|Motto||Ama Vicinum Acte|
|Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)|
|Endowment||$22.7 million (2020)|
|President||John P. Marsden|
|Athletics||NAIA – RSC|
Midway University is a private Christian university in Midway, Kentucky. Related by covenant to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), it enrolls approximately 1,600 students earning two-year and four-year degrees as well as master's degrees. Midway was the only women's college in Kentucky until 2017 when it began admitting male undergraduate students.
Midway University originally opened as the Kentucky Female Orphan School on October 3, 1849, with one teacher and sixteen female students. The nine members of the Board of Trustees oversaw the school's endowment, the building and five acres of land.
The co-founders of the school were Dr. L.L. (Lewis Letig) Pinkerton (1812–1875), minister of the Midway Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) from 1844 to 1860, and Mr. James Ware Parrish, a Midway Christian Church elder. They obtained a charter on February 17, 1847, from the Kentucky legislature through the help of Kentucky Senator Major George W. Williams. Before the school was permitted to open, an endowment of twenty-five thousand dollars had to be secured and investments made. This time was used for soliciting funds, purchasing land, construction of a building, and drafting and outline of government and management for the school.
John Dawson was Superintendent and his wife, Mary, was Matron when the Kentucky Female Orphan School opened in 1849. Associate principal and assistant matron, Eliza Davies, wrote that in those early days the "house was not furnished; the girls slept on straw mattresses; the floors were uncarpeted."
The Kentucky Female Orphan School girls' education was directed by four main points:
The early years of operation had four grades. They were compared to an intensive high school education which included all courses: Ray's Higher Arithmetic, two years of Algebra, plane geometry, trigonometry, physics, botany, physiology, psychology, astronomy, physical geography, chemistry, geology, mineralogy, zoology, grammar, spelling, diacritical marks, rhetoric, American and English Literature, classics, U.S. History, English History, ancient, medieval, and modern history, Latin, and instrumental and vocal music. Sixteen credits were required to graduate, but according to the school president Miss Lucy Peterson many students graduated with twenty-five credits.
The school served, at various times, as an elementary and high school, and eventually became a junior college and, then a fully accredited baccalaureate-granting institution as Midway College. As a career training provider, the Kentucky Female Orphan School identified the needs of the community, the resources in the area and the demand for higher education. The intention was to empower disadvantaged women with an education in the field of teaching. On July 1, 2015, the college changed its name to Midway University. In the Fall semester of 2016, Midway University admitted men to its day program for the first time.
The school is located on a 200-acre (0.81 km2) working farm in the heart of the Kentucky Bluegrass region. The campus overlooks Midway, a small town in central Kentucky. The National Park Service placed Pinkerton Hall, the oldest building on campus, on the National Register of Historic Places on November 20, 1974.
The Midway athletic teams are called the Eagles. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the River States Conference (RSC; formerly known as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) until after the 2015–16 school year) for most of its sports since the 1991–92 academic year; while its men's & women's bowling, men's & women's swimming, men's volleyball and men's wrestling teams compete in the Mid-South Conference (MSC). Formerly a women's institution, men's sports were added into the Eagles' athletic program since the 2016–17 academic year.
Midway competes in 28 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross coutry, golf, soccer, sprint football, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball. and co-ed sports include archery, cheer, dance, eSports, and equestrian (hunt seat, western and Dressage).
The next sport to be added is sprint football, a weight-restricted form of American football not governed by the NAIA or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Midway will start play in 2022 as one of six charter members of the Midwest Sprint Football League.