ESTABLISHED AS THE KENTUCKY FEMALE ORPHAN SCHOOL, the school was the dream of Dr. Lewis Letig Pinkerton, a young physician and minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Together with James Ware Parrish, the Midway Christian Church elder who raised the funds necessary to open the school, they launched a revolutionary educational experiment. In antebellum Kentucky, the few girls who received formal education were taught to read only because it was considered necessary for their role as mothers. When they reached adulthood, they would read the Bible to their children. Female orphans were rarely offered even this meager amount of schooling. Without education or parental support and concern, the most many could hope for was a lifetime of drudgery as a maid or laborer.
The liberal arts curriculum and career preparation proposed by Dr. L.L. Pinkerton was a comprehensive solution to this tragic situation, and the benefits reached far beyond the individual girls who attended the school. Dr. Pinkerton’s dream became a reality as Midway-educated teachers went forth to share their learning with youngsters throughout the region. In the years since its inception, the institution has evolved to meet the educational needs of women, and men, while preserving the goals and standards of its founders.
Today, Midway University has achieved its goal of excellence in education, providing advanced instruction in a broad range of subjects based upon a strong liberal arts curriculum. The campus and programs have grown with the school’s enrollment, yet many of the traditional ideals Midway was founded on have remained constant. The college’s affiliation with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) remains strong and many members of the student body are active members of Christian Church congregations.
On May 12, 2016, the Midway University Board of Trustees voted to become fully coeducational in all of its undergraduate programs by fall 2016.
Midway University shapes and inspires the lives of women and men in undergraduate and graduate programs through a student-centered, global education that leads to rewarding careers and responsible citizenship. (Adopted May 12, 2016)
Midway University fosters core values shared by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and reflect the beliefs of our founder, Dr. L.L. Pinkerton. These values include:
1. Valuing the dignity of all people
2. Acting with integrity and responsibility
3. Viewing self as part of the community
4. Living life within a global context
5. Providing service to others
6. Pursuing life-long learning
Quick Facts / At a Glance
History: Midway University is a private college and was established in 1847 by Dr. Lewis L. Pinkerton, a Christian minister and physician. Originally named the Kentucky Female Orphan School, the original purpose of the institution was to educate female orphans to become teachers. Through the years the school evolved and became Pinkerton High School, Midway Junior College, Midway College, and, finally, Midway University. Today Midway University is known for excellence in its Business, Equine, Nursing, and Teacher Education programs throughout Kentucky and beyond.
Location: Midway University's main campus is located in the heart of the Bluegrass Region in Midway, Kentucky (USA) on a scenic 200-acre campus. It's a short 10-minute drive to Lexington, Frankfort, Georgetown and Versailles. Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio are just a one-hour drive away. Midway University also offers programs at an off-site location in Lexington in addition to providing many programs online.
Campus size: 200 acres
President: Dr. John P. Marsden
Number of buildings: 13: Anne Hart Raymond Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology; Ashland Stable; Belle Wisdom Residence Hall; Buster Residence Hall; Equine Education Center; Keeneland Stable; Little Memorial Library; Lucy Peterson House; Marrs Hall; McManis Student Center (includes Piper Dining Hall and Marshall Gymnasium); Patterson Building; Pinkerton Hall; Learning Resource Center
Other campus landmarks: Altrusa Bridge, the entrance to the college; Graves Amphitheater; the Path of Opportunity and Starks Bridge
Affiliation: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Student/Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Degrees granted and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS): Associate, Bachelor, Master
Schools: Private, co-educational, liberal arts, residential college also offering evening and online undergraduate and graduate courses.
Pillar Programs: Business, Equine Studies, Nursing, and Teacher Education
Co-Educational Athletics: NAIA, River States Conference
School Colors: Blue and Gold
Varsity Athletic Teams: Archery, Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis & Volleyball
Equestrian Riding Teams: Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Hunt Seat and Western