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  • Midway University Receives Historic $2 Million Grant Towards New Library Project

February 06, 2024

Largest Gift Ever Granted by James A. and Martha R. Brown Charitable Foundation 

Midway, Ky. – Midway University has been awarded a $2 million grant from the James A. and Martha R. Brown Charitable Foundation in support of the University’s latest project – design and construction of a new, state-of-the-art library building. 

“We are thankful to the Brown Charitable Foundation for their gift, and most importantly, their belief in our mission and this project,” said Dr. John P. Marsden, President, Midway University. “With our eight consecutive years of enrollment growth, we have been moving at a fast pace to address facility needs to meet student demand.”  

In 2023, Midway University completed phase one of a three phase project to address its housing shortage and work to build a new library. Phase one was the renovation of the existing library’s second floor to add 43 new beds as a short-term response. Phase two includes the construction of a new library, with phase three converting the ground floor and lower level of the existing library into housing. The Foundation’s gift now puts phase two of this plan into motion, and construction planning can begin. 

The new, two-story library building will include more than 20,000 square feet of space. The facility will house traditional offerings of a library and IT infrastructure that will address student needs for collaboration, tutoring, small group study spaces, and individual learning spaces. There will be open study areas, classrooms, seminar rooms, stacks, work areas, offices, computer labs, an e-Sports arena and a café. Specific designs and renderings are currently in progress, but not yet finalized. The total project cost is estimated at $9 million, with half of the funds having already been secured, including the Brown Charitable Foundation’s grant. 

The James A. and Martha R. Brown Charitable Foundation’s purpose is to make grants to charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational organizations primarily to support education, needy youth, or community projects. They typically award grants ranging from $10,000 to $1,000,000. 

“When we received the good news from the foundation, we were equally pleased to learn that this was the foundation’s largest single gift they had ever presented,” said Marsden. “This was a reassurance to us that others see the path we are on and fully support our efforts. This gift will have a direct impact on our entire student body and help us set a strong foundation for our future.” 

“We are very excited to be partnering with Midway University in furthering their mission,” said Joni Douglas, Director and Board Chair of the James A. and Martha R. Brown Foundation. “This library will provide a safe space of learning for future students across Kentucky and beyond for years to come, and we are so very proud to help expand the educational opportunities for all the students at such a wonderful University.” 

Read More About Midway University’s Growth and Campus Improvements in the Fall 2023 President’s Report.