Milestones in Millikin's Evolution

This chronology is a work in progress. Additional information and links will be continually added.


James Millikin is born August 2, in Ten Mile, Pennsylvania, the son of Abel & Nancy Van Dyke Millikin.


Amos Robinson purchases a forty- acre tract of land near Decatur that includes the present campus, May.


James Millikin herds cattle and sheep to western Indiana and eastern Illinois, in the area of Danville. He attends Washington (now Washington & Jefferson) College in Pennsylvania and Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN.


James Millikin marries Anna Bernice Aston, daughter of Rev. Samuel and Hetty Bartlett Aston, a Presbyterian minister on January 1.


An encampment, with drill grounds and barracks are located on the present campus site.


The Cumberland Presbyterian Church establishes Lincoln University at Lincoln, Illinois.


Lincoln University opens for classes, November 5.


James Millikin purchases a 16 acre tract, an area called Oakland Park, the site of the present campus.


Rev. A.W. Hawkins, pastor of Cumberland Presbyterian Church proposes removal of Lincoln University to Decatur. His publicized proposal elicits no response.


James Millikin announces his intention to transfer Lincoln University to Decatur, with financial support through the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the City of Decatur in May.


James Millikin and the Synod of Illinois for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church agree not to transfer Lincoln University to Decatur, October.


State legislature enacted to permit alteration of Lincoln University's charter.


Amended charter of Lincoln University is adopted, establishing the James Millikin University, April 30.


Albert Reynolds Taylor accepts the presidency of the new university.


The three governing boards for the new university are constituted.


Board of Managers of the new Decatur College and Industrial School of the James Millikin University is organized.


Oakland Park is chosen as university site, October.


President Taylor presents curriculum outline, September 19.


Board of Managers selects architect firm of Patton & Miller of Chicago for the Decatur College & Industrial School.


Patton & Miller, architects submit final revision of plans for Shilling Hall


First construction contracts are released.


Cornerstone is laid for Shilling Hall, June 12.


Contracts let for power house and machine shop, September 29.


U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt formally dedicates the Decatur College and Industrial School of the James Millikin University, June 4.


The Decatur College and Industrial School opens for classes, September 15.


Millikin athletics organized, September 16.


The Decaturian is published for the first time. It is a monthly periodical.


Rah for the J M U! the first Millikin song, appears anonymously in Decaturian, November.


First game between Millikin and Illinois Wesleyan.


Local fraternity Kappa Delta Chi is established, April.


Local sorority Chi Sigma Phi is established, October.


First commencement of the Decatur College and Industrial School is held, with one undergraduate, June 7.


The Federation of Illinois Colleges is organized on the campus, Jan. 14.


The Millidek, the college annual is first published. The merger of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. is consummated.


Work begins for erection of Women's Hall.


First class to complete four years of instruction at the Decatur College and Industrial School graduates. Women's Hall is opened for occupancy.


The Illinois Academy of Science was organized, largely at the initiative of President Taylor and John Charles Hessler, chemistry professor.


James Millikin dies in Orlando, Florida, March 2.


Beta chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon established.


University charter is amended in accordance with Millikin's will.


James Millikin Estate announces its plans to erect a conservatory and gymnasium building. The first student council is organized for limited student government, May 10.


Engineering curriculum is reduced to two years.


U.S. President William Taft visits campus, February.


The gymnasium and conservatory are opened for use.


President Taylor resigns, effective July 1.


George Emory Fellows begins his duties as 2nd president.


School of Pedagogy changed to School of Education.


Anna Millikin dies, bequeathing her residence to serve as an Art Institute, July 29.


Conservatory of Music is dedicated, November 6.


President Fellows is formally inaugurated, December 9.


Controversy erupts over President Fellows.


Accreditation is granted by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.


President Fellows vacates his office and Albert Reynolds Taylor arrives for a second term. The first fall homecoming is held, November 12-13, an annual tradition.


Gift of Hobart Williams establishes the Williams Fund.


Millikin Estate trustees announce its challenge to raise $1,000,000 for the university in five years.


The Student Army Training Corps is organized in October.


President Taylor resigns for second time, effective June 30. John Charles Hessler named acting president. Tuition raised to $100 a year.


Louis Edward Holden assumes the presidency.


Millikin Academy closes.


Tuition increases to $150 a year.


Decaturian becomes a weekly newspaper.


Graduate instruction and degrees were terminated.


The English Club establishes the "Elizabethan Study."


Students strike over firing of two professors "The Casey Incident," May 5-13. Former president Albert Taylor resumes duties for a third and final time


Mark Embury Penney is elected president, assuming his duties in August.


