Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Retired Professors Support the Arts

Inside the Milligan Art Gallery

MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY, Tenn. (January 20, 2022) – Four Retired professors, Drs. Lee and Pat Magness and Dr. Bruce and Rosemarie Shields, continue to generously support the arts at Milligan.

Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer announced the establishment of the Magness Lectureship on Jesus in the Arts, provided through the generosity of Drs. Lee and Pat Magness.

The lectureship will focus on the person, teachings, and ministry of Jesus as reflected on and interpreted through the arts.

“The lectureship is founded with the hope that it will be a source of joy and learning for Milligan students, faculty and staff, and the local community,” said Pat Magness, who retired in 2012 as professor of humanities following a 28-year teaching career at Milligan.

Lee retired in 2013 as professor of Bible after 30 years in the classroom. Both Lee and Pat Magness graduated from Milligan in 1969.

Offered every other year, the lectureship will be interdisciplinary and recognize musical, literary, kinetic, and visual arts. It will include a chapel or convocation for the campus community, an event for the public, a social event, and a teaching event or master class for students interested in the featured art form.

It is also the Magnesses’ hope that the lectureship offer an opportunity for the Milligan community to encounter artists and artistic expressions from underrepresented ethnic groups.

In addition to the lectureship, recent renovations and upgrades to Milligan’s arts facilities, art studio, and the fine arts program were made possible by a gift from Dr. Bruce and Rosemarie Shields in memory of their son, Robert Shields a 1986 alumnus, who died of cancer in July 2020.

Bruce retired from the faculty of Emmanuel Christian Seminary in 2015 after 32 years. During Rosemarie’s 20-plus years at Milligan, she taught humanities, produced several theatre productions, and worked in public relations. Both graduated from Milligan in 1959.

“These four faculty members have been blessings to Milligan for many years, and we are so grateful for the many ways they have cultivated and instilled in our campus community and students a love and passion for the arts,” said Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer. “That will continue for future generations thanks to their generosity.”

All students at Milligan engage the arts through the liberal arts and Humanities curriculum. Additionally, Milligan’s School of Arts and Humanities offers majors in various fields in the performing, visual, and communicative arts.

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MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts institution in Johnson City, Tennessee, whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant-leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs. To learn more , visit or call 423.461.8700.

Posted by Chase McGlamery on January 20, 2022.