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  • Midway University Releases New History Book Authored by President Emeritus Dr. Robert R. Botkin

July 21, 2020

Midway University is pleased to announce the release of the much-anticipated history “The Story of Midway University – How the Kentucky Female Orphan School Became Midway University.” The book, authored by President Emeritus Dr. Robert R. Botkin, covers the founding of the school and follows it through its many changes from a one building school for orphan girls to its modern day history as a fully, coeducational University offering associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees with a campus now spanning 200-acres around its original footprint.

“Dr. Botkin is to be applauded for his dedication and many years researching and writing this new book,” said Donna Moore Campbell, Chair, Midway University Board of Trustees. “We are pleased to have worked with him to get it published. We also recognize our fellow trustee, Belinda Metzger, for her years of work in editing, acquiring photography, and getting it ready for publishing.”

“Midway’s history is one of continuous change and resilience,” said John P. Marsden, President, Midway University. “Dr. Botkin has collected the many stories of those who helped establish the school through to the more modern-day challenges and triumphs as we transitioned to become Midway University.”

The book is available online through the Midway Eagle Outlet Store. The cost is $39.95 plus shipping. Although campus is currently closed, local pick-up can be arranged when ordering.

Previous History Books

  • Kentucky Female Orphan School: A History, by Harry Giovannoli, publ. 1930, which covers the origins to 1930.
  • Miss Lucy’s Story: As She Saw It, by Lucy Peterson, publ. 1960, which covers the early years to 1960.

About the Book

Established in 1847 in Midway, Kentucky, the Kentucky Female Orphan School with the quaint and archaic sounding name is today Midway University. The story of Midway University cannot be understood apart from Dr. L.L. Pinkerton. The doctor’s historical importance greatly transcends the early days of the school. Constrained by the circumstances of frontier Kentucky, he nonetheless was a renaissance man, gifted with a penetrating intellect and possessing a prophetic moral heart. Yet Dr. Pinkerton ultimately paid the terrible price of hostile rejection by his church, many of his friends and colleagues. Why? And how was the early success of Morehead State University related to the Kentucky Female Orphan School? What secularizing forces were at work that make the institution today seem so less religious in orientation than it was forty-five years ago? This book answers these questions and provides a comprehensive understanding of how, why, and what Midway University is today.

About the Author

Dr. Robert R. Botkin is president emeritus of Midway College, having served as president for thirteen years [1985-1998] before retiring. Dr. Botkin previously served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Phillips University and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at East Tennessee State University where he was also honored as a distinguished faculty member. Emory University awarded him a PhD, and his undergraduate alma mater, LaGrange College in Georgia, awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1998. Dr. Botkin currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife, Marilyn.