Milligan pauses to honor namesake

Published 9:06 am Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Milligan College commemorated the 200th birthday of namesake Robert Milligan Thursday with a party, complete with cake and ice cream and attended by the campus community.
Milligan, who was college founder Josephus Hopwood’s college professor, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, on July 24, 1814. The Milligan family moved to the United States in 1818, where Milligan earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He devoted his career to education, serving as professor and president at various colleges in Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Hopwood met Milligan in 1873 at Kentucky University (later Transylvania/Lexington Theological Seminary) in Lexington, where Milligan served as president. Young Hopwood fell under the benevolent influence of Milligan, who challenged him to devote himself to “Christian education, the hope of the world.” Hopwood described Milligan as “the best and purest man I have known.”
“Milligan has the rare distinction of being named not for its founder or location, but for a teacher,” said Milligan President Bill Greer. “Hopwood chose the name to honor one of his own former professors, who modeled the virtues of Christian discipleship and intellectual formation. Today, our faculty honor Professor Milligan’s legacy by continuing to mentor students to serve Christ and the world.”
In addition to the orange-and-black-themed party, the school colors, to honor Milligan’s 200th birthday, alumnus Clint Holloway recently completed a biography on the college’s namesake, “He Still Speaks: A Literary Biography of Robert Milligan.” Illustrated with vintage photographs and other mementoes, the 140-page book features a biography with many newly uncovered facts, a section outlining Milligan’s major writings, a brief genealogy of his family and a summary of his continued legacy through Milligan College.
“He Still Speaks” is available through or in the Milligan College Bookstore.

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