Milligan College changing its name to Milligan University

Milligan College President Bill Greer announced at a press conference Friday the institution would be changing its name as of June 1, 2020, from Milligan College to Milligan University.

The announcement came during the school’s Homecoming celebrations.

Greer said the decision did not come lightly, as many emotions are tied to the current name.

“Milligan has very loyal, emotionally attached alumni,” Greer said. “That includes me.”

The discussions about a possible name change, he said, have been going on for years. Since its inception, Milligan College has grown rapidly, particularly in its international programs, which now represent roughly 30 countries. The school has five schools of study, two doctorate programs, 13 graduate programs and 100 undergraduate academic programs.

Greer said the time had come for the school’s name to better reflect its impact.

“It is time to move forward,” he said.

The difference between college and university, he said, varies depending on the state. While Tennessee does not legislate specific requirements to these two designations, he said referring to themselves as Milligan College has impacted their outreach to prospective students, particularly in the international programs.

“I wanted to call us who we are,” he said.

This move, he said, also comes in the wake of many colleges now calling themselves universities, though he said they tried their best to avoid feeling outside pressure in their decision to so the same.

“We deliberately stepped back before deciding this,” Greer said.

To the thousands of alumni who may be surprised by the change, Greer said the difference might not be as drastic as it may seem.

“People know us as Milligan,” he said.

Some details about the name change are still in development, he said, such as their post office, which is listed as Milligan College, Tennessee. That change will probably require a visit to the federal government.

During the same press conference, the university also unveiled plans to renovate the student center as its first project under the title of university. Though Greer provided no numbers just yet, he did say they planned to begin work in late spring.

“It is very exciting to turn that corner,” he said.

Though the name might change, Greer said he wanted to make sure the true identity of the institution remains the same as it always has been.

“Whatever we call ourselves, I want to make sure our alumni know this is still home,’ he said.

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