Milligan College to become a university in June 2020

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CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Milligan College President Bill Greer and Board of Trustees Chairman Ron Dove announced Friday that the institution will be changing its name.

Effective June 1, 2020, Milligan College will be no more. Instead, it will be Milligan University.

This is the first name change in the school’s 150-year history.

With this new name, Milligan College hopes it will give the school a more competetive edge when students are nationally and internationally are deciding which university to attend.

“As our alma mater says, “Forward ever!” Be our watchword”, and if we really mean that then it’s time to do so,” Milligan College President Bill Greer said to our Pheben Kassahun Friday.

This announcement was made following the college’s fall board meeting, which kicked off Homecoming weekend.

President Greer said, “This year is the first year in fact, that we will have graduates for our mechanical electrical engineering program, so once that happens, we’ll begin the accreditation process for that and we anticipate those programs to grow, rapidly because of that.”

According to a press release from Milligan, the board 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.

“The name Milligan University” reflects who we are today and our journey to this moment,” Greer said in the release. “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.”

Greer stated this is a “landmark day” in Milligan’s history.

In 2014, Milligan reorganized its numerous academic areas into five schools, the release read. In 2015, the release continued, Emmanuel Christian Seminary became an embedded seminary within the college.

Today, Milligan College offers over 100 undergraduate academic programs ad 13 graduate programs, including a doctor of education and a doctor of ministry, the release said.

“Milligan’s current student body already reflects a university setting with populations of traditional and nontraditional undergraduates, as well as graduate students,” Greer said in the release. “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.”

This expansion led Milligan to be considered as a university by external organizations, including U.S. News and World Report and the Carnegie Foundation. Milligan, the release said, continues to rise in national rankings for its quality and value. This year, Milligan jumped 10 spots to No. 13 among U.S. News and 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,” the release read.

Greer said the word “College” sounds “inferior” to students from outside of the U.S. The school has a lot of international students so the administration wanted to be more appealing to other countries, he said Friday.

“Milligan is a place for diverse programming, of diverse students, of diverse perspectives, and that we’re here to prepare men and women for lives of service and impact in the U.S. and abroad,” Greer said.

While most colleges and universities have seen a decrease in international students in recent years, Milligan’s international student population grew by 28 percent from last year and now comprises 5 percent of the entire student body.

“Milligan’s board, along with Milligan’s senior administration, have worked carefully, thoroughly and prayerfully to discern what is best for Milligan,” Dove said in the release. “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.”

Green also announced Friday that the first major campus project 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 release read.

As a Milligan College alum, Greer said this is something he has wanted to do for a while.

“I’ve wanted to purse the student center for a while and provide our students with a better place to hang out together, fellowship and study together,” Greer said.

“I am deeply grateful to the 3CLANE Family Foundation for making this project possible,” Greer said. “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.”

“I am deeply grateful to the 3CLANE Family Foundation for making this project possible,” Greer said. “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.”

Greer added that he wants students to continue to build on a christian liberal arts foundation at Milligan.

“Especially in a world that is increasingly hostile to faith-based institutions, so admissions is increasingly critical. The name change, I think, will help perpetuate that,” Greer told Kassahun.

President Greer said there has been some opposition for the new name but he said Milligan is still “home”.

As for the price tag of the name change, Greer said this will be announced at a later time.

For more information on Milligan University, please visit their website by clicking here.

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