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Milligan College is becoming Milligan University


Milligan College to become Milligan University

Founded in 1866 as the Buffalo Male & Female Institute, the Institute was elevated to collegiate status in 1882 and renamed Milligan College. While many things have changed since then, Milligan has remained rich in purpose and dedicated to molding mind and spirit within the Christian liberal arts tradition. Now, it is time to write our next chapter.

The Board of Trustees agrees that this is the time and a unique opportunity to openly champion the importance of Christian liberal arts learning and to protect the institution’s historical commitment to that mission.

The university name is seen as integral to a number of strategic goals of the institution, including greater market recognition as a comprehensive institution, continued enrollment growth, expanded international partnerships and student recruitment, and ongoing improvement as a quality institution of higher education.

We’ve certainly come a long way since the days when we were called the Buffalo Male and Female Institute. Still, whatever the school might be called, the change hasn’t altered our vision or our mission.


“Who we are at our core hasn’t wavered for over 150 years. We remain committed to the Christian liberal arts and to preparing students for lives of service.”

— President Bill Greer, Ph.D.


The Transition

Scholarship.

In 2014, Milligan reorganized its numerous academic areas into five schools to better support learning and position the institution for new opportunities. The plan was endorsed unanimously by the college faculty and Board of Trustees. Since that time, current programs have been strengthened and new programs have been added in engineering, digital media, economics, social work, musical theatre, ministry leadership, and master’s programs in humanities, counseling, and physician assistant. 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 and innovation in our educational offerings in the past decade has led Milligan to be considered a university by sanctioning agencies, including U.S. News & World Report and the Carnegie Foundation. Many others consider Milligan a university, and we are now held to that standard and are highly ranked among those peers.

Community.

Milligan’s current student body of more than 1,300 students is already an example of what a university setting includes with populations of traditional and nontraditional undergraduates, as well as graduate students. As we grow, we remain a close-knit community. It is a place with fun traditions, competitive athletic programs, and unique cultural events, and more importantly, it’s a place where friendships are made that last a lifetime.

With students from 35 states and over 30 countries, Milligan is a welcoming and attractive place to students from all over the country and world. The word “university” better positions Milligan for international student recruitment, where the word “college” often is associated with high-school-level education. Changing our name provides the opportunity to underscore Milligan’s commitment to diversity and our student-centered focus.

Faith.

As a Christian liberal arts institution, we encourage our students to be thinking and acting Christians. At a time when too many people think that the purpose of an education is solely to prepare for a vocation, we still believe that Milligan founder Josephus Hopwood had it right when he said that an education should provide one with “…a truer view of life, and with a larger soul with broader and more correct ideas of man, of nature, and of God.” That’s why every undergraduate student who comes to Milligan is exposed deeply to history, philosophy, the arts, the natural sciences, and the Bible — because we still believe the Bible is the foundation of everything true and good.

In today’s global economy, our students need to be well-educated and well-prepared Christian servant leaders with a working knowledge of diverse subjects and viewpoints who can think through these issues from a Christian worldview. That’s what the Milligan of today and what the Milligan of the future will always champion.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the institution be known as officially?
Milligan University

When will the change from Milligan College to Milligan University become official?
June 1, 2020. Until that time, Milligan College will continue to function as is. Work to fully complete the transition will be taking place from now until June 1, 2020.

What was the process behind this decision?
This topic is not necessarily new to Milligan College, as it has been in and out of discussions about the College’s future for years. However, more serious discussions concerning a change began over the last year and a half when the Board of Trustees began considering possible outcomes and implications for the institution, both positive and negative, as well as reviewing research regarding peer institutions that have also undergone a change in name. Faculty were informed this past year that the Trustees were considering a name change. Also during the past year, the Strategic Planning Committee, which includes representative faculty and staff, discussed the possibility, with general consensus that it should be changed.

It is worth noting that over the past decade, the evolution and innovation in our educational offerings has led us to be considered by sanctioning agencies, including the U.S. News and World Report and the Carnegie Foundation, as a university. Milligan is considered by others outside of our college as a small university and we have been held to that standard and ranked highly among those peers.

The Board of Trustees agrees that this is a unique opportunity to openly champion the importance of Christian liberal arts learning and protect the institution’s historical commitment to that mission.

Will the transition to University name change Milligan’s mission?
No. This is intended to reinforce and clarify our current structure, not change our core mission and identity.

Our commitment to challenge and support learners in a curriculum grounded in Christian liberal arts learning and complemented by professional and practical experiences will not change. We will continue to provide an education that prepares students for fulfilling lives, careers, and participation in a modern and changing global society.

Will Milligan’s student-centered focus change?
Milligan’s current student body of more than 1,300 students is already an example of what a university setting includes with populations of traditional undergraduate, adult undergraduate, and graduate students. Undergraduate programs include the traditional liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional programs. The institution currently has 13 graduate programs, including two doctorate degrees. Milligan also serves the area’s adult undergraduate population with adult degree completion programs in business, education, nursing, and information systems.