Mark Embury Penney is formally inaugurated as president.


Millikin celebrates its quarter -centennial, April 29-May 1.


School of Education becomes the Department of Education, November 2.


First night college football game in the state of Illinois is played at Millikin field, against Lincoln, November 2. Millikin wins 62-0.


Former president Albert Taylor dies, August 12.


President Penney resigns, effective June 30.


Jesse Hayes White assumes the presidency.


Ground is broken for Orville B. Gorin Library, November 5.


Millikin is recognized as a "Class A" college by the University of Illinois.


Cornerstone of Gorin Library is laid, April 17.


Orville B. Gorin Library is formally dedicated November 20 and opened for use following thanksgiving recess.


President Jesse Hayes White resigns. John Charles Hessler, former chemistry professor, assumes the presidency, September.


"The Millikin Plan" of education was formulated and begun.


Unconditional accreditation granted by the North Central Association and the National Association of Schools of Music to the Millikin School of Music. Evening Classes are instituted.


The first "Queen" of the annual homecoming celebration is elected by students.


Redecorated auditorium was dedicated and named Albert Taylor Hall, Octoer 28.


Millikin was recognized by the Association of American Universities, and by the American Association of University Women.


The Trustees of the James Millikin estate convey the former Millikin residence to the university.


Cadets of the Army Air Corps arrive.


Campaign for funds to erect a science building is begun.


Army Air Corp cadets leave the campus.


President Hessler dies in office, July 29. Clarence Lee Miller, Dean of the University, is named acting president.


The Scovill Trust is announced, November 27.


Office of Veterans' Counselor is created.


J. Walter Malone assumes the Presidency of the college, formally inaugurated May 3.


Veterans arrive on campus.


"Campus City" and "Trailer City" are constructed and "Mafair Hall" is purchased and put to use.


Initial campaign for science building construction is completed.


Graduate work in music is instituted, fully accredited. "Fairview Hall" is purchased and put to use.


"Lincoln at Twenty-One" sculpture by Fred Torrey is formally dedicated, October 24.


Major in Education is added to curriculum.


Graduate work in education is instituted, fully accredited.


Hearings before Judge of the Circuit Court Martin E. Morthland are concluded, followed by judicial decrees permitting dissolution of the connection between Lincoln College and the Decatur College & Industrial School, in accord with legislative action.


Millikin celebrates its "Golden Jubilee," the fiftieth year of class instruction.


John Brcin's statue of Stephen Decatur is placed on the grounds of the Art Institute.


The campaign for additional funds to meet increased costs of construction of the science building was launched and completed.


Contracts were let for construction of the science building. Ground was broken for the new science building, May 24.


Board of Trustees deliberate on separation of the two colleges.


Secretary of State of Illinois issues new charter of "Millikin University" as legal successor to the Decatur College and Industrial School of the James Millikin University, July 23.


University celebrates its semi-centennial.


Courses by television are inaugurated, Millikin being first in the state of Illinois to offer courses via the new medium.


First Scovill Prizes awarded.


Scovill Science Hall is opened for use.


"Tree planting Day" on campus, November 28.


President J. Walter Malone announces his retirement. C.L. Miller serves as acting president for second time.


Television courses for credit are broadcast over WCIA in Champaign.


Paul Leonard McKay is elected president. Formal installation of President McKay held on October 17. Malone Chapel is dedicated, November 10.


Board of Managers is eliminated, restructuring the university's governing boards into a larger Board of Trustees.


First "Parents' Day", combining previous "Mom'" and "Dads'" Days, is observed, October 18.


President Paul McKay reveals his "Design for Excellence" to the public, April 27.


Ground broken for the men's residence hall and student union (University Center) by Eugenia Allin and Albert Taylor Mills, members of the first faculty, May 31.


Men's Residence Hall (later named Mills Hall) and University Center are occupied.


Walker Hall for women was completed.


Interior of Aston Hall is completely remodeled and refurbished.


Last residents of World War II era barracks leave, August.


Albert Taylor Mills, first professor of history at Millikin, dies December 17.


A new home for the Anna B. Millikin Home for Women is built in Greenwood urban renewal area, and the old Anna Millikin Home is turned over to the university.


Blackburn Hall is occupied. Millikin is a charter member of the Central States College Association.


$12.5 million campaign is announced with $3 million earmarked for construction of fine arts center and physical education center


Hessler Hall for men is dedicated and Men's Residence Hall is formally christened "Mills Hall" at Homecoming.


Announcement that graduate programs in music and education would be phased out by August 1973.


A Human Relations Commission was established, and a new group for minority students, For Soul Only, is established.


Collage, a literary publication, appears as a supplement to the Decaturian.


