Midway University

Midway University
Midway University logo.jpg
MottoAma Vicinum Acte
TypePrivate Liberal Arts
AffiliationChristian Church (Disciples of Christ)
PresidentDr. John P. Marsden
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States
AthleticsNAIA - RSC

Midway University is a private Christian liberal arts university in Midway, Kentucky. Related by covenant to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), it enrolls approximately 1,600 students earning two-year and four-year degrees as well as master's degrees. Midway was the only women's college in Kentucky until 2016. In May 2016, Midway's Board of Trustees voted unanimously to begin admitting male undergraduates for the first time in the school's history in the fall 2017 semester.[2] The Day College offers majors in business, marketing, equine studies, sports management, english, mathematics, biology, nursing, psychology, criminal justice and teacher education. In addition to the Day College, Midway University offers evening and online accelerated degree-completion programs for working adults.[3]


Midway University originally opened as the Kentucky Female Orphan School on October 3, 1849, with one teacher and sixteen female students. The nine members of the Board of Trustees oversaw the school's endowment, the building and five acres of land.[4]

The co-founders of the school were Dr. L.L. (Lewis Letig) Pinkerton (1812–1875),[5] minister of the Midway Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) from 1844 to 1860,[6] and Mr. James Ware Parrish, a Midway Christian Church elder. They obtained a charter on February 17, 1847, from the Kentucky legislature through the help of Kentucky Senator Major George W. Williams.[7] Before the school was permitted to open, an endowment of twenty-five thousand dollars had to be secured and investments made. This time was used for soliciting funds, purchasing land, construction of a building, and drafting and outline of government and management for the school.

John Dawson was Superintendent and his wife, Mary, was Matron when the Kentucky Female Orphan School opened in 1849. Associate principal and assistant matron, Eliza Davies, wrote that in those early days the "house was not furnished; the girls slept on straw mattresses; the floors were uncarpeted."[8]

The Kentucky Female Orphan School girls' education was directed by four main points:

  1. The development and corroboration of the moral constitution.
  2. The improvement of the intellectual powers.
  3. The development of the physical powers.
  4. Such direction of all the capabilities and attainments of the pupils, as will afford them the best prospect of a livelihood, in the useful and honorable employment of their requirements.[9]

The early years of operation had four grades. They were compared to an intensive high school education which included all courses: Ray's Higher Arithmetic, two years of Algebra, plane geometry, trigonometry, physics, botany, physiology, psychology, astronomy, physical geography, chemistry, geology, mineralogy, zoology, grammar, spelling, diacritical marks, rhetoric, American and English Literature, classics, U.S. History, English History, ancient, medieval, and modern history, Latin, and instrumental and vocal music. Sixteen credits were required to graduate, but according to the school president Miss Lucy Peterson many students graduated with twenty-five credits.

The school served, at various times, as an elementary and high school, and eventually became a junior college and, then a fully accredited baccalaureate-granting institution as Midway College. As a career training provider, the Kentucky Female Orphan School identified the needs of the community, the resources in the area and the demand for higher education. The intention was to empower disadvantaged women with an education in the field of teaching. On July 1, 2015, the college changed its name to Midway University.[10] In the Fall semester of 2016, Midway University admitted men to its day program for the first time.


Midway University

The school is located on a 200-acre (0.81 km2) working farm in the heart of the Kentucky Bluegrass region. The campus overlooks Midway, a small town in central Kentucky. The National Park Service placed Pinkerton Hall, the oldest building on campus, on the National Register of Historic Places on November 20, 1974.[11]

Academic buildings

Equine Education Center houses a 105-foot (32 m) x 235-foot (72 m) indoor riding arena, eight stalls, laboratory, classroom, a large tack room, audio-visual room, wash stall and faculty offices.

Keeneland Equine Education Center contains an indoor riding arena, 16 stalls, a tack room, washroom and office space.

Ashland Equine Barn contains 8 stalls, office space, and a washroom.

Marrs Hall, with a clock tower, houses the Arthur Young Lloyd Board Room, and the Offices of the President, the Vice President of College Relations and Development, and the Director of Public Relations. The admissions office for Midway UniversityONLINE and the University's Call Center are in the basement of Marrs.

Pinkerton Hall, the oldest building on campus, a two-story Greek revival building, was rebuilt in 1858 following a fire that destroyed the original structure. Pinkerton Hall contains the Offices of Admissions for SCD and the Day College, the Director of Financial Aid, the Business Office, and the Offices for Business Affairs.

