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.
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.
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.
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.