligan education will endure for decades to come.”

Throughout Milligan’s history, the institution has transformed into a leader in the preparation of students for lives of success, significance and service.

In 2014, Milligan reorganized its numerous academic areas into five schools. This move strengthened current offerings and established innovative programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. In 2015, Emmanuel Christian Seminary became an embedded seminary within the college. Today, Milligan offers over 100 undergraduate academic programs and 13 graduate programs, including a doctor of education and a doctor of ministry.

This expansion led Milligan to be considered as a university by external organizations, including U.S. News & World Report and the Carnegie Foundation. Milligan continues to rise in national rankings for its quality and value. This year, Milligan jumped 10 spots to No. 13 among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Regional Universities” in the South and ranked No. 4 for “Best Value Schools” in this category.

The university name is integral to a number of strategic goals of Milligan, including greater market recognition, continued enrollment growth, expanded international partnerships and student recruitment.

“Milligan’s current student body already reflects a university setting with populations of traditional and nontraditional undergraduates, as well as graduate students,” said Greer. “A record-breaking 1,335 students were welcomed to campus this fall, representing 35 states and over 30 countries. In addition, one-third of Milligan’s students are currently enrolled in graduate programs.”

While most colleges and universities have seen a decrease in international students in recent years, Milligan’s international student population grew by 28% from last year and now comprises 5% of the entire student body. The word “university” better positions Milligan to continue this growth, as the word “college” often is associated with high-school-level education in other countries. This change also helps distinguish Milligan from two-year or vocational colleges.

“Milligan’s board, along with Milligan’s senior administration, have worked carefully, thoughtfully and prayerfully to discern what is best for Milligan,” shared Dove. “Milligan University best describes our commitment to creating a diverse and dynamic educational institution. The board is charged with stewarding this institution into what promises to be a very exciting future, and we look forward to seeing how Milligan University will continue to impact the world.”

Greer also announced that the first major campus project to occur at Milligan University will be student-focused. Thanks to a generous donation from 3CLANE Family Foundation, Inc., Milligan’s student center will undergo a dramatic revitalization next summer.

The renovation will create a new external façade and entrance, and inside, the bookstore and the student gathering space, SUB7, will transition to open concept. The remodeled areas will flow into the recently updated dining area, Fireside Grill. Additional outdoor space will be added and connect to the building with doors that lift open, and modern furnishings will update gathering spaces. A new high-tech a/v system also will be incorporated throughout the building.

“I am deeply grateful to the 3CLANE Family Foundation for making this project possible,” shared Greer. “The generosity of this family foundation has been manifest through their support of the Neely Scholarships at Emmanuel Christian Seminary and will now impact the entire university as we carry out this project in the heart of campus.”

For more information on Milligan University, visit

Posted by on October 25, 2019.