Starks Hall was built in 1925 and served as a major classroom building for the campus. It was demolished and replaced with the Learning Resource Center, which sits atop its footprint.

The Learning Resource Center was built in 2010, and serves as the main classroom building on campus. The building also contains the offices of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Dean of the School for Career Development, the Dean of Online Programs, the Chair of the Business Division, and the Registrar. The Teacher Education division is housed on the second floor, along with classrooms and faculty offices. The basement houses the Equine Division's administrative offices, along with additional classrooms and faculty office space.

Midway University

Anne Hart Raymond Center for Mathematics, Science & Technology opened in the fall 2003 semester. A 46,000-square-foot (4,300 m2) building with laboratories for biology, anatomy, microbiology/immunology, botany, physics, chemistry and physical/environmental science. Faculty members and upper-level students have access to dedicated laboratory space to pursue more advanced research projects. Additionally, the building has a 450-seat auditorium, classrooms, and faculty offices.

Residential buildings

Buster Hall is a traditional-style rooms with community bathrooms on each floor as well as washers and dryers on each floor (2).

Belle Wisdom Hall students live in suite-style rooms, sharing private bathrooms with 2–4 residents. Belle residents have a small community atmosphere, living in a building that houses a maximum of 81 women. Belle is the oldest dorm on the campus.


Midway University teams are known as the Eagles. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), competing in the River States Conference (RSC). Women's sports include archery, basketball, cross country, equestrian (hunt seat, western and Dressage), soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball.[3] As of the 2016-17 school year, men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and tennis. Men's wrestling was added in fall 2018 and for fall 2019 men and women's bowling will be added as well as men's track and field.https://www.midway.edu/2018/10/12/additional-athletic-programs-announced-for-2019-20/


Ring Shield

  • Lamp: truth and knowledge
  • Date: 1847
  • Key: knowledge
  • Oak Leaf: strength
  • Star: merit, guidance, heavenly wisdom
  • Scales: justice
  • Wings: protection, chivalry
  • Trumpet vine: Kentucky
  • Shield: faith, protection
  • School Colors: blue, gold and white
  • School Motto: Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself

Night of Lights

A truly unique tradition, Night of Lights marks the end of the academic year with its special way of enabling friends to say farewell. Small candles are floated down the stream by the Path of Opportunity. Legend has it that if the candle stays aflame while passing beneath the bridge, one's wish will come true.

Pinkerton Bell

Originally used to signal wake-up, meals and classes, now, the bell sends out its glad tidings for any happy occasion.

Alma Mater (school song)

Here banded together, dear Old Alma Mater
Secure in our heritage by old girls bequeathed,
Led by their conquests and the future offered,
We trust to thy wise guidance, thy voice of wisdom heed,
We trust to thy wise guidance, our youth and its need.
Then forth from thy doors, dear Alma Mater send us,
All ready to honor thee wher'ere we may be,
Strong in self-knowledge, wise in understanding
We sing now to thy glory, our strength thy victory,
We sing now to thy glory, we offer to thee.

Original words by Lucy Peterson, 1906–1962, sung to the tune Adeste Fideles. Amended by Dr. Tracey Miller, 1990.

Notable faculty


  1. ^ a b c As of fall 2018. "Record Incoming Class Announced - Third Straight Year of Undergraduate Enrollment Growth". Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  2. ^ Blackford, Linda B. (May 16, 2016). "Midway University to accept men as undergrads". Lexington Herald-Leader.
  3. ^ a b Midway College-Quick Facts Retrieved on 2010-2-10
  4. ^ Peterson, Lucy. Miss Lucy's Story, As She Saw It. Midway, Kentucky: Midway College, 1960.
  5. ^ "Dr. L. L. Pinkerton: An Early Change Agent". Christianity: Then and Now on-line. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "A Brief History of Midway Christian Church, 1844-1998" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  7. ^ Balmer, Alberta Luanna. "A Study of the Kentucky Female Orphan School", Masters thesis, University of Kentucky, 1942.
  8. ^ Davies, Eliza (1881). The Story of an Earnest Life: A Woman's Adventures in Australia, and in Two Voyages Around the World (Google eBook). Central Book Concern.
  9. ^ Millennial Harbinger, Vol. V, No. XI, p. 712.
  10. ^ "Midway College Makes the Transformation into Midway University". Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  11. ^ National Register of Historic Places:Woodford County, KY Retrieved on 2010-2-10

Coordinates: 38°08′46″N 84°40′44″W / 38.14611°N 84.67889°W / 38.14611; -84.67889

External links

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