John P. Marsden, Ph.D. has brought a renewed focus on the institution’s mission since becoming the tenth president of Midway University on February 1, 2013. Shortly after his arrival, Dr. Marsden led the development of a new, three-year strategic plan (2014-2017). As a result of that plan, Midway College changed its name to Midway University to reflect expanding graduate programs and international partnerships. In conjunction with the name change, Dr. Marsden led the rebranding effort for the University which resulted in a new logo, marketing materials, and a website to better tell Midway’s unique story.
More recently, Dr. Marsden has managed growth and change by implementing full coeducation in the institution’s traditional undergraduate program and launching men’s baseball, basketball, golf, and soccer teams. As a result, Midway University welcomed the largest incoming class in the history of the institution. The expansion of graduate offerings in teacher education, nursing, and business has led to record graduate student enrollment. Campus enhancements under his leadership have included residence hall and student center updates as well as a renovation of the dining hall to better meet student needs. Under his leadership, Midway University also implemented annual fundraisers – “Day for Midway” and the “Spotlight Awards” – which have improved community relations and fundraising.
Despite economic pressures in the higher education market, Midway University has worked diligently to ensure expenses have not exceeded annual revenues for the last three fiscal years. Furthermore, the institution refinanced all of its long-term debt helping to secure its future. In December 2015, Midway University was reaffirmed by SACSCOC for ten years without monitoring or recommendations.
Before joining Midway University, Dr. Marsden was provost and vice president of academic affairs at Barton College in North Carolina and provost and vice president of academic affairs as well as head of university strategic planning at Mount Mercy University in Iowa. He authored or co-authored four books in the areas of assisted living, dementia care settings, and evidence-based design as well as numerous book chapters, articles, and presentations. A first generation American and first generation college student, Dr. Marsden holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Michigan, a M.Arch. and Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Arizona, and a B.Arch. with a minor in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Marsden and Mrs. Margaret Marsden, a graduate of Auburn University School of Pharmacy, have one son, Will.