The former Midway College became Midway University earlier this summer. The school’s president outlined the conversion process for Lexington Rotarians Thursday.
The Woodford County school was called the Kentucky Female Orphan School when it opened in the fall of 1849. The equine program began in the 1970’s, and the school became Midway College in 1978. Then on July 1 of this year, the institution changed its name again to Midway University. President John Marsden says the term ‘university’ captures the complexity of Midway’s mission. “We serve many different students," said Marsden. "We have Kentucky’s only women’s college, but then we also have co-education programs at the undergraduate and graduate level that are for working adults, both in seat and online.”
Marsden says almost 200 women live on the Midway campus. The school president says more than three fourths of Midway’s student population is co-educational on campus and online. He says the school’s transition to university seems to help with international student recruitment. “When we use the term 'college' abroad, it’s often misinterpreted as high school or community college," Marsden explained. "And as we continue to work with other countries, particularly in Latin America, we have found that 'university' is a more easily understood term.”
Midway’s much recognized equine program began in the 1970’s. Marsden says even today, the school offers virtually on the spot learning. “We are 200 acres," he said. "We’re surrounded by horse farms. Students can essentially roll out of bed from the residence hall and walk to the barns on campus where they get hands on learning experience. At many institutions, you usually have to drive to another location.”
Enrollment at Midway stands are about 1,100 students on campus and online. Marsden says plans are in the works to grow academic programs, boost enrollment, and develop a new website.