Treasures from Milligan Archives exhibits enrich 150th celebration

Archivist Lindsay Kenderes has curated three exhibits showcasing treasures of photographs, documents, and artifacts from the Milligan College Archives to coincide with the school’s 150th Anniversary celebration. The exhibits are on display in various locations across campus to be viewed during this weekend’s Homecoming festivities and continuing through the end of the semester:

  • “Christian Education, the Hope of the World: An Early History of Milligan College” is located at the back of the main floor of the P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library
  • “Where the Buffs Roam: Milligan’s Campus Through 150 Years” can be seen in the main lobby of Derthick Hall
  • “Celebrating 150 years of Milligan History and Memory” is located in the main lobby of the Gregory Center (exhibit on display during Homecoming week only, coinciding with the performance of the play, Forward With Faith: The Milligan Story)

Christian Education, the Hope of the World: An Early History of Milligan College

The Milligan College Archives holds several original and copied documents related to the founding of the institution, first called the Buffalo Male and Female Institute, in 1866. An original subscription list, dated 1867, names 79 donors contributing funds for the school building. Kenderes notes that the oldest document in the Archives’ possession is a 1782 land grant given to Edmund Williams from the state of North Carolina. Williams’ grandson, Joshua donated the first acre of land upon which the original school was built. Selected digitized documents and photos from this exhibit are viewable online here on the Milligan College Archives’ digital repository, MCStor.



This Robert Milligan brooch is on loan to the Milligan College Archives for the Sesquicentennial Celebration. Provided by Rebecca Coleman Ray, the great-great-great granddaughter of Robert Milligan, Milligan’s namesake. Robert Milligan used this text to learn shorthand. Written inside is “Robert Milligan commenced the study of stenography, Feb. 1845” followed by shorthand characters, the year and the handwritten name “Robert.” Underneath Robert’s name is a stamped “A. R. Milligan.”

Where the Buffs Roam: Milligan’s Campus Through 150 Years

This is a photo exhibit of student life and campus scenes through the College’s history. Kenderes comments, “I selected photos that reveal how student life and campus outdoor scenes have both changed and have endured throughout the years.” Particularly striking are the May Day celebrations from the 1950s, and photos of students beside Buffalo Creek. This exhibit is also viewable online here on the Milligan College Archives’ digital repository, MCStor.



Celebrating 150 years of Milligan History and Memory

Photos for this exhibit were selected to highlight scenes from the play, Forward With Faith: The Milligan Story, which was written and directed by retired Milligan professor Rosemarie Shields, and performed during Homecoming week. Photos from this exhibit are also viewable online here on the Milligan College Archives’ digital repository, MCStor.


Archivist Lindsay Kenderes with Professor Rosemarie Shields

Who is that on Sarah Hopwood’s shoulder?

Milligan College’s Student Clubs and Traditions

Written by Katherine Siebenaler, Senior ’15, Archive Intern

The snow is melting and spring is in the air! And with spring coming, that means Wonderful Wednesday is coming. But did you know that Wonderful Wednesday used to include discussion panels and races up and down Sutton Hill? Or did you know that TWIRP Week rules used to require that every girl have one date per day?

This Archives exhibit in the Library highlights a few of the near-100 student organizations on campus through the years, as well as a handful of the traditions Milligan students have enjoyed and still continue to enjoy, such as TWIRP Week and Wonderful Wednesday. Located on the first floor, the exhibit includes the orange and black beanies known as “dinks” that Milligan freshman used to wear and the “M” Club roster from the late 1940s that lists Milligan celebrity Coach Walker’s name. Continue reading

Remembering Omer Hamlin, Jr., Milligan’s first Head Librarian, 1930-2014

Omer Hamlin, Jr.
July 16, 1930 – December 25, 2014

Hamlin_Omer002  Hamlin_Omer001  Hamlin_Omer_004

The Library remembers Omer Hamlin, Jr., who passed away on Christmas Day, 2014 in Lexington, Kentucky. Omer was born on July 16, 1930 in Tollesboro, Kentucky. He was a Milligan College alumnus (1956), President of the Milligan College Student Council 1955-56, and later Milligan College Trustee and Trustee Emeritus.

