Midway University has received one of the largest gifts in its history, officials announced Monday. Longtime trustee Jan Hunter announced that she would pledge $2 million over the next two years.
“I recently heard someone say that ‘the opportunity of a lifetime must be taken during the lifetime of the opportunity,’ and that spoke to me,” Hunter said. “There are so many positive things happening at Midway, and we need to invest in the institution and rally others to do the same to keep building on our current momentum.”
After several years of financial turmoil caused by enrollment decline, the traditionally all-female school recently decided to admit male students and greatly expanded its sports programs for both genders.
President John Marsden said the closing of St. Catharine College in Washington County earlier this year led to a record incoming class this fall.
The school has gone from 92 student athletes in eight sports to 260 students in 14 sports. In addition, next year, Midway will add men’s tennis, men’s cross country and co-ed cheerleading.
“This gift is coming at a great time,” he said. “We plan to utilize this gift in the way that will touch the most students — improving their living space and enhancing our student center and athletic facilities.”
Midway now has almost 2,000 students, about 77 percent female. It offers undergraduate residential education, and evening and online undergraduate and graduate classes.