Midland Celebrates 100 Years in Fremont at the Life as a Warrior Event

Midland Celebrates 100 Years in Fremont at the Life as a Warrior Event

Monday, January 14, 2019

It was a celebration 100 years in the making.

Midland University celebrated 100 years in Fremont with students, faculty, friends and community supporters during the Life as a Warrior Experiential event Jan. 12 at the Wikert Event Center.

A crowd of about 350 people got a first-hand look at what being a Warrior is all about by experiencing every day life for Midland students. Visitors could go through a variety of experiences that gave them a glimpse of being part of the MU campus. Everything from eSports, nursing simulators and a virtual tour of the new Miller Hall to testing their skills on the putting green or learning the latest dance moves from the MU dance squad was on display.

“We hope you enjoyed the opportunity to see what it’s like to be a student here,” MU President Jody Horner told the audience at a dinner that capped the evening.

KAT 103.7 radio personality Steve Lundy (John Steyer, ’85), who served as Master of Ceremonies, said the Wikert Center was the ideal place to celebrate a milestone event for the University.

“It makes sense to have it here,” said Lundy. “This is where students grow and develop.”

Midland made Fremont its permanent home in 1919, making the move north from Atchison, Kansas. For the past century, Fremont and Midland have provided each other with an ideal partnership. “We’re reminded of the importance to have a sense of place and how important it is to have somewhere you can call home,” Horner said. “We thank all of our community friends and are forever indebted to each of you for helping us make Fremont our home. At the end of the day, what makes a place home is not geography, but the culture and the collection of experiences that become memories. Midland has become a home for students across the globe. Our mission is to inspire these people to lead in the world.”

Legendary Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne was featured as the keynote speaker. As a Hastings College graduate, Osborne appreciates the relentless efforts of Midland University to remain a staple in the state. “It’s been a remarkable success story when you think that Midland had about 590 students in 2009 and now has 1,400,” he said. “I’m familiar with a small, liberal arts college and I know that’s not an easy thing to do.”

Osborne said a big part of Midland’s success can be traced back to its athletic program, which is headed by Athletic Director Dave Gillespie, who once served as Osborne’s recruiting coordinator. “Athletics are a big part of this, and it’s amazing to me that 75 percent of the students here are athletes” Osborne said.

He then joked that Gillespie should be angling for a bigger contract. “Midland has 32 sports while Michigan and Ohio State each have 31 sports,” he said. “Dave pointed this out to me and believes he should be paid more than ADs at those schools.”

Osborne closed by praising what Midland stands for as a university.

“What goes on here is important,” he said. “There are a lot of great things happening.”

Many great things happened throughout the evening, including more than $14,000 pledged at the end of the evening during the Fill the Heart fundraiser for scholarships. “What we strive to do is give students the opportunities you’ve seen tonight,” Lundy said. “These students are able to make that journey through your support. Thank you for standing by us for 100 years and for sharing our vision for another 100 years.”

Horner said one clear goal remains for Midland as it moves toward another century of success. “We look forward to the future and continuing to be relentlessly relevant.”