The first project announced and to be undertaken as Milligan University is a refurbishment of the McMahan Student Center, to continue to better serve all Milligan students.

What are the expected benefits of University name?
This change will support the maturity of our structure and will clarify our standing in the world community. Officially becoming a university better defines the scope of our current offerings that include more than 100 areas of study and 13 graduate programs.

The university name is seen as integral to a number of strategic goals of the institution, including greater market recognition as a comprehensive institution, continued enrollment growth, expanded international partnerships and student recruitment, and ongoing improvement as a quality institution of higher education.

Internationally, where the designation of college is equated with high school level learning, a university designation further distinguishes our credibility and program offerings.

This change also helps to mitigate misunderstandings by distinguishing us from two-year or vocational colleges.

Will the change to University mean bigger classes and more faculty?
The change to a university reflects who we are now with our complete offerings of programs, including graduate programs. Classes and faculty growth will occur naturally as programs grow, but it will not be because of the name change.

Did this change require approval from state or education agencies?
No approval is necessary from the State of Tennessee of accrediting agencies for this change. Milligan will proceed with submitting all formal documentations for the name change to the State of Tennessee and all accrediting agencies.

Will it cost a lot of money to change?
Milligan is planning now in order to avoid incurring extraordinary costs to make this change. For example:

    • Most collateral materials and signage have used the “Milligan” wordmark without the College designation for many years, lessening the financial impact of the transition.
    • We are carefully managing current inventory of stationery and materials to reduce waste and reprinting costs.
    • The majority of our publications and recruitment pieces have a shorter shelf life so updates to those items can be planned as now as part of their normal production schedules.
    • Athletic uniforms and other items are replaced regularly. Any necessary changes can be incorporated into their existing replacement schedules.
    • Many of the signs on campus already use the Milligan wordmark and do not need to be changed. The cost of replacement for larger signage items will be worked into our existing budgeting processes and completed as soon as possible
    • It will take some time for a complete transition to take place and you will still see Milligan College on some items. We will work to make changes in the most efficient and cost effective means possible.

Will Milligan be changing their logos, colors, seal, and mascot?
Graphic elements like our logo and updates to our seal will take place to incorporate the change to Milligan University. Our colors and mascot will not change and we will continue to be known as The Buffaloes. Work separate from any change in name regarding our graphic identity and branding are regularly evaluated as part of our overall efforts to ensure we are effectively communicating the value of the institution. We anticipate there will be updates to refresh both our graphic identity and reinforce our strong brand for all audiences of the institution.

Does this change Milligan’s athletic affiliation?
Milligan remains an NAIA institution and has not changed athletic conferences. For more about Milligan Athletics, visit http://www.milliganbuffs.com/.

Will Milligan have a new web address?
No, Milligan will keep the same web address: www.milligan.edu. Email addresses will remain the same.

Will Milligan’s address change?
We will explore options with the US Postal Service about the possibility of changing the Milligan College, Tennessee post office designation, perhaps to Milligan, Tennessee.

Will Milligan tuition costs change now that it is a University?
No, tuition costs will not change due to the new university name. Tuition expenses change due to fluctuations in costs of education and will continue to be evaluated yearly, as always has been the institution’s practice.

Will current students be graduates of Milligan College or Milligan University?
Students graduating in December 2019 and May 2020 will be graduates of Milligan College. Current students graduating in December 2020 and beyond will be graduates of Milligan University.

If I am a graduate of Milligan College, can I get a new diploma that says Milligan University?
More details will be provided closer to June 1.

How should we refer to Milligan University on a resume?
The decision is up to the resume owner; however, we suggest that you indicate Milligan University (formerly known as Milligan College).

Letter from the President

President Greer announces Milligan universityDear Friend,

Today is a landmark day in the history of Milligan College.  I’m excited to share that the Board of Trustees has voted that the college will become Milligan University effective June 1, 2020. This decision comes after two years of study and after considering the input from a number of stakeholders including alumni, faculty, staff, students, the college’s strategic planning committee, and others.

The change to university reflects Milligan’s transformation over the years, as well as our commitment to developing future servant-leaders through the Christian liberal arts. The Board agrees that this is the time and a unique opportunity to openly champion the importance of Christian liberal arts learning and to protect the institution’s historical commitment to that mission.

The university name is seen as integral to a number of strategic goals of the institution, including greater market recognition as a comprehensive institution, continued enrollment growth, expanded international partnerships and student recruitment, and ongoing improvement as a quality institution of higher education. 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.

I’m also excited to announce 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.

We invite you to learn more about the transition to university and the student center revitalization here on this website.

We’ve certainly come a long way since the days when we were called the Buffalo Male and Female Institute. Whatever the school might be called, the change hasn’t altered our vision or our mission.

Forward ever.

Bill Greer, Ph.D. (’85)
President

Student Center Renovation

Milligan Student Center RenovationThe 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 McMahan 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 an 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.

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