Huntington re-opens as a University

Multimedia: Audio Recordings
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Windows Media MP3
"University Day" Chapel Windows Media MP3

Miss Indiana Susan Guilkey and President Blair Dowden cut the ribbon re-opening Huntington College as Huntington University. They are assisted by Ryan Darr, president of Student Senate (left) and Ed Souers, chairman of the Board of Trustees (right). They are joined by United Brethren Bishop Ron Ramsey, Huntington Mayor Terry Abbett, Huntington University Foundation president Dennis McNeely, and members of the Student Senate Executive Board.

Huntington, Ind.—Huntington College officially re-opened today as Huntington University with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and special chapel service.

While the name change process began in June, the Christian college marked this milestone in its history with a ceremony at the campus entrance this morning. About 200 alumni, trustees, students, and guests attended the event.

Miss Indiana Susan Guilkey, a 2005 Huntington University graduate in communication studies, cut the ribbon assisted by President Blair Dowden, Board Chairman Ed Souers, and Student Senate President Ryan Darr. Huntington Mayor Terry Abbett, United Brethren Bishop Ron Ramsey, Huntington University Foundation president Dennis McNeely, and additional members of the Student Senate participated in the platform group.

"Huntington’s growth—in size, complexity and prestige—makes the move to university status the natural next step in the institution’s development," President Dowden said. "Over the past 10 years, Huntington’s student body has grown by more than 53 percent. In the same time period, we have begun to offer associate and bachelor degrees specifically designed for adult students, and we have developed new master’s degrees in ministry and education, and additional programs could be on the horizon. A feasibility study for a bachelor's program in nursing is currently underway."

"While the name of the institution will soon change, many things will stay the same," Dowden added. "For example, Huntington will always be an institution that stresses the Christian faith and the liberal arts as the foundations of its educational program. We will always challenge students to integrate faith, learning and service. Similarly, we never want to lose the warm and friendly character of our campus community. While our student body has grown significantly over the past few years ­- and will continue to grow - we will remain a caring, student-focused campus. Students here will never be just a number. In short, our name may change, but our mission will not."

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by a special chapel service at 10:00 a.m., in Zurcher Auditorium of the Merillat Centre for the Arts. President Dowden interviewed alumni and students about their life-changing experiences during college. More than 700 students, faculty, and guests were in attendance to celebrate the heritage and future of Huntington University.

Huntington is recognized as one of America's best Christian colleges. Huntington has been ranked in the top tier of Midwestern Comprehensive Colleges of U.S.News & World Report for 11 consecutive years. A new, state-of-the-art 90,000 square foot science building opened in 2002.

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Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and in 2004 was named one of the 50 best Christian places to work by Christianity Today magazine. Incoming freshmen arrived for orientation at Huntington University on Friday, August 26. Classes began August 29. For more information about Huntington University degree offerings, call 260-356-6000.  


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