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Dr. John P. Marsden became the tenth President of Midway University in February 2013. The President's Office oversees all aspect of the University operations and reports directly to the Board of Trustees.

Welcome to Midway University.

This year marks our 176th year as an institution and our eighth consecutive year of enrollment growth. Our Fall 2023 census includes 1945 students enrolled in all programs including traditional daytime undergraduate, evening and online undergraduate, graduate as well as dual credit students.

To sustain our enrollment growth, we have completed several major construction and renovation projects across campus without incurring new debt. These include the new Hunter Field House, the new Tracy Farmer-Don Ball Stadium, the new Bud's Barn and Spy Coast Farm Education Center, Library Hall (second floor renovated fall 2023), the renovation of Marrs Hall which includes the new Ann J. Bowling Welcome Center, the top to bottom renovation of Pinkerton Hall converting it back to a residence hall, bathroom renovations in Belle Wisdom Residence Hall and Buster Residence Hall, and the rebuilding of the tennis courts.

Despite recent transformations including university status and coeducation, we remain committed to our historical mission to provide students with a career-focused education grounded in the liberal arts in a personalized learning environment. Our dedicated faculty and staff care about our students and their potential growth, dreams, and successes. In addition, we are committed to providing our students with an affordable option and offer generous scholarships.  Our campus is in a rural location surrounded by horse farms but is in close proximity to the amenities of major cities. 

As we continue to honor and celebrate our rich history from our beginning as the Kentucky Female Orphan School in 1847 to today’s Midway University, we are always looking forward and addressing the rapidly changing landscape of higher education. How we can best serve our students remains at the heart of our discussions about the future. Please review our website and plan to visit in person to learn more about Midway University – a place that can make a difference in your life.


 president john p. marsden signature
John P. Marsden, Ph.D.
President


About President Marsden


John P. Marsden, Ph.D. became the tenth president of Midway University on February 1, 2013.  A transformational leader, he collaboratively managed a turnaround of Midway University through expansion of academic and athletic programs, coeducation, international partnerships, and financial stewardship.  Midway University has had eight years of enrollment growth—reaching 1,945 students in fall 2023—with record numbers of traditional undergraduate, graduate, and dual credit students.  During his tenure, Midway University has added eleven new majors, six new minors, two new graduate programs, a dual graduate degree, and six new graduate concentrations while reducing the student to faculty ratio.  The university also has expanded athletics and now fields 28 varsity programs.    

To sustain enrollment growth, Dr. Marsden has successfully spearheaded several major construction and renovation projects across campus, completing them all without incurring new debt.  These include the new Hunter Field House, the new Tracy Farmer-Don Ball Stadium, the new Bud’s Barn and Spy Coast Farm Education Center, the renovation of Marrs Hall which includes the new Ann J. Bowling Welcome Center, the top to bottom renovation of Pinkerton Hall converting it back to a residence hall, the renovation of Library Hall, bathroom renovations in Belle Wisdom Residence Hall and Buster Residence Hall, and the rebuilding of the tennis courts.

Dr. Marsden’s success was recognized in 2018 by Bluegrass Tomorrow, an organization focused on quality of life in the 18-county Bluegrass Region, when he received the Excellence in Education Vision Award for his work at Midway University.  He currently serves on the Committee on Tax Policy for the Washington, DC-based National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), as Chair for the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU), as a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees, and on the Board of Trustees for Bluegrass Community Hospital.  He also serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Aging and Environment.  He previously served on the Board of Directors for the Washington, DC-based Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Dr. Marsden’s career in higher education includes teaching a range of courses from the undergraduate level to the doctoral level; administration as a provost and head of university strategic planning; and authorship or co-authorship of four books in the areas of assisted living and dementia care settings as well as many book chapters, articles, and presentations.  A first-generation American, he was raised on Long Island, NY.  He earned a BArch with a minor in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University, a MArch and Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Arizona, and a PhD and MS from the University of Michigan.  Dr. Marsden and Mrs. Margaret Marsden, a graduate of Auburn University School of Pharmacy, have one son, Will, who attends Rice University.

Publications & News
Aerial view of Midway University turf field President's Report Fall 2023
The President's Report

Each fall the President's Office publishes the President's Report highlighting news from across campus and reporting on campus improvements. Read highlights from the current academic year or visit our archives to read previous editions.

Strategic Plan
Read the current version of the Midway University Strategic Plan - Beyond the Horizon.
Excellence in Education Vision Award
In February 2018 President Marsden received the Excellence in Education Vision Award from Bluegrass Tomorrow. The annual Vision Awards pays tribute to individuals and businesses in the 18-county Bluegrass Region related to improving quality of life and place – the Bluegrass Tomorrow’s mission. Dr. Marsden received the award based on the remarkable turnaround at Midway University since he took over as president in 2013.
Woodford Chamber Education Excellence Award
In January 2023, Midway University received the Education Excellence Award from the Woodford Chamber. This award recognizes the important impact the University has made in Woodford County and the surrounding region.
In the News
From groundbreakings to enrollment growth, Dr. Marsden has been featured in a number of news publications throughout the state and interviewed by many radio and television news media during his tenure at Midway University.

News & Resources