The Decatur Art Institute is dissolved. The 100,000th book is accession in the library.


Kirkland Fine Arts Center and Griswold Physical Education Center are completed, dedicated and put to use.


Former Anna Millikin Home burns, and is later torn down.


President McKay dies, February. J. Roger Miller, former Dean of School of Music and Administrative Assistant to the President, is named as McKay's successor.


The first "winter term" of coursework is held, January.


Interdepartmental Major is introduced.


WJMU begins radio broadcast.


"Design For Excellence" campaign is launched for capital improvements, including a new Library building and renovations and additions to the University Center.


Construction begins on the Staley Library.


School of Nursing is established.


Staley Library is completed, dedicated, and occupied.


Renovations of University Center completed, Richards Treat University Center opened.


Commercial Music major is added.


Birks Museum is dedicated and opened.


Tabor School of Business is dedicated


Winter Term is abolished.


"New Horizons" campaign is announced, including renovations to Liberal Arts Hall.


U.S. President Ronald Reagan visits campus for agribusiness conference, August


Mueller Computer Center is opened.


Writing Major is added to curriculum.


The athletic field is dedicated and named Frank M. Lindsey Field.


Renovations begin on Liberal Arts Hall.


Engineering department to be phased out by 1990.


U.S. News & World Report places Millikin 8th in Best Small Colleges.


First two of four new residence halls begin construction.


Fitness & Wellness Center opens. Renovations completed on Liberal Arts Hall.


Second set of residence halls are constructed and completed.


Computers replace card catalog at Staley Library.


J. Roger Miller announces his retirement, effective July 1.


John Miltner becomes Millikin's president, July 1.


Formal Inauguration of Miltner, March.


President Miltner dies, September 8. Robert Shimp, provost, is named acting president.


Dr. Curtis McCray is named as president.


Ground is broken for Oakland Hall, incorporating student housing and retail, including the bookstore and coffee shop.


"Advancing the Vision," a capital campaign for $75 million, the largest in university history, is announced.


Construction begins on the university's first free-standing religious structure, Pilling Chapel.


Oakland Hall completed, occupied.


The Woods at Millikin apartments complex begins construction.


The Woods at Millikin is dedicated.


Renovations to Frank M. Lindsey Field begins.


Pilling Chapel is finished and opened for use.


Big Bronze Man on Campus, by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. is placed on campus.


School of Music renovations begin, with school of music classes moved to Hessler Hall temporarily.


President McCray resigns. Provost Thomas Flynn named acting president. Thomas Flynn is named president in December.


Thomas Flynn is formally inaugurated as 12th President, September.


Construction begins on new science building, October.


Construction begins on Decatur Indoor Sports Center, a joint-use facility between Millikin University and the Decatur Park District.


Perkinson Music Center, named for C.D. "Perk" and Pat Perkinson, is dedicated.


Decatur Indoor Sports Center opens on October 2.


Frank M. Lindsay Field receives a new press box, thanks to a  $800,000 gift from F. Merrill and Margery "Sis" Lindsay in the late fall.


First winter commencement ceremony held in Westminster Presbyterian Church in December.


The Gala Premiere of the centennial celebration is held, May 19.


Leighty-Tabor Science Center, a $16 million project, is completed in October.


Classes are held in Leighty-Tabor Science Center for the first time in the spring.


President Flynn announces a new theater/arts building will be built.


President Thomas Flynn resigns Sept. 16.  R. John Reynolds is named acting president the same day. 


President R. John Reynolds steps down as President on June 30th.  Douglas Zemke is named president July 1st.


Remodeled Scovill Science Hall re-opens as the ADM-Scovill Tabor School of Business.


President Harold Jeffcoat inaugurated as Millikin's 14th president on September 16th.


President Jeffcoat announces immediate retirement in January.


Richard L. Dunsworth briefly serves as interim president after Dr. Jeffcoat's retirement.


President Patrick E. White named as Millikin's 15th president on October 9th, after serving as interim president since July.


Renovation of Frank M. Lindsay field with new artificial turf, a re-surfaced track, and a high-tech video scoreboard.


Renovation of Aston Hall.


Demolition of Mills and Hessler Halls, October-December.


Groundbreaking on University Commons at Staley Library building project on November 6th.


Opening of the Workman Family Softball Field. Opening of the University Commons, including the newly renovated Staley Library.


RTUC demolished; ground broken for the new Center for Theatre and Dance on May 18th.


President Pat White announces his upcoming retirement in July 2020. Workman Family Baseball Field is dedicated.


Jim Reynolds becomes Millikin's sixteenth president.


Opening of the new Center for Theatre and Dance.