But the Library especially remembers Omer as our first Head Librarian, from 1959-62. He earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Kentucky and was hired at Milligan College on September 1, 1959. He oversaw the move into and early management of the new P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library. During his tenure, Milligan College received a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Steel Foundation and another grant of $2,000 from the Babcock Foundation of Winston-Salem, NC. These monies were earmarked by the College administration and trustees for the purchase of new books for the Library, toward the goal of increasing holdings from 25,800 to 50,000 books.

At the Service of Dedication of the P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library building on November 24, 1961, Omer had the honor of formally opening the doors for the symbolic entry of the books from the liberal arts disciplines (carried by various faculty members)–Bible, Science, Government, Fine Arts, and Literature–to find their places on the new shelves for current and future use by students and faculty.

Milligan’s Madrigal Dinners, a Celebration of an English Christmas Tradition


Madrigal Dinner, 1983. Milligan College Archives & Special Collections.

Written by Cynthia Capps, Sophomore ’17, Archive Student Assistant.

The Madrigal Dinners held at Milligan celebrated English Christmas customs from the 16th century. A medieval banquet featuring a full course meal and a Christmas concert performed by minstrel singers are what the Madrigal Dinners are still remembered for today. In 1967, the first Madrigal Dinner was a production by the speech and music departments; specifically, Dr. William Moorhouse and Sherwyn Bachman. Dr. William Moorhouse and his wife Lowanna Moorhouse did extensive research on costume design while traveling to several museums in England to ensure each costume worn at the dinners were as authentic as possible. The dinners proved to be a success lasting 34 consecutive years ending in 2001. Continue reading

Robert Milligan exhibit and book reading in the Library

He Still Speaks

The P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library and Milligan College Archives and Special Collections is especially pleased during this 2014 Homecoming season to present an exhibit entitled Celebrating Robert Milligan’s 200th Year. Robert Milligan, whose name graces our college, was born on July 25, 1814. He was a preacher, author, teacher and professor, influencing many with his scholarship on Christian reform.

Josephus Hopwood (1843-1935) was a student at the College of the Bible in Lexington, Kentucky, where he studied under Professor Robert Milligan. In 1875, Josephus and his wife, Sarah, served as administrators at the Buffalo Male and Female Institute. In 1881, Hopwood chose to rename the school Milligan College, after his beloved professor.

The exhibit, displaying photographs, manuscripts, and publications of Robert Milligan’s personal and professional life, has been curated by Lindsay Kenderes, Information Resources Librarian and College Archivist. The exhibit can be viewed at the back of the main floor of the Library during open hours. Many of the items in the exhibit are from the Robert Milligan Research Collection, donated by Clinton J. (Class of 1995) and Adele M. (Class of 1996) Holloway.


Accompanying the Robert Milligan exhibit is a book reading and signing by Clint Holloway, author of He Still Speaks: A Literary Biography of Robert Milligan (2014). Clint wrote his book out of a sense that there was a need for people to know more about this man. “Who was this person of whom it was said he was the ‘best and purist man I have ever known,’ and who so clearly exemplified the Christian liberal arts?”


Holloway identifies four themes in which he believes Robert Milligan “still speaks” to us today: He was a ‘servant leader’ long before that term entered into common parlance; he was a champion of the Bible; he was irenic (a peacemaker) in the face of many large egos in the movement; and he was a defender of the under-represented in the church.

Clint will be reading from his book in the Library (main floor) on Saturday, October 25 at 2:30 p.m. Following, he will be making his book available for sale ($10, $5 for students) and he will be on hand to autograph copies. Light refreshments will be served.