Milligan dedicates engineering facilities

Published 8:20 pm Friday, April 28, 2017

Expansion is the name of the game for Milligan College.
Regional business leaders and other influential individuals joined Milligan staff inside the B.D. Phillips Building atop Emmanuel Hill Friday for the dedication of the college’s new engineering facilities, which the school described as a “major step toward the completion of the largest fundraising initiative in the college’s 150-year history”.
During Friday’s ceremony, Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer thanked the efforts of individual donors and officially dedicated the four labs inside the B.D. Phillips Build for the businesses that assisted in the endeavor – Eastman, NN Inc., Nuclear Fuel Services Inc. (a subsidiary of BWX Technologies) and TPI Corporation.
Other donors recognized during the event were Mr. and Mrs. Gayle Carson, Mr. and Mrs. Cameron E. Perry, Dr. and Mrs. Richard W. Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Eric R. Ryans, Dr. and Mrs. Eugene H. Wigginton, and Mr. and Mrs. Calvin L. Wilson, Jr.
Mrs. Ruth Myers was also thanked for her $1 million lead gift for the program that was received in 2014.
Over five years in the making, the president stated Friday’s event was a pivotal moment in the school’s history.
“We started to develop the dream of adding engineering to Milligan’s offering,” Dr. Greer said. “It was driven by the fact that so many prospective students were seeking such a program in the context of what does best, Christian liberal arts, and they had to be turned away. We hated to turn students away, so we set out to secure the resources needed to make such a program like this possible.
“Today’s dedication is the culmination of those efforts,” he continued. “We’re grateful for the significant partnerships with these locally-based corporations who have committed significant resources to ensure that our program will produce high quality, ready-to-work engineers.
Along with recognizing donors, Dr. Greer presented representatives from TPI, Eastman, NN and NFS with tokens of appreciation.
Dr. Greg Harrell, Milligan’s engineering program director, was praised by the president and added some words of his own during the meeting by simply saying thanks to everyone that’s made the program possible.
Engineering launched in the Fall Semester of 2016 and is a four-year program offered on the Milligan campus, the only type of program located within a two-hour radius of the Tri-Cities.
Many students, like Elizabethton native and Milligan College freshman Bo Pless, have been able to take in the rewards of the program.
“We could empty 50 percent of every hospitals’ beds in the world if we could provide clean drinking water. When I look at that, it’s an engineering problem. That’s something we’re looking to solve here at Milligan,” Pless said.
During his first year at the school, the freshman told attendees that the school had done a tremendous job of making sure students keep their faith first in life.
“As I look back at my first year, the amount of stuff I’ve learned has been crazy,” Pless said. “I think about the fact that whether I become a pastor, a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer,  the most important thing I can do is keep Jesus Christ as the focus of my life.”
Pless also thanked the donors and corporate supporters for expansion efforts at Milligan.
“When you invest in us, you’re investing in people who are going to go out and change the world,” he said. “Thank you to everyone who’s made that investment You all are part of something big that God is doing here at Milligan.”
Sarah Robinson, a Milligan basketball standout and an engineering major, also took part in the ceremony with the dedication prayer.
Dr. Greer announced during the ceremony that Milligan is close to completion of its “Forward Ever Phase Two” fundraising initiative. Since 2007, the College has worked toward raising $40 million for endowment, scholarships, academic support, new programs, campus infrastructure and student housing as part of a two-part program. Phase One, completed in 2011, raised over $28 million.

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